Work inspiration with
Ksenya Samarskaya

My deepest roots are in the world of Latin & Cyrillic type design, where I’ve collaborated on dozens of faces with the likes of Apple, Carter, Font Bureau, Frere-Jones, Google, Hoefler, Mickel, Monotype, WeWork, and others.

In addition, I run a brand design consultancy and a creative practice under the moniker Samarskaya & Partners. Projects are constantly bubbling up, most of our client work is under cloak, and we’re never afraid to take on the new and the challenging.

What is your working place where your typography work has been done, how does your studio Samarskaya & Partners look like?

I work out of a loft build-out in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s a space I built and designed over the past eight years in collaboration with many wonderful talents and fabricators. We’ve assembled a lil’ site that shows off a few more images as well as the current temperature and ambient light conditions, samarskaya.com/mezzanine. The space is housed within a close-knit  community of incredible creatives, some of whom are listed on the building’s site 475kent.com.

Do you collaborate with any New York designers or studios? Are there platforms in the city where you can communicate with other designers and share experiences?

NYC has so many platforms and meet-ups to find designers. I’m on the board of AIGA/NY, which puts on lectures, bar nights, and events regularly and has a strong, active member base of 3500+ designers. TDC is housed here, and is a hub that brings great typographic speakers into town and fosters a wonderful type community. There’re also many unofficial meet-ups and exhibitions constantly popping up. Whiterabbit.nyc as an attempt to keep track of all the ones that’d be interesting specifically to typographers and designers.

In my personal practice, I’m oft’ inspired to collaborate with those skilled in things I don’t do everyday–chefs, authors, researchers, technologists. I’m often entering into other people’s circles and networks… which again, the spring of NYC is unparalleled for.

What exhibitions and design events do you visit in NY? What are your favorite places here?

When I’m in NY, I’m mostly working in my studio or making use of the thing this city really excels at–which is its driven, passionate, diverse inhabitants. So rooftop drinks, long dinners and casual coffee meet-ups are in constant rotation, and geographically I don’t wander too far from my base. It’s the lingering conversations and exchanges that inspire and push my thinking, and offer new routes for possible future collaborations.

Who are the typographers whose work you find inspiring?

Most of my inspiration comes from places outside of my direct career field: history, literature, social-psychology, neuroscience, personal essays. Though I do find strong motivation to keep doing what I do via people that’re doing strong design writing (i.e., thinking), such as Walker’s Design Blog(s), Rob Giampietro, Juliette Cezzar, Peter Bil’ak, Sam Jacobs, Prem Krishnamurthy, 365 Typo, and Paul Ford among others.