Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Rebecca Burt ("RB") 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.
RB : I did a basic design course and then I worked hard from the ground up. I gained valuable knowledge and experience from many years of full-time employment in top-end design agencies. Eleven of those years was continuously at one agency, working closely with the Creative Director and learning from all the really talented designers in the team. I do not have a design degree. I have also spent time working in the screen printing industry.
RB : I’ve always enjoyed being creative. I made and sold jewellery as a side-line business for a while, to raise money for a classic car restoration I was doing. I found it very satisfying to get paid for something I enjoyed creating. Later on I became involved in the graphic design industry which became my happy place. I find the process of creative problem solving motivating and finding creative solutions to help others rewarding.
RB : I chose to be a designer.
RB : I focus on strategic brand design and packaging design. I’m also a retoucher.
RB : I’m not a design legend. Listen and never stop learning, questioning and discovering.
RB : Great designers are good listeners ask questions and are empathetic during the design process. They think more and simplify everything.
RB : It just works. It’s really clear and simple and you quickly understand what it’s trying to communicate. Information has been cleverly distilled down to the essence. A great design execution will make me smile.
RB : Good design brings value to peoples lives. For example, a clear and effective wayfinding design can be the difference between getting lost or getting to your destination on time. Our everyday lives and experiences are positively enhanced with good design.
RB : Posters or anything really for the protection and conversation of wildlife and the environment, for an organisation like National Geographic.
RB : A project on wildlife protection.
RB : I don’t have a secret recipe. I think being a good listener is really important and to be empathetic. Be open minded and don’t take constructive criticism personally. Always try new angles and don’t fall into the trap of ‘same old’ approach.
RB : I like the styles of Josef Muller Brockmann and Saul Bass.
RB : I don’t have a greatest design, but I am fond of the Passion of the Card - Lead light Series I entered in the awards, because the beauty of this project and what makes it great is in the story. At the time of the creation of these products I was involved in a business with my then partner Evan Reiman. The design series was a range of self-promotional business cards and a memorial to Evan’s father, who was the last person in New Zealand to complete an apprenticeship in creating lead light windows. Evan’s father was an important role model in his life and taught him everything he knew about the screen printing trade. The business Flexicon is no longer in existence and I am no longer involved in these products. Sadly, Evan has now also passed – so they have now become a double memorial and tribute. Not everything we create as designers is about the hard-sell or work we can even charge for. Some are just for passion and good design is timeless.
RB : Never stop learning and keep discovering. Be open to new ways of doing things.
RB : Wildlife Photographer or had an animal sanctuary.
RB : Design is here to add value, functionality, communicate effectively and solve problems.
RB : My Creative Director.
RB : I listened and learnt from designers that were/are better than me. I did a basic design course, started from the bottom in the industry and worked my way up. I didn’t have a design degree (i’m not saying a degree is not valuable or important), so I worked really hard to prove myself. I made plenty of mistakes. That’s how one learns.
RB : I’m not a design master. My biggest obstacle is believing in myself.
RB : Clearly and showing some of the workings and thinking behind the process, so the client understands your rationale.
RB : A packaging design range for a new product.
RB : To see my clients thrive and my work being effective and making a positive difference for them and their businesses. I would also love to make a difference somehow, with designing messages around conservation and animal welfare.
RB : Professionalism, reliability and trust.
RB : By solving problems and designing better solutions - even new ways of doing things. Design can help us engage and communicate ideals and messages better. It helps us navigate our way.
RB : A new packaging range.
RB : Any project to do with animal or environmental protection as I am passionate about these things.
RB : For more people to understand the value of good and effective graphic design and the importance of this investment in business. No more expectations of free pitching. More stringent policies around product creation and packaging for the protection of the environment.
RB : I think augmented reality will offer more opportunities for the design industry to expand into. Traditional packaging will hopefully continue to develop new environmentally sound solutions and minimise waste.
RB : Each project is different and timings vary.
RB : I start by asking my client questions.
RB : Keep learning and try new things. Enjoy the process.
RB : I think it can work both ways, however good design is timeless.
RB : Finalising work at final design and production stages.
RB : I work on a Mac and mainly use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
RB : They all have a unique role to play and come together to create the whole experience.
RB : What is the story behind the work.
RB : Appreciation.
RB : I work alone, but my ideal design partner would be someone who challenges, questions and has a different design approach.
RB : My Creative Director and co-workers is where I learned about the process of design.
RB : I’m not a master designer. I developed my design skills at the coal face in the industry, working many years under creative direction and learning from other talented designers.
RB : Sir David Attenborough.
RB : Pretty humbled to be honest. It’s an honour to have won.
RB : Favourite colour is pink. My favourite place is anywhere in nature (New Zealand is beautiful). I always look forward to strawberries and summer fruits. I like plant based foods. I love all seasons but would have to pick Spring. My dog is my favourite being and I don’t have a favourite brand.
RB : Solving a design problem always feels good. I motivate and get inspiration by walking with my dog in nature.
RB : No.
RB : Make wise and responsible choices when purchasing and do what’s kind for the environment. Support local talent and businesses as much as possible.
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