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Marianne Saether, Graphic Designer

Marianne Saether
Graphic Designer (freelance)

What is your professional or training background?
I started my design studies straight after high school back in Norway, where i did one year of introduction to graphic design. We were not allowed to use computer so everything was done by hand, with Pantone markers or pencil. It was a great way of forcing yourself to really think about what you were doing, instead of jumping straight on the computer and letting technology do your work.

During this year we had a representative from RMIT do a presentation about the University and Communication design. I already knew I wanted to go oversea to study and Melbourne seemed far enough away from Norway! This was back in 2004 and over 6 years later im still finding myself in Melbourne. During these years I've completed a bachelor with honours, worked as an assistant for John Warwicker (John is the Australian branch of well known UK studio Tomato), been a part of the kikkiK design team (swedish stationary and homewares) and worked freelance for various studios around Melbourne.

I am now mainly working as a freelancer for my own company. In my 'spare' time i have the blog and are about to design some products for online sale with my part time business partner Lee Arkapaw under the name 'fruity legs'.

What do you make, create or do?
I mainly design identities, stationary, cd covers, catalogues, packaging, posters, flyers and illustrations. At the moment I am working freelance from my home studio and do project base work in a few other studios around Melbourne.

But I am interested in any new challenge that comes my way.

What other creative areas would you like to explore as a side-project to your current work, or move into full-time?
I would love to work across different design areas and learn more and collaborate with other artists in the fields of fashion, interior, photography, product and film/animation. I've done a bit of work (and elective studies) in motion graphics and take great interest in title design/credits in movies (i researched this area as part of my Honours thesis) and music videos.

What skills do you have that help you run your business, or what skills would you like to develop?
During my honours year at RMIT i worked in a student based design agency (the Works Design Consultancy) with 9 other students. We spent a year learning how to run a professional agency working with real clients and paid jobs. Here I gained experience in all aspects of the design business and industry: quoting, meeting with clients, liaising with printers, presentations, invoicing, filing and pretty much taking a job from initial idea to finished product. This year was extremely valuable for me and has made the foundation of how i run my own business today.

Saying this there is always more to learn and two particular areas that would help me in providing a broader service for my clients is photography and web development. I have dabbled in both areas (I consider myself a bit of a hobby photographer) and do provide design for web but would like to learn about the programming side as well and being able to provide professional photography when needed.

List five people, businesses or websites/blogs that keep you motivated and inspired, and why?
Im a big blog reader and make time to read through my favourites every friday afternoon, to get the inspiration flowing and keeping an eye on what is going on out there in the world of design.

I'm fond of the american blog Designsponge Online for interior trends and renovations and follow. The Graphic Exchange for the latest in graphic design, film and packaging. As for individual artist I am a huge fan of Austrian typography master Stefan Sagmeister. I love how he makes unconventional typography out of findings and everyday objects and his philosophy of taking sabbaticals every few years to travel and to fuel his inspiration tank. French film maker Michel Gondry is also one of my favourites, although he is not a designer per definition, the craftiness and dreamy topics of his films and music videos always gets my inspiration juices flowing. The list can go on, but last but not least mentionable is Saul Bass, the pioneer of title sequences and film posters. His work was ahead of its time, and was created completely without the help of computers and other technology we rely on today, truly amazing!

Overall I am inspired by people that has made their workplace a playground and never stops experimenting and pushing their design. Its easy to get caught up in your work and just drive towards that deadline and forget to stop and have fun on the way. Design is meant to be fun!

Contact Marianne via mail/at/
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