Andorka Timea

Good in Graphic Design.

About Andorka Timea

Timea Andorka is a professional graphic designer working in Hungary with a strong inclination towards traditional crafts which she tends to combine with current techniques. Her work finds connections to the world of ideas and creativity – she is designing books, exhibition identities, theatre posters. She is deeply interested in the history and theory of typography. Over the last five years she was employed as a senior graphic designer in various exhibition halls including Kunsthalle, Budapest, Ferenczy Museum Center, Szentendre. Now, she is a freelancer.

  • Winner of Graphic Design Award.
  • Specialized in Graphic Design.
  • 2 Featured Original Designs.
  • Highly Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Graphic
  • Print
Optics and Chromatics Exhibition poster

Optics and Chromatics Exhibition poster

Graphic Design

Utopia and Collapse Book

Utopia and Collapse Book

Print Design


Good Design Deserves Great Recognition

Discover A' Design Award, World's Largest Design Accolade.

Learn More

Interview with Andorka Timea

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
At first I wasn’t preparing to become a graphic designer at all – and I am not one hundred percent sure that I am one nowadays. I studied philosophy and literature at university as I was interested in the nature of human thought: how the different conceptual and cultural systems grow and develop from each other, how they are in an everlasting dispute, constantly changing and forming each other and us. I had to read a lot during these years, and meanwhile, I started to become more and more interested in the object that carries the written text: the book itself. This was the core moment when I decided for the making of the books. Thus I started to study typography and graphic design.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
For me designing books is like designing a church for an architect: the top of graphic design. You need all your knowledge and courage to elaborate with the necessary accuracy the labyrinth-like structure from the mass of letters and the white paper and still preserve its aesthetics and grace. Most books are unfortunately not designed with such a careful manner, but one can learn something from all books.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
My first serious piece of work was the identity of a contemporary art exhibition for a museum in Hungary. With a catalogue, advertisements, in three languages. I enjoyed it a lot.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
My favorite material is paper. It’s strong, flexible, easy to fold, tear, color and print, one is able to prepare, paint, pierce, paste and sew it. It supports all experience and proposes new possibilities if the type is chosen carefully.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
It is the first idea from where the process starts which is the most important to later develop the first sparks into a well-constructed, fully unfolded new concept.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
I work at the cultural area, therefore I consider an unimpeachable task to shape society’s aesthetic taste in a positive way. It is important to influence people by visual stimuli of a very high quality and make them open at the same time as the consequences will appear directly in the environment they live in. People make a lot of aesthetical decisions from day to day without even noticing – however it does give an image of them: the choice of their favorite socks to put on in the morning or the mug from which they drink the first coffee of the day; whether they ignore, uninterested, a rather exciting movie poster in the tube station… These all make part of our personality, these messages are primordial in what we show to others about ourselves.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
In 2017 I was invited to The World Paper Products exhibition in South Korea. I felt honoured to be regarded as a paper artist in one of the cradles of paper production – despite being a European.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I adore Polish theater posters, British book design and Japanese paper art. I keep following the latest achievements of graphic design on the social networking websites and visiting exhibitions not only at home but also abroad. I am open to everything, an Ivo van Hove theater set can mean as much inspiration to me as the freshest Alexander McQueen collection. I am omnivorous.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
I strongly hope that I do not have a specific style. I try to avoid doing the same thing twice – if this happens, I would take the challenge to make an effort to learn from it and try something completely new and unknown next time. Making adventures is much more important than to have a trademark that is recognizable from far away.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I live in Hungary. It is a small country with limited opportunities, but maybe this is the reason why the desire to express oneself is so strong. Although contemporary design is far from being defined here in the East-Central European region, trends are still easy to follow and there are some designers whose work is world quality. This may also be due to the double heritage that come from the border line here between the Eastern and the Western world: the the double influence needs strong and constant reflection.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
Kaffeform espresso cups, LiliLite lampshelfs and my handmade paper lamps
What skills are most important for a designer?
To be able to think outside the box. This can be quite difficult, but I am in a favoured situation: by working at the museum I am constantly obliged to think outside the box. Working with artists who already have a completely built up word is like being a tourist in a totally new universe. I grow richer with each working process.
What was your most important job experience?
To have the chance to work together with Timothy Heyer, Pantone’s Senior Creative Manager was a crucial experience.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
It is leaving the computer behind and creating something manually that I love the most. I love handcrafts. Sometimes my hands can think of a great idea quicker than my mind.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
Currently I am working together with Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm – exhibitor of the 2017 Venice Art Biennale – on his exhibition in Hungary.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
In most cases I work alone, but exhibitions are always an exception. Creating the exhibition’s identity requires a complex teamwork in which graphic designers stand in the middle of the process. The requirements and conditions of the artist, the curator and the institution can determine numerous facts including aesthetic decisions and the whole concept. Materializing the exhibition interior is not a simple graphic designer’s task, but the professional accordance of architecture, technical knowledge, interior design and printing is necessary for the perfect harmony in the exhibition space.

