On this episode of the Smashing Podcast we ask how has the design trade modified? Is know-how making our work simpler? Vitaly Friedman talks to veteran designer Veerle Pieters to search out out.
Vitaly Friedman: She’s a graphic and net designer who based a graphic and net design studio together with her fantastic, fantastic companion, Geert. She was born on the Belgian coast close to Bruges — oh, I might love to return to Bruges — and now lives in Deinze, a metropolis in London with 45,000 inhabitants. From an early age, she immersed herself into drawing and love of illustration has saved her going for greater than three many years now. And he or she’s been designing logos, stationary, brochures, books, web sites, and purposes since then. She has labored with Fb, Google, Greenpeace, Adobe, the Library of Congress, and so many different small and huge corporations and organizations. Most significantly, she chooses her undertaking based mostly on how effectively she connects with the corporate, all folks working there.
Vitaly: She’s additionally a agency believer within the energy of sharing, which is strictly what she has been doing in her fantastic tutorials, articles, and inspiration feed since 2003. Now, when not designing, she loves listening to soulful deep home music and current her bicycle, and there are many photographs proving that that is certainly true. So, we all know she’s an exquisite designer and illustrator, however do you know that being a Belgian, she, in fact, loves Belgian chocolate, but in addition Swiss typography and Swiss graphic design. My smashing mates, please welcome Veerle Pieters. Hi there Veerle. How are you doing right now?
Veerle: Hello, Vitaly. I’m doing smashingly good.
Vitaly: That’s fantastic to listen to. I imply, I do know you… I don’t know, I keep in mind vividly this second, I don’t know, it looks like perhaps 15 years in the past or so whenever you had been posting lots of articles in your weblog about CSS and design and CSS tutorials and all these items.
Vitaly: I want to listen to your story. I must know-
Veerle: The place’s the time?
Vitaly: Sure. I imply, I do know that you simply all the time had lots of curiosity in artwork and drawings and design, however I’m questioning, how did you then come to this office? And what excited you about it again then? Why?
Veerle: So, unsure. I ought to perhaps begin on the very starting. I began as a contract designer, in order that was nonetheless the early nineties again then, so no web but. However the first 5 years, I attempted to make my method in designing for small businesses, advert businesses, doing print work and attempting… Yeah, it was proper from college really, which was arduous. However then in ’97… So the primary 5 years, I actually struggled. And I really didn’t make any cash, however I didn’t hand over. I used to be on the level, ought to I search for a full-time job or not? However I sort of persist with it. I met Geert then, and really, when the net was coming, we had been sort of eager about it as a result of I keep in mind with my Macintosh again then, I had bother. And never that I had all the time bother, however there was a second that I had bother with my printer. And the man, the technician got here and he mentioned, “I’m going to search for if there’s an replace and the driving force from the print driver.” And he was all the time mentioning, “Yeah, we will obtain it from the web.”
I used to be like, huh, on the web, that’s attention-grabbing. As a result of afterwards, I noticed the bill and I used to be like, it value me loads. If I’ve bother once more, I ought to look into having an web subscription. So, that’s how I began trying into what’s the web? After which it was nonetheless textual content and never graphic. However then abruptly, issues developed. There was Netscape popping out, and abruptly you could possibly have photographs in webpages and so they grew to become increasingly more graphically, the pages. So, I used to be eager about how do they create such web page. So, I used to be … There have been fundamental instruments. I keep in mind Naked Bones BBEdit. That was one among the-
Vitaly: Yeah. Wow, this brings again reminiscences, I’ve to say.
Veerle: Yeah. And there was one other little software I used to be considering. Was it from… It was visually. Web page. It’s one thing with web page.
Vitaly: Oh, I don’t keep in mind anymore, however I do know precisely the sort of software that you simply’re speaking about.
Veerle: If it’s from Adobe, I’m unsure. Anyhow, I regarded into how a web page was created, and I do not forget that it motivated me. Perhaps that is the long run. If it turns into extra graphically, it will possibly turn into your job.
Vitaly: Proper. However you by no means deserted print, proper? You by no means actually mentioned, okay, I’m not going to do print anymore. I’m simply going all net. So, you had been doing combination of each, so that you might need some undertaking which you’ll form of-
Veerle: At all times.
Vitaly: … partly print and partly digital?
Veerle: Sure. Sure. And likewise, at the moment, I keep in mind there was… Properly, a bit later, you had Flash from Macromedia Flash. That was changing into fashionable. And really, a little bit bit earlier than that, you’ve Macromedia director to create CD-ROMs. I’ve had a few tasks in that course as effectively, which had been actually large challenges as a result of it wanted lots of testing, Mac and Home windows. It was slightly technical. I keep in mind we labored additionally with a freelancer again then, an excellent freelancer who knew the scripting lots of, as a result of it was lots of coding work as effectively to create such a CD-ROMs. And with Flash, we additionally made, not purely for the net really, however lots of displays for advert businesses. Flash-
Veerle: … a little bit of the brand new… Again then, it was the extra graphical PowerPoint factor, however extra actually, effectively, displays. We did that as effectively.
Veerle: So, it was all the time a combination of all the pieces collectively, interactive and print. In the meantime, we additionally did brand design and brochures.
Vitaly: I imply, I believe after I take a look at your portfolio, I believe you’ve finished all the pieces, all the pieces, all the pieces.
Veerle: I keep in mind the app now. PageMill.
Vitaly: Oh, I don’t know-
Veerle: The visible editor. Are you aware?
