Zenurdel newsletter

Zenurdel newsletter

From 2014 Zenurdel will start its own newsletter series. Every month you will have a letter fulfilled with interesting and hopefully useful articles about design, illustration, anthropology, marketing, clients, designer and anything I find important to share. This newsletter will be for you hence if you give feedback, the newsletter will be better and better. See you in January!


christmas present ideas

I love to give gifts and most of the time I help my friend and family with ideas when they out of inspiration. I thought this might be helpful for you too:)

Board games:  I love to play and luckily I have friends who are sharing the same passion, these games are my personal recommendations.

Citadelles  Card game, min 2 person up to 8. Ideally is for 4. Roll-play, as you get know the personalities you became a master.

Mr Jack and Mr. Jack Pocket. For two person. Often when we are having our coffee on a sunny terrace we play Mr Jack pocket version. Entertaining and it is tactical like chess.

7 Wonders – civilization board game, similar to age of empire but surprisingly easy to understand and one turn takes only 30 mins.

Jamaica – so far I haven’t meet anybody who didn’t like this game. Cool graphic design with pirate theme, entertaining. Including treasure, fight and gold in order to feel as a real pirate captain.

Jungle speed –  addictive! As many you are as good became! Have a cup of mulled wine and play! Prepare for physical injures!

Books:  I am a bookworm, here are some of my favorite authors, these are classics literature. Great time to read on the train or in the bed before sleeping.

Gerald DurrellMy family and other animals – I admire his work as zoologist and writer and became fun of animals thanks to him. I was a child when I got know his books, it made me laugh a lot. Since then there is no holiday without a Durrell book.

Edgar Ellen Poe – The Murders in the Rue Morgue – Do you want thrill? Read Poe:) Best of the gothic romanic detective or/and scary stories.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – I love all his book. If you already red some of them I recommend his biography because he describes his life and you will realize that his books are only half fictions and the part you thought that is happening only in love and drama novels  are actually the truth ones.

György FaludyMy happy days in hell – Fascinating real story about a long journey and prison of Faludy, internationally well know hungarian poet, writer. I recommend also his selected poems.

Umberto EcoThe name of the rose – Yes, the film is great too:) But read the book:)

Movies: Oh, difficult task to give just a couple of good title. When I am not reading I am watching movies:)

The help – If you want some personal drama, about how to stand up for each other. Hearth warming.

Captain Corelli’s Mandoline – calssic love – war movie. romance, II ww, Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz.

Chocolet – Juliette Binoche, Carrie-Anne Moss, Judi Dench and Johny Depp. Has great story and atmosphere too.

Spirited away –  Great story, real family movie. My favorite director is Hayao Miyazaki. Totoro is a perfect gift for little kids it is so nice  without any violence.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – I love Jim Carrey. He is a great actor and this film is a proof. Adventure, family movie.

Kon-tiki – Pure adventure, true story.

For designers: If you have the luck to have designer among your friend and/or family, here is a little list that can help you out. the best if you ask for a list. if your designer needs some really expansive (usually something  digital) share the price within family or group of friends.

books of Scott Belsky self and time management tools for designers

books for inspiration in his/her interested subject – for instance fashion, graffiti, paper craft, lettering, certain illustration style etc.

fonts –  ask for what is missing from the collection:)

markers and pens – Copic and Primacolor, Pentel, Faber Castel are good 

new software or updates

digital – tablet, camera or part of them like flash, objective etc. 

paper – sheet. block. pocket size. huge oversize. transparent. colored. cheap. expansive. rise paper. thick paper. japanese paper. chinese paper…

any other tool he/she might use

I hope this article was helpful. Enjoy the preparation for Christmas!


flat design in packaging and illustration

As the flat design is trending in the website world I would like to see how it will go on other subjects such as illustration or packaging. I really like flat design because I like minimalist and clean structure, I always did and always will. Scandinavian purity is back. In the case of a website is good to have a simple, user-friendly surface and system. The attributes are the following:

01.Srong typography /02.No shadows and gradients in the graphic elements /03.Focus on colors, and there are certain trending colors / 04.Focus on words/content and simple (UI) elements

Ok, but what about packaging and illustration? Is there any flat design trending? There are illustrators who has his/her style flat and vectorial like Lotta Nieminen (and the Maeven identity project which is good example of flat identity design) Other nice example is Patric Hruby ‘s  and Neil Stevens‘s work. Also, HeystudioDesign Surgery and Vincent Mahé (his style reminds me Hergé) have many similar project. We can say that flat design is already has its own place in the world of illustration (not to mention patterns) Easy to capture flat design in icon elements for websites and that is clearly trend not personal style.

