Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives

WALTER OSCAR ROTHE – GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Posted November 12th by Design Splat in Graphic Designers

Hey Walter! Tell us how did you get into Graphic Design?

When I started high school I wanted to be a comic book artist, I could draw decent enough and it was something different, you know? But after 2 years I changed my goal in life from comics to graphics, I studied applied visual arts and now I finished my second year studying graphic design at the school of arts in Ghent.

Do you have qualifications in design? How important do you think qualifications are for designers?

People should be able to tell what they’re good at without it sounding like they are full of themselves. I know I’m good at typography and functional graphic design, but i also know I still have a long way to go. It’s  not about being good at something anyway. It’s about the things you do with those skills.

When creating graphics, what to you is the most important aspect: planning design or implementation? and why?

I think that you should first get a decent planning done, a lay of the land before you should try implementing anything. On the other hand the functionality of the design should always come first, so implementation is necessary pretty early on. Functional first, beautiful later, because it’s a shame if it looks good but nobody can read what it’s about.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 Living in another country, own home, drinking mocha’s, working my way up a graphic bureau, gaining some experience. And after that, I think I’ll use that experience to start my own company.

Own Business/Freelance or working for a company?

I think I’ll work for a company until I decide that I want to start my own business with a few friends. The company gives a steady job and experience so that the freelance/own business doesn’t sound to scary.

If you could work for any client who would it be and why?

That would be “Arctic Monkeys” because they’re my favorite band and their style keeps evolving so the album covers / logo’s / t-shirts / … Keep adapting and are fresh. It’s not a straight line and I think that something so organic as music is attractive to work with.

Does fame attract you?

Ever since my father wrote music for Hollywood-films I wanted to do something special. Yes, fame attracts me, because it’s a goal high enough to level with my father. Sort of following in his footsteps I guess. It also is a good goal if you want to test your skills tot their limits and beyond, if it doesn’t work that’s ok,  at least you’d know you gave it your all.

How do you rate yourself as a designer?

The kind of designer that is frustrated by how little he knows. Thus to say, an ok to good designer who strives to be better everyday.

What makes a good graphic designer?

The passion to work at the fullest of your strengths. To challenge your strengths and even question them or throw them aside. Adaptation to anything is one of the key elements.

Where do you go for inspiration?

To a good bar with a decent beer or great wine and a friend whom you can discus with. I love getting different views on one subject, it helps me empathize with a certain view i’m not accustomed to. And eventually it helps me create things for people that I don’t know, because I can empathize and adapt.

What obstacles – if any, have you encountered along the way?

I don’t really think I have encountered any yet, I mean, I think the real obstacles begin after you graduate and look for a job and such. At school everything is safe, you can experiment more i think, try to find your own style of designing.

Do you think the Graphic Design Industry is difficult to get into?

I think it’s impossible, than again i have made a few logos for DJ’s and such so who knows really. I guess it varies depending on which type of graphic design you really want to do.

Which design websites do you visit on a regular basis?

Pinterest and tumblr mostly, not exactly design websites but i’m surprised at what you find on these sites and mostly because it’s not just one type but all kinds of design, which is handy if you’re searching for inspiration.

Do you get bored with your job if yes how do you overcome this?

Sometimes when I’m working on a logo for a DJ I get bored, like everyone working on the same stuff all day. Mostly because I don’t listen to DJ’s. To overcome this I find another way of expressing myself: playing guitar and singing, Or I watch series (Doctor Who, Bones, House MD, ..). Or I just go for a walk.

If you weren’t a graphic designer, what would you be?

A musician, I actually made this choice when I failed my first year in college, I was studying game design, and I had to choose between the academy of fine arts or the rock school. I think I like to think I made the right choice.

Favourite Typeface?

Bembo Book MT Pro, no better typeface to use when making a book.

Software you couldn’t live without?

Skype, I like the way i can show people stuff (designs, music, whatever) and talk to them without driving several hours to do the same. Sometimes you just don’t have the time.

Mac or PC?

I like my mac because it does everything I need it to do. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like a PC once in a while, mostly because I used to play games my dad used to play but it’s all pc-only and I hate parallels or boot camp because it eat’s away at my hard drive. But overall I prefer mac.

Three words to describe yourself?

Anglophile, empathic, ambitious

Hobbies and Interests?

Music is my second love, I’m always looking for new bands. If I like their music and I have a bit of money I’ll buy a single or t-shirt to keep them going because there are to many bands that have to quit due to a lack of money to tour and stuff.
Analogue photography is also one of my hobbies, I love the grainy feeling of the photos i take and the fact that you often forget what you took in the first place and only remember them when you get the negatives back.

Favourite Designer?

I don’t have a favorite but I like:
- Felix Pfaeffli
- Jeff Finley
- The posters made by the german studio CTRL C
- Alexandre Liziard
You should also check out nerl says design, he makes awesome gig posters.

Tools of the trade?

Macbook Pro, Bamboo tablet, logitech mouse and a moleskine together with some pencils and markers.

Best and worst piece of work?
Worst work: The Zine i made in my first year of graphic design.
Best work: The 60-page book I made called: Roboto ~ A Typeface

Any Tips or advice to share with aspiring designers?

Do stuff you don’t like to see how good you really are, also, Don’t design for free, even if you’re “not that good” you should never design for free.


Portfolio sites:

- http://www.behance.net/oscarrothe/frame
- http://cargocollective.com/oscarrothe

Blogs:

- http://walteroscarrothe.tumblr.com/
- http://pinterest.com/oscarrothe/

Facebook Group Link:

- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oscar-Rothe/199598483460543

Twitter:     

- http://twitter.com/magnetopause

 


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