Mirificam Press Interview Series: Veerle Pieters
May 6th, 2009 in Web Design Culture
by: Matthew Griffin
It's an honor to have A-list designer and illustrator Veerle Pieters here on Mirificam Press as the first featured designer in this interview series. As a long time reader of Veerle's Blog I was especially excited when she responded to my request for an interview.
Veerle is a graphic/web designer living in Belgium. She is the author of the immensely popular Veerle's Blog and founder of the creative agency Duoh! Veerle started her career as a graphic designer in 1992, designing mostly for printed media and has since made the transition to focus on web design and digital media. In recent years she has been working for the Library of Congress on a project called The Learning Page. If you've never been to her site, I recommend taking browsing through the archives. Her Adobe Illustrator tutorials are legendary.
If you could sum up your philosophy of life in just a few sentences, what would you say?
My "philosophy" about life is to be part of projects I believe in. To design projects that I want to be associated with. Designing for me is about ethics. I am fortunate enough to turn down projects that I do not believe in. I'm also a great believer in sharing what you know.
Why have you chosen design as your life work?
As a child I always loved drawing and considered it a hobby. I always thought it wasn't possible to make this my day job so that's why I studied tourism until I discovered that you could actually study graphic design. Sounds maybe crazy now, but you have to see it in its context of the time frame (1987). I always thought about it from an artistic point of view and believed there wasn't a future in it. Studying graphic design changed that and from that point on my hobby became my passion and income.
What is the purpose of design?
Design is a tool. You can use it for good or evil, as comic books portray. I choose to use it for good. We, as designers, can choose to put beautiful designs out into the universe but we should think about what projects we choose to do.
Do you think your philosophy about life informs your understanding of the purpose of design? If so how?
Yes because my philosophy is about learning about life... so by living life and learning about as much as I can it allows me to understand audiences for my designs. Knowing more always enables us to be better and to relate. It's all about experimenting and progress.
Do you think that design can communicate truth? Is it even important that design communicate truth?
Design is a tool and it should be used properly. We as designers should think about what "truth" we want to put forth. Picking design projects that we feel show the best products/projects will enable us to show the best "truth." We're fortunate enough to work on projects that capture that... Tyze, Net2 are two that we are quite fond of. It is important that design communicates truth because promoting projects that aren't truthful will bite you in the end. As designers we have a reputation to uphold.
What is truth?
For me that is honesty.
Can design right the wrongs of this world? If so, to what extent?
Design has a huge influence in our daily life but I don't think it can fix all the wrongs in the world. Certainly not if you mean your question in a broad sense. Design can fix a lot things but it won't
fix evil people. Design can help you appreciate things more because many don't stand still by all the beauty that is around us.
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