Q&A with Graphic Designer, Louise Hill

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By Lau  /  December 23, 2015

Graphic Designer Louise Hill is a graphic designer who has made a name for herself in Asia with her eclectic illustrations full of bright colours and patterns. She is known for her quirky interpretation of symbolic icons in Asia like the Lucky Cat from Hong Kong and Singapore shophouses. Her eclectic illustrations features these symbolic icons in vintage style painted in bright colours and neat graphic patterns that’s super chic and vibrant. 

London born Louise was raised in Paris where her father ran a graphic design agency. She then returned to London to study at Art School and went on to work for Crabtree & Evelyn and  Fortnum & Mason for 15 years before striking out on her own. Having lived in Hong Kong before settling in Singapore where she is now based, her designs are reflections of her travels and culture around Asia. We talked to Louise about what she’s currently working on and her favourite cities in the world. 

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What you’re up to at the moment? 
At the moment I am working on my second Limited Edition print as part of my new ‘Chinoiserie’ series. I am busy gathering imagery in the form of vintage oriental curios and fabrics to use as photography props and walking around my neighbourhood with my camera searching for the right subject matter and colour. I’m really enjoying creating this more delicate, illustrative and elegant type of print series as an alternative to my existing vibrant and fun HK prints. It allows me to showcase a different style and colour palette.

What is a typical working day like for you?
My typical day starts with a very large pot of Earl Grey tea whilst I gather my thoughts and check emails and social media messages for the day ahead. Then my day is either spent at home in my studio or I can be found out and about with my camera or trawling markets for props.

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Why do you like your job?
I absolutely love my job! After 15-20 years working as a high-end packaging designer I really wanted to create a little portable business of my own which would fit in with our nomadic expat life. I love the amazing feedback that I get from happy customers and really enjoy the close relationship that I have with them. The Hong Kong community has been so incredibly supportive of my work and have helped to grow my business. Its incredibly satisfying to be able to earn a living from a creative process that is also your passion.

Advice for individuals starting in the graphic design industry?
I think my most important advice, and it may sound obvious, would be to spend a good amount of time brainstorming a good concept at the outset of any design project. Make time to sketch out ideas on paper first and do your research on your target market and what else is in the space you would like to be in. It is relatively easy to make a piece of packaging look pretty on a computer but unless you have a good solid idea behind what you are designing, it will not last and will look thrown together. Some of the best designs to this day are some of the simplest. Try to be original and inventive!

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You are happiest when…
I am in my studio, the radio is on and I am surrounded by beautiful silk fabrics, my inks and gold paints, tea flasks and the precious objects I have collected over the years. A close friend of mine gave me a beautiful white leather embossed journal and I love to sketch out all my ideas and colour ways in it.

How do you like to relax?
I love to have dinner with my husband or lunch with my girlfriends to catch up on news. I also try to make some time for a good beach walk and boxercise.

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Top 3 favourite cities in the world

  • London, I was born there still think it is one of the most vibrant, interesting and exciting cities in the world, I miss it often!
  • Paris, I grew up there as a young child when my father ran a graphic design agency in the 70’s, I have so many wonderful memories from that time in my life.
  • Shanghai, I love the culture, the food, the varied architecture and the energy! We were lucky enough to spend 4 years there living in a little Chinese laneway in the French Concession, cycling around my neighbourhood – it was so interesting and exciting.
  • I may have to add a fourth very special favourite though – although not exactly a city, Sai Kung is one of the most wonderful places I have ever lived. The community is so down to earth and supportive of each other. The scenery is quite simply breathtaking and the trail walks around the surrounding mountains are wonderful. One of my favourite things to do there was to hire a kaido boat for the day with friends or family, explore the surrounding islands and stop off for local seafood lunch. Hong Kong life is so much more relaxed when you live in an old fishing village with a lovely ‘old town’ community and feral cows gently roaming around the neighbourhood.

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5 things you can’t live without

  • Family and friends
  • Computer
  • iPhone,
  • Lots of varied music; I love listening to BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour when in need of intelligent, interesting brain food, and everything from classical to dance music.
  • Balmy evening BBQ’s on the beach and a swim in the sea.

5 favourite websites for design news
I mostly follow interesting people on Instagram and addicted to Pinterest. I also love to dip back into my old design roots on lovelypackage.com. I also go to liberty.co.uk, fortnumandmasons.co.uk and obsessed with Australia’s ‘Vogue Living’ magazine and my all time U.K favourite www.worldofinteriors.co.uk.

 

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