Vitaly: No. So, I obtained on the internet someplace like 1999, proper? And really, it’s humorous that we’re saying that as a result of we simply had a dialog with with a pal, and there was this notion that got here up that I keep in mind the time earlier than the web existed, and a few of the new generations, they simply don’t know that point earlier than the web existed, proper? So, I’m questioning, do you do not forget that second whenever you really noticed the net for the primary time or something that… Perhaps not for the primary time, however the place you had been really understanding what you’re seeing? What is that this?
Veerle: On the first time… Yeah, the primary time was textual content, and I wasn’t making the reference to my career in any respect.
Veerle: However then I believe as soon as… I attempt to keep in mind the precise second of… I believe issues modified when GoLive. Do you keep in mind micro-
Vitaly: Yeah, GoLive was-
Veerle: Was it Macromedia?
Vitaly: Macromedia GoLive. Yeah. Yeah.
Veerle: Yeah. That’s actually the trick for me. Yeah. After which it was evolving quick to design webpages mainly.
Vitaly: One factor I discovered about you as effectively, as a result of I used to be simply curious, simply researching a little bit bit. So, you’re really left-handed, however you then taught your self the best way to write proper so that you turn into proper handed.
Veerle: Not myself.
Vitaly: Not your self.
Veerle: It was at school. I imply, first… Let me say right here in English. If you’re six years previous and also you begin to be taught to jot down and-
Veerle: Properly, as a little bit child, I say toddler-
Vitaly: Yeah. Yeah.
Veerle: Yeah, if you end up 4 or 5 years previous, the instructor is attempting to show you to jot down your title. So, they write your title on the board.
Veerle: And for me, it was like drawing my title. I didn’t perceive letters at that age. I used to be drawing them mirrorly, in mirror. I don’t understand how or why one thing in my mind is, yeah, wrongly wired, I assume.
Vitaly: Proper, but-
Veerle: I noticed it, and I didn’t perceive. My mother was all the time saying, “Look, Veerle has written her title.” And he or she was holding it in entrance of the mirror, so everyone noticed them appropriately, my title appropriately. Then I didn’t perceive why they’re already making such a fuss. I didn’t get it. I used to be too little to grasp.
Vitaly: However how does this work? Does it imply that you may really write with each left hand and proper hand, your title, all the pieces?
Veerle: I can, really.
Vitaly: So, that is your magical energy. Have you ever been utilizing the magical energy? So, what can be… So your mouse, is it then within the left hand or in the suitable hand, otherwise you’re utilizing a trackpad?
Veerle: Proper, my proper hand. Yeah, that’s why additionally I’ve generally bother with these drawing Wacoms.
Vitaly: Wacom tablets.
Veerle: Tablets. Tablets. Sorry, yeah. Yeah. It’s like I’m used to make use of my proper hand for the mouse, however then drawing is with my left hand. So, I used to be all the time like, I don’t know, in some sort of dilemma.
Vitaly: Proper. Proper.
Veerle: Ought to I take advantage of my left hand? Ought to I take advantage of my proper hand? So, it was all the time a mixture up and a wrestle to make use of it correctly.
Veerle: On one hand, it was an excellent factor as a result of I might use my proper hand for the issues I’m used to with the mouse, after which change to left for after I wish to draw, nevertheless it was complicated me, and in addition a bit irritating me as a result of it was all the time which arms to make use of. That’s why I like drawing on the iPad, as a result of then I’ve the pencil in my hand and I’m simply drawing, and the remainder I can do with my finger or… It’s much less complicated or-
Vitaly: Positive. So, then additionally talking concerning the instruments that you simply’re utilizing, I’m curious. So, you’re utilizing an iPad. What instruments do you utilize to get these concepts out into this world? Do you continue to sketch within the sketchbook first, and you then go into an iPad? Or what instruments do you utilize to deliver your concepts to life?
Veerle: I nonetheless use pencil and paper loads. I don’t know why, as a result of on an iPad, you are able to do it really nearly as good, as quick as attainable. However one way or the other, I don’t know. I like having my sketchbook in my arms and draw on paper. Perhaps it’s simply that quaint perhaps.
Vitaly: Yeah, I can think about you going within the backyard, and you then sit down perhaps. And also you say, okay, now I’m going to provide you with all these fantastic concepts after which deliver it into world, proper?
Veerle: Yeah, generally, if climate permits and time permits. Typically I don’t have sufficient time to do it really, sketch and… Typically it’s immediately an illustrator. It’s bizarre to say that. However let’s say I’ve this consumer and I’m doing lots of icon designs now for them, and so they need an icon. I’m not saying that my deadline is three hours, however they is predicted to have it finished the identical day. So, I’m typically googling. It’s not quite common icons, like hamburger menu or a house icon. It’s extra very technical and particular. So, I enter some key phrases in Google and see what comes up. And I normally find yourself with icon on the finish or illustration icon. And I flick through the concepts, the ideas that I see, like I don’t know, a basket or a-
Veerle: … I don’t know, a pencil or one thing. And I say, okay, I can use that, or a home icon.
Vitaly: Yeah. But additionally in any case these tasks that you have to have heard over all these years, do you are feeling like, I don’t know, at any time when my consumer involves you with a specific difficulty, specific drawback, specific undertaking, you’re like, “Okay, I’ve finished this earlier than. I believe I’m fairly comfy simply entering into, and simply I can begin immediately in Illustrator?” Do you are feeling such as you all the time want this sort of ideation section, brainstorming section beforehand to simply get in? Or do you are feeling like… As a result of that is one thing that occurs to me generally.
