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Trailblazers: Maximum creative output at Bureau Mirko Borsche

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On a mission to spark imagination and educate, Mirko Borsche and his team take part in conferences, panels and seminars, give lectures and workshops at universities, and frequently exhibit in art exhibitions to challenge themselves and others to think differently about traditional design approaches. For its achievements, Bureau Borsche has won numerous national and international awards and its work has held critical acclaim in both the business and advertising sectors. Here, Mirko talks us through life as he knows it from his Munich base.

Hey Mirko! What is it like living and working in Munich? What is the creative scene like there?

Munich is small and beautiful, it has a very high standard of living and a brilliant design scene which is very well connected to the rest of the world. It’s settled, traditional, very green and the airport can take you almost everywhere - something which is very important for an international studio like ours.

If you were to be abandoned on a desert island with only one material what would you choose and why?

I would chose a knife - because staying alive would be of bigger interest to me than doing my job!

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Your background is based in magazine design for some of Germany’s leading newspapers. What made you take the leap to open your own design studio?

It was simple really, I just wanted to freelance after so many years of being an employee and after a few people noticed they could hire me, the idea of the studio was born. Interestly, after making that decision I noticed that first in my work, then in my life, I was able to create and establish my own design language.

You still work as Creative Director for Die ZEIT Magazine. How do you manage both the design studio and this project?

The ZEITMagazin and Die ZEIT have always been my first clients and they still are. We work very closely together so there’s an exchange everyday which makes it very possible for me to evolve these products from day to day as well as working on our studio’s projects.

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Tell us about the creative ethos when a brief comes into Bureau Borsche then, how do you all work together to address it?

The most important thing is always the idea which we try to create out of the briefing we received - just like every other design agency does. The big difference with us is that we don’t brainstorm or gather together, instead we create ideas during our work processes.

Everybody in the studio brings in his/her influences and concepts and we decide very fast the ones we want to pursue and those that might be the best solution for our clients. After that we start the design process and most of the time we involve our clients from the beginning to as to avoid any frustrations. I don’t believe in surprising clients or in persuasion; I like my clients to be happy with what they get.

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What creative challenge are you looking forward to overcoming in 2017?

I am working on a big, free project that’s taking my time up and I am hoping to find a museum or a gallery for an exhibition to help me realise it - that would be great.

You guys still feature in a lot of exhibitions, why is this side of your practice so important to you?

It’s important to do things without a briefing, without clients and without restrictions sometimes. I think for graphic designers this can often be the hardest thing to do because we’re so used to the norm. But going against it all makes you think differently and you can’t blame anyone else if the project turns out badly.

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You guys deliver in lots of different areas across lots of different mediums. How do you stay on top of your game in all your different outputs?

We always try to give it our best. It’s not about reinventing something, it’s more about quality and breaking the rules. Different medias always teach us so many new things and we use what we learn across all the fields we work in.

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If you could work anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

I would work in Italy I think… The weather is great, I like the food, and the Italian mentality is hard to beat!

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Finally, whose work are you really enjoying at the moment?

I'm a big fan of my best friend’s work Thomas Kartsolis - he’s the art director of the SZ Magazine.

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