Lana Raizen

Good in Graphic Design.

About Lana Raizen

Lana Raizen is a russian graphic designer who has experience in design more than 9 years. She is currently the freelancer designer who lives in Russia and works with a lot of international companies. She involved more than 300 projects in Russia and abroad in different types (interior, cars, building, kids, lawyers and many others). She is an author of a graphic book about Siberia. Lana loves to travel and takes inspiration in nature for her projects.

  • Winner of Graphic Design Award.
  • Specialized in Graphic Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Graphic
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Interview with Lana Raizen

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
I have always loved drawing and traveling. But when it was time to choose a profession, I started to study at the hotel business and tourism management. After graduating from the Academy and having worked for several years in the field of tourism, I realized that I would not particularly succeed in traveling with this profession, and I don’t have enough time for creative work. Then I decided to become a graphic designer, but office work didn't attract me anymore, so I became a freelancer. So, I was able to both realize my creativity and travel.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
I don’t represent a design studio. I am a freelancer; I find clients for myself and I contact them directly. Although my team has a video editor, he's my spouse. Some projects we work together.
What is "design" for you?
Design is too broad a concept. For me, this is first of all a technically correct, beautiful, unique and easy-to-read layout, since I specialize in print design and multi-page layout.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
I enjoy most of all the work on catalogs of some products or collections, where I need to think through every detail and its location, select photos or arrange special photo shoots to get the necessary photos for the catalog.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
I do not have one favorite design, I put a piece of myself in each project, therefore large projects, on which I have long and painstakingly worked are my favorites. Although perhaps my own project stands out among all, the graphic book about Siberia. I came up with it by myself, and absolutely everything in this book was created by me.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
My first design, for which I received a monetary reward, was the design of a website for a beauty salon in Novosibirsk. At that time, I was just beginning to learn the scope of design and first decided to try myself in the web category.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
My favorite tool for the work is the InDesign program by Adobe. I love clarity and orderliness, and it is the program that helps to do everything on the grid, to comply with all the subtleties and in many ways simplifies the work on multi-page publications.
When do you feel the most creative?
Creativity is rushing at the nighttime from me, most often when I try to fall asleep, I have the brightest ideas that I embody in the project the next day. If I need a creative attitude during the day, then I take inspiration from the scenery outside the window or from photographs of nature. Nature shows the most beautiful sights.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
First of all, I try to create a perceptual structure by which I place all the information. Then I create the design - beautiful elements and a complete design that makes the project unique.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
Concentration. I completely concentrate on the design, sometimes not even noticing what is happening around me. I immerse myself in work with my head, and if nothing distracts me, then I lose track of time working on the project.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
First, emptiness, as if the design takes a piece of me, the feeling that children experience when their favorite toy was taken away. But after it, when I see and hear the positive reactions to my work by people, I feel joy and admiration.
What makes a design successful?
In my field, a well-thought-out design that is not only beautiful, but technically correctly implemented, unique and creative, will be successful. If we talk about catalogs, then just a beautiful catalog will not fulfill its function if it is not convenient for perceiving all the information that is in it. It is important to create it so that it attracts attention and brings meaning to the user.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
First of all, I evaluate the overall picture, whether it is clear to me. I compare what emotions it causes and what should it cause. Then I consider in more detail the entire technical part of the layout. Although if the emotions are negative, then I don’t even try to look further.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
The design is constantly evolving. Every year new trends appear. Although the basis for the design was laid many years ago, we still use developments made at the beginning of the last century, nevertheless, each designer puts in his or her ideas, creates something new, thereby developing the design, setting trends. Design is everywhere now. In each area, there is a huge competition and it is the design that helps to make the company unique, to distinguish it from a huge number of competitors, and together with PR campaigns, it takes the lead in the market. There will be no uniqueness and recognition without design.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
My past exhibition was in Russia, at my hometown Novosibirsk in February 2019. It was an exhibition of my most striking works, and there was the presentation of my book “Siberia”. The next exhibition, in which my work that took at the A’Design Award 2018-2019 participates, will take place from June 10, 2019 at The Museum of Outstanding Design in Como, Italy.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Most often, I am inspired by nature, natural colors and shapes. I received a huge supply of inspiration after traveling through the US National Parks. I traveled by car throughout the West States from south to north and back, visiting the best natural places such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Death Valley, Yellowstone, Olympic and many others. Each place was unique and created not by man, but by nature for many centuries. The received impressions and emotions still inspire me to be creative.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
I design in different styles, it all depends on the project, its purpose and target audience. I prefer concise design that is not overloaded with graphics and text so that there is a lot of empty space for the design to “breathe”. When there is a lot of complex textual information, I try to use typography, turn the text into an interesting object that you want to consider, and thus the goal is fulfilled - the text is read.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