Every time I’ve to jot down about something, generally you give me any matter, I believe I can begin comfortably, and with any matter, I imply not essentially about regulation, let’s say, or about physics, proper? However something design, I believe I can begin on a regular basis. I must do analysis and provide you with all of the factors and all that, however I can begin simply. And I believe that probably the most tough half generally for me to achieve, simply begin, to sort of have a spot the place I wish to go from. After which I sort of discover when to go. Is it comparable for you? Would you say that each single undertaking requires you to sit down right down to analysis, to attempt to perceive what’s it precisely that the wants are, after which design from scratch each time?
Veerle: It relies upon. Often, I want a while to have do some wealthy analysis, as an alternative of beginning simply immediately from scratch. However I’ve a few shoppers the place I do lots of work for them, and I do know their type and I instantly know the course, after which I don’t have to do this. However that’s normally format issues that want a bit much less of precise new design work. Typically I can then recuperate issues already created and I’m making a variation of it and constructed additional on that very same idea as a result of it must be in the identical line, in the identical course. But when it’s a brand new undertaking, a brand new consumer, then no. I don’t suppose I can do, okay, soar immediately and Illustrator, or in InDesign or no matter, and begin immediately. I all the time should browse round for concepts and do some sketching, do a little analysis earlier than. Yeah.
Vitaly: Do you’ve collage books that we used to have within the day the place you’ll have all of the totally different matters sort of put collectively, and at any time when we’ve got a tasks associated to healthcare, you’ve your healthcare folder with all of the tasks associated to healthcare or something like that.. or one thing like that?
Veerle: No. What I generally do can be… I don’t know if the app, Milanote?
Vitaly: It sounds very acquainted, sure.
Veerle: It’s an app that I like to make use of to assemble all of the issues that I like that I come throughout and I discovered related to the undertaking. It might both be a design type, a colour palette, generally even generally that isn’t actually associated to the undertaking, however a component in there that I like, a composition or temper boarding.
Vitaly: Yeah, temper boarding. I imply, really speaking about that, your inspiration stream has been going now for I don’t know what number of many years, I believe. As a result of I keep in mind vividly for tasks that I had, as a result of I additionally do with the consultancy each every so often, proper? After which we’re talking with designers about, okay, what can be the type that we might be pursuing right here? Would it not be going that course? Extra playful, much less playful, extra formal, much less formal.” I’ll say, “Oh no, you simply go to Veerle. Simply go to Veerle.” That is like a-
Vitaly: … a showcase or a gallery of all of the totally different kinds. However that is actually attention-grabbing for me, as a result of I attempted to elucidate.. I used to be telling to my companion that I’m going to interview you for the podcast and we’re going to have a little bit session. And he or she requested me, “Oh, she’s a illustrator. Oh, that’s nice,” as a result of we additionally Belgium loads. And he or she requested me, “So, what sort of type is it? What sort of illustration type?” And I virtually caught. I couldn’t inform, as a result of the one factor I might say is that it’s vibrant, it’s playful, it’s colourful, it’s residing. That is what I got here up with. So, I’m questioning how would you describe your type, or do you’ve many?
Veerle: Yeah, I believe I’ve many. It’s a bit… I believe I attempt to adapt to what a consumer needs, as a result of a undertaking that I’ve been engaged on the previous month is a guide for a consumer, one among a long-term consumer that I really like working with. And each web page is an illustration. And at first, I do not forget that I attempted to set a mode for these illustrations and it’s with folks. And I believed like, okay, I’m going to maintain them quite simple, and I gave them a blue pores and skin, very fantasy. I believed if I take advantage of blue, it’s additionally colorless. All sort of folks will be that. It may be visualized or represented by blue figures. However she didn’t prefer it.
After which she confirmed me, I like this and that type, as a result of I introduced additionally to her, by which course ought to I am going? And he or she picked a few photos, of photographs that I introduced to her. And so I needed to change my type a little bit bit. So, that’s why I all the time suppose if folks ask me, “What’s your design type?” I don’t have a really particular type, however I believe the best way you describe it might work. I imply, colourful for positive.
Vitaly: Yeah, it’s colourful, for positive.
Veerle: It’s all the time attempt to embrace it to make it a bit playful, relying on the undertaking. However there’re normally the restrictions.
Veerle: The consumer in fact, needs this and it’s not like I’m a pure illustrator that has this type and the consumer involves me due to this type, and I persist with very strictly… How do you say it? This type.
Vitaly: Yeah. However I mean-
Veerle: It’s a bit broader.
Vitaly: Yeah, nevertheless it’s very tough for me to think about you engaged on a type of company dry booklets. I imply, perhaps you’ve, in fact, however I simply can not think about that. Perhaps I must be diving a bit extra into your inspiration stream.
Veerle: Properly, the inspiration stream is, in fact, not mine.
Vitaly: Yeah, yeah, positive. However I imply, it’s additionally collected by you, by your self.
Veerle: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Vitaly: So, there are all these totally different kinds, however I can not spot any dry — tremendous dry — company type there.
Veerle: No. No.
Vitaly: That’s in all probability not-
Veerle: That doesn’t converse to me normally. Sure. True. So, that displays to my very own type of design.
Vitaly: I’m questioning, that’s in all probability additionally one thing that many individuals is perhaps questioning. So, since you’ve been within the trade for fairly a very long time, when do you suppose you had this second whenever you notice, okay, I can now work with the Facebooks and the Googles and the large corporations? How did this occur? When did you expertise this sort of, I wouldn’t say breakthrough, nevertheless it’s extra like a place the place you felt like, oh wow, I really feel very comfy now with this area, pace, design usually, and I’m working now with large shoppers. As a result of usually… I believe that many individuals listening to this now, perhaps beginning out as designers, they is perhaps questioning, how do you even get there? It looks like such a distant, distant dream to be working with this shoppers. So, what would you inform them? And the way was it for you?
