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.



Posted in Magawebzine Work by lisaholland on December 11, 2008

   My current brief is to make ten products out of commodities and then sell them in a magazine that I have to design. I have to decided to make a cheaper alternative to designer toys, so I have made them out of everyday food packaging like a pint milk bottle here are some examples.  

turtle toy recycled flora box

turtle toy recycled flora box

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More animals to come   THE LOGO I played with many different variations on the logo, I started with hands like 5+5=10 that led me onto the mathmatical route like 1+9=10 etc. I also played with different languages like italian DIECE, or french DIX, etc. I then played around with the layout of the two digits. Here is my progression through the design of the ten logo and the final solution   wordpress4




The Front Cover

This is my first fron cover that didnt really work. There is just too much going on. too many colours and i dont think the hands really work so i decided to change them to handprints.


magazineThis is my final design for my front cover i think it is a big improvement on the first design. I have made the hands into a pattern going from 1 to 10.My magazine is about selling toys so i have put a toy that i have made behind the ten of the logo which also relates to my animation which i will put up at a later date





This is a piece of promotional mail that is being sent to promote my magazine. 

Advertisement for a Fictitious Company.

Part of our brief was to design an advert to go in the magazine. It had to for a Fictitious company. So i made an advert for a printing company here it is:



Flash Video

My flash video for the magazine is now up on youtube. Have a look

The Magazine Concept

Posted in Magawebzine Work by lisaholland on November 22, 2008

I have been researching Designer toys and have found that they are very sought after. There is also a wide customer market. The only thing is that they are so expensive.

I have decided to make a cheap alternative that is also eco-friendly. I want to use these toys to get young people interested in design. I am planning to aim the magazine at 12-20 year olds. The toys will be used to gain the attention of the reader and will then slowly add in design competetions and venues.

I would like my magazine to be very vibrant and eye catching.

Designer Toys

Posted in Magawebzine Work by lisaholland on November 22, 2008

Designer toys is a term used to describe toys and other collectibles that are produced in limited editions (as few as 50 or as many as 2000 pieces) and created by artists and designers. Designer toys are made of variety of materials; plastic and vinyl are most common, although wood and metal are occasionally used. The term also encompasses plush, cloth and latex dolls. Creators of designer toys usually have backgrounds in graphic design, illustration or self-described low brow art; some are classically trained in art and design, while others are self-taught. Designer toys first appeared in the 1990s and are still in production today.

Who buys Designer Toys?

It is not out of the ordinary to wonder who buys and collects such items. Customers range from high school students to a “lawyer in his 40s.”  Mind you, this lawyer just so happens to have the largest toy collection in the state of Michigan.  As you might imagine, there is definitely link between youth culture and the art world that would explain the graffiti influence on a lot of the “urban toys” like you find from Kid Robot.  All the same, the urban toys have found its placed amongst more traditional artists too.  In fact, the Munny Series, which is basically a blank canvas toy that you can decorate, has sparked art installations around the country for burgeoning artsy folks looking to show off their style.


Posted in Magawebzine Work by lisaholland on November 21, 2008

CardBoy Products

Cardboy ProductsCreated by Mark James and sold through UrbanRetro, Cardboy Sneakers are a range of collectible vinyl toys. There’s 8 cute figures to purchase in each cardboy category plus a ‘secret’ one to complete your collection.

They are inspired by the dilemma ‘What shall I do with the box?’. Carboy sneakers are very unique figures in that the packaging transforms into the head of the figure. Standing at nearly 3″ tall.

Cardboy Sneaker

This series features eight characters, each one comes with  accessories.

Cardboy Cartridges

This third installment of characters from CardBoard City are based on those old skool bubble jet printer ink cartridges. CardBoy Cartridges come together as a set of four essential colours, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, better known in the design world as CMYK, all at different levels of ink, the black being the lowest, as it always is! As with the original series of CardBoy, the innovative packaging turns inside out to create the head of the figures.




Other Carboy Products

Cardboys Condensed Print

Cardboy's Condensed Print

Carboys Condensed Print Poster

Carboy's Condensed Print Poster

Cardboy B-Boys

Cardboy B-Boys


Posted in Magawebzine Work by lisaholland on September 29, 2008


In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are a sequence of numbers named after Leonardo of Pisa, known as Fibonacci. Fibonacci’s 1202 book Liber Abaci introduced the sequence to Western European mathematics, although the sequence had been previously described in Indian mathematics.

