At Gingersauce, a professional tool for creating brand books, our mission is to educate on the importance of visual presentation and company branding. In line with it, we have decided to start a series of interviews with talented designers we personally follow, to see what their thoughts are on the topic: what tips and tricks they can share, what lifehacks they learned pursuing a career in design, what they would change if they could go back in time.
Are you a designer and have something to share? Hit us up at [email protected] and maybe you’ll be a hero of the next interview 🙂
“Times are heavy with all that is happening around us. As designers, we should help shed light on these topics, but we also have the ability to do so in beautiful and hopeful ways.“
Peeking into another designer’s workflow is always a way to learn something. To tweak your personal routine, and gather life hacks that can make your work process more enjoyable, and less stressful.
Today, as usual, we have a special guest! Meet Sandrine Anne, an Illustrator & Graphic Designer from sunny Chile. Sandrine’s work niche is doing festival branding, gig posters, and music album covers. Apart from engaging in freelance work, she also has her own brand of printed products – with some awesome goods, we might add. Looking at her works, it’s easy to see that Sandrine is the type of artist who can find something beautiful in everything that surrounds us.
We’re proud to have her as our interviewee and cannot wait to share our talk with the world. Enough with introductions, let’s dive into Sandrine Anne’s world of illustration and prints.
The printed world of Sandrine Anne
If you’ve seen Sandrine’s works, you know she has a very particular style. How did she get there, and what influenced it? Let’s see.
What is your favorite style in design and did it change with time?
It’s a challenge to pinpoint a specific style, as I’ve been influenced by so many of them! Abstract art has always interested me, particularly Wassily Kandinsky’s work. But I’d say my favorite abstract artist is Hilma af Klint, her visionary paintings have been my biggest source of inspiration over the years.
It’s also interesting how the Memphis movement has influenced graphic design with bold colors, textures, and geometric shapes for decades. I especially find it inspiring for pattern and texture work.
Finding a style is a sore spot for all the creatives. Should it be forcefully acquired or trained over time? Should it be continually used at all times, or there is room for experimenting? Sandrine has a very clear opinion about it.
What tips can you give to other designers on how to find their unique style?
In order to find a style that is really authentic, it’s paramount to know oneself. You need to really question what interests you, what sparks your curiosity, what you really enjoy seeing, doing, hearing.
Once you start figuring yourself out, a good exercise would be to make a brand book for your personal project -even if you are the only person that will see it- and answer some of these questions: If you were a brand, how would you talk? What are your main characteristics? If you look around your house or your closet, what are the colors that would make up your palette? What adjectives best describe you? Is there a typographic style that could represent it?
I’d also say style is ever-evolving as we go through different phases in our life, so it’s good to keep an open mind and see where it can lead us as we grow and go through those changes.
Knowing other graphic designer’s work routine is like knowing a shortcut to a successful project. Especially if you’re a beginner designer, listen (read) carefully.
What is your design process? Can you tell us your work routine?
It usually starts with research and writing down concepts. Then I will do some sketching, sometimes on paper but most of the time I will just start with a blank illustrator artboard.
Since color is such a big part of my work I’ll try to start the design in black and white and add that variable at a later stage. Then I’ll hopefully get in the zone drawing and moving pixels around. If I ever get stuck, I just try to get a little break from the project or do something else until I feel ready to go back to it.
Color psychology is a trick that is largely underrated. Colors have associations and provoke emotions. Designers use it to direct the viewer’s mind in the right direction.
All your artworks are so vibrant, do you use color psychology in your visuals?
I’ve been attracted to strong and vibrant colors for as long as I can remember. So it makes sense that I’m still drawn to them to this day, but studying graphic design opened my knowledge to color theory and to the many ways it can influence the human brain. I think it’s a great tool and I’ve definitely been using it to infuse my work with more depth, meaning, and symbolism.
It’s the first time we have a guest speaker that has experience with print design – which Sandrine specializes in! If you’re planning to do print design, definitely read ahead to know what it does for you as a professional.
