At Shillington, we love to explore and celebrate great design from around the world. We’ve covered the work of many creatives, from freelance designers to animation studios, in many different countries so far and now we’ve set our sights on Russia. This vast transcontinental nation makes up one-eighth of the world’s inhabited territories and spans the divide of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is a country of epic proportions, both culturally and historically. As a result, many of us carry such a heavy preconceived notion of Russia that it often obscures our view of the creativity and diversity of its present.
With so much incredible work coming out of Russia, we had a challenge to whittle down our list to our top 9 creatives. Here we include projects across branding, packaging, illustration, digital, identity, motion and more. Read on to see who made the list.
Roman Erohnovich, like many designers, is a multi-specialist who works across art direction, design and illustration—with a focus on branding, web and digital. His self espoused process leans towards wilfully flouting the rules of design. His recent identity redesign for Prostorcrew, a Moscow-based events company, sought to encapsulate the vibrant energy and movement of Prostorcrew’s approach to events. He produced a 3-dimensional identity full of vitality and bold colours, imbued with the feeling of being engulfed in the energy of an event and letting it carry you away.
Superdesigners is a Moscow-based creative design studio and production company founded by Ilya Perevedentsev and Valeriy Lunchuk in 2017. With an eye for the technically challenging and unique, the studio specialises in 3D, motion and graphic design, creating bold and energetic content for their clients across promos and video ads, live gig visuals, music videos, interactive installations and digital experiments. Our favourite example is their Bright Park branding campaign—made for a Russian car dealership based in the Perm region—which is like watching living chemistry. Superdesigners created a series of motion graphics and animations which draw the viewer into the textures, light and sounds that one might experience while driving. The outcomes are mesmerising and surreal.
With a preference on a holistic approach to design, Facultative Works design studio has worked on projects across illustration, identity, sound, editorial and furniture design. In 2019, they revisited their identity design for P.Y.E Optics, as part of an ongoing collaboration lasting more than 10 years. For their P.Y.E Optics Identity 2.1 they again considered every aspect of an optics company’s needs from business cards, client cards, microfibre cloths and bags. Excitingly, the development and design of the P.Y.E’s online store was a growth of the relationship and a new step for Facultative Works. In a move beyond previous renditions to this identity, the studio’s playful and rigorous approach resulted in a very pared back and bold design using a limited but well-rounded colour palette.
Margarita Kukhtina is an illustrator working predominantly across editorial, print and advertising. The whimsey and magic of her illustrations leaves no surprise to the fact that she is a regularly sought after children’s book illustrator. We love her dreamy use of colour which lends an etherial quality to her work. In 2019, several of her illustrations were shortlisted for the BIISA International Illustration Biennale in Portugal. For us, this piece really captures the mood of the moment, as globally we stay inside in isolation and work to enrich and live within our vibrant inner worlds.
Studio Stacie Co. is a Saint Petersberg-based studio specialising in brand design for fashion, beauty and lifestyle companies. This small boutique studio is run by Founder & Brand Designer Anastasia Dunaeva. Leaning towards an approach we could describe as minimalistic luxury, the designs this studio produces are simple and elegant, with a focus on materiality. The recent branding they produced for Prose, a fashion brand in the Netherlands, offers a clear epitome of this. The combination of serif and sans-serif typography, gentle pastel colour palette and refined geometric shapes embodies the feminine, minimalistic and high-quality elegance of the Prose ethos and that of Studio Stacie Co. itself.
Based in Saint Petersberg, Olga Gurova works as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer creating vibrantly colourful digital illustrations. Her recent work for Walker app, a Russian walking app which gamifies the users daily walk by rewarding every step taken, is an explosion of colour. Responding to the playful tone and approach of the app, Gurova created a suite of branded illustrations which are full of life, texture and movement. They have certainly put a smile on our faces.
On Sophia Kolovskaya‘s wesbite she describes herself as an illustrator, graphic designer and full-time dreamer. And really that is the tone of her work, one of play and open-handed creativity. An avid advocate of making something every day, Kolovskaya has been painting every day for nearly 6 years. As part of the 2019 annual Day of Finland Festival, Kolovskaya worked in collaboration with Finish illustrator Teo Georgiev to design a large scale mural to celebrate the unique culture and beauty of Finland. Their aim was to move beyond cliche and they certainly achieved that in this fanciful and colourful finished artwork. She documented the entire process leading up to the installation in Saint Petersburg, which you can read on her website.
MADE are a small design studio based in Moscow, specialising in corporate branding and website development. Their recent self-made project for a Barcelona-based real estate agency piqued our interest for its vibrant, character-filled illustrations and friendly tone of voice. By heroing the colourful artworks of illustrator Katya Citrus, they keep overall design minimal, utilising bold easy to read fonts and the simple motif of the classic doormat. The overall design achieves a sense of openness and hospitality, inviting you to see this company like you would a trusted, friendly neighbour.
Tatiana Rusalovskaya is a freelance designer based in Moscow, who specialised in packaging and visual identity. For a recent packaging brief, she developed the illustrations and design for the labels of The Nuts and Honey Spread. Exploring the unique flavours and tastes of the products lead her to produce unique patterns, gesturally hand drawn in pastels, to evoke the natural textures and tones of the ingredients. For finishing touches she uses uncoated paper labels which holds a natural texture, on top of which tactile varnished lettering and patterns interplay. The golden foil brings a light and warmth to the product design, which is the perfect finishing touch.
Want to see the full list of creatives around the world? The latest countries we covered in the series are Belgium, Portugal, Australia and Argentina!
Feeling inspired? Check out our #ILoveTheseGuys series to discover more creative studios from around the world! Or become a graphic designer yourself—study design in three months full-time or nine months part-time in London, Manchester, New York, Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne with Shillington.