What about packaging?

Well, that is other point of view. Websites are for online presence, you can see on the screen and it doesn’t have any visual competitor at the same time when you are visiting it. In the case of packaging, design is depending on the way of selling. If the product is sold in the brand’s shop there is more possibility to use clean and delicate design. If the product is in a chain store or a pharmacy where other competitive designs are together in the same shelf, well, you have to be strong and remarkable. Like the flowers on the field they “fight” for the bug’s attention, packaging has the same intention. Also very important fact that, flat style is not for everybody. I can imagine for products and brands targeting youngsters and babies or for beverages, perhaps for sweets or certain pharmaceutical products.

For conclusion: to use flat design for packaging can be challenging due to marketing and corporative reasons, and that’s  why we find this style more in the editorial and online presence than on the shelves.

marketing confession

The confession post has arrived. I will be honest ( i am already hearing the voices, “don’t do that” “is a bad marketing to be honest” “why do you reveal yourself?” but i keep on ) marketing is my weak point and i am willing to make it better as possible. I am reading books/blogs about marketing, i am having a long do to list that i can make easily with little pain.  Marketing is like self marketing. do you want to find friends, call the attention of one particular person or you want sell your service? What is the difference? You have to step there, introduce yourself, smile and be nice. to a completely stranger. You want something. sex or money:) seriously. If you in a bar you want sex (ok, maybe you want to get know her/him before sex) and if you are in a conference/fair you want to sell in order to have (earn / save up / multiply) money. From this point they are the same. But as i arrive to the practical part, i became frozen. If i have to entertain people, find some easy chat it is ok, i don’t have problem until it is about my work that actually i love and i could talk hours though, i became mute. “what do you do?” ” i am a graphic designer” = FAIL. why? Because is sooo boring. So general. And he has lost his interest immediately and i think ” oh God. I won’t start to talk how fun is it look at his face he is just thinking about to find a new subject or to escape somehow” Also I am aware that is better to start with the sentence that I have awesome work because I do this and that and begin to talk about the most actual project. Simply I forget this in the action. I know the cure: practice, practice, practice. What I have learnt so far is that not to be afraid to be afraid. To get scared and be vulnerable is normal. I hate to hide this. I hate to fake that I am professional when I know that I am but others don’t and they have no eyes to measure it. This is where marketing gets sense. The point of view of our prospect is very different from ours. Regardless the segment we are working in, most of the time (in B2C situations) our clients are “civilians” profane humans who has little or less idea about our subject. In my visual communication case it means that, I can make whatever super identity design the prospect does not see the difference between good design and bad design. Has no eyes for it, has no taste, has no interest, only need. So how he will believe that I am really worth the money? He/she will look my reputation, if i got awards, if i made some publishing if i have experience in the same sector where he is working or if i was working for very famous and potent firms. How can I show this in a way that fitting for me and actually i am a good designer without awards, publications and Nike sized company on my client list? I have found my solution in mailing list. I will start from 2014 a newsletter series that shows that I worth the money. I will send to clients, to future to be clients and everybody who is interested in to read about design more regularly than i drive this blog.  Stay tuned, i will share here in case you would like to sign up. For closing, i post some quotes of marketing that i find inspirational for all who has similar problem.


