Manita Songserm

In today's Talent we meet Bangkok-based graphic designer Manita Songserm, whose playful and experimental way with typography is bound to see her go far...

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Future (2014) Poster Exhibition: Chiang Mai Design Week 2014

What first made you realise you wanted to be a graphic designer?
I believe that many designers start their career path with a love for art, as I did. My appreciation of art has been growing consistently since my childhood and, at some point, I began to differentiate between art and communication. I think graphic design is in the middle of these two branches.

How would you describe your working process?
My method begins with discussion of the concept and its source, to find the core identity of each specific piece of work. This process is crucial because, before sketching any ideas, a designer should try to understand as much as possible about every aspect of the work. That's what will help you create the key visual and all the other graphic elements.

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Electrical Walks Bangkok / Omnivoyeur, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, 2016

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Electrical Walks Bangkok / Omnivoyeur, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, 2016

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Electrical Walks Bangkok / Omnivoyeur, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, 2016

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Electrical Walks Bangkok / Omnivoyeur, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, 2016

Tell us about a favourite project you've worked on recently...
My favourite projects are exhibitions which involve other young artists, and where the subject is multimedia art. The different media used within exhibitions of this kind are limitless, so my design work is also free to be experimental. A good example of this kind of exhibition is Electrical Walks Bangkok / Omnivoyeur, a sound and visual arts project featuring Thai and German artists, for which I did the graphic design. For this project, I experimented by using materials other than paper in my designs. As well as this, I also enjoy designing book covers; I have fun creating a character for each book.

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Book design for Sum, Chaichai Books, 2015

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Book design for Sum, Chaichai Books, 2015

You take quite an experimental approach to typography in your work—how did this way of working develop?
At the design school I went to, typography was an important and emphasised part of the curriculum. Thanks to this, I always focus on typography in my work and feel drawn to typographically-focused outcomes. In my opinion, type is as important as image. I am often amazed by graphic design that consists only of typography but still speaks and communicates its message in a striking way. Most of my work starts with logo creation and typographic design for each piece.

What would be your dream project?
My dream project would be one in which the designer and the client respect and trust each other. In the past, I longed for avant-garde and unusual projects. But nowadays, I just wish for an ordinary project where the result pleases both the designer and the customer. For me, if both are happy with the results, then that is the true meaning of a ‘dream project.’

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Book design for Revenge, Chaichai Books, 2016

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Book design for Revenge, Chaichai Books, 2016

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Poster for Bangkok Book Festival, Bookmoby, 2016

What's been the best audience reaction to your work so far?
I like the way that different audiences can interpret my works from a variety of different perspectives. The reactions I have gotten from different audiences have been both positive and negative; some really love my work, others detest it. Someone really don’t get it. The praise that I like most is that my work is ‘clean and neat but rebellious at the same time’.

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Drift, poster design for Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, 2015

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The Great Artist of Tomorrow will go Underground, poster design for Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, 2015

What are you working on right now, and what's next for you?
The latest project I am working on is about weaving together a young designers network and community in Thailand through a collaborative project. For me, this is interesting because it is a chance to go beyond myself and balance my style with the work of other designers’ who co-create with me.

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Proximity, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, 2015

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You Said Something, self-initiated project, 2016