The first number of the sequence is 0, the second number is 1, and each subsequent number is equal to the sum of the previous two numbers of the sequence itself, yielding the sequence 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc. In mathematical terms, it is defined by the followingrecurrence relation:

   F_n =     begin{cases}     0               & mbox{if } n = 0; \     1               & mbox{if } n = 1; \     F_{n-1}+F_{n-2} & mbox{if } n > 1. \    end{cases}

That is, after two starting values, each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers. The first Fibonacci numbers (sequenceA000045 in OEIS), also denoted as Fn, for n = 0, 1, 2, … ,20 are:[4][5]

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 F10 F11 F12 F13 F14 F15 F16 F17 F18 F19 F20
0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144 233 377 610 987 1597 2584 4181 6765

 The Golden Ratio

At least since the Renaissance, many artists and architects have proportioned their works to approximate the golden ratio—especially in the form of the golden rectangle, in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is the golden ratio—believing this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing. Mathematicians have studied the golden ratio because of its unique and interesting properties.

The golden ratio is often denoted by the Greek letter ϕ (phi). The figure of a golden section illustrates the geometric relationship that defines this constant. Expressed algebraically:

 frac{a+b}{a} = frac{a}{b} = varphi,.

This equation has as its unique positive solution the algebraic irrational number

varphi = frac{1+sqrt{5}}{2}approx 1.61803,39887ldots, 

Other names frequently used for or closely related to the golden ratio are golden section (Latin: sectio aurea), golden mean, golden number, and the Greek letter phi(ϕ).Other terms encountered include extreme and mean ratio, medial section, divine proportion, divine section (Latin: sectio divina), golden proportion,golden cut,and mean of Phidias.

What does Mathematics have to do with Beauty?

What has mathematics got to do with beauty? Actually, a lot. Physical attraction depends on ratio.

Our attraction to another person’s body increases if that body is symmetrical and in proportion. Likewise, if a face is in proportion, we are more likely to notice it and find it beautiful. Scientists believe that we perceive proportional bodies to be more healthy.


Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings of the human body emphasised its proportion. The ratio of the following distances is the Golden Ratio  :(foot to navel) : (navel to head)



Links to Magazine Design

Posted in Magawebzine Work by lisaholland on September 28, 2008


The coolinfographics link led me to, where there is a very creative way of displaying a music mash-up. Instead of listing the times and artist names it is displayed in diagram form. The page is set out in a number of circles which represents the chronological order of the track. There is also an image of the artist  to go with it. 

I am impressed with this because it is a very interesting use of information graphics and is more appealing to the eye than a standard list. shows the top design magazine design covers of the year.


This cover featuring Willie Nelson has a very nice overall look. The photograph is very powerful the fact that the viewer is looking up at the image makes the photograph dominate the page.


The illustrations on this page relate to financial issues. They portray these issues in a humorous manner. I like the old fashioned design, which is almost evocative of the russian constructivist movement. Similar work by Brian Stauffer. talks about three magazine covers including graphic designer David King’s work. He worked for the magazine Time Out. The cover shown on this page has bold typography and strong CMYK colours as well as harsh halftones. The cover is vibrant, eye catching and generally well designed.

The Sleazenation cover takes a t-shirt joke and applies it to the magazine stand.


The New York Times Magazine’s the college issue cover is a clever piece of design. It shows the lifestyle of a college student and makes an interesting piece of typography along with it.


The article is about creative director Dirk Barnett and his move to Blender magazine and the re-branding of the logo.

final logo-thumb-480×326.jpg


I like the concept that De avontuur bevat magazine used for their cover

“Each photograph has been used by readers as a bookmark and handed in by accident together with the book. The librairians collected the photographs from the books and pinned them up the bookcase, because the library is keen on returning the photographs to their rightful owners.

For a couple of months gerlach en koop will observe this collection and take a photograph every other week. Each photograph will be a new issue of the magazine ‘de avontuur bevat’.”

I think the fact that the readers are involved with the design of the cover is different from conventional designs it makes the reader more involved and makes for an interesting cover.