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The way we work today in applications, seemingly unlimited and open, while choosing from settings, templates, moving, morphing, is a different and completely new kind of creativity. Preset, standardized. We are still passing through the version, it is all fluid, but possible only within the given framework. Then it stops and eventually needs to be "exported" to paper.

SMS conversation


After completing VSUP, why did you decide to devote more time to publishing activities than the graphic design you studied?


Michal Rydval

Why? Why do people study graphic design because they don't trust (get) a free art studio. Why do people publish books because they don't trust writing… They both met so "happily". But seriously, I loved "literature" and it sucked me to do design, so I published the first, second, etc. book and then it went on. I also didn't know what to do with me, what to do with my life, what to do with my money (haha). At VSUP, everything was different than I imagined, a mix of feelings, I didn't understand it at all, and at the same time it seemed to me that I fully understood it in a year or two and I can't learn anything new. So I tried.

I also liked the people around the books, the various publishers and authors I knew at the time, and they were people a lot different and more interesting than I saw in the classroom. It terrified me then, to end up like this. But people like Martin Soucek, Robert Krumphanzl, Dan Podhradsky and then "fateful" Erik Lukavsky, one new acquaintance carrying ten new ones, revolved around the books and it was a meeting of new and interesting. Each of them was original and at the same time (nothing against, on the contrary) actually grapes solitaires and luzri. I enjoyed it.

But it wasn't as straightforward as it might look today. At that time (as far as I was concerned) the situation was quite different and I was not at all taken by trends and things, and at the same time I was completely (stupidly) shouting at some tradition and craft. I just had nothing to catch in the desert. If I was at the board today, I don't know where it would take me.



We will follow up on your feeling that the graphic design is "less" than the free art. Do designers have a "mindraku" brand according to you? Even from the experience with your work and your approach to graphic design, we think that design does not always have to equal a ball, a trend, a craft. Or do you see it differently?



📲 🎮 📲

That's how stupid I was, so I didn't mean it. I described pure personal feelings and motivations, I am not even capable of any generalization. Design is now the king of everything, we know that. From money, work (just everywhere) and prestige to "new literacy", everyone is interested in this way today (or starts when he stops having money and insurance) and has some personal experience with it. This last year comes to me more important than the production and some monitored professional or elite production. Jan Michl's view, for example, is very interesting, and it is happening in the reflection of more than one. I really enjoy it. I also enjoy the energy and the turmoil around, the new young studios, the solitaires, the terrible shootout (although the online shared trends of most young people are completely crushed).

I tried to express my relationship and mixed feelings from my own work, the retreat from "design". It just started to bore me, the trends seemed funny to me, I didn't know the craft here and I wasn't sure what the "craft" is today, book binding, letterpress, control formats and various papers, follow new fonts, export data to pdf, to graphically control applications with keyboard shortcuts? I remember how badly I needed to "experiment", respectively. I used to reinvent the whole thing, do something "real" and at the same time I saw that no one cared. I really liked to start it with Helena (Santava), her relationship to all these things, such as cash registers, old printing machines, papers, what can be done about it and at the same time not just play on the "good old book culture". In the computer, it seemed to me like a game of something, like a pipe. But I can't get rid of that feeling to this day. Computers for designers are not just a "useful tool", they are a whole new and different world. What this means is the most interesting thing for me. And also trips outside of all this.



From what you write, we feel that you are interested in "true and authentic" projects and visions of technology as a great opportunity to change the field. Can you mention the specific projects and moments you thought of?



So this will be long. Actually, that's probably how it is, I'm just going to have some fun. I answer the meeting on a personal level, which (probably paradoxically) does not completely overwhelm me with regard to the design as such. I understand that there is a lot of area and approach that they can't even do with some "authenticity". Today, design is such a broad concept that it is quite difficult to say something about it. I mean the shot from a small xerox leaflet to extremely sophisticated hardware technologies, digital formats, all sorts of standards, interfaces and / or applications that we all normally use and don't even see as part of the world, but they are enough for our work (and perceptions). urcujici. We thus become more "users" than creators, in a sense we are new amateurs (with technologies we don't understand). I just need this "blind spot". The way we work today in applications, seemingly unlimited and open, while choosing from settings, templates, moving, morphing, is a different and completely new kind of creativity. Preset, standardized. We are still passing through the version, it is all fluid, but possible only within the given framework. Then it stops and eventually needs to "export" to paper.

Or the immense secularization of design, the active experience of (previous) users and "amateurs" with design, the penetration of design into everything and at the same time perceiving areas outside it as deficient, waiting for their "redesign", for their manual. The difference between something that (somehow) lives and then it starts to "work". Design as a marketing tool, a tool for transforming people and communities into brands and "institutions". Design as a part of controlled communication, a way of certain alienation, snatched from the hands of people who live things and then fall into the hands of a "professional". I'm not just critical, I'm not that naive or utopian, I'm just interested in things and we should know about them. Try to describe and thematize the experience. There is no table on the table today, where they can put their feet in everywhere and where they still can't, but where they can withdraw from and where they can live. Designing is simply a new literacy.

As an illustration, there is a description of how I feel from Photoshop, from the work that everyone has been doing and knowing for years. It's endless cleaning, formatting, "prepress". Somehow (consistently and consistently) we get out of things, trim what is disturbing, set what is (us) missing, erase traces of usage and aging, while at the same time "disappearing from the picture". I find it compelling, obsessive. Maybe I'm crazy, but we should leave the scans on the scans, let hair fall into them and, as far as I know, look for traces of their lives, but instead we produce some timelessness, optimize for applications, so we produce fetishes, which are more or less successful. we try to get "back" on paper, into circulation. To sum it up, it occurs to me that through all these technologies we have become an amateur again and what we do is quite similar to work in call centers. We are the operators on the phone and we would need to get on the air.



When was the last time you did graphic design to order and what kind of work did you do (other than work for your Fra publishing house)?



So this will be really short. In fact, I don't even remember the "consulting" work outside of Fra and DR, when I miss some details for acquaintances and commutes of various editions and so on. I only remember the DVD Tiger Lillies with Martin Kubat (printed bag for dog shit) and the unsuccessful proposal for the exhibition Mutujici medium in Rudolfinum The file is not trying to waste time on writing, editing and some new "space" and "project". So nothing interesting about the design.



Are you looking for a new meeting place for graphic designers, why do you think such a platform is important and what should it contain?



The motive is again personal, selfish, but something more general would be found. After years with Fra and after a slower start of Designreder, I feel that I need a change (sorry Erik!), To try something else. At the moment, I really don't think we need to be locked up in studios (and kitchens and studios), but to see each other and work together. And not just designers. Don't wait for the "customers" and start getting things together. As I went around, the design has changed a lot and it's time to "go to the street". Cafe, place to work, small shop and library, some workshops, lectures and discussions, exhibitions, evening events, just a place reasonably personal and at the same time open. The important thing is that there is nothing like that. Actually, this is a space that I planned for the graphic design studio at VSUP.


The interview was prepared by Petr Bosak and Robert Jansa, 20YYdesigners .


Element  39, 2018


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