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Graduates 2009: Annett Höland

Posted by Will Hudson,

Annett was born in Germany, grew up in Liechtenstein, studied an art foundation in Switzerland before moving to London to studying graphic design at Central Saint Martins. She rightfully refers to herself as something of a rolling stone and that journey could potentially lead her to the Netherlands next.

With a love for typography and a strong influence from Swiss graphic design Annett’s work retains a certain tactile feel to it.

Annett also believes design shouldn’t just be talking to itself, “I am concerned in connecting design to it’s culture, users and society. 1+1=3, a one-day conference, which I organised together with Stina Gromark, a friend and fellow student at CSM, was an attempt to connect design to different disciplines and hence seeing design in a bigger context.”

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

In first grade I wanted to become a teacher. I used to take home sheets of lined paper that you use to practise how to write. I would play teacher and used a red marker pen to correct the letters if the shape was wrong. I guess I’ve always been a little perfectionist. After that I wanted to become a writer. Much later on, I found out that there is something called ‘Graphic Design’.

In reflection, how bad was your work in the first year?

There is one project from the first year that I still have in my portfolio and that I like showing. Other that that, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. It was a lot of trying out different things which wasn’t a bad thing. But now, I’m much more aware of my strengths, my work is more thought through and stronger in detail.

If you could show a piece of your folio to one person, what piece would you choose, and who would you show it to?

I would like to show the documentation and all the work that Stina and I did after the conference to all the speakers who came to 1+1=3. This would also be a nice opportunity for everyone to meet again. It would also be great to show it to people who couldn’t make it to the conference.

If you had your own business, who would you employ and why?

I love cooking and I would love the idea of running a café/restaurant/bakery (there’s not enough good bread in England!) for one summer. But maybe not really a restaurant, but more like a workshop, a place where people meet, cook their favourite recipes for each other and talk. Because you always have the best conversations over a nice meal. I would invite all my friends and everyone else who loves cooking to come and be the chef for one day.

If you’ve got any left, what will you spend the last of your student loan on?

Because I might be leaving London at the end of July, I want to spend it on everything that I wasn’t able to do during the hectic time of preparing the degree show: going out, meeting friends, eating ice-cream in the park, going to galleries, going to the seaside for a weekend, …

Where will we find you in 12 months?

I just had an interview for a Masters in the Netherlands. Hopefully you’ll find me riding my bike down the streets of Arnhem. If not, maybe I’ll be back in Switzerland. Or somewhere completely different.

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Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.