Prague-based graphic designer Kristyna Kulíková’s work is distinctive, to say the least. Full of maximalist visuals, it combines heavy metal and Yu-Gi-Oh!-inspired typography with 3D-rendered, hyperreal objects and bold colours in a full-on aesthetic.
“My influences or points of reference don’t necessarily come from the same art field I choose to work in,” Kristyna tells It’s Nice That of where she gets her ideas. “For example, I can use several elements that I find interesting from the fashion industry and recreate them to make them fit into the characteristics of my collaboration with some musician, artist, exhibition, magazine or even some theoretical agenda.” For Kristyna, pulling visual stimuli from multiple areas allows her to “rearrange these fragments in my own way and kind of re-establish them as a base for my design process”.
Kristyna was first introduced to the world of digital design as a bored high school teenager. “I was doing a lot of freestyle collages in Photoshop and then got attracted to 3D software and started learning from tutorials,” she recalls. Having recently moved from her hometown Brno in the Czech Republic to Prague, Kristyna is in the fourth year of her bachelor’s in graphic design at Faculty of Fine Arts, works part-time at Anymade Studio and also freelances.
Although her work spans several industries and outputs, Kristyna explains how she particularly enjoys “working on various projects connected with music from event posters to album covers and artist’s identities”. One such project includes a recent collaboration with Estonian rapper and conceptual artist, Tommy Cash. An ongoing piece of work, Kristyna’s graphic solution takes inspiration from esotericism – the notion of myth and mysterious traditions which have developed in Western society – and Tarot cards. With the rapper’s recognisable head and shoulders framed within a circle, Kristyna has also developed a dual typographic system which combines an elegant, tight kerned serif with a 3D tubular accompaniment.
Whether producing an event poster for a night in London or Beijing, or the visual identity for a secondhand shop in Prague, it’s Kristyna’s contemporary process of collage which makes her work stand out. Most definitely of the school of thought that “more is more”, she treats each composition as if designing a stage. By adding in components and layering-up visual, textural and typographic elements, Kristyna creates compositions which become less like posters, and more like “digital sculptures”. She concludes by telling us: “The method is variable but I’m always in search, and in favour of, constructing some imaginative realm or a situation that tends to have a strong emotional effect rather than some conceptual cypher or cognitive impact.”
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