Veerle: Yeah, for me, it was, in fact, as a result of block that I obtained a breakthrough, turn into fashionable inside the world of net design and all the pieces. So, as a consequence of conferences and… I don’t know.
Vitaly: So, you sort of began getting extra seen, is that… So, basically-
Vitaly: … how did it be just right for you? So, for the weblog, did you’ve a schedule, like, okay, I’m going to jot down not less than as soon as per week or month or something like that?
Veerle: No, it was extra like after I had time. And again in that day, round I’m speaking like 2004, 2008, that interval was most that I spent weekends and all the pieces, hours writing for the weblog. And yeah, I simply made time. I didn’t go biking both again then.
Vitaly: Properly, now you possibly can have the posh of going biking, proper?
Veerle: Yeah. Yeah. However nonetheless, it’s not like I can, the way you say, take a vacation or sit on my lazy As and do nothing. I’ve to work arduous nonetheless to make living-
Vitaly: Yeah, in fact.
Veerle: … sadly. However again then, I obtained extra visibility, I believe, and that’s how they reached out to me for work. Earlier than, simply when the web was… Earlier than I began running a blog… And so I had declined the Library of Congress. That was additionally due to my information of director, Macromedia director, since you might additionally do interactive gaming issues on-line with that app. And I do not forget that the positioning obtained nominated by Macromedia again then I used to be website of the day and website of the week. And in order that’s how they obtained involved with me. And for Google and Fb, that was really simply the identical as a result of I used to be then within the CSS gallery from right here and there, galleries and awards and stuff. And that’s how I ended up working for Fb on a undertaking. I by no means had it in my portfolio, sadly. It’s one thing that by no means obtained launched. I did do a pleasant artistic job for them, nevertheless it was earlier.
Vitaly: Yeah. I believe additionally for me, it’s all the time been about two issues, I believe. I all the time felt like there’s a very, very sturdy must be current, to share. And I imply, that is additionally one thing that has been very near your coronary heart since you’ve been sharing, and you might be nonetheless sharing loads. So, this sharing has all the time been an important a part of me. And I believe that that is by means of sharing, the place you really not solely get to fulfill fantastic individuals who like your work, who discuss to you about your work, and perhaps they share with you their work, however that is additionally the way you sort of unfold the phrase about your self.
Veerle: Yeah. Yeah.
Vitaly: So, that has been all the time a sort of very, very-
Veerle: That’s really an important half. That’s how I obtained into the CSS galleries. Yeah. Really, a most vital half that I left on the market.
Vitaly: Yeah, I believe in order effectively.
Veerle: Yeah. As a result of I began that tutorial. There was one tutorial that I shared in the direction of designers who needed to be taught a little bit little bit of coding. How can I code a homepage? And I defined in numerous components, right here’s the way you create a header, right here’s the way you create the web page itself, header, content material, footer. Now, I’m explaining it very, very quick however… And I defined it going from really designing it in Photoshop, after which slicing it in components and-
Vitaly: There a slicing and all the pieces.
Veerle: … clarify how CCS work, very, very fundamental steps, after which very rudimentary language, quite simple so that everybody might perceive it. And that obtained so fashionable and picked up by so many websites who had been method, method larger than me. However that elevated me up there amongst all of the others, and I obtained an invited for talking at convention.
Vitaly: That’s proper.
Veerle: So, that’s how the ball obtained rolling it. After which the weblog was redesigned and it obtained an award once more, and it by no means stopped.
Vitaly: Yeah. Are you planning on the fifth redesign sooner or later?
Veerle: In the intervening time, I’m really doing a little bit… It’s not a redesign, however I’m twiddling with the colours and issues a little bit bit
Vitaly: Such as you all the time are, so I didn’t anticipate the rest. Yeah.
Veerle: Yeah. It’s all the time tougher for your self, doing-
Veerle: … enhancements on work, and in addition discovering the time.
Veerle: I believed I might’ve launched it by now, the issues that I’ve finished, I labored a little bit bit over the Christmas interval, however I’m nonetheless in the midst of it.
Vitaly: Yeah, in fact. I’m additionally talking with lots of junior designers, and fairly often what I hear is that they’ve a tough time sort of placing the phrase on the market. So, I really feel like perhaps again then, for me, it was fairly simple as a result of there was not a lot. I imply, there have been perhaps what handful of individuals, perhaps 30, 40 people who find themselves writing and running a blog and being very public about this and sharing.
Veerle: Yeah, precisely.
Vitaly: Now, I really feel like everyone’s posting. And now, you possibly can generate an ideal search engine marketing optimized, shared ChatGPT powered article about design and so forth. Do you suppose that you’d be doing the identical right now for those who had been on this place, let’s say, not 20 years in the past, however right now? Would you be attempting to be seen on TikTok and Instagram or LinkedIn? I don’t know what would be-
Veerle: I believe I in all probability would. I’m unsure. It’s arduous. It’s an entire totally different interval. For us, it was all so very new. I keep in mind Twitter. I keep in mind Jeremy Kieth instructed me like, “Hey, there’s this Twitter factor. You need to test it out.” I used to be like, huh, Twitter, what’s that? And he defined, and I used to be like, okay, I’m going to test it out. That’s how I obtained on Twitter again then.
Veerle: As a result of we had been all on… I don’t know for those who had been too on Pownce?
