Red Dot: What has inspired you to create the work “Women’s Rights”?
Mustafa Karakaş: When I decided to do a work on women’s rights I first of all wanted to inform and to summon people to help. My aim was not to point a finger at certain countries, cultures, religions or groups. I wanted to show in a simple, sensitive and explaining way that women’s oppression in nowadays society is a worldwide problem. This was a big challenge for me.
Why did you choose the topic women’s rights?
Today’s oppression of women is a widespread and current issue. Every month, you get confronted with the topic in the media or likewise. Many people even get in touch with it in their surroundings or their own family. Unfortunately, brutalities against women are omnipresent, a fact which we should not and may not ignore. Therefore, the topic of “Social Graphic Design” is very important to me. Social aspects determine the everyday life. In this respect, designers play an important role. With their works they have the possibilty to change things and call attention to important topics and happenings. So designers bear lots of responsibility. Furthermore, in the recent years I realized that classic print media take a back seat. We are in the middle of a digital revolution in which digital media take a leading role.
How did you work out the implementation? Why did you choose this certain amount of posters?
During implementation I did not fixate on a certain number of posters. My aim was to implement several aspects as far as possible. Of course, there are fields that I did not work on. I wanted to focus on actual and central topics and tried to work on those as good as possible. Additionally, it was very important to me to do the practical part all by myself. Design, photography, text and concept were all conducted by me. So I could completely work my way into the theme.
Why did you decide on the flower?
The flower is a symbolic description for innocence and the fundamental good. The calla is a very elegant and nice looking flower. At the same time it is regarded as a symbol of sorrow. In former times, the calla also symbolized immortality. Beauty, elegance, sorrow, immortality – these contrasts have been very important to me and my work. This is why decided only to use calla flowers for this work. On top, the flower is a metaphor showing that women are not only beauty in person but also precious and sensitive and that they should be treated accordingly.
How did you come across with the Red Dot Design Award? What motivated you to hand in your work?
The Red Dot Design Award is a worldwide renowned and famous distinction. I personally do not know anyone in the design industry who does not know Red Dot. Many people, also from other branches, do actually know the award. The numbers of entries every year speak for themselves. All renowned agencies, designers and companies participate with their projects and drafts in the contest. Therefore, for me it was very important to hand in my own work in the Red Dot Award: Communication Design, in order to get a feedback on my project. The works are examined by a professional jury. So you can see if you can keep up with the huge agencies and designers from all over the world.
Which was your first thought when you heard that you have won the Red Dot: Junior Award?
I was thrilled and could hardly believe it. For a moment I was shocked when my work was presented on stage. I can hardly remember how I received the trophy. I was very happy and very very very excited.
How did you experience the Red Dot Gala?
The Red Dot Gala in Berlin was overwhelming. The biggest agencies and international designers have been there. At the Red Dot Gala and at the Designers’ Night afterwards I could make loads of new contacts with a lot of nice people who could also give me a number of tips. And of course, very good works from different countries were presented. The Red Dot Gala is a must-do for every designer and for everyone, who deals with design and is involved in the design scene.
What does the distinction mean to you? On a personal and on a professional level?
As a designer it is always hard to estimate your own works and abilities. Especially as a student you have many doubts. This is why the distinction means a lot to me. For me, it is a recognition for success and right decisions. It pushes your self-esteem and gives you courage to continue.
What were the reactions on your success? In how far has the distinction opened doors to you?
Until now, reactions have only been positive. At the Red Dot Gala many designers congratulated me. Also many designers from other countries like Singapore or the UK were impressed by my work. Even today, I get many phone calls and messages from galleries, companies and associations who want to congratulate me and offer me collaborations. Of course, my family and friends are overwhelmed by the distinction and very proud. Not to forget my professor.
What do you want to use the 10,000 Euro for?
I definitely want to further invest the money. And I would like to gain international experience. The different design scenes in various countries are very interesting. I can imagine very well to work abroad for a year and so explore the design industry outside of Germany.
In your opinion, what is the significance of awards in the design world? Especially for young professionals and up-and-coming talents?
Good works and projects from other designers encourage, motivate and inspire me. Positive competitions keep me on the go. Therefore, awards are very important to me. You are forced to work better, faster and on a more creative level. It is a gain for the industry. Young professionals and up-and-coming talents should definitely hand in their works in competitions. So you have the chance to check if you can convince others with your works and if you can keep up with renowned designers and agencies, already at an early stage. It is a perfect door opener and makes the career start a lot easier. It pushes your self-esteem. Students should not have any scruples to participate and hand in their projects. And in your portfolio it is that “extra something”.
Here you can find more information on “Women’s Rights” by Mustafa Karakaş.