Ovidiu Hrin is the founder of the versatile graphic design studio Synopsis: and the curator of Typopassage Tm, an open-air typography micro-museum in Timișoara. He is one of the most appreciated graphic and poster designers in Romania, and also a member of AIGA (The American Institute of Graphic Artists), Type Directors Club NY and Graphis International.






Ovidiu Hrin – The Man. In three words.



Cannot find him.




Ovidiu Hrin – The Graphic Designer. In three words.



Searching for him.




The best piece of advice you ever got and you’re happy to pay it forward:



Ask yourself every day (especially right after you get up) – “Who am I?” – stay still for 2 minutes and then start off your day as if nothing happened. (Increase the waiting time with 1 minute each month).






The worst piece of advice you ever got (and you’d never pay forward).



There is no bad/silly advice. It’s only me that’s silly.




Order or chaos? How does what’s around you inspire/affect your creative process?



Order, chaos and “the creative process” are all the same thing. Every day is a good day.




Early bird sau night owl?



I just wake up.






Do you believe in personal style or prefer continuous experimentation?



If experimentation is constant/ continuous, the style will pop up eventually. If style is clearly defined, there isn’t really space for anything else. Kill them both.




Do you think perfectionism is a positive tendency in the life of a graphic designer? What about the relationship with your own mistakes? Do you easily overcome them and learn from them or do you lock them up in the “regrets box” and their shadows haunt you for a long time?



Perfectionism is a cage in which you lock yourself up (and throw out the key). Mistakes are hurdles that sometimes put you on the ground – just learn how to stand up. When “perfectionism” becomes your main target, you’ll miss out on all contiguous “mistakes” on your road to reaching it. Allow yourself to fuck up from time to time.




What would be the most challenging brief you’ve received in the last couple of years?



The same brief I’ve received 16 years ago, when I started Synopsis – it is still the most challenging and complex brief ever written: to design (e.g. – to think, to plan, to structure, to clean up, to set in order, to reflect responsibly on) your own design practice, in a globalizing culture where the word “design” is permanently emptied (and refilled) with various meanings (trending #hashtags). This is the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced as a designer.






Would you say there is a noticeable competitive spirit in our local artistic community? If yes, has it any input or relevance in regard to a qualitative evolution of the work?



We’re inoculated with competitive spirit from the first “punishment” at kindergarten (e.g. “Michael is more attentive/ kind / polite/ friendly than you!”) until the last 8 you get in college (e.g. “George is better than you, he got a 9.”). The competitive spirit is very present in our community and it can sometimes be beneficial – when it triggers the best in you and makes you thrive and face your greatest adversary: yourself. It can however be disastrous within a medium where the value system is in a muddle (or completely missing) and your attention is channelled outside yourself, thus working against you (and not for you). I believe it’s important to first have a well-designed value system and then we’ll be able to estimate the quality of the surrounding work.




What artists were you following 5 years ago? What artists are you following now?



The only one I’ve been following for 10 years now (trying to understand him) is Ovidiu Hrin, by regularly looking through and analyzing my own diaries. All the others I follow are simply avatars of my own interpretations of who they are.




What books are mandatory for a beginner in graphic design? (book recommendations: useful versus beautiful)