Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Lana Raizen ("LR") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

LR : I have always loved drawing and traveling. But when it was time to choose a profession, I started to study at the hotel business and tourism management. After graduating from the Academy and having worked for several years in the field of tourism, I realized that I would not particularly succeed in traveling with this profession, and I don’t have enough time for creative work. Then I decided to become a graphic designer, but office work didn't attract me anymore, so I became a freelancer. So, I was able to both realize my creativity and travel. I studied web design courses at the University of Novosibirsk. But I acquired all the professional skills myself, watched educational videos, read design books.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

LR : I like to create something new, and I don’t like to be tied to one place. Office work and a clear schedule is not for me. Therefore, to become a graphic designer freelancer is an ideal option for me.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

LR : Becoming a designer is completely my personal choice. Nobody imposed this profession on me, no one forced me to study design. I draw from my childhood, then I just began to process photos for myself, create collages, and only then I decided to turn my hobby into a profession.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

LR : I specialize in the design of catalogs and magazines. Besides this, I create different types of layouts: leaflets, posters, banners, corporate identity, design of social networks, presentations, full graphic support of awards and events, and so on. The work on multi-page publications and catalogs brings the most pleasure, therefore I undertake such work with great zeal.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

LR : Constantly develop, improve your skills, follow the trends, analyze the work of the best designers and try to create similar works in your style. The main thing is not to stop there and try to become more professional.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

LR : A good designer creates the well, correct and beautiful work. He or she just performs the task. A great designer does not just create a good and correct design, he creates a unique design, brings his unique style into it, creates something that is not yet in this world.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

LR : In my field, a really good design is not only beautiful, but technically correctly implemented, unique and creative. If we talk about catalogs, then just a beautiful catalog will not fulfill its function if it is not convenient for perceiving all the information that is in it. It is important to create it so that it attracts attention and brings meaning to the user.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

LR : A good design is always thoughtful, made taking into account many factors, such as: perception of colors and shapes, tactile sensations, if we are talking about material design, the target audience and so on. Such a design will fulfill its goal, increase sales, make the brand famous and recognizable, and highlight it among competitors. By investing in good design, you increase the chances of success for your company.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

LR : Concentration. To create a good design, you need to immerse yourself in work, focus on every detail. If there is a distraction, it will not allow you to perform work at 100% quality.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

LR : I have no idols, I work in my own style and I am inspired not by people, but by nature. But I like the design attitude and some of the work of Chris Do.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

LR : My own project is a graphic book “Siberia”. For me, it is the best, it was invented and created by me; it is unique and not similar to other books.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

LR : Watch educational videos, read books about design, you can subscribe to the design community, they have a lot of useful information that helps to improve your skills.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

LR : I think that I would become a nutritionist, this is my hobby now. And I dream to be an astronaut

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

LR : My spouse is my biggest support. I think he is the only one who truly believes in me, sometimes even more than I do.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

LR : Now I am working on current projects of my regular clients. Nothing fancy, just ordinary advertising design for brand promotion. But besides that, I am working on another project of my own, I am creating thematic postcards of US National Parks. I am doing this project for myself, in memory of traveling around the US, but maybe I will show the final result to the world.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

LR : I want to open my own media agency and a professional school where I can share my experience and transfer my knowledge to other designers. I want to create projects that will help other designers to develop, be implemented and just have a good time.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

LR : Most of all I enjoyed the creation of the book “Siberia”. One night I got the idea to create a book about my native region, which is interestingly designed and thanks to which in a few hours you can get a complete picture of Siberia. For several days I was thinking over the details of this project, and then proceeded to its implementation. I collected all the necessary information for a month, studied the statistics of Siberian cities, searched for interesting facts about them, etc. As a result, a couple of months later I printed the first copy of the book. This project participated in the international Indigo Design Award 2019 and became a silver winner.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

LR : I think that every year the design will become more unusual, more creative, but at the same time it will be heavy to the perception and less convenient. This trend is already visible. Every year new trends appear, and many designers implement them in their projects, not always thinking about whether this effect is appropriate in the project. The result is an interesting modern design that does not carry any useful function. Recently, many designers think less about the convenience of perception, they are only important a picture.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

LR : It depends on the specific project. One catalog of 64 pages may take 1 day, and with another client 2 months. It all depends on the efficiency of the client, on the availability of the necessary content, for example, there are situations when the client does not have good product photos for the catalog, then a photo session is organized for the product, then it takes time to process the received photos. It all takes a lot of time, and work on the catalog is delayed. If all the content is provided by the client, and I only need to create a design and layout, then depending on the complexity, it may take only one day.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

LR : I analyze all the information provided by the client. On its basis, I create a grid of the document that will be the foundation of the project, then proceed directly to the design itself.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

LR : Do it quickly, but qualitatively, beautifully, but conveniently.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

LR : I work with the Adobe software package: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

LR : Color plays a very important role in the design. It causes certain emotions. Knowing all the subtleties of color perception, you can use the design to control the consumer. About this, I even wrote an article for a scientific journal. The material is no less important, since tactile sensations can play a crucial role in the choice between two competing items.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

LR : I work alone on catalogs and magazines, as well as other printed projects or presentations. But I collaborate with a video editor on video design, he is my husband, so I am confident in the success of the project and trust him completely.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

LR : I am extremely happy with every award I receive. I'm not so famous that it caused me any inconvenience.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

LR : I love pastel and calm colors and shades. If we talk about pure color, then black and red are my favorites. The place where I felt peaceful and happy was a small-town Portland in Oregon, USA. That was the most comfortable and relaxing place I've ever been to. I adore chocolate, but I rarely eat it, because in my country it is difficult to find real high-quality chocolate, and if it is, then it’s very expensive. I prefer winter season, this is the time when I can fully immerse myself in work, for weeks without leaving my home. I live in Siberia now, and the winters are very cold here, so I don’t want to go outside. I am not obsessed with brands and names, it is important for me that the thing is of high quality, comfortable and reliable.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

LR : I have always loved to draw. When I was a child, I studied in art school for a short time. I was born in a very small town, there was practically no room for the development of artistic talent. But my parents are great at drawing. Mother can easily draw any character, and my father perfect in technical drawings. Therefore, I always drawing, especially when I was sad. Drawing helped to calm down and get back balance.

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

LR : I am not a public person. I love peace and quiet, I am inspired by nature, and I love to travel, especially by car. I also like to sleep and read.



Kalitva Product Catalog

Kalitva Product Catalog by Lana Raizen

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