Ari Krzyzek, better known as “Chykalophia” is a popular graphic and web designer from Indonesia. Chykalophia Design is a firm operated by Ari and being setup as a full-time art studio in Glenview, Illinois.
We recently got a chance to speak with Ari on different design aspects and she was humble enough to share her thoughts and experience for readers of DesigningTips.com. Don’t forget to check out her design tips at the end of this interview.
Excerpt from Ari Krzyzek’s website:
Once upon a time, we had a dream to make a big impact in design industry. We’ve been through a lot of dialogues with small to medium business owners to accomplish their visions through our designs. Today, we’re proud to be a goal oriented design studio focusing on how to make you look great. Literally!
DesigningTips.com – Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from and how you ended up being a designer?
Ari Krzyzek – Well I am from “island of thousand temples” Bali, Indonesia. After finishing my high school, my parents wanted me to apply for the scholarship in Tourism School of which, I think, I really didnt have any desire for. In the meanwhile TV advertisement and magazine attracted me (I refer to the Ads Artwork/Ads Design), just then I realized my wish to become a graphic designer. I applied to Art School where I got my Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication Design. I’m currently setting up my design studio in Glenview, IL along with my husband…
DesigningTips.com – Is it necessary to go to a design school to become a good designer or is it enough to “attend the school of hard knocks”?
Ari Krzyzek – I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to attend design or art school though it gives you a lot of experience and perspective on working as an artist, improving your skill by learning and experiments. It also gives you an opportunity to build a network of designers you trust in case you need a support for a big project. But then I also know many designers who didn’t get a Bachelors or didn’t go to design school and are doing great on their own. It’s a matter of preference I think.
DesigningTips.com – What are the key elements for a good design? Is good design a function of creativity … of sound experience … or both?
Ari Krzyzek – If you would have asked me this question few years ago, my answer would have been creativity but design is not ONLY about that. Creativity is a big part of design but you really need to make sure you have the right solution incorporated with the right function. If you think of design as a simple thing, yeah sure….every designer can make creative business cards or flyers. But when you think of design as a solution and you (graphic designer) as a problem solver, it is more complex than just creativity. You see, a brand identity project is not just about creativity. You’ll need to find the right nuance to know how the design will approach their target market and more.
So, I guess to answer your question: the key element of good design is creative solution.
DesigningTips.com – What inspires you and your designs?
Ari Krzyzek – Ugh…. tough…. I don’t know… anything pretty I guess. It could be from the gradient color of trees during autumn, some fancy invitation sets, painted decorative tile or Bali beach view. To me, as long as it is captured by my “pretty sixth sense” I can start to work on some design.
DesigningTips.com – Is there any real difference between designing a brochure/pamphlet/logo, room in a home, or clothing for a beautiful woman?
Ari Krzyzek – In the early stage of process, it’s possible that there might be some differences. But even though it’s a different branch of design, I think the basic process: research, brainstorming-ideas, sketch, revisions and final design would be the same.
DesigningTips.com – How do you work on design projects? I mean, what design software, applications and design tools you use the most for your projects?
Ari Krzyzek – I use most of the Adobe Creative Suite but the most frequent ones are Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign and Dreamweaver.
DesigningTips.com – Are there ever times when design changes are radical?
Ari Krzyzek – Design is a learning process for both me and my clients. We attempt to minimize these types of changes by trying to understand each other’s mission for the project, understanding the branding and company. Although when it happens, both parties should understand why such changes are needed before proceeding to the next stage.
DesigningTips.com – Can you tell us about your design portfolio and clientele (people you have worked with & for)?
Ari Krzyzek – I’ve worked with clients around the globe. Most of my clients are from Bali, Singapore, Poland, UK, Australia, and of course the US. I’ve worked with Department of Defense contractors, exotic fashion lines, TV celebrities and a lot of other really fun people. I’m also working with high end restaurants, multi-million dollar start-ups and some very cool non-profits.
DesigningTips.com – Any design tips you would like to share with freshers who are just starting out in the design industry?
Ari Krzyzek – One thing: Never Give Up! Yeah, it’s true that there are thousands of graphic and web designers out in the market. But there’s only one “you”. So make yourself ready, shape up your artistic mind with creativity and roll! Good Luck!
