Artemy Lebedev: Design Will Save the World!

October 29, 2008, Categories: Web design, Graphics

For those who are not familiar with you or your work, could you please tell us about your background, and how you got into web design?

Well, I was involved in various graphic design jobs, and one day world wide web appeared. I just knew this is the media for me, because I've always liked the way pixels look on the screen. With WWW I just could everyone give access to my pixels.

What is good design to you? What's the key to it?

Good design is just a problem solved.

You don’t work with religious, political and private representatives, design for free for sites that are culturally and socially guided, etc. What guides you to do so? What underlies such principles?

I just see no reason why my company should do something I personally find inappropriate.

Your Studio motto is "Design will save the world." What makes you to believe so?

"This motto is a paraphrase of Dostoevsky's 'Beauty will save the world'. It gives hope, I believe.


You’ve been online for more than 10 years and yet… you’re known for quite negative attitude to SEO. What are you reasons?

I believe that people just increase entropy by making their webpages appear higher on a search engine's results page. I want what is interesting to me, not someone's link that's up in a list, but without content I need.

In your book you say that,"marketing does not exist." What would you then substitute what is generally defined as "the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, services, organizations, and events to create exchange between individuals and organizations" with?

I've used to call this 'work'. Have you ever seen 'work manager'? 'Senior work manager', maybe? employs about 200 people. What characteristics does one need to possess in order to work with/for you? What are the general criteria to hire new employers? Do they have to share your viewpoints?

There are 250 of us. To work with us one need to be smart and get the job done, as perfectly is described by Joel.

The use of obscene language is a promotion or lifestyle for you? Any advantages it brings? Do you use it when communicating with your colleagues on daily basis?

Obscene language is far more mature and developed in Russian that in any other language. It's an essential part of effective communication here.

Tell us more about the idea of design tasks for the weekend. How does that benefit your business?

Every friday designers are given home work - to create something for the kitchen, or to create something green, or to create something cube-shaped. A lot of ideas after this massive attack on a topic goes into production.

You're a web designer and a creative person - describe how your creative process flows, and how you stimulate yourself.

I'm an industrial designer just as much as I'm a web designer. I believe that designer can solve any problem, no matter what's the field of application is. This is how I stimulate myself.

Your studio is the leading one in Russian Internet Community. Are you planning on subduing the rest of the Web?


What inspires you the most?

Idiocy of other people.

What web design magazines/sites/blogs do you read regularly?

I know of none. So, I never read anything about web design. Why should anyone want to do that?

What advice would you give to a beginning web designer?

Go make that web site.

Helen Walker

imageHelen Walker
Helen Walker graduated with a degree in Mass Communications and Sociology. She worked as a newspaper journalist for two years after that. Having always been interested in cyberculture and its impact on society, Helen switched to online journalism and joined Design Interviews blog in July, 2007. Ever since she's been interviewing web designers and administrating the blog. Helen is a keen movie-goer and she is also a panda lover.

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Artemy Lebedev

Artemy LebedevArtemy Lebedev could be compared to Jeffrey Zeldman but of Russian web design industry. Artemy is the most famous and successful web designer on Russian Web. He is the founder and CEO of Artemy Lebedev Studio, one of the first and biggest web design studios in Russia. The Studio has produced about 1500 works, among which are website designs, graphic designs, product and enviromental designs, presentations and videos. Artemy's Studio doesn't work with religious, political and private representatives. And website designs for sites that are culturally and socially guided Artemy's Studio does for free. Artemy is also a rather provoking and reserved web designer known for his frequent usage of obscene language and unwillingness to give interviews.
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