Design isn't just about visual pleasure. How Simone Warnecke gives her works purpose

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Sometimes we creatives get so caught up in the finest details that we forget about the deeper meaning of our works and creations. We forget about the story. We forget about the message.

Freelance graphic designer Simone Warnecke has several works she can be proud of, but all the ones she is deeply in love with are the ones she gave a purpose to. All the ones that convey some kind of message.

Simone has travelled far and wide, both physically and professionally – suffice to say her graphic design career started when she was making collages in Word at the age of 12. Now, she's a freelancer who clearly loves moving countries every now and then, a talented creative who hopes to slowly teach the industry not to judge professionals by their age.

For this Member Spotlight, we're taking a deep look into the story of Simone and how she found her own ways to give purpose to every work of hers.


How did you get into the industry?

Graphic Design has always been a passion of mine. I started with making collages in Word when I was only 12 years old, therefore, it was not a surprise that I would pursue a career in this field. After learning basic Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign skills in High School, my real graphic design adventure started when I moved to California. There, I decided to major in Graphic Design, which allowed me to not only develop skills but also expanded my creativity. Besides College, I constantly tried to improve, whether it was trying out new techniques in the programs, or trying out a different style. Overall, I established myself in the industry by always staying up to date, and offering more than what you learn in school. 


Where are you based now and who do you work for?

Every time I have to say where I am based, it is really hard for me to give an answer. I was born in Austria, however, I have not been living there full time for years anymore, but I still call it my home. Currently, I live in Belgium, but I am planning on moving to Amsterdam, once the current situation allows me to. Due to the fact, that I do not have a solid location at the moment, I freelance in Graphic Design.


Can you explain your creative process?

Funny that you ask because, I wrote a book about my creative process. It will be hard for me to summarize everything but overall I would say that it starts with an idea that immediately sparks in my head, then I execute it, and I am done. However, this is not usually the case. It takes time to come up with an idea: I need to do research on the topic, find inspiration, use the right tools, make sure my idea is not too generic and not too specific. All of this is further explained in my book, that you can find on my website


How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?

I have always been a digital artist, therefore new technologies have been more a blessing than a curse. I am able to work faster, more seamlessly, and more precise.

What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

Every design I have created, that is not just aesthetically pleasing, is a huge achievement for me. Being able to create something that is not just there to look good, but also conveys a certain message is what makes me proud. For example, my “Filterbubble” poster: This poster uses a blue and a red filter to demonstrate how filter bubbles work, and how dangerous they can be. Furthermore, my book “Creativity and Design” was a big achievement for me, since that was the first time I have ever written and designed a book. Other than that, I, of course, appreciate all the recognition I have gotten so far, and I am hoping to get such positive feedback in the future as well.

Every design I have created that is not just aesthetically pleasing is a huge achievement for me.


What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?

Explore. Learn new skills by yourself. Develop your own style. Be open to critique. The creative industry is rough. Most importantly though, give yourself an online presence. By using platforms like Creativepool or Behance, you can give yourself recognition, making it easier for future employers and clients to discover you.


What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?

I hope that there will be more opportunities for young people. I often encountered people who did not take me seriously because of my age. They saw Graphic Design as my hobby, not my job. Situations like this make it really hard for young professionals to get started. If there were more chances for designers to join a certain group or get support from peers, also beginners in the industry could get a chance to succeed.


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