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Anne Ulku

Graphic Designer

Primary design concentration:

Print and Environmental Graphics

Most preferred tools for designing:

Brain, Pencil and Sketchbook, Adobe Illustrator

Infinite (Interbike 2011), part of traveling poster show Artcrank

How and why did you choose to become a designer?

It was something that felt very natural to me. To be honest, I didn’t know exactly what graphic design was as a child, but had always been into creating things. I never thought I’d be making art on the computer, but through experiences and courses in college, I fell in love with the craft, process, and wide array of opportunity that was available in graphic design.

What are some of the challenges you encounter as a designer and how do you deal with them?

I’m sure many designers are guilty of working too much and not taking enough time off to reenergize and reboot. Though it is difficult to sit and not work, it’s healthy to step off and experience different things, find new hobbies, get out into the world, because in the end, it helps you bring new angles to your work, process, and ideas, as well as clears your mind.


What is your definition of an “elegant solution,” that is, good design?

Smart design, meaning that your solution came from digging deep into your subject, and getting to know many sides of it. Abstracting it, then simplifying it, then abstracting it, then complicating it, then going back to where you started with all of that in mind, then create a meaningful and beautiful solution.

From skills to values, what makes a designer successful?

A challenge, motivation and aspiration, hard work, smart work, brilliant and beautiful solutions.

How do you stay motivated and grow personally and professionally as a designer?

Creating personal projects from ideas and concepts that naturally aspire to me. Researching and observing life, history and surroundings. Exploring and experimenting with material and technique.

For those aspiring to become a designer, whatever the discipline, what is your advice?

Educate and know your craft. Know more about your client than your client knows about themselves. Take on experiences, risks, and challenges. Find your design idols—study. Find your design tools—experiment. Know how to represent yourself, your work, your process and your solution. Discover and know the reasons you create for a living.

What is your quest in design, from a professional practice, education or evolution standpoint?

To work harder than the last time. Produce better work than before. Take on unfamiliar challenges. To reach out to new ideas, people, and ventures that could allow for collaboration, new insight, or movements. To stay positive, inspired, and to never stop learning.

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Anne Ulku works in type design, branding, print, and illustration. Happenstance and history are a couple of her inspirations. Read more about her perspective at Quite Strong’s Lust List in addition to 10 Answers by Rebecca Silver, a designer and writer.

Images courtesy of Anne Ulku.

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