By: Ally Brewster
Marta Klopf is graphic designer that works in web and brand design. When talking about her artwork Klopf says, “My projects focus on clear communication while highlighting the values, thoughts and stories behind a brand and translating conceptual ideas into cohesive visual worlds.” Originally from Italy, Klopf graduated from Minneapolis College of Art & Design and soon moved to New York City, quickly falling in love with the city and finding inspiration in it. She loves being able to help with change through her art and design. Klopf looks forward to getting back to creating art for local community focused organizations in the future. We had the opportunity to ask Marta Klopf about her artistic journey and what’s next for the artist:
How did you get into graphic design? Was graphic design always the direction you wanted to go?
I wasn’t one of those people who know as children what they are going to be when they grow up: for a long time I didn’t see a path that seemed right for me. I was always interested in a lot of things, and always wanted to follow new ideas and start new projects. What I did know was that I was interested in art, and that I was passionate about communicating. So I discovered design, which is at its very core visual communication. I moved to Minneapolis to pursue my BFA in graphic design and have worked in the field since. And I think it worked out, because design gives you the opportunity to be interested in a lot of things, to approach different projects with different ideas and interests.
Do you have a preference for working digitally or physically? Why?
I love working digitally: I feel like the digital world is where a lot of people today go to find information, learn things, discover brands, buy things, make connections, and therefore it is a dynamic place that is always evolving, which makes it exciting to be a part of it. I also think digital projects challenge you in a different way, because they need to make an impact while also remaining flexible and adaptable.
You stated: “New York is vibrant and makes you feel alive. You always feel like you are part of something big. It always pushes you creatively because there is always something new to inspire you.” What initially drew you to work in New York? Do you have a favorite thing in New York you always go back to for inspiration if you ever feel burnt out?
I think that, at first, what drew me to New York was the sheer quantity of creatives and creative endeavors, which gives you the opportunity to really find a path that works for you and matches your interests. But I didn’t expect to really fall for the city as much or as quickly as I did: I met a lot of inspiring designers and creatives who were pursuing their passions in so many different ways. I think the people are what always inspires me: it may be a bit cliché, but the energy that comes from surrounding yourself with other creative people can be very energizing. I also love to take long walks: you always end up somewhere new, and getting out of your usual environment and what is comfortable usually helps.
You’re a freelance graphic designer “with experience in web and brand design.” What is your favorite aspect of being a freelance artist? The most difficult?
I work for an agency and also do freelance projects, so I get the best and worst of both. I love the freedom of freelance work. You are in charge of what projects you take on, and the directness of working directly with the person who will use your work makes it empowering. The most difficult part would be that you are alone: you have to be the one who does all the organizing, the designing, the coordinating, the email writing, the zoom calls. Which I like, but can be quite a lot.
How do you begin your process of starting a new project with a brand?
The first thing I do is learn as much as I can about the project, first to determine whether it’s something I am able to take on, and then to find out what makes the project special. I would then typically meet with the client, talk about big picture things (their ideas and needs, their philosophy, and so on) as well as practical things (timeline, other people involved in the project, etc). Depending on the project I would then come up with a few ideas and see whether they will work and are well received. From there, it becomes a matter of getting more and more detailed and continuing to incorporate feedback from the client until the final product is ready.
Of the projects you’ve worked on, which is your favorite? What about it makes it so memorable/special for you?
I recently finished a website called letstech.at. It is geared towards kids 10-18 in age and is meant to be a science/engineering portal for them: get them interested in more scientific or technical subjects, present ideas through videos and blog articles, as well as show role models (especially female ones) who work in the field and be a place where they can find information about careers in engineering. I loved working on it both because it was a design challenge (trying to speak to a relatively broad age range), and because it truly is a great resource for kids: it feels great to be part of something that empowers them through learning and through highlighting female role models.
As someone who loves being able to help change the world through your artwork, which causes are you passionate about that you would want to design for in the future?
I try not to set limits on what want to do, but generally I feel strongly about projects that are of value to people: in the case of the project above, kids who want to learn, but also, for example, design for community based organizations who help women, minorities, or in any way empower people by offering them resources that may be otherwise difficult to access. As another example, I also was part of a mentoring program, where professional designers helped create logos for groups of high schoolers who wanted to pitch ideas to help their community to investors. I love being able to use my skills that way: making an impact through design.
With your artwork, what direction do you feel like you want to go in next? Is there any new pattern, style, process, person, media, etc, that you feel has grabbed your attention and inspired your work? Is there anything you’ve done in the past you want to continue with?
I feel that style changes constantly, and the more we focus on style the less longevity a project has. What matters to me the most are good ideas, and I think the time of the pandemic (having to stay home and mostly focus on work) really reinforced the idea of wanting to make work that has an impact. I always look at the work of Partner & Partners (where I used to work) and Hyperakt in New York as inspiration for beautiful work that is backed by great ideas and also makes an impact on the communities and the world we live in.
Marta Klopf is currently accepting freelance projects here.