Summer is a time of magic. From breathtaking sunrises above your city, through fun-filled beach days, to long evenings with friends. Nothing captures the magic of summer as perfectly as the design of Summer Edition 2023 of toothbrushes by New York based graphic designer Anna Kulachek. Her fantastically colourful designs inspired by long walks, museum, and bookshops convey an effortless beauty. Read on and learn more about her creative rituals and inspirations behind the Summer Edition 2023 of toothbrushes.
What was your path to becoming a designer?
It’s hard to say, it started a long time ago. I decided that I will be a designer when I was 7 or 8 years old, at 16 I went to college, and at 18 I was already working. I think the important thing was that I was studying and working at the same time, and all that I learned I put into practice immediately.
“My favourite part of the day is the morning, it’s a magical time when I can start all over again, as if nothing had happened yesterday. It’s wonderful that we are given this chance every day.”
An important milestone for me was a year at the Fabrica Benetton research centre, where I did my residency. We had a lot of free time and there I exhaled and realized what I really wanted to do, what kind of design and with whom. I keep that direction in everything I do to this day.
What projects do you usually work on? What do you enjoy the most?
I think I had a chance to work on everything. I’ve worked on websites, packaging, branding and spatial design. My favourite type of work is creating design for event identities. This is where I can experiment and take the most risks.
These types of projects contain a lot of different formats that allow me to think of a system that can be later reproduced and applied in many different ways – on posters, spaces, digital, video, merchandising, etc. I also like collaborating with different brands when they want to use my “language” in their environment, like I did with Curaprox.
What inspires you?
A lot of things… Life, my close friends’ victories, travel. But probably most of all books and art. Every time I can’t find a solution, I go for a walk to a bookstore or a museum, with the intention of finding the right reference, carrying in my head the problem that is waiting for me at home on my desk.
What are your daily rituals that you can’t imagine your day without?
Morning coffee and a walk. My favourite part of the day is the morning, it’s a magical time when I can start all over again, as if nothing had happened yesterday. It’s wonderful that we are given this chance every day. I can’t imagine my mornings without a cup of coffee which I make myself using an Italian coffee maker, a habit I picked up while living for a year in Italy at the Benetton residence Fabrica.
“I wish this brush was a favourite object for someone, an object with which they begin and end their day.”
Also, no matter how busy my day is, I find time for a walk, most often to the Williamsburg Bridge. It’s a time to think and take my mind off things, and once again rejoice that I live in the most beautiful city in the world, since the bridge has an amazing view of Manhattan.
How did the collaboration with Curaprox start?
I was contacted by one of the Curaprox employees, Lucas. I was very happy because these are my favourite toothbrushes, I always enjoyed their colour choices and combinations. By coincidence Lucas came to a conference in Bratislava where I was giving a talk and we finally met in person and had a chance to talk about the collaboration.
What’s the idea behind your special edition of toothbrushes? What did you want to express?
I’m always trying to find a way to use a minimum of resources to achieve a maximum effect. The technical requirements were quite strict, but I liked it. I thought: “What can I do?”. I thought that colouring the bristles randomly would be fun, I tried it, got a pattern in polka dots, one of my favourites, I decided to just use this graphic in the background. I left the handles a neutral colour, grey and white, to make the bright accent even more vivid.
How did you choose the colours?
I was told that this variation would be on sale in the summer, so I knew I needed something bright and fresh. I really love colour, and I already have some sort of “database” in my head of favourite palettes and combinations. I like to mix colours that are close in tone and contrast, yellow obviously refreshes everything and pink sets the contrast, you get such a perfect summer vibe. Grey and white mesh to compliment the bright bristles.
What was the biggest challenge of this design?
Following the technical requirements. (smiles)
How would you like people to think about your toothbrush?
I have items that I love, and even if they get older and I can’t use them anymore, I still keep them as an object. I wish this brush was a favourite object for someone, an object with which they begin and end their day.
Did you know Curaprox before the collaboration? If yes, how did you perceive the brand?
To be honest, this is my favourite brand. I always want to buy another toothbrush even if I don’t need it, just because I like it or it’s a new colour combination. And, of course, they are very nice and soft.
Is there any dream product that you would like to collaborate?
I would like to make a scarf for Hermes or textiles for Prada.
Anna Kulachek is a graphic designer and art director based in New York, originally from Ukraine. She worked as an Art Director at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design for 8 years.
Anna now works as a freelance designer. Her clients include MoMA, Triennale di Milano, Nike, MAD and others.You can find more of Anna’s works on her Instagram or Tumblr.