Interview with designer Svoboda Tzekova (ST), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Bulgarian Abc Book History Book/Encyclopedia.

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Interview with Svoboda Tzekova at Wednesday 30th of March 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
ST : A historical review of Bulgarian primers during the past two centuries through a subjective selection and interpretation of the visual and text content.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
ST : The aim was to achieve a harmonious combination of various visual and verbal information, using a neutral design that helps the reader to enter the subject. Something that could be regarded both as an easy reading and an in-depth analysis.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
ST : An exhibition.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
ST : The research took one year and the design itself — six months.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
ST : I have been working on the concept together with Anton Staykov. Although the final result embodies our idea, we had to meet our publisher’s requirements.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
ST : Fortunately, right after its initial stage the project was supported by the biggest Bulgarian textbook publisher. A substantial aspect was the fact that the publishing house owns the archive of the state textbook publisher form the socialist period. Without the access to those resources we wouldn’t be able to complete the project at all. Thanks to PROSVETA Publishing we also had the chance to collaborate with professional editors.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
ST : Before no such thing existed in Bulgarian. The field was rather unexplored and I believe that such products play a crucial role for the society.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
ST : Anton Staykov as a co-author of the concept and а main contributor in the whole process of research and compilation.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
ST : Both specialised and ordinary readers.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
ST : Epson and Canon scanners, iMac, EIZO monitor, Adobe Photoshop, In Design, Adobe AcrobatPro

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
ST : The writer Nadezhda Radulova was helping through the whole process and contributed with two texts; Marin Ginev was our main editor, Vihra Stoeva-Yancheva - artistic editor, Zhana Gancheva - technical editor.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
ST : Without the contemporary scanners and monitors reproducing the imagery or the old print materials would be impossible.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
ST : We have gone through the stocks of 30 public libraries and more than 50 private collections to create the first catalogue of Bulgarian reading textbooks. For the purpose of the book, 700 representative images were selected. In this number are illustrations, photos, diagrams, typographical images, facsimiles.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
ST : The aim was to achieve a harmonious combination of various visual and verbal information, using a neutral design that helps the reader to enter the subject. This kind of new genre needed special approach.