PICTURE ABOVE: A4D-D4A LOVES GOOD FOOD. EDIBLE, VINTAGE “KOOKY “GRAPHICS BY MARINOS MARINOU. A4D-ELICIOUS!!!!
Marinos Marinou, is an Art director, illustrator, graphic designer, visual artist and creative pastry chef. Larger than life, he throws some of his magic sparkle by answering quintessential design-questions, explaining some secret equations of the actual design world.
All4design-design4all: All these years of your work as an Art director, you “switched” many times your canvas from traditional press and illustration-oriented/ sketch-on-paper, techniques, to other areas, such as exhibition design, sculpture, scenography, wall jewelry, even creative pastry. Do you believe that a good designer gains more valuable experience through cross-platform experimentation?
Marinos Marinou: I always have been an active graphic designer, a “restless spirit”, as far it concerns investigating new techniques and experimenting with materials. That helped me to take the first step on this fantastic journey, one I could never imagine. I discover something that it never feels like work. I always say that I make a living out of my hobby. I want my work to connect with people on an emotional level which is what I think most effective and lasting. I usually work on numerous ideas at once for the same project, getting progressively more experimental as I go along. The process of each project generates a number of possible ideas , using various techniques and encourage me to think outside the box to come up with creative and innovative solutions. I enjoy working on anything I haven’t tried before, coming up against a new challenge. This is how I get able to speak visually and emotionally to a variety of audiences. A designer could be a great one, by discovering his own “strength” in a field, either this is typography or image-making or both, when he develops his ability to communicate that by experimentation cause there are so many different visual aspects on each direction. That’s why the term Visual Communication is also used currently for graphic design.
A4D-D4A: Magazines and the paper media in general, got seriously hammered by the economic crisis. Web-zines of every kind rise up through their dynamic sites ,i-pad versions etc. What are the most important aspects of an on-line mag, in order to be “design” appreciated-, or “design” successful?
M.M: The advantage of technology is that the number of digital media available continues to increase. And that brings new possibilities and challenges to design. It’s completely different from the print media because you have to design and build an interactive relationship between the application and the user – the latter having the ability to choose the content he/she receives. New media design has the same principles as the traditional design except you have to communicate messages across different platforms. I believe that the most successful aspect is to find a way to be more memorable, more unique and effective. The way on-line media is produced today homogenized the overall result , so it makes weak, easy to forget, with less impact. Good design in Social media can also work well in order to produce desired and effective results. It’s largely an untapped area. People watch closely all kinds of information. From various events, politics, new products, fashion, gossip and so on, I believe the design can play a bigger and more effective role in this. As any other area ,in the on-line magazines you have to stand out from the crowd . Design can help you achieve that because by creating a great layout, a great “packaging”, you attract people to come and visit your site.
A4D-D4A: Cyprus is a small country, with a reasonably large creative community- despite the country’s size- who is thriving quietly the last 25 years. What’ s the secret behind such an evolution in design services , on Cypriot ground? Which other design markets, globally, you think worth noticing, and in which countries?
M.M: As you rightly point out ,Cyprus is a small country. People are closer to each other and closer to nature. We can be in 5 minutes out in the countryside or down at the beach. We are not lost in the chaos of a big city. We are able to show all these influences from our surroundings as well as the strong influences from different cultures passed through the years from our island, into our lives, our culture, our arts and of course our design and be more creative. The way we live and the fact that most of the designers went abroad developing their skills and knowledge, helped the design industry to make a strong statement in such a small country. So I believe the way of life stays an important reason that a large creative community exists in Cyprus.
The last few years creative agencies in Greece are acclaimed in Europe or internationally, their course being remarkable: “Beetroot”, “Mnp”, “Bob Studio”, “K2design”, “Mousegraphics” and so many others. Also the contemporary Scandinavian design is characterized by simplicity, minimalism and functionality, especially agencies and designers from Denmark and Sweden. Of course, my first influences since I studied in the U.K, came from Britain, which is the “birthplace” of some great graphic designers worldwide.
A4D-D4A: What do you think is the biggest challenge for a young designer today?
M.M: The new generation of designers gives very promising signs. The economic crisis that emerged globally is one of the biggest challenges for a young designer today. There are fewer chances for a young designer finding a job or even given the chance to show his work. They have to work twice as hard to find ways to stand out and be noticed. More and more design agencies are closing down and that makes it even more difficult. Also technology moves so fast as I mentioned earlier so young people need to stay always updated of what is going on in the market and find a way to propose something new -find the right moment and make their move into the industry.
A4D-D4A : You have a vast knowledge from so many design fields, you’ve experienced so many cultural and political changes, studying abroad, and working eventually in your homeland…What’s your biggest wish for the design industry, in the forthcoming years?
M.M: My wish is of course to overcome the economic crisis , so more and more agencies open their doors to enthusiastic designers ready to give fresh, new and unexpected ideas and qualities, which are eventually the seeds of new design proposals.
(Note: Marinos Marinou is also a qualified Graphic Arts professor in secondary education and member of OLTEK (Technical Education Association of Cyprus).
More of Marino’s work as an Art Director and some of his numerous, previous and current projects, on:
Marino, many thanks!
Marino, many thanks!