Work inspiration with Mirko Humbert

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Mirko Humbert

Designer from Friboug

I'm a graphic and web designer from the little city of Friboug, in Switzerland. I have a graphic design degree and learned web design through books, tutorials, and trying a lot. I'm also a blogger at Designer Daily and Typography Daily, and a gallerist at the Contraste Gallery in Switzerland.

Tell a little bit about your career in design. What were your first steps after getting a degree, was it hard to find clients in the beginning?

Out of design school, I started freelancing right away, thanks to a client that gave me a lot of work during the summer after graduation. I never really advertised or looked for clients, most of my work came from clients speaking to their friends. I'm also a believer of keeping existing clients instead of constantly acquiring new ones, it saves a lot of energy and makes life easier. Learning web design was probably crucial in making ends meet as a freelancer, as most of my projects happen on the web. Constantly learning new skills was important to give better advice to my clients and being attractive to new ones.

What is the graphic design software that you use in your work?

Basically I use Photoshop and InDesign by Adobe most of the time, I'm not really a heavy Illustrator user. I also try to use open source software, so I occasionally use Krita or Inkscape. I always sketch what I will do by hand first, I find it helps to think better and be more creative.

What are the best design schools in Switzerland ranked high among professionals?

There are many good design schools in Switzerland, especially in the field of graphic design. The university with the best reputation and history is the Basel School of Design. Many legendary designers from Bauhaus came to teach there after they were kicked out of nazi Germany during the war.

How important is it for you to follow the latest design trends? What relevant websites and blogs do you browse to keep track on them?

Design trends are just that, trends. Some trends are here to stay, so it's important to observe them, but as designers we should always try to keep a cool head and think about the long term viability of our designs. I don't really read blogs anymore, I only check design groups on generalist social media sites or on on specialized ones like Designer News.

Who are the best designers in Switzerland whose work you admire?

Probably Adrian Frutiger, the legendary typographer, for his amazing work in the field of typography. He created so many incredible typefaces that it's nearly impossible to list them all. My personal favorite being Meridian, a serif with a perfectly balanced look-and-feel. There is also Josef Müller-Brockmann, a graphic designer whose work about the use of grids in design had a tremendous influence on the evolution of graphic design at large.