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Marta Gawin, graphic designer

Marta Gawin, graphic designer

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

In which city are you located?
Katowice, Poland

A word to define what kind of worker you are:
I am a focused, analytical and inquisitive person. In design work I show consistency, discipline, and particularity. I attach great importance to detail, striving for an ideal and perfectly balanced form.

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc .)
The most important tool is the head, then the hand, sometimes a piece of paper and pencil, and finally Adobe software (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop).

What does your office space look like?
I share space with an all-female architecture studio, located in a 19 century red brick tenement-house in a post-industrial neighbourhood. The interior is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of light.

 The studio has some old furniture, such as ‘byfyj’ kitchen dresser typical for the region and old wardrobe where I store finished projects. 

The bigger part of the room is taken up by a table on which I keep a collection of paper and bookbinding materials samplers. In a small bookcase I have at hand the design books I currently need or albums for inspiration. 

I do not like untidiness, but I struggle with disorder on the desk, piles of drawings, pens, pencils, models, and proofs. The studio provides a friendly atmosphere, we often discuss projects, have lunch together, complain about clients and believe in girl power. ☺

What kind of music do you listen when you are working?
broadly defined electronic and jazz music

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?
I work for clients who expect me to respond to their needs spontaneously, dynamically and effectively. 

There is no place for routine in my organization of work, every day brings surprises, so I have to be focused and ready for action all the time. 

I try not to go on Facebook, surf the internet, or chat. But I have moments of weakness, like anyone else.

What tips would you give to improve productivity?
I have noticed that I am most effective when working on one project at a time. Unfortunately it is not always possible, sometimes you have to do more and take short breaks between projects.

Meetings with clients are also a distraction, which is why I try to arrange several on one day. I usually leave paperwork and organizational matters for the weekend, when I do not get calls and urgent emails. In addition, it is important not to put things off for later and procrastinate.

You’re better than your colleagues to:
I think that people cannot be compared in terms of quality. The value of every person lies in their uniqueness, diversity, perception and feeling of the world and themselves. My specific sensitivity and individual style of thinking make me create projects with a specific character. They are conceptual, logical, and use strong graphical accents. This does not mean, however, that my works are better than the works of someone whose design is subtle and sensual.

What is the best advice anyone has given you?
Chip Kidd once said during a lecture in Krakow two things that I will never forget. The first was: “Simple works, but do not confuse it with boring” and the other: “Figure out your concept and make it look good.”

What is your best tip for saving time?
I never start designing before working out a clear and coherent concept. I believe that this approach not only provides ideological grounding for the project, where means of expression and form arise from reasonable assumptions, but also streamlines and simplifies the whole process.

What is your routine start and end of the day?
I design and react, from 10.00 to …

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?