When graphic designer Robert Radziejewski was a child, friends and family always loved his capability to draw. It was a practice which “felt very natural” for the designer, which always led him to feel “surprised that people liked it so much”. With this creative talent at his disposal, Robert then grew up in fear “of having a monotonous job like the ones the elderly people who surrounded me complained about,” he tells It’s Nice That. And so, Robert headed for the possibly more reliable medium of graphic design, applying for university just 24 hours before the deadline, “without really knowing what I was getting myself into.”
What he got himself into was an exploratory design practice which sees Robert utilising this natural ability of communicating through visuals that he had as a child. Internships soon followed his initial studies, affirming the practice of graphic communication as a medium he wished to explore deeper, applying then to study further at University of the Arts Berlin. There, Robert adapted his natural ability with in-depth studying, widening “my view towards many different design fields, which helped me to sharpen my perspective on my own practice,” he explains.
Just graduating this past year, Robert’s portfolio balances an understanding and adaptive quality of the digital tools used to design, but also a balance with analogue design techniques, particularly silkscreen printing.
One project which particularly displays this approach to design is his bachelor’s project. Taking its final form as a publication, while Robert was in that anxiety-inducing period of searching for a topic for his bachelor’s thesis, he watched a lecture by the philosopher Byung Chul Han on the subject of “smooth”. Fascinated since that day, the designer collated together texts on everything from smoothies to face-fillers and gothic script typography, all representing “smoothness in graphic design.”
Putting this into a book, the finished design is wrapped in an aptly smooth, plastic cover, which then has to be ruined when broken by the reader. Inside, Robert’s approach to visualising this subject as well as the content of the essays was to create abstract visualisations, each printed in an offset silver ink with black on top, “which adds a specific glow and another contextual dimension to the images,” he points out.
Never one to stop pushing a concept, readers can also use an augmented reality app on their smartphones to animate the 3D sculptures featured, showing how illustrative design is where Robert is still at his best.
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