UX & Interactive Design
Creative Agency: NEXT-DC
Client: Studio Komplekt
Identity & Illustration: Evgenia Nikolova
Video Portraits: Mihail Novakov
Development: Hristo Panayotov
Melba* is a dynamic archive of Bulgarian design from all disciplines. Studio Komplekt approached our team with the idea of creating a project that presents and support the best visual artists in the country, who push their disciplines forward. The main goal of Melba was to build a strong community between the next generation of local designers, helping them establish their identity and promote their work.
*Melba is an ice cream dessert, famous in Bulgaria for its variety of ingredients and decorative elements.
Navigation & Artist Discovery
My role was to design an interactive experience that showcases some of the best contemporary Bulgarian artists and their work. We had to make it easy for potential clients or anyone looking for inspiration to discover artist profiles, so we created a simple categorisation that was easy to navigate, both from the home page and from the inner sections.
Custom illustrations for each design area were created by Evgenia Nikolova as part of the project's identity. This helped differentiate between them and to build the sense of variety in Melba.
Leading with the designers' work in the feed, we wanted each of their profiles to feel different and to present their distinct personalities. We made this happen with the help of Mihail Novakov, who captured unique looping video portraits for each artist.
A few years later, the archive is still growing and has helped pave the way for events that elevate the design community in Bulgaria. Melba Live is a series of get-togethers looking behind the scenes of projects by local artists, and Melba Design Festival — an annual event full of screenings, exhibits and lectures by world-famous designers, brought together on one stage in Sofia. Both initiatives me and the team at NEXT-DC are happy to be involved in.