Designer of the Day Interview with Andorka Timea

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?
I am a professional graphic designer working in Hungary with a strong inclination towards traditional crafts which I tends to combine with current techniques. I have always been a bibliophile, so I am deeply interested in the history and theory of typography. As a designer I am working on books, exhibition identities and theatre posters. Over the last five years I was employed as a senior graphic designer in various exhibition halls including Kunsthalle/Budapest or Ferenczy Musem Center/Szentendre. Now, I am a freelancer.
How did you become a designer?
I am interested in a wide variety of things that have connections to the world of ideas and creativity. This realm allows me to experiment with the experiments of others and with my own thoughts. I consider book design as a mode of reflecting on texts, a kind of interpretive activity. When I design a book I make use of everything I’ve ever learned.At university I studied philosophy and literature as I was interested in the nature of human thought: how the different conceptual and cultural systems grow and develop from each other, how they are in an everlasting dispute, constantly changing and forming each other and us. I had to read a lot during these years, and meanwhile, I started to become more and more interested in the object that carries the written text: the book itself. This was the core moment when I decided for the making of the books. Thus I started to study typography and graphic design.
What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
There is an interesting relation between design and time… both the book cover and the chocolate box are packaging, yet we don’t usually throw out the former. It’s not a problem if we can see when a book was made, but we must be prepared, becaue it might be looked at and used for decades. Luckily, I can often make things, which have to withstand the test of time and also have to fit the current trends, since it gets put on the shelf now. I often find this balance when I combine contemporary graphic designing trends with more classical, manual techniques, like paper cutting, item collage, paper marbling, origami etc.
Which emotions do you feel when designing?
Whether it is a musician, a writer, or a theater director, it is always a pleasure for me to adopt other people’s way of thinking and to translate the problem that they raise to the language of graphic design. I know I have done my job well when the person for whom I have done the interpreting is satisfied with my voice. This is a risky attempt in each and every case, but taking risks is one thing I love.
What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?
The skills which I didn’t just acquire in school, but from the many experiences I had can be basically one of two types: the ability to quickly change my point of view is strategically important to see the connections, the love of manual labour, especially working with paper, is important in practice. Immanuel Kant had an effect on the structure of my thinking, Claude Monet on the way I view colours. Seeing the buildings of Richard Rogers made me think about why the houses we live in aren’t just boring boxes and through the clothes of Alexander McQueen I realized, that clothes are the best at representing the era we live in. I can thank Sir David Attenborough for the knowledge that Planet Earth is blue, and through the life-work of David Bowie, I learned how creative the human who fell to Earth.
What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?
Basically, I already have my dreamjob in my life, I am lucky. I became a graphic designer so I can create designs for museums, book publishers and theatres, and this dream became a reality thanks to ten years of hard work. In the future I want to work so I don’t have to wake up from this dream.
What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?
My experience is that a good idea is rarely enough. Hard work cannot be escaped. This is why it is meritable to work in a team. It is good to work with people from whom you can learn, ask for advice, discuss ideas, argue, criticise and who happily drink an encouraging cup of coffee with you if nothing else seems to help.
You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
I have read something appealing at the David Bowie is exhibition about Brian Eno’s advice to Bowie: when the band gets stuck, he said, one of the musicians should pick an instrument that he has never used before from a hat and change. This will immediately reorganise the groups’ way of thinking.I constantly remind myself to follow this advice when I feel jammed in my process. I think it is extremely important to be able to change one’s approach. It is nearly impossible to renew and look at problems from a fresh point of view without this magic hat.
What is your day to day look like?
My days are organized along two kinds of routine: there are the days when I do the designing work. These days are quite unusual as I like to work at night when all is silent and I do not get disrupted by the noise of the everydays. During the day I really do not pay attention to anything except for my dog. And then there are the days which are more conventional: those ones when I start preparing for a bigger task. Following the morning coffe I leave for meetings and professional sessions, have lunch with friends, go to the cinema or theater in the evening.
How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?
