One Minute With…
Hi Andrei, thanks for taking time to chat with One Minute With. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
Hi. I’m a brand designer with a passion for lettering a.k.a. I draw logos and letters for companies around the world.
Walk us through a typical day in the life of Andrei Robu.
A typical day means getting up around 10am (the luxury of being a freelancer, I know)… and working until midnight. This includes everyday calligraphy exercises, browsing and blogging, client and personal work.
I try not to neglect any of these if I want to keep my lifestyle: I work hard for a couple of months, then I go somewhere really far away for 1-2 months. Others like to take sabbaticals once every 7 years, I probably work for half a year and travel the other half.
How did you get into design? Was there a defining point in your career, and if so, how did it shape you as a designer?
The roots of my career sprung at a very early age by doing graffiti. That evolved into tattooing. When I discovered the computer and illustrating in Flash I was blown away. I knew in an instant this is what I wanted to. So I never gave up drawing letters, I just did it digitally.. and this makes me happy every day.
How do you approach a new project? What’s your creative process like?
Thinking first, then pencil and paper for as long as it takes. After I finish exploring every possible lead, I pick up the best ideas and take them to the computer.
On your site, you say that although you got a BA in design, you consider yourself self-taught. Can you expand upon that thought? Do you feel that a formal education is beneficial in an industry that moves as fast as ours?
I don’t know the situation in other countries, but the things you learn here in schools are hilarious. No connection with reality whatsoever..
I’m kinda pissed off I had to learn everything by myself, probably most of you guys walked the same road, but success tastes great when you’re self-made.
Otherwise I’d love to take some time to learn things the proper way, like the CooperType program in NY.
Anyway, whatever school you’ve been to, it’s only up to you to dedicate your life and really want to get better at this. Nobody can teach you that.
Through your blogs, Typeverything, Calligraphica and Designers Go To Heaven, you do a lot of work to promote the work of other designers. What led you to create these projects, and how important is it, in your opinion, to support your peers?
Yeah it’s a lot of work but it’s worth it. Everything I know I learnt spending years of research and studying the masters. This is my way of thanking the internet and giving back.
As each big art movement had it’s own characteristics (eg. Renaissance: realism)… I think our era’s main ingredient is typography. I try my best to master and document it. On these platforms, groups of really talented designers can share their work and inspiration with the world. Lots of people are getting work after being featured, others are learning from it. This is our way to support the community.
If, in some Freaky Friday-like situation, you could live the life of another designer, illustrator or creative, for a day, who would it be, and why?
If I could be someone else for a day, I’d be Doyald Young. His work and process inspired me for so long. I recommend his books for anyone passionate about type lettering.
What design tools could you not live without?
Pencil + Paper
Illustrator + Vector Scribe
Tumblr, Mail, Google Reader
And finally, what tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in design?
To be able to this job is such a gift. Take your time, respect it, study it, don’t rush.
Learn from the best but never steal, you won’t be taken serious if you do.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”