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About Anton Shlyonkin

Anton Shlyonkin is a part of graphic design duo from Russia called «All my T». The other part is his wife, who is a graphic designer herself, Anna Goncharova. Then they created this company their focus was in typefaces and t-shirt design — both things starting with the «T», that's how this name came to be., however now they are working in many different field from packaging to enterior desgn. They both graduated from National Design Institute in Moscow, Anton in 2011 and Anna in 2013. Now they are lecturers their themself. They also take part in poster exhibitions, the last one was Dante Alighiery exhibition in Italy, Pratovecchio. Anton's favorite self-commissioned project is his «Type tarot» — a set of tarot card made intarely with custom lettering. His favorite client-commissioned work is branding and navigation system for sledge-bobsleigh complex «Sanky» in Sochi, which was part of the Olympics in 2014. Anna's favorite works are different packaging for famous Russian candy brand «Tasty help»

Interview with Anton Shlyonkin

Anton Shlyonkin ("AS") interviewed on Friday, 7 December.

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?

AS : I've graduated from National Design Institute in Moscow in 2011. Since then I worked in different fields as a graphic, web, packaging and type designer and illustrator. I also used to be a lecturer for 5 years in the National Design Institute as well. Now I am a part of a design duo AllMyT with my wife as a partner, who is a graphic designer too. I really like working with «small» clients — book authors, musicians, family businesses etc. But we work with bigger clients too — banks, insurance companies, ad agencies, government structures. For example Guta bank, Rosgosstrah, PFR, Olymp stroy, Tasty help etc.

How did you become a designer?

AS : I always wanted to be an artist, but I was told that you need A GIFT to become one. So I chose a second-best option - graphic design. And I am pretty happy about it now because graphic design is a great thing.

What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?

AS : The most important quote for me is «Less is more». The second one though is «Rules are there to be broken». So, I guess, the main thing for me is to make a functional and «clean» design which is «still alive», rough in the right places. Also, I am all for the hidden meanings in my work, though they are more like easter eggs for the curious viewer and not an integral part of the design.

Which emotions do you feel when designing?

AS : Oh, I love designing stuff. I really love to generate ideas with just a pen and paper, it's kind of liberating and also fun

What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?

AS : I used to be a musician, and I believe it really helps with a sense of rhyme and «feeling» colors, and overall composition. Also, drawing is really helpful too. And for type design work - definitely calligraphy.

What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?

AS : I was a student, intern, freelancer, designer, art director and now - co-founder of my studio. The next step is to create some kind of product for myself. Designing for others is fun, but I believe the end goal is to make your own stuff as well (which many designers end up doing)

What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?

AS : Design is a hard work and should be treated as such. But the main goal is to have fun in the process. I hate when people say «Client made me do it» if something turns out bad in their work. I believe limitations are liberating in a way. It's also important to be educated in many different fields to be «fresh» and relevant, which is pretty easy to do now. Thanks, internet!

You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?

AS : Always be excited and love what you do. And observe constantly. Be aware of things. If you are getting bored by your work - find a way to make it fun. Place little easter eggs, try new stuff, try something new for every project. As long as it doesn't hurt the project it's all good.

What is your day to day look like?

AS : Coffee! Then - e-mails. I use it for most of my work and for the news and subscriptions too. And the main thing is the music. A lot of music. Also, I really like sharing ideas with my wife, it's priceless

How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?

AS : I don't believe in trends as a useful tool. But of course, it's important to be aware of things, and not only design. So I try to read a lot. Podcasts are amazing too. And the best thing for inspiration is browsing through Behance, of course!

How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?

AS : This thing is hard to generalize. Some basic design aspects as composition and colors and overall impact. But most important - if it serves its purpose. But it's more like a gut feeling for me

How do you decide if your design is ready?

AS : It's important to understand that nothing can be perfect. So it's important to be able to stop and move on. That said though it's still important to be satisfied with your work. I usually have a short checklist for each project. If I hit all of the marks, everything I wanted to do - it's time to move on.

What is your biggest design work?

AS : My biggest project to date — navigation system and identity for Sanki track, which was a part of 2014 Sochi Olympics. It was a huge project, very interesting and complex. For more recent examples — branding and identity for «Little Bakery», because I had to do so many new things, like interior design.

Who is your favourite designer?

AS : Stefan Sagmeister (he is the best for me). Jessica Hische. Chip Kidd. Osten Gruppe. Niels Shoe Muelman. And many many many more. Professionals are awesome. And a lot of old masters, not only design-wise but from all art fields too.

Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?

AS : Music is really important. All kinds of experiences. It's a good time to be a designer. A lot of things to explore, and even more things to do.

Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?

AS : I think respect is really important for designers. Sometimes you need to do what you need to do even if you want to do something else. It's important to do your best for your current project and not just indulge in thing on a whim.

What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?

AS : It's important to share knowledge. That was my reasoning to go back to my Institute to teach young designers. It's also important to contribute to society and culture, to do non-commercial projects, to be a part of the community. And I try to do it as well as I can and encourage my students to do as well.

What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?

AS : Competitions allow you to really reflect on your work. It's also important as a social tool. A' Design Award also arranges exhibitions of winning designs which is just crazy. It's the best part for me. Oh, and the yearbook. And the overall exposure - it's great. And it's really useful too. And of course, it's really nice to be acknowledged by the community.

Anton Shlyonkin Profile

5 Principles Sweets and Candy

5 Principles Sweets and Candy design by Anton Shlyonkin

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