Now I live in Russia, in the Siberian region in the city of Novosibirsk. In Russia, a special design and attitude to it. World trends come here with a very long delay of several years. Most people resist to everything new; they are holding onto the way they are already accustomed to; therefore, it is very difficult to implement modern design in Russian projects. Local companies do not give complete freedom of creativity to designers. The project created by the designer changes by companies in such a way that, as a result, there is no trace of the original correct, convenient and beautiful design.
How do you work with companies?
I work with many Russian and foreign companies; many have been my regular clients for more than eight years. As a freelancer, I can work from anywhere in the world with any company.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
I offer a high-quality modern and unique design. My distinguishing feature is the high speed of work, while the quality of my work does not suffer. Absolutely all my clients say that they have never met such an operative designer as me.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
I have my own work technology, which allows to make a design very quickly and efficiently. Of course, I will not reveal all the secrets of my work, I will only say that it is important for me to catch inspiration and concentration.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
There are no unique design items in my house. Everything is simple, concise, without excesses and everything is in soothing colors, for me it is important, because I work at home.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
The main thing that constant is self-development. Watch the training videos, read books, look at the work of other designers, and those that you like, analyze, try to break them down into small details to understand how the design turned out, what techniques were used, and then try to incorporate these techniques into your designs. Learn the trends, bring your ideas into them.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Of the benefits - it is the realization of my creativity potential. I like to create something new; I like the feeling of how my brain works, trying to think of something that does not exist yet. Of the minuses - design is a matter of taste. Someone likes my design, someone doesn't. Therefore, working with different people often encounter the fact that I have to do a design that will appeal to the client, but I don’t like it myrself.
What skills are most important for a designer?
Plasticity, multitasking and creativity. You need to be able to work with different clients, in different styles, sometimes even in those that you have never tried. Often you have to work on several projects at once. To create a unique design is also very important.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
I work with the Adobe software package: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro. Well, the main tool for design is my brain, it decides what we will create, how and in which program.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
I try to distribute tasks correctly. Sometimes there is an overlay and I need to submit several projects in a short time. Then I have to work at night, sometimes until the morning. Sometimes I want the day to be not 24 hours, but at least 28, so that there is time for hobbies and recreation.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
It depends on the specific project. One catalog of 64 pages may take 1 day, and with another client 2 months. It all depends on the efficiency of the client, on the availability of the necessary content, for example, there are situations when the client does not have good product photos for the catalog, then a photo session is organized for the product, then it takes time to process the received photos. It all takes a lot of time, and work on the catalog is delayed. If all the content is provided by the client, and I only need to create a design and layout, then depending on the complexity, it may take only one day.
What was your most important job experience?
All the major projects I have worked on are important to me, since each of them gave me invaluable experience, in many of them I learned a lot of new things, overcame some kind of internal barriers.
Who are some of your clients?
In Russia they are large manufacturers of various products, for example, Kalitva - a manufacturer of kitchenware, whose catalog took the A’Design Award 2018-2019. There are also manufacturers of children's playground equipment, media agencies working with global brands such as Denso, KYB, Petronas, Bosal and others. International interior studios, Spanish nets manufacturer, American magazine and many others. I have dozens of loyal clients from all over the world.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Most of all I like to make catalogs and magazines. I like working with grids, having clear borders and at the same time inventing and breaking these borders without creating gross violations in the design. In addition, I work on catalogs of different companies, I learn a lot of new things, for example, I know the technology for creating pans and what kinds of them exist; I know a lot about towbars and how to select them for a particular car, the same applies to wipers, roof racks. Thanks to the creation of catalogs, I know what kind of lifting equipment exists, how fixing tools are created and much more. I get knowledge that I myself would not have sought.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
Now I am considering moving to another country. In Russia, I do not see my further development, here I have achieved the maximum I aspired to. Therefore, I want to gain experience in another country in which the design is more developed, where there are more opportunities. I hope in the coming years to change my place of residence and continue my development in design.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
I work alone on projects. Sometimes I work on a video design with my spouse - he is a video editor. I can only rely on him in my work, since I tried to work in a team, but each time other designers broke deadlines. No one could work as fast as I did.
How can people contact you?
You can contact me with the Behance website https://www.behance.net/lanaraizen422d, there is my portfolio and the opportunity to send me a message. In response, I will transfer the communication to e-mail. It is an e-mail that is the most efficient way to communicate with me, since I do not always answer phone calls if I am immersed in working process. And I prefer to keep all questions on projects in correspondence, so that later there will be no misunderstandings or missed moments. You can also find me on social networks as Lana Raizen.

