RLM Talks: Alexandru Das on Rock la Mures 2024’s Visual Identity & More

Currently residing in Bucharest, Alexandru Das is an art director who creates incredible works of art both visually and musically. As we approached him to rebuild the image of our festival, he succeeded in taking it to a whole new level. Our belief is that Alexandru is an artist unlike any other, with such a unique style. A great deal of thought, emotion, and ideas are infused into each piece he creates. Moreover, though he has a diverse portfolio, each one of his works has been considered to be a masterpiece by many.

On our new visual identiy, essential ingredients to great cover art, and many more, our team has chatted with Alexandru. Take a look!

Hi, Alexandru! Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get into graphic design?

Hello! I got my bachelor’s degree în graphic design from the Faculty of Arts and Design in Timisoara and have worked as a designer ever since. [Sarcasm alert] A quiet, yet often rewarding existence, unless you work in advertising, which I don’t.

What do you think are the essential ingredients to good cover art for a music release, book, or event?

First of all, a good cover design should fulfill the basic requirements of readability and legibility. Secondly, it should be in aesthetic consonance with the scope and content of the work it helps illustrate, and, thirdly, it should try to be iconic and timeless.

Can you tell us a little bit about the process for developing Rock la Mures 2024 visual identity?

Research is key, so I started to read about the area and its history, the history of Periam, looking at a lot of old/historical photos and maps, reading about the local flora and fauna, and I wanted to find a comprehensive way to bring everyhting together in a fresh yet timeless way. I wanted to stay away from clichés and also the colour palette of the past editions of the festival posters, and focus more on the place where everyhting happens and bring its history and nature to the forefront. It was a really fun process to do all that.

Do you listen to music while creating? If so, what are your listening preferences like while working? Does it change based on the project you’re working on?

It all depends on the project. If I am working on a band artwork, or on a video for a band then yes, absolutely. I especially like to do that in the research phase. If I am working on a book cover of sorts, or a book layout – which is what I do most of the time – then I usually listen to some random ambient stuff or just enjoy the silence.

How important is creating your own style? How do you balance this against individual client or project needs?

Great question! I believe that having a personal style as a graphic designer is a bit different from having a personal style as a visual artist, the key difference being the more subtle nature of the designer’s style or approach.

The first step is choosing the right person for the job. Afterwards, it all depends on how much the project allows for the style of the designer to be centerpiece of the visual output. Sometimes it’s more desirable, if it is a strong illustrative/figurative artwork, but most of the time the design should serve the music/book/whatever with the style of the designer or the designer’s choices being an integral yet more subtle presence in the greater scheme of things. Usually, the more mainstream the work, the more neutral and general its scope, the less obvious the personal style (with exceptions of course.) My approach is that both the designer/visual artist and the end client should be in the mindset of serving the project itself and by doing that they will be ultimately serving the client’s needs.

What do you wish you had more time for in your work?

The most important part of any project or comissioned work is research and trying to understand the greater context of what I will be doing as a designer or artist, so I would say just that: research.

If you could choose one classic film to make the official poster art for back in the day, which one would it be?

There are too many, and a lot of them have awesome timeless posters or opening title sequences, but I will name three: Vampyr (by Carl Theodor Dreyer), Il deserto rosso (by Michelangelo Antonioni) and Freaks (by Tod Browning).

Thank you!

Thank you for the cool questions!

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