Vitaly: Oh sure, I do not forget that. I do know for positive that I registered an account. I registered an account on Pownce, after which I believe I by no means posted something. I imply, there have been a few apps or a few websites, social media websites again then. However I believe… I don’t know, for me, I all the time preferred… I preferred to jot down. It was all about writing for me. As a result of after I was rising up, I needed to be a author. Properly, that didn’t occur, however I actually needed to jot down. But it surely’s not about me. I imply, this podcast, in fact, just isn’t about me.
Veerle: However I believe I might do TikTok and Instagram. Now, I’ve been utilizing my Instagram all the time for simply photographs and all the pieces, however I believe I might extra attempt to be seen with my work by way of Instagram and TikTok and stuff like that.
Vitaly: I believe so. I imply, I additionally do not forget that one factor that’s actually excited me again then, I believe it’s nonetheless the identical, I imply, each single day, I occurred to fulfill, even with out being sort of proactive about it, however I occur to come across work folks simply unintentionally, both by looking out or by going by means of some feeds or LinkedIn on… I have a tendency to make use of Twitter much less lately. I all the time discover attention-grabbing folks. And that is one thing that’s actually retains motivating me as effectively. I really feel like I all the time be taught any person who’s doing one thing completely unbelievable. And so that is one thing that I may also then take and be taught from. And I all the time attempt to take that step to achieve out to that particular person and simply discuss to them or change ideas or work or no matter. That’s actually, actually… I imply, that’s that sort of progress of networking I noticed. That’s actually, actually, actually vital.
Veerle: Yeah, that’s what I attempted really additionally, reaching out to folks that you simply admire.
Vitaly: And so they reply again. It’s not like they’re within the citadel someplace. Fairly often, they might reply again. And people emails from these individuals who do reply again, I keep in mind them ceaselessly. I imply, generally I’d suppose, effectively, why trouble sending a message to any person who has been, I don’t know, designing a well-known typeface or one thing. They reply, after which this factor actually retains me sort of fueling and motivating me.
Veerle: Yeah, me too.
Vitaly: Perhaps turning the sort of course of the dialog a little bit bit, I’m additionally curious to know perhaps a few of the actually difficult tasks you labored on. What would we are saying, trying again now, what was a few of the most tough design tasks or illustration tasks that you simply had been concerned with, so long as you possibly can talk about it?
Veerle: I believe probably the most difficult one was really within the time earlier than web, the CD-ROM factor. We did… Properly, Geert and I did a undertaking for Ernst & Younger and a CD-ROM undertaking referred to as Oscan. It was a bit company, nevertheless it was lots of creativity. At first, we really needed to win it as a result of it was between us and one other company. So, we obtained the job finally, nevertheless it was from A to Z, from manufacturing, packaging. It was really a browser hand. The packaging, it was a giant browser hand that you could possibly open, and the CD-ROM was sitting within the browser hand. It was in 5 languages. There was lots of design work, and it was lots of technicalities additionally with testing on home windows. That was really probably the most difficult, as a result of it was first, to get the job. After which I believe we labored on it for greater than a 12 months to get it completed. Additionally with voiceover. It was with voiceover and was very graphically.
Vitaly: So, I assume that should have taken fairly a little bit of time, fairly a little bit of time.
Veerle: It was. Like I mentioned, we labored greater than a 12 months on it. The opposite one was for a screensaver.
Vitaly: A screensaver?
Veerle: Sure. It was referred to as Caveman, and it was with a caveman. And it was like with volcanoes, and it was very enjoyable. However I keep in mind how the outcome was nonetheless like… Now, you’ll take a look at it, it was like from the darkish ages, the pixels and the stuff. Yeah, it was early nineties, nevertheless it was so enjoyable.
Vitaly: Oh, I can think about. So, would you say that coming again and looking out again, do you discover that doing design work now’s simpler or harder?
Veerle: That’s arduous to say.
Vitaly: I imply, in fact, we’ve got significantly better know-how and tooling and all of that.
Veerle: Yeah. Yeah. So, I might say in that respect, it’s simpler, nevertheless it’s additionally tough in a method that there’s a lot apps, so to be taught. Alternatively, again then it was additionally loads to be taught. The artistic challenges, in fact, the identical. The instruments are simpler. As a result of I keep in mind within the early days after I used Illustrator… Now, I can do stuff in two clicks to say it easy. And again then, it was like it will take me greater than two hours to do the identical.
Vitaly: Yeah. So, you’ve additionally finished fairly a little bit of illustration work. I’m curious… So sooner or later, you simply knew that, okay, so that you’ve been drawing and also you’ve been designing, you’ve been this, and from all the pieces from packaging to stationary and all the pieces, proper? Did you wish to simply say one thing like, “Okay, I’m finished with this. I wish to discover fonts. I wish to design fonts now, or “I’m finished with this. I’m going to go for music. I’m going to create music now?” Did you’ve this moments the place you mentioned, “Okay, I wish to discover one thing totally totally different?” Or perhaps it was only a totally different type illustration that you’d be experimenting. As a result of for me… The explanation why I’m asking is as a result of I’ve this drawback that I all the time really feel like I’m leaping in with each toes in some matter. After which I notice, oh, I’m finished with it now. I wish to do one thing and tiredly totally different.
Veerle: Yeah. Yeah.
Vitaly: After which I jumped from UX to design, to entrance finish, to efficiency accessibility. That’s been like the trail for my complete journey to this point. What’s it like for you.
