TGDS Graduate Pia

An aspiring designer from Finland, Pia loves ice cream, her favourite fruit is a satsuma, and she makes a mean risotto. With a background in creative marketing & communication, Pia’s interest in design naturally developed, leading her to start her own company - Raw Design.

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Hey Pia! Tell us a bit about you.

My background is in creative marketing and communication but a few years back I began a new career working with change management and service design at a global IT company. At the time it felt like a big change, but I’ve come to realise it was a natural step forward for me; opening intriguing doors into the world of CX, UX and UI, to name a few.

Pia Rawlins - Personal Identity Design

What or who inspired you to be a designer?

The first time I opened Photoshop I was 14 – I had just bought my first digital camera and I was experimenting with layer styles and effects. I found YouTube and design tutorials and it seemed to snowball from there. Design in general really inspires me, because it can accomplish so much. It’s something that a lot of people take for granted, but when good design is missing it is probably the first thing you notice.

What are you up to in the design world at the moment?

I’m moving forward at a slow but steady pace. I’ve spent far too much time in the past feeling guilty about not “doing enough”, so right now I am learning to do things in my own time and actively attempting to not stress about it – been there, done that. I have a few ongoing client projects and in addition I am building up to officially launch my business and website on a larger scale. My goal is to find the perfect balance between work, creative projects and everything else in life.

You were really into all sorts of design disciplines at TGDS, branding, campaigning and even packaging.
Have you a fav?

Branding, definitely branding. Layouts are a close second, because of all of the small details and how it brings everything together. Branding is like the ingredients in a recipe, or the building blocks of a house – layout design is the final, finished recipe brought to life.

Tell us anything you would like to about your featured works.

I am really proud of the shapes and colours of my personal brand, and also the shapes and colours of Ilona’s brand – I feel that I really managed to capture the essence of Ilona’s personality in her final design. I am also very pleased with the message and playfulness I built in the corporate identity for JCI Aurajoki, and the vibrant, urban jungle feeling of the Java Love identity.

Ilona Hasanen - Package Design

What is your favourite part of the design process?

Brainstorming and concept creation, definitely. It forms the basis for every future choice in the process: what am I trying to communicate, what is the message and how can my design choices reflect that? I keep thinking of Paul Rand and his leaflet carefully explaining his design choices behind the IBM logo. That’s what I’m striving for; making carefully though-out designs with choices that each have solid reasoning behind them – it’s not enough that something just “looks nice”, if you want the design to have any impact, it needs meaning.

Whats your dream design job?
Don’t hold back!

Creating an identity with a client that shared the same passions and interest with me. Taking something musty and outdated and breathing new life into it and helping the business advance to a new era. Something that had a positive impact on the world, which brought people joy. And maybe being able to create complex artwork for e.g., book covers and packaging.

“Never stop learning. Never. Having a curious, open mind for the rest of your life is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.”

Java Love - Corporate Identity Design

What did you love most about studying design?

The moment of realization when you understood how all those repetitive, seemingly tiny exercises from the very first modules, all built understanding and the baseline for everything that was to come later. I think of those exercises often.

Juicy Lightning - Package Design

What would you say to someone about to embark on their own journey in design?

Just start. Don’t worry too much about where you will end up, just focus on starting. That’s the first step. Making one sketch, jotting down one idea… once you get started, you’ll ultimately snowball right into a state a flow. Keep on making variations, trying new things, not holding back – then stop, take a breather and look at what you’ve done, think about it, evaluate it. You’ll end up solving tricky problems with ease and build your confidence!

JCI Aurajoki - Branding Design

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