Extended Interview with Lana Raizen

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
I have always loved drawing and traveling. But when it was time to choose a profession, I started to study at the hotel business and tourism management. After graduating from the Academy and having worked for several years in the field of tourism, I realized that I would not particularly succeed in traveling with this profession, and I don’t have enough time for creative work. Then I decided to become a graphic designer, but office work didn't attract me anymore, so I became a freelancer. So, I was able to both realize my creativity and travel. I studied web design courses at the University of Novosibirsk. But I acquired all the professional skills myself, watched educational videos, read design books.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I like to create something new, and I don’t like to be tied to one place. Office work and a clear schedule is not for me. Therefore, to become a graphic designer freelancer is an ideal option for me.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
Becoming a designer is completely my personal choice. Nobody imposed this profession on me, no one forced me to study design. I draw from my childhood, then I just began to process photos for myself, create collages, and only then I decided to turn my hobby into a profession.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
I specialize in the design of catalogs and magazines. Besides this, I create different types of layouts: leaflets, posters, banners, corporate identity, design of social networks, presentations, full graphic support of awards and events, and so on. The work on multi-page publications and catalogs brings the most pleasure, therefore I undertake such work with great zeal.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
Constantly develop, improve your skills, follow the trends, analyze the work of the best designers and try to create similar works in your style. The main thing is not to stop there and try to become more professional.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
A good designer creates the well, correct and beautiful work. He or she just performs the task. A great designer does not just create a good and correct design, he creates a unique design, brings his unique style into it, creates something that is not yet in this world.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
In my field, a really good design is not only beautiful, but technically correctly implemented, unique and creative. If we talk about catalogs, then just a beautiful catalog will not fulfill its function if it is not convenient for perceiving all the information that is in it. It is important to create it so that it attracts attention and brings meaning to the user.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
A good design is always thoughtful, made taking into account many factors, such as: perception of colors and shapes, tactile sensations, if we are talking about material design, the target audience and so on. Such a design will fulfill its goal, increase sales, make the brand famous and recognizable, and highlight it among competitors. By investing in good design, you increase the chances of success for your company.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
Concentration. To create a good design, you need to immerse yourself in work, focus on every detail. If there is a distraction, it will not allow you to perform work at 100% quality.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
I have no idols, I work in my own style and I am inspired not by people, but by nature. But I like the design attitude and some of the work of Chris Do.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
My own project is a graphic book “Siberia”. For me, it is the best, it was invented and created by me; it is unique and not similar to other books.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
Watch educational videos, read books about design, you can subscribe to the design community, they have a lot of useful information that helps to improve your skills.
If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
I think that I would become a nutritionist, this is my hobby now. And I dream to be an astronaut
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
My spouse is my biggest support. I think he is the only one who truly believes in me, sometimes even more than I do.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
Now I am working on current projects of my regular clients. Nothing fancy, just ordinary advertising design for brand promotion. But besides that, I am working on another project of my own, I am creating thematic postcards of US National Parks. I am doing this project for myself, in memory of traveling around the US, but maybe I will show the final result to the world.
What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
