At work with: Peter Bilak, Works That Work

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For the second in this new series, we speak to Netherlands-based Czech Slovak graphic designer/typographer Peter Bilak.

Bilak co-founded Dot Dot Dot magazine and published 20 issues between 2000 and 2010. His latest publication is Works That Work, a magazine that as well as challenging ideas of design and creativity also challenges the status quo of the business of making magazines. Funding was crowd-sourced and that same model is being tested for distribution (see the recent video). Images below are from the launch issue – click them for larger versions.


Where are you today?

My studio in The Hague, a few minutes from the beach.

What can you see from the window?
Greyish sky. Some buildings. Just behind them is the North Sea. If I’d go on the roof, I could perhaps see the UK coast.


How many emails are waiting in your inbox?
Too many to think about. I try to forget about the numbers (which may make me nervous), and answer one at the time. In the afternoon, I have to go offline to do some other work. Some emails may take long to answer.

What’s your favourite magazine this morning?
Have to confess that I don’t look at many magazines. The only magazine I subscribe to is the National Geographic, and I am always looking forward to it. Best photo magazine. Great essays. Stuff that I never knew I should know about. Little advertising. I wish there were more magazines like this.


What are you most excited by about the launch issue of Works That Work?
It’s being shipped right now to the readers, so it’s great to hear from them. Our readers fully funded the project, so they feel it’s ‘their’ magazine, and are generous about the feedback. They are great — they write what they think, suggesting topics, but also help us to distribute the magazine. Good to have them so involved in the project.

What was the last thing your art director/designer said to you?
That we should meet to evaluate the first issue. They are very dedicated, and I appreciate it.


What are you most looking forward to this week?
Many things: getting content for the second issue, finishing some design work, yoga lesson, and flying to Brazil at the end of the week

What are you least looking forward to this week?
I like my work, and running own company, I try to structure it so I look forward to things. That includes having a proper lunch break.

What will you be doing after this chat?
Lunch in my favourite place. Have an open account, sit down and get a drink without being asked. Finish food, and get an espresso without asking. Talking about things that work!

Works That Work is designed by Carvalho Bernau.

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