We see that you work with packaging/print design, can you tell a few words about your experience?
I think printing your work is one of the most gratifying things to do as a designer. Being able to see the ideas you have been working on come to life on a huge billboard, or people interacting with your design is always amazing and a little bit of a “pinch me” moment.
Inspiration can be tough to find, we’re not going to lie to you. That is exactly why knowing where others look for it is important. Stop googling “design inspiration”, here’s where Sandrine finds her muse.
Where do you take inspiration for your designs?
I get inspiration from so many sources. One of them would obviously be looking at my peers’ work. But it could also happen randomly while taking the subway, walking to the grocery store, being in nature, visiting a museum, or reading a book.
I also have a note entry on my phone where I write phrases, lyrics, and words that I found interesting and will refer to this list when in need of ideas to start something new.
Design is not only about finding the best solution functionally. It can be a tool for finding a way to a human’s heart.
What emotions would you like people to feel looking at your artworks?
I’d really like to transmit an uplifting feeling through my work. Times are heavy with all that is happening around us. As designers, we should help shed light on these topics, but we also have the ability to do so in beautiful and hopeful ways.
Knowing that we could bring people some sort of happiness by experimenting with color, typography, and textures would really make my day.
Are you a designer struggling to develop creative thinking? Here’s what Sandrine has to recommend.
What do you think are the best techniques that develop creative thinking?
It’s tricky because it isn’t something that we get on-demand. It sort of has to find you while working, so I’d say it’s important to try a little bit every day by being consistent and exercising creative solutions, doing research, looking for inspiration, going on walks, or traveling to new places. It will probably be different for everyone.
In my case, I have a pretty active imagination and I find that my creativity is deeply connected to my dreams, so I try to pay attention to messages and ideas coming from subconscious states. If all else fails, I think the shower is the place where some of my best ideas are born!
What part of the design process do you personally find the most difficult? Every designer will have their own answer to that.
What is the most challenging part for you in the designing process?
The most challenging part is generally the phase where I’m chaotically jotting down ideas, trying to figure out what could work. Sometimes this can be straightforward, but most of the time it takes longer than expected to know the direction a project will take. The idea will definitely have to go through an incubation period of sorts before I can share my vision.
As we can see time and time again, every professional designer we interview thinks that presentation is one of the most important elements of the design process. Which proves our point at Gingersauce!
How do you think the presentation of visuals influences the communication with a client and their attitude to design results?
The way you present your project could very well make it or break it. It’s definitely a huge part of being able to convey the core concepts, which have to be consistent with the entire project.
Here’s what Sandrine does to present her designs, maybe there is something you’d want to borrow?
How do you personally present visuals to your clients? What are your success secrets?
I try to keep it minimal and clean so the designs will really pop. Also, showing some of the design process (whether it be rough sketches or conceptualization) and making good mockups are great ways to showcase branding to a client.
Last but not least, beginner graphic designer tips from a pro!
What advice would you give to a beginner yourself?
Showing up and trying to work every day, even when it feels like progress is minimal, will add up in the long run and give results. You really have to be consistent, not give up and practice creativity and design every day. Being open to feedback from various sources, while also trusting your discernment and intuition, should push you to make your best work.
…Thanks, Sandrine Anne!
We were extremely happy to have you over at Gingersauce! With our series, we thrive to connect designers around the world and help beginners to learn some professional techniques along the way. With your sharing your thoughts, and design process insights, we believe you helped a few struggling newbies out there – thanks a lot!
If you, our reading audience, haven’t yet followed Sandrine everywhere already, make sure you do that right now. Just look at how amazing her designs are.
How can Gingersauce help you present your visuals?
Gingersauce is a tool for creating brand books that combine automation and creativity. It’s a professional tool – meaning, it won’t do a half-baked job, leaving you with a mediocre result.
Jiaqi says – a nice layout helps the clients understand the process behind your work better.
Gingersauce will help you gather all your prototype visuals, make a professional presentation, and ensure you’re in sync with your client.