“Make the customer the hero of your story.” – Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, Marketing Profs

“What people want is the extra, the emotional bonus they get when they buy something they love.” Seth Godin

“Try not to be a man of success but rather a man of value” Albert Einstein

“Don’t find customers for your product, find product for your customers” Seth Godin

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing” Benjamin Franklin

“Nine out of ten businesses fail, so I came up with a foolproof plan- create ten businesses” Robert Kiyosaki


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bottle design trends

As I was reading different websites and blogs about packaging, a new trend has appeared to me, among mainly food packaging design. It is clearly a new way of visual strategy. Or fashion. We know very well that the beer or vine goes this or that shaped bottle, Coca Cola is recognizable of its silhouette, we learned to verify a drink because it has this or that form. The new concept is simple: use bottles that normally used for other products. Hot sauce goes to water bottle, sangria to the cava (spanish champaign or bubble vine)  bottle, vodka goes something like a shampoo or a cereal in a jam jar. Is it bad or not? I think is depends on the circumstances and the products. One hand, for instance in a big supermarket a whisky bottle shaped milk will shout out among other b

rick milks certainly but probably nobody would buy it for his kid. Even is clearly communicated that the milk does not contain any alcohol would not convince the prospect.  On the other hand, a colorful and playful bottle for a vodka or cokctail mix is working, because is promising  fun and a delightful consuming.

The most appealing trend is among the olive oil packaging, I found several example to use bottle that often (originally) filled with alcohol.  All these packagings are very nice and I like the smart graphic design. Still I am wondering which circumstances are appropriate to sell these products. Maybe on-line shopping? Tesco? Small delicate grocery?  Check out these photos, and play the game: to guess what is it,  for the first sight without reading the name.

via lovelypackage.com

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when a designer goes on vacation…

From tomorrow I am officially ON VACATION! Hurray! 🙂 Good bye computer, good bye clients. Welcome beach, welcome smooth breeze in the wood! Of course I can’t stand  without drawing, observing and collecting ideas or looking for inspiration. So I decided to show what will I bring to do all this,  apart from a simple camera, games, clothes and camping stuff.

I am planning to continue my book illustration project that I had to abandon for a while, also I am continuously thinking about the very new side-project (which is a secret yet:) And of course I will take tones of photos, observing fishes, flowers and tourists:) Would be nice to ride horse, visit hidden bays, read good books, eat well and have fun with friends, also practice my weak french.

I am wondering what things other designers are packing for vacation….

vacation preparation

vacation preparation2

vacation preparation3


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charity and design

Maybe charity is not the exact word i am looking for, better to say good cause, but anyway the point is that recently i have found a couple of  very sympathetic website of design serving something important.




First is Maddie the coonhound. I love the photos, I love the concept and I love the fact that is not simple  self promotion but leading to other pet rescue website like Why we rescue.  I think this site is a great example that every pet refuge around the world should follow at least nationally, to follow up the story of the adopted animals in order to motivate people to choose new family members from the abandoned ones.  Beautiful photos and recorded voice-interviewes of pet owners are introducing  the new life of 50 pets across USA.  They are quite unusual stories, one my favorite is Katie’s however i couldn’t prescind from movies ( like Kon-Tiki ) about long boat trips on the open ocean where a pet is accompany the main character and finished like shark food. But hopefully this is not the case:)

I think this is a great example that is easy to apply in any current situation. You need to find the stories and a keen photographer (or several keen photographer:)


The other good idea i have found is the Picnic by design  organised by Diffa (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) It is a fascinating concept to gather found for a good cause.  I just love the task, to design a picnic basket with food and organize an open-air movie night.  Here you can check the photos of 2012, seems to be fun:) If you are in NY definitely should organize a date within this event:) I think, would be nice to organize similar event in every city around the world, in order to support different good cause depends on the actual circumstances.

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My not-that-secret love: anthropology

Back on track! To continue blogging after such a time gap is never easy, I intend to write regulary again.

Anthropology. I use to study in my university I was so lucky to have such a great professor- couple, Ágnes and Gábor Kapitány who introduce this interesting subject  and infect us for a lifetime:) I am still thinking about to go back to school and study cultural or rather, design anthropology. I would like to integrate the knowledge of human science into my workflow somehow, still not sure how can I achieve that. First step, I started to download free resources (university notes, studies) and looking for interesting books and links. So let’s say it will be my new hobby for a while.

Why am I so enthusiastic with anthropology? What is that at all? Wiki says: “The term anthropology is from the Greek anthrōpos (ἄνθρωπος), “man”, understood to mean humankind or humanity, and -logia (-λογos), “word” or “study.” There is a lot of kind of anthropology and I think it will diverse more. For instance cultural anthropology, or sociocultural, biological, linguistic, visual, political etc. So many aspects so many point of view to observe human kind.

