Vanja Golubovic, graphic designer living and working between Berlin and Geneva.

Hello Vanja, how are you?

I’m doing well, thank you. Despite the sad times we are going through…

Can you introduce yourself?

I’m an independent graphic designer, born in Belgrade, Serbia. I grew up in Switzerland where I graduated from the School of Applied Arts in Geneva. After my studies, I worked as a graphic designer and art director for several advertising agencies. I was attracted by marketing communication and fascinated by the possibility I had to influence the consumption of a very broad public. I also really enjoyed developing and creating campaigns, mainly for fashion and luxury brands.

Nevertheless, I realized after a while that I was going away from graphic design and that I was missing it. In 2011, I decided to change course and started my own business. Since then, I have been sharing my time between Berlin and Geneva, depending on my projects and clients. I am lucky enough to work in cultural fields, such as music, theater or cinema.

Where does your interest in graphic design come from?

When I was a teenager, I used to destroy furniture – while trying to « redesign » them – or to cut and tailor my clothes in order to make them look less ordinary. One day, I decided to redesign every single CD artwork I had at home. I thought that they would look much cooler my way. Today, working in the creative field is an evidence. But at that time, I would never have thought that I could eventually make a living from this urge to make, create things. I didn’t grow up in an artistic environment and I was afraid to follow this unusual path for me and my relatives. Luckily my family understood and was there to channel my fears and dreams and took me to an art school when I was 15. I discovered graphic design only during the foundation course and realized that it could bring all my passions together.

Can you tell us more about your projects with Tresor?

Tresor is a Berlin techno club with a huge background. It is a myth in the techno scene and its story is also strongly related to Berlin’s post cold war development. Their communications need to please the core public of regular techno aficionados but also to attract a younger and eclectic crowd. With around 20 flyers and posters to design each month for print and web and a visual concept changing every 6 months, the task is pretty complex. I had to find flexible visual systems allowing me to develop dynamic visuals while keeping a strong and coherent identity. Based on three specific templates for each kind of events and a single font, I have developed two visual concepts so far: a first one playing around graphic sound moods and ambiances and a second one focusing on the place, the building and its cage where DJs perform.

Do you have a favorite typeface to work with?

I always try to find a font according to the topic of the project I am working on and I enjoy when it fits, even if I don’t find it perfect. This also leads me to work with different typefaces, to try new combinations. Each font has a story to tell.

Is there any designer you appreciate a lot?

There are many designers that I appreciate in different ways. Their work is in general very different of what I do. These differences inspire me and keep me moving forward in my own practice. I try not to rest on my laurels.

What stimulates you outside graphic design?

New Belgrade, where I was born. There is something brutal there. I already collaborated with the Swiss photographer Michel Bonvin on a photography project but I am not done with these blocs.

Oh! And I have been obsessed by making natural perfumes for some time. The choice of a fragrance is strongly bound to someone’s personality. One should smell like no other and I would love to create bespoke perfumes in a near future.

Is there a book or a manifesto which opened your eyes about design?

Nothing in particular but “Made you look” by Stefan Sagmeister was one of the first design books I took in hands at the art school library. I remember that the design of the cover opened my eyes about the status and the importance an object could get, when its form follow its content or function.

The last word…

Thanks guys!

Interview: Dennis Moya & Tiffany Bähler — 12.15

Pictures and projects ©Vanja Golubovic. “Homeriade” designed together with Thibaud Tissot.

Graphic Design