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Learn Cascading Style Sheets using some of the best CSS books available in the market for beginners.
The best and most well-informed way is to grab a CSS book, as you know there is quite a lot to study about Cascading Style Sheets. CSS books work wonders for beginners, and some of them also offer a lot of vital information for experienced CSS designers.
Here is our list of 10 (favorite) popular CSS books out there:
- CSS: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland
We had fun reading the Missing Manual series as the author had made most of the CSS topics easily understandable by the beginner. The book covers all the fundamentals of CSS styles along with complex stuff like Cascading Style Sheets or CSS layouts. Easy-to-understand details and examples make this CSS book a must for beginners starting out.
- CSS Cookbook by Christopher Schmitt
Trust us, this is an awesome book for learning CSS, however some might not agree to it. If you get to learn a lot by reading this CSS book, nothing can beat the results. The CSS Cookbook talks about making amendments to your web-pages with CSS, instead of targeting on CSS style syntax and properties.
- Teach Yourself CSS in 24 Hours by Kynn Bartlett
Sams Teach Yourself CSS in 24 hours is the book you need to learn CSS swiftly. It has all you require to get the CSS basics right and in no time…
- CSS: The Definitive Guide by Eric Meyer
Well this is the one that we have always recommended about CSS to beginners. CSS: The Definitive Guide is the first book on CSS styles and the only one you need, if you think you can’t afford more than one book. It is not really the best authored book, however with a little bit of work around to understand what’s exactly being taught, you will definitely find it lying on your desk after gaining years of CSS experience.
- Cascading Style Sheets by Example by Steven E. Callihan
This book guides you throughout building CSS documents with the help of on-site scenarios, few easy-to-follow and quite simple steps. Another grand hands on CSS book!
- Core CSS by Keith Schengili-Roberts
Core CSS is an awesome reference manual for different levels of CSS and best for designers who want to understand Cascading Style Sheets from every technical aspect, as it includes information about basic tag references and browser support functioning.
- CSS Mastery by Andy Budd
Also used by CSS experts, it is a lot more than a beginner’s guide. CSS Mastery helps you understand basic level and then take your CSS knowledge to a professional level. By learning CSS styles using this book, you can flourish your career as a web designer.
- CSS: The Designer’s Edge by Molly Holzschlag
This book sets a lot of emphasis on CSS as a colorful and designer’s language. CSS: The Designer’s Edge is a great resource for programming literates, however not really for those who have never worked with programming languages.
- CSS Pocket Reference by Eric Meyer
CSS Pocket Reference is quite well written guide for taking references here and there by Eric Meyer. Having all the fundamentals in a condensed form this reference book might not be perfect for learning CSS.
- CSS for Web Designers Only by Donna L. Baker
This is the CSS book to use as it focuses heavily on the outcome of web-pages after making the code. Beginners will love this book because proper color illustrations let the CSS flourish extensively. Go get it!
What’s your take on finding books that will help beginners in learning CSS?
If you weren’t fascinated by any of the CSS books mentioned above, please let us know what would you suggest to beginners in order to learn and gain knowledge of Cascading Style Sheets?
Finding a good book on CSS can be difficult, share your thoughts and help everyone!!
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If you are new to CSS, the beginner’s process of learning this effective coding language can be a little intimidating. Actually, there’s a lot to learn in CSS and tutorials are complex to figure out, at times.
Fortunately there’s plethora of CSS style tutorials which has important resources and information available on the World Wide Web. You can learn anything from the fundamentals of CSS, all the way through to advanced topics. Here is a collection of top 10 useful articles gathered from the most widely read websites for beginners looking to hone CSS styles.
- Specifics on CSS Specificity
- Learn CSS Positioning in Ten Steps
- Resetting Your Styles with CSS Reset
- CSS Shorthand Guide
- Internet Explorer and the CSS box model
- Push Your Web Design into the Future with CSS3
- Sexy Ordered Lists with CSS
- CSS Sprites: What They Are, Why They’re Cool, and How to Use Them
- Using background-image to replace text
- How to Create a CSS Menu Using Image Sprites
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