Lisaholland’s Weblog

What Makes Me a Designer?

Posted in Magawebzine Work by lisaholland on January 15, 2009

What makes me a designer? My answer is that you have to have some form of creativity and an instinct of what looks good. The things that inspire me have enabled me to do this.

I have a number of things that help me to be creative and any designer artist or creative person has things that inspire them artistically. Something that pulls them through that “artist’s block”. These are the things that make me strive for a better solution to the problem and push me towards becoming a better designer.

Research is an essential part of being a designer, it is what contextualizes the work I do and keeps me aware of what trends are fashionable in graphic design. Looking at other designer’s works is a main source of inspiration for me. Whether I am looking through design magazines or at an interesting web page it inspires me to try harder and better myself. It isn’t just graphic design or advertising that is inspirational, animation, fine art, sculpture, architecture and fashion are all useful visually. Looking at different designers that are unknown and using a wide range of resources to conduct my research is very important. It provides a wider collection of imagery to work from.

Visiting museums is a significant and extremely useful part of being a designer and for me, a bonus. It is a chance to see amazing pieces of design, art and so much more. The experience you get at a museum is inspiring in its self, being surrounded by so many beautiful things and being filled with knowledge has a positive effect. After a visit to a museum I always have an urge to do something creative.

Although some of the work I come across through my research and museum visits may not always be to my personal taste or style, it shows other options and gets me to try things I wouldn’t normally do. This sometimes leads to a better outcome than what I had before.

I have had a fair amount of briefs that I have needed to do research for. This has lead me to some personal favourite designers, art movements and fonts. I find I am drawn to more alternative design. I love a little bit of quirkiness and a designer that optimizes this is Stefan Sagmeister. His Typographic work has an extremely individual look. The way Sagmesiter does his work by hand is a refreshing change from the digital work that has been around for years. His work relates to me because I myself prefer to draw by hand rather than using the computer.

One design movement that I have always found inspirational is Russian Constructivism. Its instantly iconic and immediately recogniseable style impresses me and I endeavor to make my own work have that same impact.

The Design Process is an invaluable part of each project. The experimentation that comes along with it, helps me to get my ideas flowing and eventually to narrow down the best ideas that need to be developed further.

During the developmental stage of my work I constantly ask people for their opinion. It is important to know what people like about it, what they don’t, what they think could make the design better. The approval from others is significant because I act as if they are the customers and they could be buying the product that I am designing.

Graphic Design can sometimes come with pressure. This pressure keeps me motivated and working hard. It makes me want to make sure my work is up to standard and the best that I can possibly do.

Graphic Design is not a career choice it is a lifestyle. I try to do something creative everyday. University work generally takes up this rule, but I also design things for others and myself. I enjoy what I do and take pleasure in creating work that is inspirational to people or even other designers.

Design has to work and attract the attention of the consumer. The attention is only ever for a short time and that is the challenge that a Graphic Designer has to solve, and that is exactly what I love most about it.


Favourite Design Venues

Posted in Top Ten Design Venues by lisaholland on January 8, 2009

The V&A

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, and it was founded in 1852.

Its collection spans 5000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day,.The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewellery, furniture, medieval objects, sculpture, prints and printmaking, drawings and photographs are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world.

The museum possesses the world’s largest collection of post-classical sculpture, the holdings of Italian Renaissance items are the largest outside Italy. The departments of Asia include art from South Asia, China, Japan, Korea and the Islamic world. The East Asian collections are among the best in Europe, with particular strengths in ceramics and metalwork, while the Islamic collection, alongside the Musée du Louvre and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is amongst the largest in the world.


The Louvre

The Louvre Museum, located in Paris, a historic monument, and a national museum of France. It is a central landmark, located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (neighbourhood). Nearly 35,000 objects from the 6th millennium BC to the 19th century AD are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being confiscated church and royal property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The size of the collection increased under Napoleon when the museum was renamed the Musée Napoléon. After his defeat at Waterloo, many works seized by Napoleon’s armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and gifts since the Third Republic, except during the two World Wars. As of 2008, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; and Prints and Drawings

Bauhaus – Archiv Museum of Design

The Bauhaus Archive / Museum of Design in Berlin engages in the research and presentation of the history and influence of the Bauhaus (1919-1933), the most important school of architecture, design and art in the twentieth century. The entire spectrum of the school’s activities is represented in the Bauhaus Collection: architecture, furniture, ceramics, metalwork, photography, stage pieces and student work from the preliminary course, as well as works created by the school’s famous teachers, Even today, the “Bauhaus Lamp”, the “Wassily” armchair, Bauhaus wallpaper and other pieces are regarded as modern classics. This presentation of paintings, drawings, sculptures and models by Bauhaus masters and students from the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus artefacts illustrates its lasting influence. Researchers have access to over 28,000 volumes (books, periodicals, exhibition catalogues) on the history and reception of Bauhaus ideas and activities in the library. The document collection contains manuscripts, letters, printed matter, drawings, plans and photos, as well as the Gropius Estate. The programme of the museum is complemented by at least four special exhibitions, numerous lectures, podium discussions, workshops, readings and concerts.


