Friday Fives: Nemanja Jehlicka (Nike)

November 05, 2021

Most Fridays we give #highfives to a different designer from our extended family of PNCA students, faculty, alumni, and guest lecturers. 🙌🏾🙌🏻🙌🏽 This week, we're featuring Nemanja Jehlicka, a type designer, art director, artist, and questioner-of-all-things currently designing with Nike. Nemanja is joining us on 11/10/21 for our Design Lecture Series.

Nemanja Jehlicke is quick to tell us everything he hasn’t learned over his career so far in design, and how he hangs on to his excitement after many evolutions as a creative person. He's worked with Weiden + Kennedy and as Global Art Director for Nike in Concept, Innovation, Purpose and Athletes, but but also spent many years as a driving force behind Lorem Ipsum Studio, an independent design studio specialized in graphic design, typography and illustration, in Belgrade, Serbia. This studio emerged from the need to rethink the role of design, removed from the logic of the market. More recently, as part of the team that helped tell the story behind Serena Williams Design Crew (SWDC) with Nike, he continues to work with other creative folks that push boundaries and question where design needs to grow.

Graphic Design department head Kristin Rogers Brown spoke with Nemanja in November, 2021.

Q: What do you geek out about?

A: Type, curves, beziers, proportions, alignment, negative space… Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?

Q: What do you do to get "unstuck"?

A: I usually play loud, uplifting music (acid, techno…). Or work on another aspect of the same project or a completely different one. But stepping away for a while works most of the time.

I believe that at the end of the day it’s really about being honest to yourself and true to your goals. This way you won’t have to compromise a lot or make huge sacrifices and in every project you will find something inspiring.

Nemanja Jehlicka

Q: What advice would you give your former self? 

A: Honestly, nothing. With all the ups and downs I cherish my journey and I wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t dwell on the past, instead I use it as a foundation for the future.

Q: How do you balance staying true to yourself, especially in projects with a global company? 

A: I believe that at the end of the day it’s really about being honest to yourself and true to your goals. This way you won’t have to compromise a lot or make huge sacrifices and in every project you will find something inspiring. Tempo can be exhausting but if it’s a labour of love, it will be easy to find the energy to push forward.

Q: If you could get critique from one artist (living or dead) who would it be?

A: Ian Anderson from TDR. He already commented on some of my work, but I would love to engage in a more deeper conversation with him.

Q: A Good question from a previous guest...  “Why do you do what you do?" 

A: Simply because I love form and the beauty that lies within. It’s pure passion.

Q: What question do you WISH you had been asked here? (We will ask the next person!) 

A/Q: How did your cultural uprising affect your creative development?

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Hear more from Nemanja (and possibly get the answer to his last question!) in conversation with students and faculty in our Design Lecture Series, on 11/10/21. 

His talk will be in person for PNCA students, staff, and faculty, and also open to the public streaming FREE with registration (we'll send you a link). Co-hosted by PNCA Graphic Design and FISK, with special faculty guests from PNCA Design. See more from Nemanja on his website, or follow @jehlicka on instagram.

Follow along with our #fridayfives on instagram @pncadesign.

(Event poster by FISK)