Having recently discovered the work of Swedish designer Magdalena Czarnecki we were interested to discover she had studied in Australia before working in Italy and recently returned home. Having spent time at Fabrica (Benetton’s Communication & Research Centre), Magdalena art directed three issues of the prestigious Colors magazine, including their recent 20th anniversary issue we featured in Things a few weeks ago. All this considered we decided we had to find out more…
You’re a Swedish designer who has studied in Australia, worked in Italy and now find yourself back in Sweden. Tell us how and why you managed to fit in so many air miles.
My work would not have been what it is today if I didn’t travel and had my overseas experiences, inspirations and influences. Studying in Australia made me really focus on only design. As you are away from home you kind of start all over again, and most of my friends down there were also designers that I met in school or in studios. Nerdy but true. I think stepping out of your comfort zone is good for any person’s development!
How does the experience of university in Australia compare to working in Italy?
When I studied in Australia, being from Europe and knowing that I would at some point wanted to return, I sometimes raised the question in my head, will this education be as good seen at home as European design schools are? And, does my work respond to the market at home? But being home in Sweden now, and even in Italy, I only had positive feedback from the work I created in Australia.
I think the design scene in Sydney, where I was based, is really creative and experimental. Design in Australia has grown rapidly the past years. Since they don’t have a long, proud history of design in their heritage they take on new talent and give young creative’s loads of responsibility early on. I always felt it was more about your portfolio and the work you had created rather than who your contacts are, which is something that I feel both Italians and Swedes put way more importance on.
Spending my time in Italy at Fabrica, Benetton’s Communication & Research Centre, working for Colors, a magazine about the rest of the world, my time spent overseas was certainly just rewarding for me. At Fabrica, all creative’s are from all over the world, therefor its maybe not the real Italian deal!
You’ve recently worked on the 20th anniversary issue of Colors magazine, can you tell us a little about Colors, the Collectors Issue and your role within it.
During my time at Fabrica I had the privilege to art direct three issues of Colors Magazine. It was one of my goals when I arrived to be able to do one issue and the fact that I got to do three of them was such a bonus! Doing an issue of Colors is really intense and you learn a lot. You dig deep into the topic provided for the coming issue. I loved the fact that all of our roles in the editorial team blended together. Writers, photographers & designers do the same amount of research and are constantly trying to explore the topic in to a new concept that have not been touched before.
Colors Collector that is the latest issue of Colors and was a special guest edition curated by product designer Sam Baron as a Creative Director. The team changed a lot and it was really interesting to work with product designers on an editorial level. The Collector issue was also special since Colors is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year. We had a lot of exhibitions with the issue as released and it was a really good and rewarding way to end my time spent in Italy before returning to Sweden.
What do you plan to do now you’re back in Sweden?
Its kind of ironic, being from here, but, the design scene in Sweden is totally new to me, so its almost like starting all over again, even if this is the place I am from. Its really exciting to open new doors. At the moment I am freelancing and in a few days I am starting a project with one of my favourite studios at home so I am more than happy that I finally returned!
- Anthony Burrill tells us about his numerous Etsy WORK HARD rip-offs
- Stina Löfgren’s instructional illustrations for practical lunges
- Scandinavian aesthetics and do-right design approach: the brand values of Nudie Jeans
- A beautiful portrait of the communities, theatre and blingy pants of South Yorkshire wrestling
- Back to basics with Davide Di Gennaro’s symbol-heavy design workshop identity
- “I wouldn’t recommend trying to make it as an illustrator to anyone”: straight-talking McBess
- Should illustrators be treated like designers?
- Jonathan Barnbrook talks us through designing David Bowie's new album artwork
- Colourful masses with a Memphis aesthetic in Mariano Pascual’s illustrated alphabet
- Grey London's thoughtful, powerful and innovative new campaign for Tate Britain
- Anthony Burrill on starting out and staying focussed
- Introducing French design studio plus mûrs and its beautiful poster designs