Design Stars: The Top 10



Atelier Olschinsky
Names: Peter Olschinsky, Verena Weiss
Location: Vienna, Austria
Field: Illustration, photography, graphic design
Clients: Austrian Air Traffic Controllers Association, Batliner Art Foundation, CSC Pharamaceuticals

Explain your style of work.
Peter Olschinsky: We are always trying to develop our style, which is why we work on our own projects in addition to our clients’ work.

What’s your dream project?
One of them is Nevertheless magazine, which we launched in 2010. We are also planning to open our own art store in Vienna, hopefully in October.

What are the inspirations for your work?
Painting and drawing are always important for us. At the moment, we are really influenced by Japanese modern culture and arts like manga and films.

Pictured: From a photo shoot for Austrian fashion designer Susanne Bisovsky, featured in an exhibition at Vienna’s Kunsthalle Wien.

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Carsten Witte

Carsten Witte
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Field: Fine arts, photography, fashion
Clients: Mexx, Deutsche Telekom, Renault, Campari, Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle

Explain your style of work.
My work is based on my experience in the darkroom, where I do everything—processing film, printing and toning, along with handling the challenges of the digital age. This is where the depth and tones come from.

What’s your dream job?
What’s still missing is a book, extremely well printed, about my favorite projects. And I look forward to teaching photography at a fine university.

Why the juxtaposition between nudes and nature in your work?
The juxtapositions in my dyptichs work combine my admiration for natural beauty, both in vegetation and female beauty. Both are limited in their time of beauty and I try to capture them at their peak.

Pictured: From a shoot for Maxima magazine, featuring model Amanda Mitchell from the PMA Agency.

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Santiago Wardak
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Field: Graphic design, illustration
Clients: Fox International Channels Italy

Explain your style of work.
While it depends on the nature of the project, I try to simplify things, synthesizing and reducing the number of elements and amount of color.

What’s your dream project?
Anything that allows me to get back to basics, use my hands, draw and stay away from the computer for awhile.

How do you turn typography into artwork?
I use typography as the main character in my work and when I can I build my projects around the typography, making it more dominant and letting it become the image.

Pictured: Wardak was asked to create four typographic identities for History, each referencing a particular segment of the network’s programming. The idea, says Wardak, was to mix vintage lettering with modern typeface.

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32 Round

32 Round
Name: Andy Gugel 
Location: Minneapolis
Field: Interactive design, art direction
Clients: Google, Adobe, Vodafone, Warner Bros.

Explain your style of work. 
Simplicity through restraint. I prefer to work within a flatter design aesthetic and create depth through extreme contrast and small pops of color.

What’s your dream project? 
I get excited about any opportunity that is unlike any previous projects I’ve worked on. Any project that offers creative freedom, and a tangible outcome, is a worthwhile endeavor. 

What’s the biggest challenge in simplifying complex ideas? 
Every project starts with its own unique purpose, feature set and functionality. So the challenge often lies in reducing those layers and creating something that feels smart and easy to use. 

Pictured: For the first time, nearly all of Google’s applications were redesigned to be more focused, elastic and effortless. 32 Round created the new look in partnership with Jesse Kaczmarek.

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platige image

Platige Image
Name: Julian Cade
Location: Warsaw, Poland; New York
Field: Animation, art direction, creative direction
Clients: Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis, JWT, Young & Rubicam, Leo Burnett, DDB, Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey, BBDO, Deutsch

Explain your style of work. 
It encompasses many forms as we have such a varied team of concept artists, so we can offer a diverse style of work to clients.

What’s your dream project? 
Something where we can best show our creative talent and where we are pushed to the limit technically. The gaming industry offers the opportunity for both those things.

What is the latest technology you’re most excited about?
We are learning more about 4-D capture, particularly 4-D facial capture, and also liquid and water simulation.

