Avi Marciano. Harmony and Balance | Interview

Avi Marciano is the Second place winner of the International Reggae Poster Contest, 2014. He is a 35 year old graphic designer from New York, married, with 3 boys. Avi loves design and reggae music. He has a branding/advertisement company in Brooklyn, New York and on his downtime he likes to train in Kung-Fu and play guitar. Link: http://marcianobelsky.com/

Congratulations Avi!
Please, tell us how did you find out about the International Reggae Poster Contest and what was it that attracted you to participate?

I learned of the contest through a friend of mine. I was excited to work on a project that went beyond the corporate work my company usually produces. It gave me a chance to express my creativity without boundaries. That is what attracted me to the contest. I feel that Reggae culture and music in general has a very warm and accepting vibe and would lend itself well to artistic expression.

What’s it like having your work selected 2nd place in the International Reggae Poster Contest 2014?
I feel it is a great honor. The IRPC has been very busy at promoting their artists which has helped us with credibility amongst existing and potential future clients. I have already experienced an opportunity to collaborate on projects as a direct result of having my work featured in the IRPC’s traveling exhibit.

Tell us a bit more about your design, what is your design philosophy and meaning behind your winning poster?
Recently I have attended the HOW Design Conference and learned a valuable lesson from renowned graphic artist Bob Gill’s lecture. Aesthetics, style and trends are important but he stressed the importance of core concept and meaning within a design. By infusing a design with a strong concept you establish a connection with the viewer. This helps create a more iconic and timeless design. That was my goal behind this poster. I wanted to visually conceptualize Bob Marley’s song “One Love” by the uniting of 2 souls to create perfect harmony and balance. I believe that once the viewer realizes that the images of the man and woman are intertwined as one in the shape of a heart, the design creates a lasting impression.


You own a branding/advertisement company. Tell us how the design aesthetics has been formed through the last 10 years?
We see that design has harkened back to some of its basic roots. If you look at earlier marks and icons you’ll see a similarity to the current state of logo design. We see this in the popularity of “Flat” design. It used to be that we wanted our designs to jump off the page with all of the special effects that were a novelty at the time given the state of computers being accessible to everyone. Once that trend settled down we began to strip away and get to the core communicative essence of design and branding. Even in the IRPC’s contest you can see this. If you look at the 3 winning posters, you can see this common theme.





How do you envision the design corporation in the future?
I have a bit of trepidation considering the number of A.I. products on the rise. You see companies creating software that will literally do the design for you so to speak. Ultimately, I believe that companies will still need to connect with target audiences on a personal level and no software will be able to achieve the personal creative element that is needed to make this connection. It will be interesting to see what direction it takes.

How do you approach a design such as the winning piece?
I approach it as I would any project. First I perform research to get a deeper understanding of the source material which in this case was reggae music. I begin to sketch different concepts. Once I’ve picked a design I feel strongly about, I scan and trace it in Illustrator. Then I explore different Color schemes, and finally I draw and refine in Illustrator.

Is there any particular designer or illustrator that inspires you?
There are so many. I’m inspired by Noma Bar, IRPC judge Luba Lukova, Sagmeister, Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, DKNG … The list goes on. There is so much incredible work out there to get inspired by. Every time I go online and look at random work on Behance I get inspired.

When did you get you first break as Graphic Designer?
I worked for quite a few design firms when I started out. A family member encouraged me to make the leap to go on my own before I started my family with my wonderful wife. That was the perfect time to take a risk. I consider it my biggest break as it led to me eventually building my own company.


What is your first experience in poster design?
Working with a big tour operator in New York City, I’ve had a chance to create full bus wraps that travel throughout the city. These projects were a lot of fun since I got to work with celebrities and see my work go mobile so to speak. Once the projects were complete, I prepared posters of my work which were presented to our celebrity clients.


In your opinion, what makes a good (poster) design?
I believe the function of a poster is to stand out and convey a message in a busy area and stand out amongst all of the clutter. In my opinion a strong concept, style and a clever way to attract the viewer to interact with the poster is what makes a good poster design.

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What would you like to see as a career benefit coming out of winning this International design contest?
A chance to work on projects which allow more artistic freedom and expression e.g. album covers or concert posters. I would also like to enter more contests as a way to keep the passion and excitement of our craft ignited which will hopefully lead to more creative work produced daily in my company.

What are your thoughts on our objective to have the Reggae Hall of Fame museum built in Kingston, Jamaica?
Personally I think it is a great idea. Reggae music has been so influential in music and pop culture. It’s only befitting for it to have a “home” to honor and preserve the origins of this beautiful genre of music. This project would probably be good for tourism as I’m sure anyone traveling to Kingston would want to add this as a major stop to their itinerary.

Before we close, who is your favorite reggae artiste and what reggae tune gets regular play on your iTunes play list?
I’m a big fan of Matisyahu. I actually met him a couple of times before he was famous. He was very close to one of my best friends. I still have an old school cassette Matisyahu gave me of one of his first recordings. I’ve always felt a strong connection to his music on a spiritual level.

Some Reggae songs I’m currently listening to:
Stephen & Damian Marley – Jah Army
Collie Budz – Come Around
Bob Marley – Redemption Song
Rebelution – So High



Maria Papaefstathiou

VISUAL DESIGNER since 1996 and blogger since 2010. Living in Athens, Greece. She has been focusing her research on poster design and particularly on social poster design and portrait design. Her main poster project is a series of posters celebrating great personalities of traditional and popular culture in Greece and Jamaica. These include actors, singers, musicians, poets etc. This is an ongoing project. “I believe that design is a powerful tool that we designers can use to spark enthusiasm, change mindsets and bring positive actions to our world and our culture”. FOUNDER AND EDITOR OF GRAPHICART-NEWS.COM BLOG. She carefully curates high-quality designs, illustrations, and art, from all over the world that will teach and provoke other designers. Many consider her blog to be an exceptional educational tool. CO-FOUNDER OF THE INTERNATIONAL REGGAE POSTER CONTEST which was launched on December 2011, partnering, the creative activist Michael Thompson aka Freestylee. (www.reggaepostercontest.com)


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