2011 NVA Winners: Hrvoje Živčić & Dario Dević

By the Print staff

Title/Type of Work: Graphic Designers
From: Zagreb, Croatia
Live in: Zagreb, Croatia
Ages: 24 and 23
Education: MA in Visual Communications, School of Design at the University of Zagreb, Croatia

For most people, the global recession has meant cutting back and cutting out. For graphic designers Hrvoje Živčić and Dario Dević, it has led to opportunity. This is, they say, because they were compelled to embrace a more DIY approach to their design when money for the arts in Croatia got axed. “We were forced to switch to a low-budget, lo-fi mindset, which in turn makes us look for less conventional ways to make good design,” they explain. One such product of this approach is a series of tiny booklets Živčić and Dević created for the Croatian theater company &TD.

Through a purposely lackluster graphic style and form, the team commented on new economic conditions. “The people from the theater displayed a great sense of humor at their own expense by accepting our design,” they say. “The illustrations are sometimes quite mocking of theater in Croatia and the &TD Theater itself, and the form and style was an ironic commentary of the miserable funds they work with. We folded each individual copy of the booklets (1500 a month), and, as much as it hurt our fingers, seeing every physical piece of our work was an oddly fulfilling experience.”

Design Live, exhibition layout and design.

The recession is not the only thing to affect their work process. After graduating with masters degrees in visual communications from the School of Design at the University of Zagreb, Dević and Živčić noticed that their creative process changed when they went from students to full-time designers. “As students, so many of our projects were based on catchy ideas and quick production,” they say. “Nowadays, we still like to talk and think through the concepts and ideas for each project, but sometimes we just open our notebooks and computers and start designing, letting the pieces fall into place as we go.”

The people from the theater displayed a great sense of humor at their own expense by accepting our design.

Nine Looks, a type specimen poster for the Typonine type foundry.

Click here to see more of Hrvoje Živčić’s work and here to see more of Dario Dević’s.

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