Veerle: I believe as a result of my jobs, and I imply the tasks that we work on are so numerous, that I all the time really feel like there’s one thing totally different. Tomorrow, I work on, this may very well be illustration work. And the week after, I work on print. Then I work once more on some web site, then once more on some apps, app design. Due to this fixed combination, I don’t have the urge to do one thing totally totally different as a result of it’s all the time one thing totally different. In a method, I can see what you say. That has been on my thoughts really, to design a farm. This has all the time one thing like, oh, that may be so nice to do, design a font. Alternatively, I believe there are such a lot of… How do you say? It’s such a specialty that I believe perhaps I received’t be good at it. As a result of to design a font, it’s not easy. So, it’s an excellent font, I imply, actually good font. If it’s a script font and from the, —
Vitaly: Handwritten font, or so…
Veerle: And even that… Yeah, you possibly can say, okay. But when it’s a sans or sans serif, there’s so many issues to take into consideration, just like the letter O must be a little bit bit larger as a result of it’s spherical. After which you’ve all these little issues that you’ve to remember. After which there’s the monitoring and the kerning and all the pieces.
Vitaly: Positive. Positive. That’s a science for itself, in fact.
Veerle: I believe I gave up the thought due to it. I really did design a font belt, not font font, however there was as soon as a undertaking from a man. I believe it’s the man who based Skillshare, really. He had a guide undertaking method again earlier than he based Skillshare, seize again guide or one thing. And he requested many artistic folks to do one thing completely out of their consolation zone, completely totally different. And for me, my process was create a font. So, others had one other process, like create a poster or… So, that was the one time. I really designed a font, nevertheless it was not like a font with font information and all the pieces. It was pure on design and it obtained printed in a guide. So, it by no means obtained additional than that.
Vitaly: Perhaps it’s not even vital anymore, due to course, we’ve got fantastic energy of synthetic intelligence coming our method. And I’m actually needed to ask this query, in fact. And we might simply ask, I don’t know, AI to simply design a font of our desires.
Veerle: Yeah, precisely.
Vitaly: However I’m wondering-
Veerle: It’s straightforward.
Vitaly: I’m questioning at this level, how do you see… I imply, we’ve got all these instruments from Midjourney to, I imply DALL-E And so many others, all these AI instruments that can help you generate a picture or help you ultimately, help you ultimately to get that good photograph, that good illustration, to that good panorama, that good no matter. How do you see that? Do you really ultimately use or consider using AI to your work, or do you are feeling like this cannot-
Veerle: To this point, I haven’t used it. No. In a method, I sort of see it… It’s again within the days when Photoshop launched results and we’re all like, “Whoa, sure, let’s strive it out.” And it’s like one thing new and everyone’s leaping at it. Like we are saying in Dutch, fly on a shit… I discover it a little bit bit, I don’t know, synthetic, too synthetic, just like the phrase says. It’s in all probability going to serve us as assist, and in a method, as a software. Yeah. However however, I’ve so many questions on it. I don’t know for those who heard… And I used to be already asking that very same query in my head, what about copyrights, the photographs that’s in there, that they’re utilizing? And I, not so way back, I believe a few days in the past, I learn one thing about Getty Pictures asking the query like, “Hey, you guys are utilizing photos, photographs of our Getty Pictures assortment.” So, I believe they’re going, they’re going to be bother right here and there as effectively. It’s not that straightforward—
Vitaly: Yeah. That is really nonetheless a giant query that’s, to be trustworthy, that appears to be, I wouldn’t say dismissed, however it isn’t taken critically typically. However you continue to see some points the place lots of the purposes which can be producing these photographs, they really have, within the phrases and situations, a really clear assertion that this just for private use and so forth and so forth. However usually, in fact, at any time when we take into consideration this, one large query that is available in my method is that clearly at any time when synthetic intelligence is producing these photographs, these photographs have a copyrighted designed by people. So if there have been no people, there wouldn’t be any design work finished by AI, proper? After which the query is, there isn’t a credit score, there isn’t a compensation. In fact, there’s mining, knowledge mining.
And this, in fact, brings up questions. I imply, after I was trying and enjoying with DALL-E and Midjourney, and there are such a lot of instruments at this level, I used to be very impressed with outcomes. I imply, I used to be critically impressed with the outcomes. I wouldn’t be capable of inform the distinction between an precise photograph or that sort of paintings… Perhaps it regarded a little bit bit too good at instances, and generally it had these actually unusual issues the place all the pieces seems to be good, however then an individual has six fingers as an alternative of 5.
Veerle: Sure, I noticed one thing comparable.
Vitaly: Yeah, these issues occur each every so often. However for those who simply give attention to the face, let’s say, then this drawback doesn’t happen. However then there’s sort of one thing virtually magical the place you possibly can… I imply, at this level, I believe additionally in Figma, you’ve these choices to say, pricey Figma, I want a photograph of a barista in entrance of tiled, I don’t know, tiled bakery, no matter in Portugal, and the image, the result’s unbelievable. I imply, I’ve to say that that is completely gorgeous. The query in fact that I’m asking myself and that a lot of my colleagues are questioning about is, what does it imply? So, would we, as designers or researchers, use it, or would we be attempting to struggle the struggle towards the windmill? As a result of there are such a lot of of these instruments. However that’s a query that hasn’t been answered but. And once more, it has raises lots of moral issues as effectively.
Veerle: Yeah. Yeah. Particularly the very last thing you talked about, moral issues. And I don’t know, in a method, I can see its function, however then however, I don’t know if it goes that far that it’s overtakes our complete job. I imply, I don’t know what’s-
Vitaly: Yeah, it’s arduous to say, as a result of I used to be this case, I don’t know for those who’ve heard about it or not, the place there was a undertaking, the place an administrator was engaged on a undertaking. After which I believe three or 4 months in undertaking, he was fired. And what the house owners of the corporate then mentioned, “Properly, you’ve designed 15 administration. We are able to now design the remainder with AI.”
