Interview with Alain Aebersold

Winner of Graphic Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Alain Aebersold shares insights


Interview with Alain Aebersold at Monday 13th of August 2018:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
AA : In 2016, I completed my education as a graphic designer at the School of Design Biel-Bern. Afterwards I started to work as a graphic and screen designer in a crossmedia agency in Bern. Since 2011 I live and work in Zurich. Currently I work as a art director and work for national and international clients.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
AA : Since I was a kid, I always wanted to draw, paint and working three-dimensional. In high school I was able to visit the main topic visual arts. Afterwards I had the possibility to visit the graphic design class at the School of Design in Biel. I always wanted to work in a creative way and for me graphic design is a great way to work in this field.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
AA : Designing was always a passion. It was a great luck that I have the opportunity to do it professionally.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
AA : I mainly do graphic design and illustration. I also like to do web projects, simple animations and 3d.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
AA : I don't feel like a design legend. I'm still on the way. I young designer should always be open minded and and always ready to learn.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
AA : A great designer is always looking for new challenges and does not hesitate to learn.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
AA : The most important point is probably whether it has something unique. And whether the chosen design makes sense in context.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
AA : A good design has something unique and stands out from the crowd. It should also serve a purpose.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
AA : I love projects where I can interpret something abstract visually. For example, give a face to a music album.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
AA : I would love to work for great musicians. Or spend more time to get better in new fields like animation or 3D.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
AA : I don't know if there is a secret ingredient. But I think passion is a important part.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
AA : I admire Mario Hugo. You feel all the passion and the hard working background in his work. There is style but also a lot of skills.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
AA : I love the design work of Mario Hugo or Oh Yeah Studios. They have a organic, handmade touch, and are still clean and professional.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
AA : I'm proud of my Master Thesis work. I learned a lot about new technics and grew as a designer.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
AA : You should always be open minded and able to learn new things. I don't lose your passion.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
AA : I would liked to work with animals. Maybe keeping a little zoo looking after old and sick animals.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
AA : Design is a vehicle to transport ideas, values and functions. It should not exist for an end in itself. It should serve a purpose.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
AA : My friends, my family and of course my girlfriend.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
AA : To be open minded and able to learn new stuff.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
AA : I'm still struggling. My biggest obstacle is my own quality claim.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
AA : In a way that the viewer understands the idea of the design.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
AA : i don't know what will come. But I hope, that there will be exciting projects.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
AA : I don't have an ultimate goal. But several goals on my way to getting better.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
AA : A professional way of working.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
AA : I don't know if design help to create a better society. But good design should help people to make their lives less complicated, more understandable and more beautiful.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
AA : I'm currently working on a redesign of a NGO.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
AA : Of my own work, my master thesis, Because I had the chance to grow with my work and to learn new skills.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
AA : Design should not be judged by its price. Good design will always take its time. I hope that people will see the value of a good design in the future.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
AA : It really depends on which devices will be popular in the future. Augmented reality could be a big deal. Then it would certainly need a new way of information design.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
AA : It really depends on the project.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
AA : First I always start with a visual and thematic research. I try to find my inspirations in a wide field. I do little, quick sketches to note my ideas. Afterwards I start with mood designs.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
AA : Always be able to learn something new.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
AA : I think it's an interaction. But I do not know what was first.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
AA : I like working with new technologies to get new results and create new visuals.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
AA : I work with Adobe Creative Suite for Layouts, logos and image editing. I'm now learning Sketch for bigger websites and Axure for wireframing. And I always try to get better with 3D programs.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
AA : It's an important part. But the whole thing is more than the sum of its parts.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
AA : I would ask people what they associate with my designs.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
AA : Why did not I have the idea myself?

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
AA : An ideal partner is someone who complements me. Which is the opposite of me, but still able to work constructively with me. I yes, I do believe in co-design.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
AA : Maybe my teacher at the art school. He always reminded us that we still have much to learn.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
AA : Maybe Haruki Murakami, because his books are always a little surreal.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
AA : I don't think that I'm a master designer. I'm still learning and always will be.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
AA : I would choose Stanley Kubrick.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
AA : Where I live, designers aren't that famous.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
AA : My favorite color is blue, my favorite place is the swiss jura, my favorite season is autumn, my favorite thing is my phone and I don't have a favorite brand.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
AA : Once, I forgot to switch the picture with the watermark with the paid one. All advertisements had the image provider's watermark in the background. The customer was not so happy.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
AA : I start the day with a coffee at home. Then I walk about 20 Minutes to the office. This time aI need for myself, to plan the tasks and to structure the day.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
AA : I always loved to draw and to build stuff. I always knew that I wanted to do something with visual design. But it was a great luck that I can really work in this field.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
AA : In thousands of years, our solar system will be gone. But humanity maybe not. Maybe our descendants will populate the universe.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
AA : Thank you!