This October we feature leading DesignContest designer, Lanie Gajete. With over 21 winning entries, including 15 gold, two silver, and four bronze, Lanie’s striking designs stand out to DesignContest clients and businesses everywhere.

Lanie’s impressive portfolio especially demonstrates her ability to express a brand’s image with a dynamic logo design. If you’re looking to learn from a design pro (or just need some inspiration) then Lanie’s story is one to read.

When did you start designing? What inspired you to take up graphic design?

I have been inclined towards art and design since I was a kid. I have always enjoyed drawing, coloring, and graphics. My family and friends who have seen my artwork said that I had a natural ability to turn my creation into life, and they inspired me to do graphic designs. I wanted to take up fine arts in college but completed a computer technology course due to financial constraints. The daily grind of working in a company consumed most of my time, and I only had the chance to take the first step of joining the Design Contest in 2015. Searching for design contests and learning the styles from my co-designers have been part of my daily routine since the pandemic. I realized that with Graphic Design, I could both earn a living while at the same time doing what I love to do.

Designing is what I do best. It gives me so much pride to help my clients have their own brand identity through visuals and logos.

If you had not become a designer who do you think you would become instead?

If I had not become a designer, I would have continued working in an 8-hours shift schedule doing the same thing day in and day out, reporting to a boss, dealing with daily stressful office life.

Winning logo entry for

What qualities do you think a great graphic designer should have?

The ultimate quality of a great graphic designer for me is creativity. One must have the knack for creating a concept out of imagination, translating them to unique visuals, and bringing designs to life.

Time management to ensure on-time completion of projects, patience to keep up with the changing demands of the clients, and perseverance to stay on track of the design contest are equally important qualities of a great designer.

What skills does one need to have to be successful on DesignContest?

To be successful on DesignContest, a designer needs to transform his drawing or sketch image from paper into a design format like a vector image and this would require technical skills on specialized tools and software such as Adobe Photoshop and illustrator.  Branding skills and the ability to present visually appealing designs on different mock-ups like business cards, marketing materials, and packaging would help make the design stand out.

Designers with active listening and good communication skills would enable them to understand their clients, provide meaningful feedback and offer valuable suggestions, thus, an advantage on becoming successful on DesignContest.

Winning logo entry for Widespread Organics

Do you admire any current trends in design?

I admire symbols and icons in the current design trends. I like to express myself using symbols to signify strength, power, infinity, togetherness, and a lot more. It is easier to communicate the design’s message and hidden meaning that represents the brand’s identity.

How do you handle difficult clients?

I see difficult clients as an opportunity to learn and improve instead of looking at them as a failure. When clients are not satisfied with the designs I uploaded, I approach the situation with curiosity, understand the client’s perspective, embrace all feedback including the negative ones, and use them to come up with better designs to propel my skills forward.

Winning logo entry for Supreme Scrubbin

 Do you have a design you are particularly proud of?

Nothing in particular because I am proud of all the designs I have submitted in DesignContest. I made the design from scratch to create something special out of a plain idea, and I always put my best foot forward in all the contests I have joined.

How do you get new skills in design and learn something new? Do you watch videos, read books, etc.?

I am a self-taught graphic designer and acquired technical skills just by watching videos. I have not attended any formal graphic design courses and I just learned how to make vector images on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop on my own. There are a lot of educational materials on YouTube that keeps me updated on the latest trend and continuously learn something new.

Wining logo entry for FP Fresno Powersports

What is your advice to DC newbies?

My advice to DC newbies out there, your natural qualities or talents would give you a good head start in Graphic Design. Your first contest may not always be your first win. Graphic design, like any other career, is not always rainbows and butterflies. You will lose a design contest many times, you will be ignored by your clients, and you will not receive feedback or rating but never give up.  Use your failures to level up your skill and create a better design that would stand out.

Graphic Design is constantly evolving and so should you! You have to get yourself primed on the fundamentals of graphic design, devote time to learn new trends, and get inspiration from objects around you.

Go to Lanie’s portfolio to view the rest of her top-notch designs, hire her for your next project, or invite her to your contest.