"Don't worry too much about the 'rules', try different things and experiment with everything"
We spoke with Dora Lazarevic graphic designer about the evolution of her career, the biggest influences on her work and her current fascinations and creative preoccupations.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your current situation.
I'm a 20 year old digital designer from Serbia. I'm a full-time freelancer working primarily in graphic design. When I'm not working I love learning new things, currently I am learning Russian. I also have two cats.
What’s changed in art and design education since you graduated?
I didn't go to college so I don't know.
How important is a formal qualification in design today?
I think it's not important at all, anyone can go to school but that doesn't make them a good designer.
How else can designers distinguish themselves, especially if it’s right out of school and they’re trying to find work?
It's good to make a portfolio and start building an audience on social media. Constant improvement and passion for what you do are also important.
What are your personal challenges and inspirations? What inspires and motivates you today?
Sometimes I feel like I'm not good enough and because of that I don't have motivation to make anything that day. The biggest challenge is getting over that feeling. At times like that, the greatest motivation are encouragement and support from the people who follow and appreciate my work.
Who or what has been your biggest design influence—and why?
I'm really inspired by the Bauhaus movement and brutalism.
How has the type of work you do changed from the early days?
The type of work hasn't changed much but I've developed a more recognizable style.
What do you enjoy the most about design?
I enjoy the creative process as well as the feeling I get when I'm done. The idea of creating something that didn't exist until that moment is really interesting to me.
After so long, how do you value your work?
Being reliable and delivering high quality work to clients is of great value to me.
What kind of music would your designs sound like?
A combination of soviet post-punk, synthwave and new wave.
How important is the study of typographic fonts in a world like today?
I think typography is a really important part of every design.
Do you think that the necessary value is not given to the typography?
Sometimes people don't give enough attention to it.
When you start a job, what do you analyze first? Where does inspiration come from?
I like to make multiple mood boards and show them to the client. That helps me get a better idea of what direction I should go in.
How would you describe your work to someone who hasn’t seen it before?
Minimal but (hopefully) visually satisfying.
What work would you highlight and would you like to tell?
I would have to pick my personal daily projects. Posting and making something every day can be a real challenge.
How do you lead yourselves from concept to design?
I think about the final goal and make a plan how to get there, if that makes sense.
Where do the ideas come from?
I get inspired by music, photography, architecture, other great designers and painters.
What’s been the most satisfying project you have worked on?
I don't think I could pick one.
Living in the era of images, how can visual communication stand out from the crowd?
It needs to evoke emotion in the viewer. The right kind of emotion.
What part of the design process gives you the most satisfaction?
Give us the top 3 tips for inspiring young designers.
When I know that something is just in right place or right shade or when I find the perfect typeface.
What are you excited to have coming up in the future?
Don't worry too much about the 'rules', try different things and experiment with everything.
I would love to publish a magazine, hopefully sometime in the near future.
Why do we need branding?
Branding gives personality to a brand and I think that's really important.
Do you think ego is an important aspect within a designer’s work?
I don't worry about trends too much, I guess I like doing my own thing.
Which people working today in graphic design do you enjoy the work of?
I think it's important not to let it grow too much.
There are a lot of designers whose work inspires me, some of them are Ryan Carl, Roy Cranston, Fatih Hardal and Elliot Ulm.
What are your thoughts on specialization vs generalization?
I think specialization is important but it can be limiting, on the other hand generalization gives you more freedom but you can get lost and end up being mediocre at everything.
Do you think the Covid-19 situation will change the industry?
I think the current situation will change, and already is changing everything, not just the design industry.
Can you tell us about your present and future plans?
I don't have any specific plans, I'm looking forward to every opportunity and in the meantime I'll be working on my knowledge and skills.