Hey, Dragosh! Thanks a ton for taking the time to have a chat with us, we appreciate it! Could you please introduce yourself to our readers and give us some insight into what you do for a living?
Thanks for having me, it means a lot to have this massive opportunity to be featured here! My name is Dragosh Ciobanu and I am a 27 years old graphic designer based in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Born and raised in the Republic of Moldova, I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in graphic design in Iasi (Romania, too) in 2018. I specialize in doing branding, merch design, and cover artwork. Besides design, I am a vocalist with 10-years of experience in the metalcore/post-hardcore scene. My current and most beloved project is called The Slow Decay, and we like to think that we do metalcore with a fresh and modern twist (as cliché as it sounds, haha)
Looking at your Behance portfolio and Instagram page, it is very clear that a lot of your designs are inspired by the music scene and alternative culture. What is your motivation behind mostly working within this genre of design?
Yeah, nice observation! I have to say that the answer to this question is very simple. Being a designer, a musician, and a massive fan of music in general, helped in shaping this present-version of myself, where I design a lot for the music/metal music industry. I am the guy that sings in bands and still buys a lot of merchandise and pays massive attention to album artwork and social media campaigns that other artists and bands do. Somehow, it was always meant to be like this.
One look at your work and it’s very prominent that you have your own style going. Would you say that you’ve found your style or is this an ongoing process for you?
Yes, I can say that I am on my way to defining a style while standing with my own two feet on the ground. I spend most of the days working on making myself and the way I design better.
How do you go about the design process when you are doing work for a client?
I always thought that communication is the key. You have to listen to the client, ask the questions, understand the requirements and always communicate, give updates on the process and get feedback. Another important aspect is to always do your research in order to be inspired.
What daily habits do you put in place to help you stay on top of productivity, and where do you seek inspiration once creativity leaves the room?
One activity that plays an important role in my day-to-day life is that I listen to a lot of music in order to keep myself as inspired as possible. Mostly metalcore, post-rock and ambient stuff. On the contrary, on those days when inspiration leaves the room, I take breaks and talk a lot to my girlfriend (as she’s with me 24/7), I go outside for fresh air, chat with my bandmates, look for inspiration or I just find myself reopening older design files and analyze them.
How has the pandemic affected your business ventures and what did you put in place to overcome the hurdles that most businesses had to face?
The coincidence is that this pandemic and current state of the world made me realize I want to focus more on doing design for the music industry, as I was already doing art direction for my now ex-band. Prior to that I worked as a graphic designer at a small company for a little while, the pandemic struck and I lost my job. After that, I took some time off, embraced the context, did my best to overcome the bad days and started focusing more on mixing design and music, two things that I love. All in all, somehow, fitted like a glove for me as it redefined what I wanted to do even though I was pretty scared at the beginning. Here I am, 9 months later, did some very cool projects that I am proud of and now I sit at my laptop and answer this cool interview.
What software and hardware do you use for your design work?
D: My go-to software is Illustrator, as almost everything I do is vector based and I found the comfort in working with it on a lot of things. I also use Photoshop, where I do the mock-up phase for the designs, whether is identity design, merch items or a digipack.
Do you have any words of wisdom for graphic designers that are looking to get their business off the ground in 2021?
As a designer that is still at the beginning of the road, I’d suggest everyone to believe in themselves, always create, ask the questions, look around and find inspiration in whatever you enjoy or love. Embrace the highs and lows, do your best and be patient.
Where can our readers stay up to date with all your ventures?
I am very active on Instagram and Facebook, so you can find me at & – if you have any questions, feel free to DM me. Also, check https://www.behance.net/dragosciobanu for more study-case projects. I am currently working on my website so that it can be available ASAP. Also, check my band The Slow Decay!
I would like to thank Pins & Knuckles Merchandise from the bottom of my heart for this awesome interview. <3