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Designer Spotlight: Linda Schneider

Vienna based designer Linda shares her love for maps and information design, and talks about the best and worst parts of being a designer

Tell us about yourself

My name is Linda Schneider, I’m 21 and from a super small town in Austria. After my studies, I moved to Vienna (I love living in the city) where I just started working as a Junior Graphic Designer at Rosenberg gp!

Which design topics are you most passionate about?

I love design that you can touch and feel, so basically everything print. This is why I always gravitate towards Editorial Design projects. However, my biggest passion is probably Information Design and working with data. I took a lot of information design classes at uni and created some cool projects like “Der erste Blick” where I was able to map spaces in my hometown. Now my favorite thing to do in my free time is looking at a bunch of maps from different time periods and different areas of the world and even dig out some inaccurate maps to analyze for fun.

What do you like to do in your free time?

After the Information Design projects I did at uni, my favorite thing to do in my free time is looking at maps from different time periods and different areas of the world—I’ll even dig out some inaccurate maps so I can analyze them. Trying to understand all the things a map wants to tell you is really fun, especially once you open your mind and understand just how different maps are, and how non-traditional they can be.

What inspired you recently?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been in awe of @studio_ricardodesign latest series “Vienna Typeface”, which is a three-dimensional portrait of Vienna represented by 26 letters, each one representing one of the many facades in Vienna. This project made me fall in love with the city I live in even more. The way he constructs each letter in so much detail and abstraction inspires me to dive more into my love for typography and get to know the possibilities of working in 3D.

What’s the hardest thing about being a designer?

I think it’s having to stop working on a project. With most things you do, there’s a deadline—you’re determined to do your best and deliver the best result possible within that time period. Often I’m aware that if I could keep going, the project would turn out even better. It’s a shame when you know you want to keep going, especially at work where deadlines are really tight. But I realize that everything needs an end, even the most inspiring project. And even if I think a project could have been better, being able to say “It’s finished” and feel proud no matter what is always the most rewarding feeling.

What’s the best thing about being a designer?

Being able to convey complex thoughts, topics, information or data in a way that will be perceivable, interesting, and understandable for your target audience. My favorite thing about projects—many of which are nuanced and vast—is showing the final results to my parents so they can finally understand what the heck I’ve been doing the whole time. Being able to communicate feelings and thoughts in small, subtle details like the choice of font or the weight of the paper is something that most non-designers won’t necessarily realize you’re doing—but will always feel the effect.

Who would you love to collaborate with?

I love the multidisciplinary design studio Catalogtree, based in Arnhem and founded by Daniel Gross and Joris Maltha. I was lucky enough to have had Nina Bender as a teacher for a few semesters and her work inspires me so much. She was also part of the studio for a long time, which is how I got to know her designs. The studio says they are interested in self-organizing systems and focus on experimental tool-making, programming, typography and the visualization of quantitative data. I have to say the wide range of their projects just seems incredible to me.

Describe your dream project.

I’d love to work with a book publisher and create a series of book covers—something like Hans Schmoller’s original designs for the Penguin Modern Classics! Having a book collection at home with covers that are all in a design system made by me would be insanely cool.

Share the last photo you took for inspiration and explain why.

This is a tag I saw a few days ago in Vienna. I’ve been really inspired by looking at graffiti in general, particularly tags after someone took the time to explain their relevance to me—that they function as a kind of signature. The quickness of a tag and the fact that it can exist anywhere and everywhere is fascinating, and the way tags differ from each other is even more amazing. I photographed this one in particular because I like the simplicity of it and how it looks like the top of the letters is getting more blurry. I also love the prominent point, the period at the end of the word making MONO. That seems like a real statement.

What's the best advice you've received (and from whom)?

Once at University when everyone was just “over” a project our professor told us to “trust the process.” It seems like such basic advice but I’ve been saying that to myself ever since. I’ve since added to it—not just to trust the process but first to trust yourself and the people and team around you.

What do you do when you feel stuck and low on inspiration?

I usually scroll through Pinterest which might seem very unprofessional but I love the massive influx of visuals you can get from simply typing in a few words. Of course not everything on Pinterest is good (and a lot of things are posted without permission from the artists), but seeing the vastness of design in a quick 5-minute scroll is the quickest way to get me back in front of my laptop and to try my own experiments.

Recommend a book/movie/TV series/podcast/playlist to our readers.

The book Tokyo Express by Seichō Matsumoto, first published in 1957, is such a good quick read if you’re into detective stories. The determination and fast-paced thought process of the main protagonist always get me motivated to keep going. (And the mystery is great too!)



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