At the end of a project there’s usually an actual product that you can see and – also quite often – that you can touch.
Portrait Isabella Thaller
Job description: freelance graphic designer
Company: Isabella Thaller
I work in: Graz and Vienna
I’ve worked here since: 2014
What I do
- Graphic design for a range of media (print, web etc.)
- Visual representation of brands
- Concept and design
Why I love my job
At the end of a project there’s usually an actual product that you can see and – also quite often – that you can touch. My job enables me to work just about anywhere in the world and gives me plenty of opportunities to meet lots of creative and interesting people. Working with customers from a wide range of different sectors also means there’s lots of variation and keeps me open for new things.
What I don’t like that much about my job
The amount of time I spend sitting at a computer, poorly paid or even unpaid internships and jobs when you’re first starting out and customers who have no idea about design.
Key skills in my job
- Sensitivity and flair
- A high sense of quality
- Reasoning skills
The biggest success in my career so far
When I was working as a freelance designer in London it was always great when I was booked to work on a project by one of the top design studios. Among other things I once got to design an exhibition for the Victoria & Albert Museum held during the London Design Festival. I love it when I see some of my own work somewhere. Especially when it just so happens to be on a double decker bus driving past me as I’m walking down Oxford Street.
How I found my current job
Working as a freelance graphic designer in London it was really important for me to establish a good network. As well as having a professional portfolio it was essential to have recommendations from previous projects and design studios in order to get a job. If I was booked by a studio then I first had to prove myself. I needed to show that I was efficient, versatile, able to work as part of a team and in particular that I had the relevant soft skills. In some cases, for example, rather than working as planned for a studio for a week ended up staying with them for six months and was also booked to work on subsequent projects.
Something learned at university that’s proved important in my working life
At university we gained basic knowledge in many different areas. That’s something that often comes in useful particularly when you’re collaborating with people from other professions such as programmers, photographers, copywriters etc.
Career opportunities in my field
Both the market and the design landscape vary from city to city and from country to country. The opportunities afforded by my job, however, depend to a large extent on my skills, my ability to present them and on my network. I think it’s really important to spend time working for different people and different design studios before starting your own business. You always learn the most through practical experience and from other people.
- Precise down to the last detail
About my job
One of the major benefits of my field of work is that the skills you gain can be used all over the world. Also, in the design sector there are no limits to what you can or can’t do. That makes it easier to work at a multidisciplinary level and frees you to continue adding new areas to your repertoire. As a graduate there are a whole range of areas open to me within the creative sector. I also appreciate the flexibility that comes with working freelance.