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An Interview with Graphic Designer Veerle Pieters of Duoh!

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Whatʼs it like being in a design partnership with your partner in “real life?”

Itʼs great but itʼs also challenging from time to time. I know that most people wouldnʼt be able to do this. It takes a while to make it really work and to have it working like an oiled machine. Weʼre a bit like the Siamese twins, inseparable. Even the logo tells this. I think weʼre very fortunate to be able to run a business together like this. I think the fact that we have the same taste in everything and that our qualities are complimentary makes it work.

How is the design community important to you and your work?

I value the community because they helped me build and support my reputation, even though there are those who can only say negative things about your work, I consider them a minority. The community is important because if I have question or a problem I know I can count on them. Take for instance the example of when a design of mine got stolen. I usually get to know these things via readers of my blog, via the design community. If I mention this publicly I know itʼll have its effect because of them. Of course I also value their opinion and they inspire me with their work like I inspire them. I learn so much from the community like new techniques or other ways to do things. It broadens my creative perspective.

Please speak about the importance of personal projects vs. client work for you.

For personal projects you are your own client and in my experience this can sometimes be tougher to deal with. You have complete Carte Blanche which makes it a bit of a challenge and most designers, including me, arenʼt easily pleased if you design something for yourself. I think this is probably the case for most designers, or the fact that you feel the urge to constantly tweak a design. With client work, you have a focus and a direction that you can clearly follow (if you are briefed properly of course), which makes it in my opinion easier. Also, every client is different. On one hand you have clients that value your opinion, appreciate your work, listen to your advice and see you as an expert that are easier to work with. The clients that come to you simply because youʼre within their budget and that is the only qualifier are sometimes more difficult. In the end I think client chemistry makes a difference, no matter what budget.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a designer?

I think the most important thing is to stay passionate about what you do and don't lose that drive to constantly learn new things. Also, believe in yourself and stay true to yourself.

What do you love about design?

Everything.

You can read Veerle's blog and see more of her design here and here.

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