Ksenya Samarskaya

Ksenya Samarskaya makes words look better on the internets. She’s done it for Apple, YouTube, AirBnB, Snoop Dogg Marketing, and 999 other groups. She is on the AIGA New York board and runs an innovative dinner series.

BS: What are you working on and thinking about now?
KS: I’m teaming up with a strategist to expand my branding offerings, working together under the moniker of CASH ONLY. I just finished judging the TDC63 type competition, and am starting in on my write-up for Typographica’s yearly selects, so there’s been lots of unearthing and contemplating what others are doing in the type industry. There’re half a dozen typefaces in production, some client sprint projects and more languid personal work. And of course participating in shaping the vision and direction of the AIGA/NY with an awesome board of co-directors.

BS: Do you have a work ritual?
KS: I get all the best work done in the mornings. I try to get up before anyone else knows to find me. Late morning I finally let myself take a break. Shower, lunch or errand it up, often meet up with a client or a collaborator. Something that’s both a reward and a pivot. After that, there’s no ritual. It’s all down to the whatever the imminent project at hand is.

BS: How much of your work is autobiographical?
KS: I tend to think that all work is autobiographical. We always infuse a lot of ourselves into whatever we do, whether it’s by inclusion or omission. What we notice. What we don’t. I’ve noticed my work gets stronger and stronger the less I try to pretend to be a neutral party, and the more of my biography I fold into it.

BS: How do you keep your creative spirit alive?
KS: Well, the world isn’t perfect yet—so there’s work to be done. That’s motivation.

Additionally: good music, fast beats, movement, flirtation, changes of scenery or perspective.

BS: What lesson keeps appearing in your life?
KS: That you can’t plan very many things into the future. Trajectories only make sense when looking backwards.

Play at samarskaya.com, buy BLESK, and drool over Traffic Tide.
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