I read a lot of design magazines on a daily basis and I pay attention to online portfolios by creative professionals. But since the contemporary design cannot be separated from architectural, technological or fine art solutions I try to keep up with the novelties of all the other areas as well. The good thing in graphic design is that a surprising inspiration can come from anywhere; a movie title, an old book or even a well furnished display window can be inspirational, you only have to keep an eye open.
How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?
The most important thing for me is to be deliberate. I don’t like art for art’s sake, just because something looks good, or is a good idea, doesn’t make it a good design. It is important to bear in mind what the product is for, and this has to be in unison with the planning ideas. It is certainly not a problem if the client/coustumer can’t see this endeavour, he only sees the ease of the solution. Personally, I like a lot of aesthetic styles, it can be minimalistic, retro, recycled or baroque, but it has to be smart and well made. It this case one twist is more than enough.
How do you decide if your design is ready?
It is never ready. But there is always a moment, usually the deadline, when it is time to stop. By that time one has to speed up to maximum and get the best out of all ideas in the given circumstances. The results are usually quite impressive, but I often feel that I could have done even better.
What is your biggest design work?
I just recently finished my most challenging job so far. We were making a book for a partly architectural, partly fine art project after it had been judged at a lot of renowned professional forums, including the at the Venice Biennale of Architecture. It is about a city planned around a nuclear power plant which was built at the end of the 60s. People still live here to this day, but the city was reconstructed many times. The Armenian architect and the German artist both wanted us to make a post modern book which always speaks about the same place, yet doesn’t repeat itself. It stays interesting like Calvino’s Invisible Cities. It took almost a full year until we could edit the book – made from archived photos, architectural drawings, recent photos and analogue art illustrations – to be exciting. Utopia and Collapse. Rethinking Metsamor – The Armenian Atomic City was an enormous challenge.
Who is your favourite designer?
I probably spend most of my time with checking book designers latest works. I consider David Pearson’s Great Ideas series as a milestone in book cover design. The idea of involving the reader in the interpretation process by using some ingenious typographic solution rather than dully depicting the protagonist that would just whisper silently on the shelves instead of screaming, still impresses me today. Looking around in a bookstore in London, one will see dozens of bookcovers that would have never been created without the legendary series.And this was not the first idea of the publishing company that set style eternally. I would have loved to travel together on the train to Basel with Allan Lane, Penguin Books publisher who was visiting Jan Tschichold in Switzerland in 1946 where they soon upset completely people’s perception of reading books unconfortably and developed paperback release to perfection. I am genuinely curious what they could achieve with today’s technics and possibilities.
Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?
I like meeting people from othet cultures, you can always learn from these meetings – either something good, or bad. I love London, for me it is the centre of the world. A lot of people from different cultures live together in the biggest city of the island and they try to grab onto the Victorian traditions using their own cultural roots. Almost every breathing moment there is something to wander at. This variegation impacts design, and these designs have an effect on the people’s expectations and quality of life. Here, for example, I think about environmental consciousness. With proper information, people easily give up on unneccessary plastic packaging, particularly, if they get something neat instead. The architects and the designers started reacting to this global challenge surprisingly fast. We never had this much responsibility before…
Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?
Once David Pearson said in an interview that a whisper is always more suggestive than a scream. The fact that I am more of a whisperer comes from my stature. I don’t like to rush down my clients or my collegues with a strong, indigestible impulse. Most places need the latter, but luckily, the people who find me usually think the same way as me.
What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?
Working in the cultural area is quite often an opportunity for pro bono and charity works. A newly formed theater company or an undergroung slam poetry festival cannot afford as much as an already successful performer, just as a skill development program that organizes innovative technology workshops for young children is in the same situation. But they all have their ideas and expectations how they wish to show up at the market, what message to communicate by their brand. I like participating in such projects; it is also a chance to form and develop.
What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?
A serious international competition is an important feedback about my work, and if what I’m doing is heading in the right way. The objective eyes of the jury see the plan from different viewpoints from the biased designer, and if at one of these competitions the jury reinforces, that my work has original ideas, the execution is good and it represents professional quality, than I can continue my work with more enthusiasm. I’m happy, that I could take part in it.

