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Rokas Sutkaitis


Graphic Design

April, 2017





Rokas Sutkaitis is a Lithuanian Graphic Designer. His ongoing project called 'Club Hémisphère' is a poster project where he creates a poster - sometimes animated - based on a specific musical artist. “The posters are quite experimental as they often feature techniques that I never or rarely use”; the work in this project is bright and upbeat. He has found many ways of representing sound and feeling through typography and colour, and has made eyecatching diverse visuals.

Posted on Behance, his list of growing bands and DJ's he admires supply us with a vast amount of musically inspired and typographically based images in poster format. Bonobo, Fink, Jamiroquai, and Tame Impala are some of the artists he has designed under the influence of so far.

I wanted to speak to Rokas to find out more about this project and his other loves within the design industry.
















Sophie
What is it about the medium of posters that you like so much when it comes to producing a visual representation of an artist?

Rokas
I just simply love to design any kind of poster. I find it the most interesting part of being a graphic designer. Poster design is a great combination of art and design. It must convey a message, but there’s plenty of room for creativity. This freedom is a great relief after working on more demanding corporate projects where you’re often controlled by various factors.





“Posters are not limited to static images anymore; they can be turned into dynamic, moving graphics that are indeed more interesting and attention grabbing than printed ones.”






Sophie
Do you think the poster format will be around forever and what could posters of the future look like?

Rokas
I believe that posters will evolve and adapt to the needs of the digital era. As screens are getting cheaper and more flexible, they will soon replace paper. While I do enjoy getting my works printed, digital media brings new fresh ideas to the medium of posters. Posters are not limited to static images anymore; they can be turned into dynamic, moving graphics that are indeed more interesting and attention grabbing than printed ones. The trend of animated posters is already taking place and I’m sure it will grow significantly in the future.











Sophie
Lots of your work is digital; you’ve even turned some of your posters into moving images. What does this say about your relationship with print inside a growing digital world?

Rokas
As I mentioned above, I do enjoy printed material. However, the needs of the digital era don’t really care about printed works anymore. As more of our life is being moved to the digital sphere, so is the graphic design industry. Most of my clients don’t even require print-ready files of posters anymore, as they are only using them in social media. It’s naïve to say that everybody will stop caring about printed work, but I think they’ll exist like vinyls exist in the music industry. It’s not necessary to have a physical version of your favourite track, but people still like them as they are simply nice to have.




“Most of my clients don’t even require print-ready files of posters anymore, as they are only using them in social media.”





Sophie
What is the meaning behind the project title 'Club Hémisphère’ and when do you think your poster project will be completed?

Rokas
The name ‘Hémisphère’ comes from French duo Paradis. They have a track called ‘Hémisphère’ and it largely inspired me to start this project. I liked the word as it sounds familiar to English speakers yet has a subtle French twist.

At the moment, the project hasn’t been updated for a while. There are other projects that I’m working on and so I can’t spend as much time on Club Hémisphère as I’d like to. Anyway, I still believe that I’ll continue working on the project. There are lots of new artists that I’d like to celebrate with some posters!









Sophie
What is your process into making a design based on sound?

Rokas
I like to approach the process in two ways. The first one is to try to translate the emotions and ideas that the track gives me via abstract graphics. Russian painter Wasily Kandinsky was the first one to translate music into abstract graphic language. He used expressive forms and colours to perceive range of emotions he received from the music. I’m trying to achieve the same result, even if I use different materials (typography for example) I try to capture the exact mood which I get while listening to the artist. I think that the poster I did for Murcof best represents the idea. Murcof’s sounds are mysterious, slow, sometimes scary. Listening to Murcof’s tracks gives me the sensation of floating and endless space - this is what I tried to show with the poster.

Another way of approaching the process is based on research. Some of the featured artists already have developed a wonderful graphic language. Their posters and album artworks are done by great artists, so simply taking a look into artist’s Instagram or Facebook pages provides me with a clear idea of what I’m going to do with the poster. This is obvious with the poster I did for Todd Terje. If you look at his album covers or gig posters, you’ll notice how funky and colorful they are. My poster tries to capture the same mood, just in a more abstract manner.




“Some of the featured artists already have developed a wonderful graphic language.”











Sophie
You say that you design posters based on bands that you like. Is it easier already knowing a particular song or sound before you start designing, or when hearing it for the first time?

Rokas
I've listened to these artists on daily basis for a long time, so usually I design posters for the artist that have grown on me over time. I think it is easier to represent the artist when you’re familiar with his discography. Anyway, there are few artists that instantly drew my attention. For example the poster for William Basinski was designed after hearing just few of his songs. His music instantly grew on my and I got a very clear idea of how I’d like to approach this, even I listened to couple of songs only.











Sophie
What other influencers do you look to when creating your other work such as logo marks?

Rokas
It’s quite hard to distinguish individual influencers. The flow of inspiration comes from multiple channels all the time. Instagram, Brand New, Tumblr- there are tens of logomarks that I see every day and they come from various artists.

However, significant influence comes from the logomarks designed in the USSR. I’ve been collecting such trademarks for couple of years and I’m always fascinated by their creativity. I’ve even started an Instagram project called Soviet Logos, so other creatives could also take inspiration from the forgotten masters of the USSR.





“I’ve been collecting such trademarks for couple of years and I’m always fascinated by their creativity.”






Sophie
I particularly love your poster for Leon Vynehall with the red lightning bolt as it is so simple but quite beautiful. Do you have a favourite poster you’ve made so far / what is your favourite genre of music to design for?

Rokas
Well, as times passes you stop appreciating your older works, so I’m not too fond of most of the older posters I did for the project. As for the newer ones, I do enjoy the one I did for Jamiroquai. I think it captures the mood of the artist with simple, yet quite interesting solution.

As for my favourite genre of music, that’s even trickier! I listen to all kind of music- from neoclassic to techno, from rap to soviet funk. When I started working on Club Hémisphère I was really into techno, but now the range of genres really varies.





“Another essential part of any of my workplaces is some kind of audio device - earphones, headphones, speakers - anything that can play music.”







Sophie
Could you tell us about your creative space?

Rokas
My creative space is quite simple. I rent a tiny office space where I spend most of my day. Perhaps my favourite part of the office is what I call the ‘inspo-wall’- a large wall covered with all kind of posters and other stuff. I post works of mine as well as of other designers there.

Another essential part of any of my workplaces is some kind of audio device- earphones, headphones, speakers- anything that can play music. As it is obvious from the Club Hémisphère project, I enjoy listening to great music when working!

Sophie
Do you have any favourite designers making work right now?

Rokas
As I mentioned, it gets harder and harder to distinguish individual creators in this constant stream of visuals. Though there are few designers and studios that creates something that I truly enjoy: Anna Kulachek, Mut Studio, Studio Feixen- when it comes to posters, Grilli Type- typography, Moniker SF, Kurppa Hosk- brand identity.

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Find Rokas on ︎︎︎.




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