Pictured: Billed as “the world’s first stereoscopic reconstruction of a painting,” this recreation of Jan Matejko’s the Battle of Grunwald, from 1878, involved 67 unique characters, each rendered by animators as 3-D models.

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Jordan Metcalf
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Field: Typography, illustration, graphic design
Clients: Popular Mechanics, The New York Times, ESPN, Nike

Explain your style of work.
It varies in style and medium, but orbits around custom-drawn lettering, black and white, and contrasts between simplicity and complexity.

What is your dream project?
I have many small ones, including book covers, furniture, large sculptural artwork, design and collaboration on products and anything involving the creation of massive 3-D lettering.

When you approach a project, what is foremost in your mind, graphic design or typography, and what about the intersection of the two?
The two run parallel as opposed to intersecting. The best work is where you don’t think about the graphics and type as separate thing.

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Name: Victor Novak
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Field: Graphic design, branding, website design
Clients: Domino’s pizza, Endemol, UGG

Explain your style of work.
We balance traditional values with minimal, contemporary styles. We want to work on the edge of new design trends and innovate, but are unwilling to compromise values like readability and the basic foundation of our work, which makes it long lasting.

What’s your dream project?
We’re surrounded by ugly things, and we need better design but we also need better communication and sustainability. Our dream is to improve things that impact our lives.

How do you design a logotype?
We start with a creative brief to understand a client’s brand and goals, with brainstorming done only with pencils and papers. In many cases, a quick, hand-drawn line can nail down the right shape that is unreachable with a mouse or stylus.

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Name: Svet Simov
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Field: Typography, branding, graphic design
Clients: Focus is on creating products for other designers, although companies such as Shutterstock use his fonts for building brand identity.

Explain your style of work.
Even back in high school, geometry and drawing were my most prominent skills, and the fonts I create are more of a conceptual design than ones held with boundaries. Almost every font begins with a basic shape like a straight line or circle.

What’s your dream project?
To create world-class fonts that not only delight people but also inspire and motivate them.

How has digital technology changed the art of letterform design?
Digital technology builds off the principles and timeless classics of font creation. it allows me to have a more accelerated and precise construction of the font, where I can develop ideas on a screen and make corrections easier.

Pictured: Simov says the font was inspired by precursors like Avant Garde and Futura, but with a modern twist, “clean, elegant and straight to the point.”

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Name: Gustavo Muñoz
Location: Monterrey, Mexico
Field: Advertising, directing, branding
Clients: Bermellon, Caramela, Believo, plus assorted startups.

Explain your style of work.
Our work is adaptive to the client’s needs in strategy, relevance and aesthetics.

What’s your dream project?
To develop, manage and execute campaigns from events like the Olympics and the World Cup.

How do you determine the salient elements of a corporate identity?
For a service company, a business card shows tangibility, but it’s not the same with packaging or interiors, where you have competitors everywhere. We must create a superior resultevery time.


Pictured: Theurel & Thomas, billed as the first patisserie in Mexico specializing in French macarons. Anagrama says the color white was its “primary tool for design,” serving to put the focus on the brightly colored desserts.

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Name: Oscar Ramos
Location: Santiago, Chile
Field: Character design, digital art, illustration
Clients: Coca-Cola, Puma, Pringles, BBDO, Y&R, Grey, Saatchi & Saatchi, Euro RSCG

Explain your style of work.
I create digital painting based on drawing that seeks an empathetic impact.

What’s your dream project?
I produce commercial design, but I aspire to make more personal work that connects with an audience through more basic abstract expression.

What makes a successful caricature?
A good caricature takes an objective reality and distorts, exaggerates and complements it with concepts or emotions that shake up the viewer.

Pictured: From a campaign for Tropitone sunscreen. This Photoshop-generated image, as Ramos explains, sought to convey the message: “There’s nothing as idiot as sunburn.”

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The Entire Adweek Talent 100

View the Talent 100, in its entirety.

Illustration: Kyle T. Webster

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