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He is creating pieces by hand at a time where everything is digitalised

A friendly interview was held with Akbaytogan talking about his career in the sector, his move onto academic life, his journey in printmaking, his favourite aspects of printmaking and the emotional side of this whole adventure.

“I’ve always loved university life”

Akbaytogan states that he has always loved university life and pointed out that giving lessons, working on collaborative projects and preparing exhibitions and workshops have always made him happy. He states that watching students improve their skills and helping them shape their futures is exciting for him and mentions that the university environment is always open for experimental study and it’s a place suitable for research and development and goes on to say that “even the most monotonous lessons can be turned into creative and fun times”.

“It’s a mistake to become an academician without a background within the sector”

Akbaytogan also mentions that it would be a mistake to become an academician without working in an agency after graduation. He goes on to say that even if a student completes a PhD in this field, without agency experience, there will always be something missing.

“I have produced many designs that are on the shelves now”

Despite having the chance to continue on to his Master’s education, he chose to enter a Professional agency after graduation to obtain sectoral experience. He notes that he became an expert in branding and packaging design and has worked with some big-name brands within this process.

“I have produced many designs that are still on the shelves now. I am a graphic designer and at the height of my career of Professional design, I ended it as the Manager of a Creative Team. In 2018, my work life started to take on a monotonous state and it was time for me to do something different. Exactly at that time, I was invited to ARUCAD to work as an instructor. I started my PhD education at around the same time and here I am.”

“If you know what you’re doing, design becomes easy”

Akbaytogan also confessed that he had very valuable yet unbearable teachers, but went on to say that these teachers are the ones that taught him his fundamental knowledge of printmaking techniques.

He says that he can describe this as a strong “master-apprentice relationship”. He states that he became an expert in industrial printing techniques when he was designing for brands such as Coca Cola, Aroma, Cappy, Schweppes and Ülker.

He goes on to say:

“I didn’t only work with offset. I worked in companies that produce on aseptic packaging, can printing, Flexography and Rotogravure. If you know what you are doing, designing becomes easier and the fact that these can be printed is an experience that no school teaches which requires expertise. My career has enabled me to obtain this information and experience. When I came to this university, the atelier was literally waiting for me.”

He also mentioned that the Printing – Production Techniques Atelier has a wide workplace.

“I produce pieces by hand in a world where everything is digitalised”

Akbaytogan ended his words with the following:

“Here, with our art orientated students we focus on print making pieces and with design and communication orientated students we produce typographic and illustrative printing design pieces. Without realising it, all of my students are learning industrial printing methods which is considered to be the ancestor of this craft. And for this reason, this expertise is called ‘Conventional Printing Techniques.’ What impressed me was the craft part. Being able to create physical pieces by hand in a world where everything is digitalised is enabling me to hold on tightly to my craft with passion. When I’m working in the atelier, the concept of time disappears. Every mold, paper type, paint and chemical used adds soul to this craft. You’re trying to create a piece by using your hands and while hours turn to days, you slowly create a visual masterpiece. You, before anyone, become aware of how this is an ‘art’ nourished by this craft. Even if you get disappointed at times, you keep trying for all the time you spend and all the effort you make. In the end, you make something permanent that can be multiplied. And the best part is that your piece is the only one of its kind. You create limited amounts and after putting your signature on it, you break the mold. For me, this process is like art becoming a democracy. Even though the produced piece can be copied with printing techniques, the original is a work of ‘Art’ that cannot be copied.”

Lec. Korhan Akbaytogan



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