Who is hiding behind the main visual?


On the occasion of the announcement of the general theme of the STEM Games 2020, we also revealed the main visual that is closely connected with the general theme and this year would adorn all promotional materials, social media and the location of the event. We believe that the main visual left you breathless (us surely did :D) and you are probably wondering who is behind it? We bring you an interview with the designer of the main visual, Marko Ivanek, who reveals the process of creating the main visual, how did his student journey go, who his role models are, why he doesn't like ATMs and much more!



  • Hello Marko, introduce yourself to us a bit!


My name is Marko Ivanek. I spent one year studying Landscape Architecture at the Faculty of Agriculture, but after that I decided to transfer to study Architecture (not my best idea). However, after 2 years of Architecture, I realized that I was much more interested in graphic design and 3D visualization of interiors and exteriors, so I decided to dedicate myself to that and enroll in a study that will allow me to develop further in that direction. Starting this year, I am starting to study Graphic design at the Algebra University College.


  • What did your way to the Games look like?


I found out about the Games from my sister (best sister in the world) who introduced me to one of your problem-solving competition leader, Petra Gospodnetić. She introduced me to the organizers and gave me a chance to show what I know.




  • How would you describe the visual you made? How did the process of creating the main visual go and what idea did you start from? How long did it take you to create it?


It all started with the visual interpretation of the phrase "from small to big, from big to small", which was the motto of this year's games. There were a lot of ideas that I initially suggested, from the abstract geometric shapes and bodies through which I tried to symbolically portray this year’s theme. After that, I started a more detailed elaboration of the selected solutions, and we arrived at the final solution through numerous consultations and conversations. The whole process took less than a month from the first meeting to the final visual. The final solution is a complex composition of elements that symbolize the duality of micro and macro systems that intertwine.


  • How long have you been in design?


I became interested in design at the end of high school, but I started to work more intensively on various small projects in the last 2 years. I got small jobs through friends and sister because they were worried that I would end up under the bridge otherwise. I am very grateful to all of them.


  • What is your favorite style/technique/tool that you use?


Regarding programs, I prefer to play with Photoshop, and for the painting techniques I like to use watercolors because they have a certain amount of unpredictability since the pigment in water cannot be perfectly controlled, so a lot of small happy mistakes happen.


  • Do you have a favorite design/sketch you made?


As you can see in my works and all my designs, I like to experiment with colors and incorporate some emotion into image to gain in authenticity.




  • Do you have role models in design? Who or what inspires you?


In the world of design, I unfortunately have no role models. If you ask me to list five designers I would have to disappoint you with an awkward silence and a spontaneous change of topic.

I draw my role models and ideas mostly from the world of painting. I personally approach each of my designs as a small painting project. My role models are, for example, James Jean who combines contemporary objects with aesthetic techniques inspired by traditional Chinese, Japanese and Renaissance painting. Yoji Shinkawa, who is responsible for the visual style of the Metal Gear series (video game), whose style is based on static compositions, but because of the technique he uses and his brush strokes, his images seem extremely dynamic. With his style, he perfectly expresses the character of his characters that he designs. I also draw inspiration from the world of comics especially from artists Kentaro Miura (Berserk) and Alex Ross who is known for the Kingdom Come series.


  • What are your plans for the future (related to faculty, work, hobbies)?


I would love to finish my new studies (third's a charm) and start a company, together with my sister, that would deal with a combination of architecture, design and 3D visualizations.


  • Is there a color that is repulsive to you that you don’t like to use in design?


No color is repulsive to me and I use them all too much, each one is special and useful in its own way.


  • What is your guilty pleasure song?


Flyers from the group Bradio. Japanese funk is one of the best things I’ve discovered in my life. Usually, while working, I always listen to some kind of anime music because I find it easier to enjoy my work.


  • If you could eliminate the existence of an invention, what would it be?


ATMs. They make me nervous and stress me out. I would love to cancel the existence of banks and go back to the old medieval days when you could get two chickens for a bag of potatoes. I have a phobia of banks in short.


  • Lastly, what would you say to young designers?


I am a young designer myself, so I am open for suggestions from other designers 😊 If I had to give advice, I would say this:

First, steal. Steal from every medium you love, be it the world of design, architecture, painting, comics, film, music, etc., because everything is already made in a thousand different ways by much more experienced people. And make use of it in your own work as some kind of foundation on which you can build your idea that reflects your own creativity. One doesn’t have to start from scratch.

Second, pray to God that you have a family that believes in your abilities and friends who take care of you so that you don’t end up under the bridge 😊.