Judging an international design competition is no easy task. It takes a special kind of person that is willing to give their time and experience for the betterment of the industry.

It's time to shine a spotlight on these special individuals and dig a little deeper to see what makes them tick. Therefore, on behalf of the CSSDA founders and crew, please enjoy the following interview with one of our esteemed judging panel members.


Meet Dalibor Hajdinjak, a visual designer and co-founder of Kreativa Studio located in Croatia.

Time Warp:

1. When and what was your first ever computer? Can you remember the spec?

If I recall correctly, I got my first PC in 2001. It was an AMD duron 600mhz, RAM 128mb, graphics card Riva TNT 32mb and HDD 10GB. It cost so much I had to take out a line of credit.

2. When and what was the first website you were involved in designing/developing? Which elements of the project did you do? Can you remember the 'cutting edge' tech used at the time? How did the site turn out and what did this experience teach you?

It was around 2005. I built a webpage for a friend's business. It was my project from beginning to end... if you could call it a project. It was a time when Adobe Flash was the cool and fancy thing to have. For beginners like me, there was Swish Max, if anyone even remembers that tool. And then there were the inevitable WYSIWYG tools... Let's just say the web page served its purpose, and it opened the doors for me to enter the world of design.

3. Which project has been most rewarding for you over the course of your career and why?

Hard to say... I consider every new project a personal challenge in which we learn something new; whether positive or negative, it's a way to upgrade our knowledge.

4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send a 'temporal text' 5 - 10 years into the past?

It would be something along the lines of: believe more in yourself and in your abilities... work, work, work and do more research...

5. Better still, if you had your own hot tub time machine, what time period would you travel to and why?

At least this one is easy to answer: I would go back to 2003, the year in which I would present Facebook to people around the world - with an improved design of course... :)

Favourite Things:

1. What are your favourite aspects about working in design?

I love the freedom that design allows - to be creative, to change things, to research and to learn.

2. What are your favourite design tools, sites, fonts and resources right now?

Photoshop has always been my favourite toy... I am one of those who doesn't like to leave the safe zone. I also love to visit dribbble and check out what other designers are currently doing.

3. What are your favorite devices right now from mobile to desktop?

Honestly I don't have any favorites... I currently use Nexus 5 and Office PC (yes, you got that right), but I am most concerned with having a good quality monitor for work.

4. Which 3 cities would be your favorite to open an office in and why?

It would be the following cities in this order: New York because of its vibrant energy, San Francisco because of its climate, and Barcelona because it is beautiful and so close.

5. What is your favorite activity outside of work?

I occasionally go to the gym, mainly for health reasons. I believe one needs to have something to counteract the sedentary office lifestyle. But most of all, I love spending time with family and playing with my son.

Life Hacks:

1. How do you stay motivated?

A client once told me: "You never fail to impress me..." That is what I always aspire to give in my work and what gives me the most motivation.

2. Do you have a good life/work balance? Could it be improved? If so how?

I would say yes... Of course, I am aware there is always room for improvement... For example I could not take my cell phone with me when using the toilet. Joking aside, it is very easy to fall into a trap where we unconsciously live just to work and leave the most important things in life on the backburner. Therefore I think it's important to get the priorities straight and enjoy life.

3. Do you have any career advice for young designers and developers?

It is important to work a lot and do a lot of research, but it is even more important to enjoy it and to play. Don't be too serious.

4. How do you keep up with the latest trends & tech?

I follow as much as I can but given the rapid rate of technology development from year to year, it is getting harder and harder to keep up.

5. If money was abolished and nobody needed to work anymore, what would you do with your life?

I don't have a concrete answer to that question. I would say most likely I would travel a lot and relax, but I doubt that would fulfill me because I believe we need concrete goals and objectives in life.

Versus: In your opinion...

1. Are great designers born Vs. made by experience?

In my opinion you can not have one without the other. At the same time I believe talent is key for moving beyond the limits of possibility and creating new ideas.

2. Is the best long term goal to be a founder Vs. freelance Vs. full­time job?

It depends on the person and their preferences. I personally enjoy being a founder because I have the opportunity to see the company and business grow and develop from the beginning. It gives me joy to contemplate what the future might bring.

3. iPhone 6s vs Samsung S6 vs other?

I prefer Nexus. Best ratio of investment vs. return.

4. Printed book vs eBook?

Printed book, definitely. There is something special in the feel and scent of paper.

5. Star Trek vs Star Wars?

Star Trek.

Thanks for your time. Any last words?

Thank you for your interest and thought-provoking questions.

Check out some additional work by Kreativa Studio via dribbble.