Today when we are so many on  Earth and we have less and less space, we are obligated to understand ourself and others better in order to live in peace and abudance. We have to develop our communication skills, to find out solutions for very basic needs and all human science are here to help us out.

As a designer I think is very important to understand and study the need of the people generally and specified because the solution differ according to geography, cultural and other aspects. Design anthropology for me is the missing link between design and human science because I didn’t know how can I find the intersection of design and cultural diversity. Now I know that this is what I was looking for, this is the way I can combine my skills  in order to make better design that improves people’s life.

I’m looking for keys to find the motivation, the answer for “Why”. Behind habits, superstitions, believes and symbols there is always the hidden motivation, the unconscious answer. I want to understand the world and its people in order to create meaningful design. To make good design is elementary to study the final user: humans.  Ok, what makes a design to be good design?

Good design is:

1 Is innovative.

2 Makes a product useful.

3 Is aesthetic.

4 Helps a product to be understood.

5 Is unobtrusive.

6 Is honest

7 Is durable

8 Is consistent to the last detail.

9 Is concerned with the environment.

10 Is as little design as possible.

We can doodle on this 10 point each in an another post, now the objective is to show why anthropology is useful and how is working in reality? We can find answers if we watch one the video of Jan Chipchase:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn2NR901NMY%5D

I recommend all of his speech, engaging and understandable. This video explain very clearly how anthropology can influence design. I can not prescind from psychology because how we make decision consciously and sub-consciously is an intersection between cultural and personal manner. I think it is a very interesting subject to discover new needs and find the solution. For this we have to go out, get know the culture/economy/human context, understand the problem, propose  several solution, test them and finally teach/integrate/sell them. I will try to bring some good example next time:)


7 animal sculpture project – Animal theme April with Zenurdel


April will be the month of animals in Zenurdel blog, and this week i dedicated to animals sculpture art. This selection is including very realistic and not realistic style concentrating on the used materials. Enjoy!


01. Marta Klonowska – glass shatter animals

Do we need any comment here?  Lovely, cute and heartwarming even its material is rigid and cold glass:)

02.Dafna Kaffema

“Using a botanic lexicon that reaches into cultural practices of commemoration, sacrifice and mourning, the artist blends local values in meticulously crafted glass and embroidery work.” (From the catalogue of the winners of the 2011 Minister of Culture prizes)

03. Sayaka Ganz

She say that she only selects objects that have been used and discarded. Her goal is for each object to transcend its origin by being integrated into an animal/ organic forms that are alive and in motion. This process of reclamation and regeneration is liberating to her as an artist and makes her understand better her surroundings. Honestly I love when an artist is describing her or himself and helps you to understand better her/his art.

04. Maskull Lasserre

Project called Outliers (Trace) where animal tracks are reproduced onto the soles of shoes that are worn to leave prints in urban areas, presented  at Articule, Montreal, QC. I love the idea. I always wanted a shoe with cat paw print however this is more extraordinary!

05. Anna Wilihighfield

Through the use of materials such as vintage paper, vinyl, textiles, wood veneer, metal and artificial sinew, Lemanski creates a menagerie of sculptural portraits.The politically charged content and form of the sculpture happens through the combination of a copper rod armature and hand-stitched “skin.” Lemanski’s current focus is on the complex, symbiotic relationship between humans and animals, highlighting our admiration for animals as symbols, and our exploitation of them to suit our needs.


06. Kendra Haste 

Kendra is a world-renowned contemporary animal sculptor working with the medium of galvanised wire.”What interests me most about studying animals is identifying the spirit and character of the individual creatures. I try to create a sense of the living, breathing subject in a static 3-D form, attempting to convey the emotional essence without indulging in the sentimental or anthropomorphic.”

07. Kohei Nawa

Project called ‘Beads’:  “By covering surface of an object with transparent glass beads, the existence of the object itself is replaced by “a husk of light”, and the new vision “the cell of an image” (PixCell) is shown. Most of the motifs, like stuffed animals are found through the internet. I search some auction sites and choose from the images which appear on a monitor as pixel. However, the stuffed animals which actually have been purchased and sent have real flesh feel and smell, and have a discrepancy with images on the monitor. I then transpose them to PixCell in turn.”  Maybe this is a little bit odd but still standing out and have sense…



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