BIOGRAPHY

My name is Dmitri Makonnen and I am a professional graphics designer and publisher

I was born on June 22, 1978 in Tallinn, Estonia. I Studied in “Tallinn Commercial College” and later had my internship at “Articul Media group” (2003–2004) and “Ostengruppe” (2005–2006). Further on, I studied at “School of Typing and Typography of Tagir Safaev”. I worked on “Zavod BBDO” (2006–2009); for “KAK”, “Creative Director” and “Sekret Firmy” magazines (2009–2013). In 2020, I received Bachelor’s degree from “National Institute of Design” (2015–2020). Currently, I volunteer for “Moscow Design Museum” (2012–now) and work on “IZO” art project (2012–now).

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS:

— 2008 — Member of “Estonian Graphic Designers Aassociation” (EKGL)

— 2010 — Member of “International Design Association” (IDASS)

— 2018 — Grand Master of the Order of “International Poster Designers”

— 2019 — Member of “Creative Union of Arts and Decorative Applied Arts” (TSHDPI)

— 2020 — Member of “Russia Designers Association” (SDRUSSIA)

AWARDS:

— 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 — Winner of “Estonian Top10 Cultural Poster”

— 2008, 2009 — 3rd Place Out of 100 in “Top100 of Russian Designers”

— 2010 — 23rd Place Out of 100 in “Top100 of Russian Designers”

EXHIBITIONS:

Throughout different years my posters were exhibited in: Haapsalu (EE), Pärnu (EE), Tallinn (EE), Tartu (EE), Riga (LV), Vilnius (LT), Moscow (RU), Nizhny Novgorod(RU), Turku (FI), Helsinki (FI), Berlin (DE), Trnava (SK), Paris (FR), Shenzhen (CN).

CRITICAL REVIEWS:

“Throughout his career, Dmitri worked for a number of mass-media agencies (like RIA NEWS and Rossiya Segodnya) and publishers (newspapers and magazines). At one point, he also published his own magazine. When he moved to Moscow (Russia) he joined “Ostengruppe” — a group of world-renowned graphics designers. Years later, after he had his Moscow adventure, he was invited back to Tallinn (Estonia) to take a position of art director in the BBDO company. In 2009, Estonia was struck by an economic depression and Dmitri was forced to go back to Moscow, where he began to cooperate with the “KAK” magazine. These days, Dmitri works as a design artist for the “Kommersant” publishing house. Every time he works on a new project, he throws in a lot of new, unexplored and exciting ideas. He blends together in a very organic, satiric and provocative fashion: typography of different eras and cultures, experimental photography, personal illustrations and collage; turning even a simple project into a puzzling and thought-provoking work of art. His posters represent the future of street art, graffiti, national themes and master composition choices. They are paintings! Paintings, which seem at first glance to be chaos — but, we all know that chaos is just a more complicated form of order.” — Alexandra Sankova (Director of “Moscow Design Museum”)

“Mr. Makonnen deliberately creates things that are completely not trendy, but that only makes them more unique and uncanny. The context is as follows: the poster genre is almost dead; the audience is only one hundred acquaintances; and there are zero commissions. In spite of this, he stays true to his talent and craft. He creates his own context, which captivates with its form and precision of representation. Generally there are not that many joyous people who can share their vigor, wit and love of the profession with others. And, there are even less people, who don’t take themselves or their view of the word too seriously. Makonnen is surely one of those few courageous individuals.” — Dima Barbanel (Conceptual Designer for magazines)

“Designer by the name “Dmitri Makonnen” appeared in the editorial office of the design magazine “KAK” a few years ago. After only a few days of him working for us, I found myself puzzled by realization: where has he been all this time; and, how did we manage without him before. Together, we kept making one product after another: magazines, electronic cards, booths with video installations, posters, of course, and God knows what else. And, all this time, I kept thinking: “What a luck!” Obviously, after a while, the time has come to share. Now, Dmitri (and his works) belongs to the public — just like a valuable piece of art or good architecture. But most importantly, like a quality design.” — Maria Kumova (Director of “KAK” magazine)

“Dmitri Makonnen probably creates more posters every week than any other designer in the world — sometimes 10 per week. And, they are all extremely charming, so versatile, yet his style is always recognizable. I don’t know how he does it. I admire him. And, I am always delighted to see his new creations.” — Igor Gurovich (Designer/Companion of “Ostengruppe”)

“Dmitri Makonnen, graphic designer, is one of the most genial people I know. He holds himself passionately familiar with everything that happens in the world. At the same time, however, he maintains the ability to observe life through a colorful kaleidoscope. Furthermore, he has a supple mind and his productivity is extremely high. All this is reflected in his works.” — Marko Kekishev (Designer and Curator of “Haapsalu Festival of Graphic Design”)

“Dmitri’s works are always unexpected in their choice of subject and originality of form. In my opinion, they connect the esthetics of constructivism and postmodernism. And this unusual bridge between times manages to be both trendy and restrained. And, a little ironic too. His works are complex and thus very alive.” — Erken Kagarov (Art Director of “the Perm Center of Design”)