Spring 2018

Small is beautiful

Kristjan Mändmaa
Eye Education

Estonian design education enjoys a culture of innovation and experimentation thanks to the country’s tiny population, says Kristjan Mändmaa, Dean of Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts

Estonia is one of Europe’s tiniest countries. The climate is not exactly sunny. Apart from forest, it lacks in natural resources. The population is so small (1.3 million) that you can drive for miles without seeing anyone travelling in the opposite direction. Sometimes the only comforting thought is: ‘Look at Iceland, they are even smaller’.


Re-design of the visual identity for the Tallinn City Transport Authority, which began as an Estonian Academy of Arts student project.
Top: Students at the international graphic design summer school ‘Asterisk’ in 2014, led by artist Giacomo Porfiri and graphic designer Samuel Nyholm.


Kristjan Mändmaa, Dean of Design, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn

Read the full version in Eye no. 96 vol. 24, 2018


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues. You can see what Eye 96 looks like at Eye Before You Buy on Vimeo.

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