Hometown: Moscow, Russia
Year graduated: 2003
Currently working at: Dartmouth Publishing (Boston MA)
How does it feel to be a professional designer: A little weird — I never thought about being a designer while I was studying economics and finances at the university. I am happy I discovered the graphic design and web design programs at Parkland.
How do you like your job: It is very satisfying — it feels so good to do what I enjoy doing.
How do you get your clients: Through referrals. One client contacted me after seeing my name on the bottom of the web site I designed.
What was the most exciting project you've worked on since graduation: I really enjoyed designing the web site for a U of I retreat called Mufmech — Midwestern Universities Fluid Mechanics Retreat.
What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland: Well, I learned so many things, pretty much everything I know about being a designer. First, I learned what graphic design is—I had no idea what it was before I took my first design class. Among other things, I learned not to take critiques personally, and that design is not self-expression. I also learned how to communicate with clients, and that knowledge of typography is vital to a designer. And many, many other things.
Who is your favorite designer and why: Hillman Curtis. I saw him on a field trip to Chicago when he spoke at an AIGA meeting several years ago and he made a big impression on me. He seemed to be a very authentic person—without a trace of anything phoney, like a child. He simply began his presentation about the things that matter to him, then he showed some of his work and told about his process. But without making any predictable jokes or using any meaningless words. Later, when I looked at his work and it left me with almost the same feeling — authentic, clear and very human.
What is your favorite typeface and why: Adobe Garamond. I enjoy looking at each letter as big as my monitor—each letter is a piece of art.