2011 NVA Winner: Rafaela Drazic

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By the Print staff

Title/Type of Work: Visual Communication DesignerFrom: Split, CroatiaLives in: Warsaw, Poland and Split, CroatiaAge: 29Education: MA, Visual Communication Design, Arts Academy University of Split, 2005 PhD candidate, Book Design, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw

Rafaela Drazic’s work is simple but smart, making the most of a singular premise: one color, a single line, a few words in a text. She describes herself as a visual communications designer, but the title doesn’t quite do justice to her work, which all seems to be imbued with a mission and meaning for society at large. “I am mainly interested in graphic design as a medium for producing, spreading, and placing content in a social context,” Drazic says.

Ladyfest: Feminae Extravaganza poster.

It comes as no surprise that Drazic comes off as a closet sociologist. When it comes to listing her major influences, she turns to location. At first, she was inspired by the environment at the University of Split, where she earned her masters degree. “My days there had a sort of freedom from the market and advertising agencies, which normally doesn’t even exist in the city. In that surrounding, I could focus on non-commercial, socially engaged projects,” she explains.

Drazic took this heightened social awareness with her to Warsaw, where she is pursuing a PhD. Here, she is inspired by the typography present in the city, clearly made manifest in her work. But the exploration of social issues is something she continues to pursue, specially with her project “Ad Hoc,” which, she says, “sheds light on the complicated mechanisms of censorship and destruction within the context of visual arts, which developed with post-socialist transformations.” “Ad Hoc” is part of a larger piece called “Secret Exhibitions,” which also illuminates the concepts of intimacy and technology. Drazic describes the project as a real-time piece, which took place in a few small flats and kept images repeatedly coming through a fax machine.

THINK SPACE; International architectural concept competition—visual identity.

Despite these multifaceted aspects of her work, the ever-political Drazic invokes Winston Churchill to ultimately define it. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference,” she says.

I am mainly interested in graphic design as a medium for producing, spreading, and placing content in a social context.

Click here to learn more about Rafaela and to see more of her work.