The Guggenheim

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which opened on October 21, 1959, is one of the best-known museums in New York City and one of the 20th century’s most important architectural landmarks. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum––which is often called simply The Guggenheim––is home to a renowned permanent collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art, and also features special exhibitions throughout the year

The Saatchi

The Saatchi Gallery is a London gallery for contemporary art, opened by Charles Saatchi in 1985 in order to show his sizeable collection to the public.. Saatchi’s collection, and hence the gallery’s shows, have had distinct phases, starting with US artists and minimalism, moving on to the Damien Hirst-led Young British Artists, followed by shows purely of painting and then exhibiting again contemporary art from America in USA

The gallery has been a major influence on art in Britain since its opening. It has also had a history of media controversy, which it has courted, and has had extremes of critical reaction. Many artists shown at the gallery are unknown not only to the general public but also to the commercial art world: showing at the gallery has provided a springboard to launch careers.

Museum of Brands Packaging and Advertising

 This 10,000 piece collection began with consumer historian Robert Opie collecting a pack of Munchies at the age of 16. Now including toys, comics, fashion and design, as well as packaging and advertising, the museum presents a fascinating journey through 200 years of consumer behaviour.

The Museum showcases the evolution of consumer brands. Open to the public to educate and entertain, the Museum features fascinating displays of everyday household products from the Victorian age right up to present day. Stocked with over 10,000 consumer goods and promotional images,from milk chocolate and corn flakes to yoghurt and soft margarine. Giving a glimpse of the kitchen cupboards from yesteryear, visitors will find familiar foods including Vesta packs, Oat Krunchies and Bird’s Dream Topping as well as observe changes in our pastimes from playing Ker- Plunk and Buck-a-Roo to Spacehoppers and Chopper bikes.



  Tate Modern

The Tate Modern in London is Britain’s national museum of international modern art.

The collections in Tate Modern consist of works of international modern and contemporary art dating from 1900 onwards.

The Tate Collection is on display on levels three and five of the building, while level four houses large temporary exhibitions and a small exhibition space on level two houses work by contemporary artists.

The Tate Britain

Tate Britain is an art gallery situated on Millbank in London, and part of the Tate gallery network in Britain, with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It was the first gallery to be established within the network, opening in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of the work of J.M.W. Turner.

Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to the present day. As such, it is the most comprehensive collection of its kind in the world (only the Yale Center for British Art can claim similar expansiveness, but with less depth). More recent artists include David Hockney, Peter Blake and Francis Bacon.





Favourite Websites

Posted in Top Ten Websites by lisaholland on January 7, 2009

Interesting visually and fun to play with this website showcases the artists work in a fun and playful way

Stefan Sagmeister is my favourit designer on his website the design is very inspiring and unique. It has advice for students and has taken the time to  answer Student’s questions in one part of the website. The website is surprisingly simple considering the complexity of Sagmeister’s work but i think it works and keeps the attention on the design that is being showcased.

Examples of work on the website:

This website looks fantastic and the items sold on here are lovely

The ‘Sticky Note Experiments’. A series of videos for you to watch of how they made all types of structures such a spinwheels, paper slinkies and much more out of sticky notes. The videos also explain how to make the structures yourself using only visual language.Interesting, simple layout using sticky notes as navigation menus.

I found this website by accident and what a lovely surprise it was. The work is inspirational and very impressive. Examples below.


This website is fantastic it has loads of different styles of typography and is a great source for creative ideas. The article on 30 inspiring type treatment was extremely useful.

Some examples from the website


Leather Bag designed by Assouline made by Cole Haan – $450.00.


Designed by Jonathan Caplan for Interview magazine. “This Film is Not Yet Rated,” May 2006

Fully interactive and i love the design your own bottle feature its very fun
Cool hunting is a website that is updated regularly and shows cool things to its visitors. It shows art, clothing music and much more.
examples of items shown on the website:

T-shirt design

clothing made from cigarette butts

is an art studio and design studio based in London, England. The studio has designed such books as The Beatles’ The Beatles Anthology, The Rolling Stones’s A Life on the Road and album art covers for Genesis, Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton.


examples of work on the website:

the aardman animations website is fun and interesting. The design is creative and well thought out.

Johannes Gutenberg

Posted in Favourite Graphic Designers by lisaholland on January 1, 2009

A German goldsmith and printer who is credited with being the first European to use movable type printing, in around 1439, and the global inventor of the mechanical printing press. His major work, the Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible), has been acclaimed for its high aesthetic and technical quality.

Gutenberg Bible

Before Gutenberg, we were copying Bibles through monasteries. This made typesetting a lot easier than it was before, as it was all written by hand.

Stephen Fry made a documentary about the creation of ONE singular page of that ever-famous Bible, and a printer would have had to first of all, make each and every letter out of lead, then set each latter separately within the frame, Then print it

You can watch the programme here on Youtube:

Stephen Fry and the Gutenberg Press

Gutenberg Press

The Gutenberg press with its wooden and later metal movable type printing brought down the price of printed materials and made such materials available for the masses. It remained the standard until the 20th century. The Gutenberg printing press developed from the technology of the screw-type wine presses of the Rhine Valley. It was there in 1440 that Johannes Gutenberg created his printing press, a hand press, in which ink was rolled over the raised surfaces of moveable hand-set block letters held within a wooden form and the form was then pressed against a sheet of paper.