Hannah Shone has just graduated with a BA in Visual Communication from Vega in Cape Town. Her work caught our eye via her deliberately glitchy website, which features a playful but considered aesthetic that embraces a range of styles and favours muted colour palettes. Hannah’s final project centres on a publication design in which she explores life’s temporality. She draws inspiration for her work from her environment and peers, and considers deliberate colour choices and strong art direction key characteristics of her work. We chat to Hannah to find out more about her work.
Were you always creative? How and why did you become interested in design?
I worked at The Good Luck Club in my gap year and I didn’t know it then but I was going to meet and work with some incredibly talented individuals in the creative industry there and it would encourage me to pursue this craft. I have always had an affinity with art and so naturally design made the most sense to me because it works with so many creative facets that relish both digital and traditional communication.
Can you tell us a little about your design aesthetic? Do you feel like you have a distinctive style? Is this still evolving? What are some of the key things that influence this?
Currently looking through my portfolio now and wondering, ‘What IS my design aesthetic?!’ It’s hard to pinpoint. I have so much fun designing, particularly pieces that feel familiar and considered and are supported with playful techniques. I would say my style has a Eurocentric taste. I enjoy allowing my environment and space to inspire the creative process. Two things I emphasize in my work is strong colour choice and strong art direction. Alongside that, an influence of mine is sharing my ideas and executions with my peers and exchanging genuine conversation about our work.
Does the playful irreverent layout and design of your website underpin your approach to design thinking? Please tell us about this.
My website is a definite reflection of my approach to design thinking and it was important for me to achieve that. It’s all a process of realising how different rituals can be deconstructed and re-communicated.
What are some of the themes and ideas that you explored in your student work?
I explored the human condition, social cause solutions, displacement, literacy, gaming, and colour as a driving force.
How did this feed into your final project? What was the concept and how did you execute it?
I decided quite quickly into my final portfolio that I didn’t want to spend time on flashy collateral but rather a considered body of work. Posthumous – Don’t wait till I’m dead is the result. I drew inspiration from people who only became known for their work after their death: Alan Turing, Galileo, Van Gogh. I tried my best to keep the execution analog and explored different techniques to enhance the engagement that occurs between the viewer and the book.
Can you tell us about your creative process?
It starts with a lot of writing. I then move onto a period of 24/7 Pinterest and eventually I think ‘I should probably start designing’ and then I do. Research is a thrilling part of the process for me and I find it important to finish a project having learnt something new.
What are some of the things that inspire you creatively?
Different creative cultures and how other cities approach visual communication are fascinating to observe and resonate with. Bookstores and exhibitions are fun and important to visit. I also enjoy keeping up with Windows of New York by José Guízar – so good.
Describe your dream job.
A space to work on all my personal projects with my creative peers.
What’s the best piece of advice you received while studying?
‘Good things come to those who hustle.’
See more of Hannah’s work on her website.
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