Logos, t-shirts, posters, infographic designs — you name it and mpkz has tried it. Meet one of 99designs superstars of experimenting, using the site to explore all of his design interests.
Name: Taufik Fitrianto
99designs handle: mpkz
Projects won: 10
How did you get started in design?
It began when I was in elementary school. I really enjoyed spending my time sketching in my notebook at school — but I didn’t realize yet that drawing was one of the things I really enjoyed the most.
When I entered college and participated in some university organizations, I began to help them create print designs like posters and fliers to promote themselves. I actually started out on Microsoft Paint — yeah, I said Microsoft Paint! It was then I realized I really enjoyed working in this field, so a few years later I majored in graphic and multimedia design, then started designing professionally after graduation.
How did you get your inspiration?
I always start my projects by reading the brief carefully, trying to understand the problems the client is trying to solve, and finding my own unique perspective in solving it. I also like to see what other people are doing with a similar project that I’m working on — never to copy but to learn how other people solving the problem. Browsing random imagery associated with the project also usually helps me get inspired.
Are there any other mediums or forms of art you like to work in?
I am very keen on designing a window display. I’m very interested in how they are able to attract people’s attention! Book covers too.
What led you to start using 99designs?
I heard about 99designs from an article about freelancing when I was browsing on the internet one day. I find that 99designs is an interesting place where I am free to choose whatever I want to do — and try things I haven’t done before. I use 99designs as a place to sharpen my skills and expand my design abilities by entering various kinds of projects.
What are the three most important things that designers can do to have success at 99designs?
- Read the brief before looking at the prize amount. Only choose a contest that provides a clear brief, as a client who is very serious about their project will write the best project brief they can. I also think this kind of client will really appreciate your efforts as a designer, and work hard to have a successful contest.
- Pick one project and get focused on it. I’ve had moments where I want to enter as many contests as I can. But it ended up with none of my designs winning, and some were eliminated very quickly. By focusing on one project, you’ll give your best and more importantly you’ll be satisfied with your work even if you don’t win.
- Do your best and be patient. By doing this repeatedly, you will improve your skills. When your time comes, you will reap what you sow.
Why do you think design is important?
Design makes life more beautiful, and easier.
How do you see the field of graphic design changing in the next few years?
I think new technology will continue to develop. It’ll change the way we design but we’ll still be designing a lot of the same things. People are always going to need posters and flyers to announce their products and services, and people are always going to want to wear a well-designed T-shirt.
Describe your hometown. Do your surroundings impact your design style?
I live in Bali, Indonesia, where the weather is warm and at night you can clearly hear creatures calling out. I’m surrounded by color and ornaments everywhere, and these things very consciously impact my design style.