I want to open my own media agency and a professional school where I can share my experience and transfer my knowledge to other designers. I want to create projects that will help other designers to develop, be implemented and just have a good time.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
Most of all I enjoyed the creation of the book “Siberia”. One night I got the idea to create a book about my native region, which is interestingly designed and thanks to which in a few hours you can get a complete picture of Siberia. For several days I was thinking over the details of this project, and then proceeded to its implementation. I collected all the necessary information for a month, studied the statistics of Siberian cities, searched for interesting facts about them, etc. As a result, a couple of months later I printed the first copy of the book. This project participated in the international Indigo Design Award 2019 and became a silver winner.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
I think that every year the design will become more unusual, more creative, but at the same time it will be heavy to the perception and less convenient. This trend is already visible. Every year new trends appear, and many designers implement them in their projects, not always thinking about whether this effect is appropriate in the project. The result is an interesting modern design that does not carry any useful function. Recently, many designers think less about the convenience of perception, they are only important a picture.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
It depends on the specific project. One catalog of 64 pages may take 1 day, and with another client 2 months. It all depends on the efficiency of the client, on the availability of the necessary content, for example, there are situations when the client does not have good product photos for the catalog, then a photo session is organized for the product, then it takes time to process the received photos. It all takes a lot of time, and work on the catalog is delayed. If all the content is provided by the client, and I only need to create a design and layout, then depending on the complexity, it may take only one day.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
I analyze all the information provided by the client. On its basis, I create a grid of the document that will be the foundation of the project, then proceed directly to the design itself.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
I work with the Adobe software package: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
Color plays a very important role in the design. It causes certain emotions. Knowing all the subtleties of color perception, you can use the design to control the consumer. About this, I even wrote an article for a scientific journal. The material is no less important, since tactile sensations can play a crucial role in the choice between two competing items.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
I work alone on catalogs and magazines, as well as other printed projects or presentations. But I collaborate with a video editor on video design, he is my husband, so I am confident in the success of the project and trust him completely.
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
I am extremely happy with every award I receive. I'm not so famous that it caused me any inconvenience.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
I love pastel and calm colors and shades. If we talk about pure color, then black and red are my favorites. The place where I felt peaceful and happy was a small-town Portland in Oregon, USA. That was the most comfortable and relaxing place I've ever been to. I adore chocolate, but I rarely eat it, because in my country it is difficult to find real high-quality chocolate, and if it is, then it’s very expensive. I prefer winter season, this is the time when I can fully immerse myself in work, for weeks without leaving my home. I live in Siberia now, and the winters are very cold here, so I don’t want to go outside. I am not obsessed with brands and names, it is important for me that the thing is of high quality, comfortable and reliable.
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
I have always loved to draw. When I was a child, I studied in art school for a short time. I was born in a very small town, there was practically no room for the development of artistic talent. But my parents are great at drawing. Mother can easily draw any character, and my father perfect in technical drawings. Therefore, I always drawing, especially when I was sad. Drawing helped to calm down and get back balance.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
I am not a public person. I love peace and quiet, I am inspired by nature, and I love to travel, especially by car. I also like to sleep and read.

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