VON GLITSCHKA

American Creative Director
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Von Glitschka is an American graphic designer and illustrator. And the founder of a boutique design firm Glitschka Studios located in the Pacific Northwest.

He has produced award-winning work for such brands as NikeAdobeCoca-Cola and many more.

 

What really makes his style different is his ability to combine classic design with a modern touch. He uses traditional shapes and colors in an innovative way, incorporating elements of nature and art, and creating designs that are both familiar and surprising. He also enjoys creating custom lettering, unique hand-lettering that has become one of the trademarks of his style. In addition to his work as a designer, Glitschka is also a writer and teacher. His book ‘Vector Basic Training’ has been published in seven languages and is used by design programs and art schools all around the world now.

 

He shares his weekly content on his YouTube Channel.

 

In summary, Von Glitschka enjoys helping others improve their creative skills and inspiring the next generation of designers and illustrators.

 

INTERVIEW

 

First of all, tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey that led you to become the founder of Glitschka Studios. What were your first work experiences and how did you develop your unique style?

I attended Seattle Art Institute and graduated in 1986. I worked for small design firms, in-house art departments and ad agencies up until 2002. I then started my own firm and have been running my own business since.

 

Right when I create something new I don’t think I’ve done before someone says “I knew you had done that. It has your style.” I think naturally as you work and do design and draw you will naturally discover your style. I think style is also an amalgamation of influences along the creative journey too. MAD Magazine, Jim Flora, Richard Scarry, Neville Brody, Saul Bass all influenced me both design and illustratively.

 

Who are your references in the world of art and design? And which artists and designers have inspired your career and influenced your work?

Too many to list. But Allan Peters Design is one of the best designers IMO (In My Opinion). Derek Yaniger of derekart.com is one of my all time favs. Such fun illustration with a retro flair.

 

How would you summarize your creative process? Where do you draw inspiration for your projects? What current trends inspire you?

Systematic. I have a course on LinkedIn Learning titled: A Systematic Creative Process for Designers

 

What was the most amusing or curious episode of your career?

Years ago I did a tribal tattoo face design. Over the years it’s been stolen by companies and turned into temporary tattoos sold in stores. One guy in England got it tattooed on the back of his head like a second face. And someone at Ubisoft took it and put it on the main character in the game Assassin’s Creed. My daughter spotted it and they agreed to pay my invoice for using it and then accidentally paid me twice and their lawyer told me to keep it. LOL

 

Which fashion brands have you worked with the most? What separates and what connects the world of fashion to the world of graphic design and illustration?

I’m not sure you can call the apparel companies I’ve worked with fashion brands? Is Nike one? I have done brand identity for two independent fashion designers though. There is a lot of overlap with fashion and graphic design and illustration. Each fashion brand needs a solid brand identity and trademark to help distinguish it. Fashion designs IMO (In My Opinion) have more in common with fine artists because the work is far more subjective than traditional graphic design which is driven by the intended industry the client is in or genre it is trying to reach, it has definable objectives. Fashion doesn’t always have that, it’s more a runway art gallery showcasing a new line. The concept cars of clothing if you will. Illustration can be found in my surface patterns in material used by fashion designers. I met the creative director for Louis Vuitton when I was invited to New Delhi by Adobe. It was fun hearing him talk about design, totally different in terms of aesthetic but creative for sure.

 

Have you ever worked with Italian brands or clients? How would you evaluate the landscape of design and fashion in Italy today?

No but I rebranded a Football team called ‘Panserraikos F.C.’ in Greece several years back that was fun. I was suppose to get a jersey but never got one.

 

How do you see the future of design and illustration? What trends do you feel are emerging in the near future? How do you think technological evolution can influence

your work and the one of other illustration professionals?

Currently Artificial Intelligence is causing a stir in the illustration community. It’s derivative which is a problem IMO (In My Opinion). I’m still waiting for Apple to do a large iPad Pro that will run Mac OS so I can use Illustrator on the desktop on it. Not the illustrator iPad app which IMO (In My Opinion) blows.

 

I just feel like Adobe is kind of undercutting creatives ironically enough with the dawn of Adobe Express. It seems to be less appreciated by the bigger agencies every year too. This is why I enjoy helping small business compete against them with brand identity and creative work that competes with lazy million dollar brands that don’t care about good design. But I’m no Nostradamus, I can never pick the best line at a grocery store let along discern the future of our industry?

 

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career and how have you overcome them?

To be completely honest last year was the hardest year I’ve had in 20 years. The economy killed three great projects I had lined up. But I landed a nice retainer client so I’m thankful for that. Always hustling trying to land the next gig. Running your own business isn’t easy, but I do love the freedom.

 

What advice do you have for young designers and illustrators who want to stand out in the industry? What skills and qualities do you consider essential for success in this field?

If you’re a graphic designer, draw. You don’t have to become an illustrator but you should draw none the less. It improves cognition skills and allows you to pursue ideas you cannot do with simple shapes like a circle or square. I call it illustrative design. Think of the US brand ’Target’ simple graphic design, then think of the US brand ’Starbucks’ it took drawing to pull that one one off. The more you draw the more you can pursue any idea you have. So it makes you more valuable. You love it too so stick with it.

 

How have you seen the market for graphic design and illustration change during your career?

I learned everything traditionally but have loved MACS since my freshman year in high school so I enjoy the technology and that just gets better and better. Even though Adobe is a sloppy developer and Illustrator now has a snapping bug that will be a teenager soon without having it fix, I still enjoy it.

 

What are your future projects, can you give any hints to B-log readers?

Two years ago I branded a new tech start up. I pitched him on trading out the identity for a share in the company. They agreed so hopefully within the year Ill be the chief brand officer for that entity. The projects I’m most excited about are my personal ones. In 2021 I did a series of art called ‘Modern Kulture’ I now have two tile companies producing titles based on some of the designs which is awesome.

Antonio Ristori

Autore dell'intervista a Von Glitschka

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