Yes! Yes! Yes! Finally! Today we have an interview with our #1 designer! Meet our wonderful, professional and creative designer Lizonil!


How long have you been working as a graphic designer?

I have worked as a graphic designer for about 25 years, although in between those years I have taken time out to study and teach water color painting. I have sometimes worked part time as a graphic designer whilst working full time in marketing, where my skills came in very handy. In fact, even back in the days as a PA, I have used my skills to design presentations etc.  Now I am a full time graphic designer with my own business, and I have never been so busy.  I feel very lucky to be doing what I love for a living (smiling).

What was the reason to become a designer?

I was always very good at art in school. I loved drawing from a very early age and wanted to be an artist ‘when I grew up’!  I started school a couple of days after my 4th birthday, and my first teacher was a hippy artist.  She nurtured my talent, she taught me to draw from observation and not what my brain told me was there. For example, I drew a person driving a car and you could see their feet on the pedals. She took me to the front of the school and we sat on the wall and watched the cars drive by… can you see their feet on the pedals?  That was my first real drawing lesson.  I guess it was just a natural path to take, although it took a lot of years before I really started to design what I truly felt passionate about.  Now I am very fortunate to be in a position to pick and choose.

I must add, she showed me her cowboy boots she brought from America, and I am sure this also influenced my move to the USA later in life!

Do you remember some funny stories connected with design while you were studying at Ringling School of Art & Design?

Not so much funny stories, but we used to have to draw ‘gestures’. So we would have a nude model show up and they would only stand still for 30 seconds or sometimes less before changing their position. We used to have to capture the gesture or the essence of the gesture very quickly. This was my favourite part, and this really helps with logo design, where you try to capture the essence of something with just a few simple strokes or lines.

Most of your portfolio designs are logos? Why is this category the most attractive for you?

Yes, what I like about logos is the fact that you design a very simple yet effective piece of art that can be used in many variations. You will see that I like to mock up my logos, that is because part of the fun for me is to design something and then test it out, to see how it can be used, how nice it will look. They don’t always work out and those ones don’t get entered!


Are there some logo design trends you like?

I love very simple, very clean logos, with no shading or gradients. I also love anything that could involve a drawing or handwritten fonts… my logos are always a bit feminine, sometimes to my detriment.

Are there any other design categories you like to deal with?

I like T-Shirt design, and I usually look at those contests when they come up.  I love posters too.

What is a great brief for you? What should it contain?

Ahhhh. A great design brief! Well, examples of logos or artwork that the client likes is very helpful, as are examples of logos they don’t like.  Examples of colours are good, if the client really understands how colour works. Basically the client should give as much information as possible, including links to their website etc. anything that can convey what ideas they have. Great communication is key.

Will you deal with the contests that have poor brief but the design process could be interesting for you?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I think the client doesn’t really know what they want, I might put in one or two ideas, but usually I would skip a contest that has a poor brief and no feedback. How can you get passionate about a design when the client seems to have no passion in it himself?

What is the most irritating for you in logo design?

Lol… being asked to change my winning design font, that was manipulated and created to be absolutely unique to ‘Satisfaction’ font! Or when the design gets changed so much by adding little bits that it becomes what I call a ‘Frankenstein’ ! Urghhhh.

Do you have some design idols?

Yes I do, some of the designers here are actually idols of mine, and they produce designs that blow me away… sheer genius at times.  I also love a Dutch artist called Frits Jonker, he mostly creates cartoon text but I love his drawings, I would love to be able to draw like him.


What is the most inspirational for you?

Well, this is a good question, as just lately I went through a patch where I was very uninspired, but I spoke to my fellow designers at DC, my designer family, and they really helped with their helpful hints and tips.  Some more bizarre than others… lol.  I sometimes just turn off my computer and get out my real pencils, paper and paints and take some time out to do my own thing. I have some books on illustration and I sometimes flick through those to get inspiration.

What professional websites do you visit?

I visit the Adobe site mostly, if I need to figure out how to do something, or I have forgotten how to do something, I go there for help.  I find it very useful. I use Illustrator every day, but I don’t use Photoshop as much and sometimes I need a refresher. I have to say, I still don’t know, after all these years of using it, what every tool in the Photoshop toolbox does!! (Hangs head in shame).

Do you remember the first DesignContest contest you won? What was the feeling?

Yes I do, I think it was for the Jamon Shop. They still use my logo, and the business seems to be doing well… I was so excited to win, and also felt a great responsibility toward the client. I was terrified I would let him down in some way.  That was such a long time ago… my design style has evolved a lot since then, I wouldn’t create a logo like that if the contest came up again now. But I still like it (smiling).

What would you advise to our newbies?

Read the brief very carefully, do lots of research regarding the client.  Ask questions. Try not to be influenced by the other competitors. Don’t be disheartened when your design is eliminated. Ask for help from the other designers via the forum if you need advice. Always be courteous towards the client and don’t ignore their comments. Never give up. I have had this message ‘your design number whatever has been eliminated’ about 20 times this week! It is not nice to see, but it is not the end of the world. Just keep at it… or try another contest (smiling) And good luck, it is great seeing all the new designers coming on board… it keeps us oldies on our toes!

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