Vitaly: So, we will mine your type and perhaps a number of extra photographs, or hundreds of thousands of photographs around the globe, and we will replicate your type. So, we don’t essentially want you to be on this undertaking. I used to be like, wow. So, these issues occurred.
Veerle: Wow. And that occurred and he didn’t… Did he say, “Okay, listed here are the royalties?”
Vitaly: I imply, he did the work, and the primary, I believe 15 photographs or so, they had been paid for, however the remainder was sort of canceled, as a result of you possibly can produce the outcomes with a handful of photographs, and clearly lots of different knowledge round. In order that, once more, raises some questions and issues.
Vitaly: So, I’m not fairly sure-
Veerle: That’s true.
Vitaly: … what we’re getting with this.
Veerle: Then we’ve got to place a copyrighting in our estimate earlier than taking up the job, like, right here’s the copyright.
Vitaly: Yeah, I believe within the end-
Veerle: As a result of in any other case, no. I mean-
Vitaly: I believe ultimately, this may turn into in all probability one thing that we’ll be together with in our contract or that we’ll be coping with as phrases and situations. However I’m very hopeful.
Veerle: Sure, phrases and situations…
Vitaly: I believe the long run seems to be brilliant, so we shouldn’t be… I imply, clearly we must be very cautious about what we’re doing there and the way we’re managing all that, however I’m hopeful that the neighborhood is best off with AI. We shouldn’t be preventing AI an excessive amount of.
Veerle: Yeah. Yeah. I believe so. Yeah. I believe it’ll have its place, however I don’t suppose it’ll be that far, prefer it overtakes our job. I don’t know. I don’t suppose that. I don’t consider that. I imply, we’re all nonetheless human. I imply, wants the human emotional contact and all the pieces. However I see it as… I hope we will use it as a software and never that it doesn’t overtake us.
Vitaly: Yeah. So, do you suppose, Veerle, that perhaps 4 years, three, 4, 5 years from now, you’ll be writing a pleasant article in your weblog about the best way to use AI to hurry up your artistic course of?
Veerle: Who is aware of? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Veerle: Or it’ll, I don’t know, get a really dangerous style and a really dangerous, I don’t know, factor, repute. However I don’t know if it go will go that far, and it’ll not survive. I don’t suppose it’ll in all probability survive.
Vitaly: Properly, perhaps there’s something good round that as effectively. As a result of whereas the AI is busy doing the design work, you possibly can go on biking, which is why I’ve to ask you about, as we’re wrapping up right here, perhaps you could possibly share us with a few of the most memorable locations that you simply even have traveled to in your bike. What had been a few of the highlights in your journey? And what was the longest journey you ever taken?
Veerle: I believe the longest journey or the longest trip was 207 kilometers.
Vitaly: 207. Wow.
Veerle: Yeah. But it surely was in Belgium. I believe-
Vitaly: It was throughout Belgium nonetheless?
Veerle: Yeah, I generally go in the direction of course of France and the Netherlands over the border, nevertheless it’s not that I’ve biked in some vacation spot distant. So, the Balearic Islands, that’s the forest the place I’ve rode my bike. It’s extra in my very own nation that I bike. However there’s so many little roads right here. I’m nonetheless amazed by what number of roads there are. After which that I nonetheless trip roads that I haven’t ridden. And so they’re like, I don’t know, 15 kilometers from right here, or 10 kilometers from right here. And I say like, huh, didn’t uncover that one. I’m all the time considering I ought to… I put my bike rides on Strava, and I believe you possibly can lookup a warmth map. And if I do Flanders, the warmth map of Flanders, it’s actually dense. I’ve ridden time and again and over. If I see the overall kilometers that I’ve ridden, I’ve ridden a few instances around the globe.
Vitaly: Oh wow.
Veerle: The kilometers.
Vitaly: That may very well be. However I believe-
Veerle: Like whoa, that’s thoughts blowing.
Veerle: I trip my bike greater than I drive my automotive.
Vitaly: Oh wow.
Veerle: It’s like double the kilometers in a 12 months.
Vitaly: Yeah. However perhaps we should always import you into Black Forest, and I’d be very curious how far you go there.
Veerle: It is among the areas I might actually like to go. My native bakery that I am going each weekend, he’s like a fan of that space. He’s additionally a mountain biker. And yearly, his vacation is all the time the Black Forest, and he’s all the time bragging about it. “If you would like some rights from there, I can share you some, and simply let me know whenever you go.”
Vitaly: Properly, I believe perhaps that’s an indication so that you can preserve within the loop. Please tell us query whenever you occur to be there. Perhaps as a last query right here to wrap up, I all the time ask this query as a result of it all the time offers me sort of a clue concerning the motivation, the desires that friends wish to have. Do you’ve a specific dream undertaking that you simply ever wished you could possibly work with? So, if any person from any firm might take heed to this now or sooner or later suppose perhaps Veerle needs to work on this unbelievable undertaking, we should always attain out. So, for those who had a dream undertaking or in case you have a dream undertaking, what would you desperately wish to work on sooner or later?
Veerle: Oh man. Properly, really dream undertaking can be if the consumer says that may’ve actually already make it, that may already make me very glad, if I’ve lots of time to work on a undertaking, like in the event that they say-
Vitaly: A 12 months.
