Would you say a graphic designer needs to establish a unique style?

Quite the opposite! I believe in concept and narrative rather than aesthetic. When starting my career, I found myself often changing styles. I almost don’t recognize my early works. With time a designer develops some common ground between projects, but personally I would say I am a bit of a chameleon. My style responds to the client’s brief. Of course, you can’t create the same identity for all clients. But I make sure there is a narrative behind everything. It all begins with my story. I need to build my own world.

You studied at central saint martins in london. what was the biggest lesson you learned there?

Thinking outside the box and justifying my choices. “Why did you do this?” was a daily question. You couldn’t do something if you weren’t able to explain the reasoning behind it. This constant push to leave my comfort zone is what brought me to where I stand today.

Do you prefer to draw by hand or digitally?

Both. One complements the other. Drawing by hand allows greater freedom and impulse. On the computer one has high expectations and expects the work to look perfect immediately. There is no set formula. I often switch between the two. However, I always take into consideration that the final result will probably be seen on a laptop or phone. So, yes, whenever I design something I now think of it in terms of screen, knowing that this is the ultimate canvas and frame for my designs.

You also produce works of art. how does that complement your graphic designs?

Since my return to Athens in 2005 and establishing my graphic design business I have acquired a substantial Greek and international clientele. Producing art is the counterbalance to all this, and still accompanies me as a way of expressing my concerns and dreams, using traditional techniques such as embroidery.

How does teaching help your work?

Teaching while practicing is hugely important, but also spiritually satisfying. I used to teach when I was younger and then left it for a while until I realized how much I missed it. I am now a professor at the University of East Attica. It can be challenging but interacting with fresh minds and talent is truly rewarding and magical. When I see my students doing really well I feel so much pride and happiness.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Graphic design is changing really quickly. The strongest weapons we can have are an open mind and flexibility. My advice is to absorb information, filter it and then create new ideas. When I started out everything was designed by hand. Through the years we’ve seen the integration of the screen and digital in our lives and now social media too. People’s perception of the image is constantly shifting and we need to run fast enough to stay on track. I’m sure that the nature of graphic design will continue to change but flexibility and curiosity can always keep you ahead of the game.

Interview by Daphne Karnezis, Athens-based journalist
Photo by Ria Mort