Designer profile: vannessanoheart

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Vanessa, aka vanessanoheart, is a talented young print designer from Sacramento, California. She not only excels at book cover designs but also creates unique experimental posters that combine photography and experimental typography.

She recently landed a graphic design position at a prominent Sacramento-based publishing house with help from the portfolio she put together by participating on 99designs.

Vanessa No Heart – USA
99designs handle: vanessanoheart
Wins: 18
Website: vanessanoheart.net

How did you get started in design?

My first experience in active graphic design was in high school, when my cousin taught me how to use Photoshop for typography. I found it exciting since I’ve always been a visual person. After high school, I attended UCLA and majored in Design: Media Arts where my concentration in print design was developed. I’m currently a freelance designer in CA.

New Love Poetry Book Cover

Describe your design style.

My style is based on strong images, good use of typography and graphical balance. I think any print design (posters books, packaging etc.), needs these elements in order to achieve a positive reaction from the viewer. I try to emulate these ideals in every design contest I enter.

What led you to start using 99designs?

I graduated in ’09, which was right in the middle of the U.S. recession; needless to say, it’s been difficult finding a permanent in-house design position. I started using 99designs to help build my portfolio and earn money while I was job hunting. 99designs has helped me improve my skills while building positive client relationships.

Journal Series

What do you think is the most important part of the design process?

The absolute most important part of the design process is a strong concept. If the brief is clear and thorough, I think it’s very important to brainstorm ideas and establish a strong grasp of what the client wants and how to get there. From that point on, it’s all about the creativity. My favorite part of the design process is creating the deliverable: a good concept with strong and fascinating imagery.

How would you sum up graphic design in one sentence?

Graphic design is the invisible beauty.

Money Powers Man Poster

In your opinion, what are the key differences that separate great design from poor or mediocre design?

Great design is invisible design. Great designers are seamless in their craft. From kerning to spot coloring, every process is done perfectly and looks effortless. The invisible part is the part where great designers spend hours checking leading, font styles or correcting images to make the design seem like it was meant to look like that all along.

The designer hierarchy descends when you start to see these invisible elements show up in final designs. In the end, clients need to notice when a great designer comes around.

Do you factor emotional or psychological response into your work?

I absolutely factor emotional responses into my work. I feel it’s the greatest advantage as a print designer to be able to juxtapose type with images in a way that evokes a strong emotional response to the viewer. The best way to go about it is to talk to your client and see if there’s a deeper message they may have missed. Semiotics is the next step.

Looking Up Book Cover Design

What is a hobby that you enjoy doing outside of graphic design?

I enjoy discovering new music and visiting art museums for inspiration. I also love movies. Relationships I have with my family, friends and loved ones feed my design spirit and the occasional video games satisfies my competitive urge. :)

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Filip Reese works as a Community Liaison at 99designs in San Francisco. He earned a B.A. in International Relations with a minor in Spanish from the University of California, Davis and has spent time living, traveling, and studying in Europe, Asia, and South America. Filip is an active skateboarder, photographer and outdoorsmen. If hes not writing tweets or handling disputes you can probably find him at Potrero del Sol Skatepark.