Extended Interview with Andorka Timea

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
At first I wasn’t preparing to become a graphic designer at all – and I am not one hundred percent sure that I am one nowadays. I studied philosophy and literature at university as I was interested in the nature of human thought: how the different conceptual and cultural systems grow and develop from each other, how they are in an everlasting dispute, constantly changing and forming each other and us.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I had to read a lot during my university years, and meanwhile, I started to become more and more interested in the object that carries the written text: the book itself. This was the core moment when I decided for the making of the books. Thus I started to study typography and graphic design.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
I am interested in a wide variety of things that have connections to the world of ideas and creativity. This realm allows me to experiment with the experiments of others and with my own thoughts. Book design is that particular field which emerges as the most challenging for me. I have always been a bibliophile. When I design a book cover I make use of everything I’ve ever learned. I consider book design as a mode of reflecting on texts, a kind of interpretive activity. Since it always puts my competence to the test, I really enjoy doing it.
What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
I would love to completely design book if I had no editorial or budgetary constraints, I would choose something with a special position in the history of ideas – something with both literary and theoretic importance. I am thinking of such works as The one hundred and twenty days of Sodom or The picture of Dorian Gray or Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Or, if I can be a little immodest, the Holy Bible. These works would pose a really exciting challenge in graphics for me since they have their own iconographical tradition.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
To be able to think outside the box. This can be quite difficult, but I am in a favoured situation: by working at the museum I am constantly obliged to think outside the box. Working with artists who already have a completely built up word is like being a tourist in a totally new universe. I grow richer with each working process.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
David Person, Jonathan Barnbrook, Tomasz Bogusławski, Peter Mendelsund, Barbara de Wilde, Coralie Bickford-Smith, Vince Frost, Hermann Zapf and David Bowie
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
I was inspired by Penguin Books’ Great Ideas series, and David Pearson’s design approach to each volume relying not so much on illustrative, but rather typographic sources.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
My Optics/Chromatics poster that has won the recent application seems to be a timeless piece of work. The method of pursuing a thorough experiment after having carried out a long phase of reading and research has returned me the most among all my works.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
Currently I am working together with Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm – exhibitor of the 2017 Venice Art Biennale – on his exhibition in Hungary.
How does design help create a better society?
I work at the cultural area, therefore I consider an unimpeachable task to shape society’s aesthetic taste in a positive way. It is important to influence people by visual stimuli of a very high quality and make them open at the same time as the consequences will appear directly in the environment they live in. People make a lot of aesthetical decisions from day to day without even noticing – however it does give an image of them: the choice of their favorite socks to put on in the morning or the mug from which they drink the first coffee of the day; whether they ignore, uninterested, a rather exciting movie poster in the tube station… These all make part of our personality, these messages are primordial in what we show to others about ourselves.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
I read a lot and do a lot of research. I check out the client (institution, artist) in question and try to find out about their expectations of the graphic design. I also make a research of the given topic of the book, presentation, exhibition. I always read the book before I start designing and if possible, contact the author, the editor or the publisher, read the critics, analyse the previous designs.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
Adobe CC softwares: Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, Lightroom, Nikon cameras
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
As a graphic designer I frequently collaborate with artists. It is a great opportunity to learn from them about the use and handling of colors. When I work on something independently I often use the effects of light and shadow or certain color-based optical illusion. Moreover, I am completely fascinated by the play of colors as a result of paper marbling – nothing else could produce that kind of visual pattern.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
Robert Bringhurst: The Elements of Typographic Style Phil Baines: Penguin by Design Michel Foucault: The Order of Things
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
A couple of years ago I convinced the museum I was working for to produce the flyers of the exhibition The entropy of a City in an unexpected manner: the paper had to be folded in a special way that could be done only manually. The folding technique had been developed for NASA by a Japanese astrophysicist, and the shape fitted the exhibition’s theme so much that it was accepted. Everyone who has seen it can still remember it, and the technique was interiorized by almost all the colleagues at the museum.
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
Definitely not. I come from a family of engineers: my parents do not understand at all what I do, but are a great support.

By clicking Sign-Up, you are opting to receive promotional emails from A' Design Awards, World Design Rankings, World Design Consortium and Designers.Org You can update your preferences or unsubscribe any time.

You are now at the right step

Join Designers.org & Start Promoting Your Design Worldwide.

Create an Account