Kanella is a greek graphic designer with a very interesting point of view. Specializing in identity, packaging, print and illustration, she creates conceptual and minimal visuals that catch your eye! Her experience and talent in the creative field work are Kanella’s main “tools” and her target: visual communication. Here is what she has to say:

Hello Kanella! Can you tell us what triggered your passion for design and how did your creative story begin?

My family is the one to blame; they are responsible for my addiction. Everyone has an artistic vein, so most of the times they were creating and crafting stuff in the house.

Added to that, my dyslexia didn’t let me memorize my homework and therefore study. I found Graphic Design liberating, I only had to play with colors and shapes.

Patterns and a balanced, minimal aesthetic play a vital role in your work. How would you describe your style and what are your main fields of inspiration?

Every single project has a story behind; even if people cannot see it. I love story telling. I consider my work very loquacious in the most minimal way. I am obsessed with structure and love and use lots of circles. The circle for me is the perfect shape: very powerful.

Inspirations comes during the most unexpected times, while sailing, jogging, walking, picking eggplants at the super market …
What was your last most exciting project and why?

The most exciting project is always the one that is coming: the moment you are given the brief and you don’t have a clue what the outcome will look like. I think the excitement of having something new that pleases you on your hands cannot be compared with anything else.

What in your opinion are the most important elements of good design?

Clarity and legibility, in both text and images. Design is for everyone, if you cannot grasp the message instantly then it is not successful. I also think that using humor is a big plus.

Identity for Barcatering Group
Identity for Femina Gynecological Center
Your Yellow Thread self promotion project and the Happy & Sweet 2009 original calendar are admittedly my favorites. Can you give us a brief description of both the concept and the creative procedure?

Both of them have something in common: they are both self-initiated.

‘Happy and Sweet 2009’ was my corporate gift, designed to wish my clients a Happy and Sweet New Year. It is a box with a set of 12 chocolates, after the 12 months of the year, each one with a different illustration that incorporates a characteristic element of the month (like a rose for Valentine’s Day in February). It works as a calendar and the chocolate has to be eaten by the end of each month.
In the Yellow Thread box there are four hand-crafted, embossed and woven cards that reveal a secret. "Design is the Key to the Path towards the Sun". The idea behind the project is based on the story of Ariadne and her thread. The old story is retold and the main goal of the project is to focus on the importance of good taste and to praise design. Ariadne’s thread once helped Theseus to come out safe from the labyrinth. Today, Kanella’s Yellow Thread project is inviting people to be part of a fascinating world full of art and design.
As a tutor of Graphic Design in the Technological Educational Institute in Athens what do you advise your students and how do you see design evolving in Greece in general?

To enjoy what they do. Design is not a job, it is a way of living! If you don’t enjoy it, you are doomed to have a miserable working life.

To work hard. Unfortunately, you still need to work really hard for a good result, even if you are very talented.

Never take rejections personally. They strengthen you!

In Greece we don’t lack talent. The main problem is the education of the clients. Few people can understand the importance of a good and successful identity. As a result, we have all those outrageous examples of graphic design out in the open space.
Packaging for Mat Fashion
If Design and Art were 2 people, how would you describe them? What are their similarities and/or differences?

If I could describe them with a few words, I would say that Design is the disciplined child of Art. Art is a form of expression, which is completely free, while Design abides by structured rules such as branding and strategy, because the goal is to make the product accessible to the target group.

Share your top 5 favorite designers and art/design related sites/blogs

Designers: Stefan Sagmeister - not only for his work, but, also, for his working philosophy. Erik Kessels - from http://www.kesselskramer.com/ His designs seem to be effortless and a product of his deep joy of working.

Saul Bass
Paul Rand
Gustav Klimt - I see graphic design in his art.

Shojo Identity
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?

10 years is a very long time, I like to go with the flow!

But there are a few projects that I would love to have accomplished by then. A few exhibitions, a design of a Hermes Scarf, etc. I would like to expand the classic meaning of graphic design and put it in lots of different everyday applications. Something that I have already started and I feel that people like.

I want a huge room with lots of appliances; leave me there and I will be happy today, tomorrow, in 10 years. The most important thing is that I don’t want to lose my excitement and love for my job. I think I am blessed, my hobby is my work.

And last but not least, is there anything we should look forward to? Any future plans you’d like to share?

I am looking forward to a few foreign publications that are coming up and present my work. It is very flattering to be discovered and be presented side by side with the design studios that you have always admired.

As far as the main plans go, apart from the usual stuff (identities etc.) I am working on a major project that I was chasing for a long time. I cannot reveal anything yet. Soon I hope, but soon is relative.

LINKS: […]

- http://www.kanella.com
- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kanella/9511130349?ref=search
- www.twitter.com/kanella
- http://www.Behance.net/kanella
- http://www.flickr.com/kanella
- http://gr.linkedin.com/in/kanella

E-MAIL: info@kanella.com