Verena Michelitsch
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
Focussing on something. I had a very broad education and enjoyed making short movies as well as web design and exhibition design. I wanted to be good at everything but wasn’t. I guess I was ambitious but also impatient, trying to do and get everything at the same time.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Don’t publish your work online, don’t have online profiles or a voice, never reach out to people or studios you admire. And never meet up with other designers and don’t tell anyone at all what you are doing.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
There are always things you’d change looking back, no? I guess my grown up me would tell my out of college me to get a job at a design studio first, not do freelance or built up your studio right away. Although I really don’t want to miss having my business at a young age, there are some smart things you can learn and copy from studio structures. I ran my business out of intuition, it was good but I definitively was naive to take on too many jobs at the same time and had many troubles with meeting deadlines.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
I like using tools and apps like evernote (making lists and never loosing meeting notes), toggl, cloud app, dropmark, pinterest and google spreadsheets to stay organized and keep track of everything. I try to do one thing after another. I leaned to overcommunicate with my clients and ask as many questions as possible to avoid misunderstandings and prioritize. I try to keep them up to date and give them a status about where I am at in the design process as often as possible. When I feel stuck with a design I save versions and start from a fresh blank document instead of constantly seeing a graveyard of design options floating around on your artboards.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
I am honestly not a big design book reader. I read parts of LeseTypo by Hans Peter Wilberg when I am about to design an editorial piece or book. I have a couple of books that I would reference if I have to solve a specific problem. Most of the times I like looking at as many books or printed pieces as possible to get inspired and see how design problems are solved. Disregarding the more technical design books, I liked Otl Aicher’s books Analog and Digital and The World as Design.
Verena answered the questions on May 21, 2014.
The answers were published on May 22, 2014.