FEATURED MEMBER – Nikiforos Kollaros

Posted on March 12, 2011

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Nikiforos Kollaros is a visual designer based in Athens, Greece.

Holder of a BA(Hons) degree from A.K.T.O. college of Greece, he was awarded a First Class degree, His works have been featured on numerous design websites and blogs. Specialized in branding, typography and photo-manipulation he is the Co-Founder of the KEIK Bureau design group.

   
Q.  Are there any artists you particularly admire?
A.  I certainly admire every artist of the International Typographic style field, but if we are talking about classic values, I mostly prefer Picasso and Dali. Recently I started focusing on the Gestalten artists.

Q.  What does Graphic Design mean to you?
A.  Graphic Design is a way of maintaining balance in my life. Through Graphic Design, you can break the limits of the obvious, and create the “Supernatural”.

Q.  What were your subjects when you first started out?
A.  I must admit I was not one of the artists that started by using paper and pencil. I found it easier to express myself by using Adobe Photoshop, creating several photo-manipulations of still-nature, being totally ignorant of the fact that I was trespassing the borders to Illustration. When I finally became aware of it, my interest on Graphic Design was born, and that is when I began my studies.

   
Q.  What were your inspirations?
A.  My strongest ideas were born through just having fun. I believe that we can find inspiration, into every visual stimulus, from a beautiful landscape, or a sharp-lined building, to an interesting book, or a heart-warming movie. Even the smallest things are possible idea-makers.

Q.  What are the subjects you chose for your latest works?
A.  My latest works are mostly about information of every aspect, and how it can be best presented to the audience. From social media to car manufacturing, all information is usable.

Q.  Is there a story behind your works?
A.  Every work –in order to be strong- has to be supported by the designer’s story about it, so that the audience will be challenged to perceive and make it theirs. I do my best to motivate certain feelings through my work.

   
Q.  You have designed a movie poster for an online-magazine. Can you talk about that experience?
A.  When I was assigned with that project, I was very happy, since I finally had the opportunity to see the movie from another point-of-view. The difficulty of the project, was that I had to communicate certain meanings of the movie without actually showing any of its starring characters. So I came up with a clean solution that would awake certain emotions to the viewer.

Q.  You also have some designs for Shoot, which is a photography magazine. How did your work go with Shoot?
A.  Shoot magazine was a project that unfortunately didn’t bore any fruit. It was supposed to be a magazine about skate-culture e.t.c. I hope that I will someday be able to publish this magazine myself.

Q.  Did you have any exhibitions?
A.  During my studies, I was a constant participant of the college’s exhibitions, but my first one outside the college, was on November of 2010, “the Seear project” in which we (me and other fellow designers from Greece) tried to create images for several words that we were given from people on the streets of Athens. As a result, words like “nothing” or “love” or even “shit”, were translated in a designer’s way to posters and even music (musicians did that actually).

Q.  Can you explain how you decided to do your Typography project? What were your motivations?
A.  I had come across several designers that were trying to apply patterns on human bodies and faces, so I thought that using letterforms could also work. My goal was to design a mosaic of letters. It started as a monochrome image and then I applied the same technique on a colored one. Another goal was to pass a darker feeling through these images.

   
Q.  Can you talk about your experience with King Henry Bar-Restaurant?
A.  The design process for King Henry was an experience from which I gained a lot. Through this project, I learned a lot about creating a brand. The main goal was to give a vintage feel without making the brand look old-fashioned, and I think that this goal was finally reached.

Q.  Do you have a favorite piece among your works?
A.  One of my favorite works is the “Versus” project. It all started with the quote of Jason Veer: “Math is easy. Design is hard”. Thus I tried to create a series of posters that would reflect through design and illustration, some of the greatest contrasts of our lives.

Q.  What equipment & techniques do you use?
A.  Just like every designer, I also do use pen and paper, photos, Adobe’s Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign for my projects. The combination of the above, along with a good idea, can produce a wonderful result.

   
Q.  What is the motivation behind your choice of material?
A.  Everything begins from an idea that will tickle your senses. Then, through research, I always try to find the facts that will make the idea come to life, always stimulating the feelings that I am trying to awake. Most of the times, the material that draws my attention, is the one –or more- that will make the “game” of creativity more interesting.

Q.  Are you working on new projects currently?
A.  I am currently working on some infographic projects. I am basically trying to understand, how information can be delivered via graphic design instead of being analyzed through a boring article in a newspaper.

Q.  What are your professional ambitions and your projects for 2011?
A.  First of all, I have to get through with my military obligations. When it comes to my projects, my main goal is to experiment with different techniques. As for my professional aspects, I finally want to make the idea of “KEIK Bureau” come to life.

Q.  How do you hope Pelime can help with this?
A.  I think Pelime can be a great way for Designers to promote their work, not only in their own country, but also on an international level, and that is a great deal for people of the creative field, because of the more “global” nature of the design community. I strongly believe that exchanging visual stimuli with other professionals can only prove to be good for one’s work.

   

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