Veerle: … you do your factor. I like to have boundaries, however for those who can go to your full potential of your creativity and there’s like no deadline… Often, they shoppers need issues finished too quick. And normally, you all the time find yourself, like hmm, if I had a little bit bit extra time, I might made this higher and higher. The issues that find yourself in my portfolio, the issues that I’m pleased with, that I like, there’s so many work, it’s like 10% of all of the work I’ve finished, as a result of lots of tasks are like that it has to go so quick, or they put it on-line, however they’ve applied it wrongly, stuff like that. There’s all the time one thing. So, my dream undertaking can be if there’s a undertaking from A to Z, it’s like good finished, lots of creativity. It may be something actually. I’ve all the time dreamt at school that I might find yourself in packaging design. I haven’t finished a lot packaging design, but when I might do, create a model brand, after which the entire packaging of the inside of, if it’s a store, an inside, the constructing, no matter.
Vitaly: However you already did design a brand for an airline, isn’t that proper?
Veerle: Ah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Proper. Yeah, it was really… It was not a giant undertaking. It seems like as a result of it’s for an airline, it’s like large. It was really like, we would like an icon on the airplane, and our brand has this colours, however we would like an icon. And so I sort of designed a star form, I believe. And that was like… Yeah, I used to be happy with it as a result of it was on a airplane.
Vitaly: Did you fly the airplane together with your icon?
Veerle: No. No.
Vitaly: Oh, perhaps that… So if anyone listening to this owns an airline or a prepare or a motorcycle or something and is prepared to perhaps put an icon… That will be good to have a motorcycle together with your work on it. That’d be good.
Veerle: Yeah. Yea.
Vitaly: Sure. So, please get in contact with Veerle. I’m positive she would respect that. All proper.
Vitaly: So, we’ve been studying fairly a bit about illustration and design and workflow, and AI even a little bit bit in right here, however what have you ever been studying about recently, Veerle? Something that you simply’ve discovered, or perhaps outdoors of the scope of design altogether, something that you simply felt like, oh wow, I didn’t know that earlier, so right here we go, now I do know it?
Veerle: Properly, really I’m presently working with Figma, and I didn’t comprehend it. It’s due to the undertaking with the consumer, the developer can be utilizing Figma and different designers within the workforce are utilizing Figma. And in any other case, I might soar in with my Adobe XD and I believed like, okay, it’s to hurry up the method, and in addition to work collectively on one thing and share. It’s not that you may’t do it with Adobe XD, however they’re already utilizing Figma. So, I’m studying Figma. It’s the primary steps, however yeah, it’s been enjoyable, really. I’m liking it. You can even copy paste from Illustrate, for me is essential.
Vitaly: Yeah, I can think about.
Veerle: I’m doing most of icon design work. It’s for webpages and an internet app. And so it’s useful that I can copy paste. And I’m additionally utilizing… I’m additionally attempting out Affinity Designer. I’ve been working in it a few instances now. It’s additionally very early section. So, I believe I’ve spent, if it’s an hour already. So, it’s actually quick time, however yeah, I’m liking it to this point. So, I’m stepping out of the Adobe atmosphere a little bit bit to be taught a little bit bit extra. Yeah. After which I believe on my iPad, I’m doing lots of water coloring-
Vitaly: Oh, that’s good.
Veerle: … coloring digitally, attempting out a few brushes. And in order that’s additionally a bit new.
Vitaly: By no means cease studying then.
Veerle: Yeah, by no means cease studying.
Vitaly: So perhaps now, for those who, sooner or later sooner or later, will discover a good Figma tutorial on Veerle’s weblog, what direction-
Veerle: Who is aware of?
Vitaly: … she ended up going. Properly, for those who, the listener, wish to hear extra from Veerle, you will discover her on Twitter the place she’s @vpieters, and in addition in dwelling homepage, in fact, which is veerle.duoh.com, veerle.duoh.com.
Veerle: I’m really not a lot on Twitter anymore-
Vitaly: Not a lot on Twitter.
Veerle: … to be trustworthy.
Vitaly: So, is it now… What’s cool at this level?
Veerle: Really not-
Vitaly: So, what-
Vitaly: Mastodon. So, are you on Mastodon loads?
Veerle: Yeah. Yeah. Properly, yeah. And I’m going… You requested me, you might be redesigning my weblog. I’m really additionally going to do lots of writing on my weblog. Little quick submit that I are inclined to do earlier than on Twitter. I’m shifting it a bit to my weblog.
Veerle: It’s referred to as Aspect Notes. I’m going to name it Aspect Notes, nevertheless it’s nonetheless within the making. I’ll attempt to make good progress that it’s can be on-line very quickly to exchange the entire Twitter feed. However up till now, I’m posting the issues on Mastodon.
Vitaly: That sounds-
Veerle: It’s really what I did earlier than Twitter was right here. So, I’m selecting up from method again.
Vitaly: Positive. However we’ll be following alongside for positive. So with this in thoughts, thanks a lot for becoming a member of us right now, Veerle. Do you’ve any parting phrases of knowledge? Think about any person listening to this 20 years from now and considering, how did they design issues again within the day? Do you’ve a message to the long run or share-
Veerle: Message to the long run.
Vitaly: … I don’t know, phrases of knowledge to folks on the market?
Veerle: I believe all the time carry on studying, I believe. And open your eyes, attempt to soak in inspiration from in all places, even simply go outdoors, discover inspiration in nature. Go searching, open your eyes. In case you are strolling within the streets, take a look at the indicators, indicators of retailers and all the pieces. Yeah, attempt to preserve an open imaginative and prescient, I believe, and by no means cease studying. These are my phrases.