Hannah Colenbrander

A big congrats to Wellington Designer, Hannah Colenbrander, one of our 30 TDK Awards 19' winners'! Hannah's work was chosen by Craig Parsons of Parsons. Craig's epic feedback was: "From page 1 you can see that Hannah has a keen eye – we always look for that detail in the portfolios we receive. Hannah’s written expression of works supports the distinctive concepts she produces. Each piece of work is founded in a distinct idea and then expressed is a really deep and meaningful way. There is an appealing level of restraint that lives with immaculate type setting shown in her ONE OF A KIND piece." We caught up with Hannah and talked all about embracing critique, the importance of networking, and her love for editorial and type design!

What do you wish you’d known now when you started your design course?

Embrace critique, embrace the inevitable and frustrating fact that you can always make something better.

What originally lead you to design, and how has that changed? What do you want to do/are doing now?

In high school I was always envious of my friends who knew what they wanted to be, nurses or doctors, teachers etc. I just knew that being creative made me happy. So I followed that feeling, it lead me to design and now design is what I live and breathe. I feel incredibly lucky to recognise what it is that gives me a sense of purpose in life.

Any hot tips for getting ahead at uni?

Make a habit of trying your best. C’s get degrees but set yourself a higher standard than that! Go to ‘networking’ events and meet people! It’s the most uncomfortable thing ever as a young person but I think getting used to be uncomfortable is important, learn what questions you want to know the answers to. Make an effort to meet people you look up to, don’t be afraid to reach out to your design heroes and studios.

Make an effort to meet people you look up to, don’t be afraid to reach out to your design heroes and studios.

What do you love about the design scene in your city and what companies are on your dream list to work or collaborate with?

I love how everyone knows everyone. My expeierences in the industry so far have proven that the design communities within Wellington are collaborative and kind. As for places I would like to work? Oh man, there are so many!

Studios in NZ: Studio South, Klim, seachange studio, Alt Group, InHouse, Strategy Creative

Studios abroad:  Folsh studio, Violaine & Jérémy, Sabbath Studio, Studio Nari, Victionary (publishers), Formist Foundry, regular practice, &walsh, studio Humana

Where do you see your career in 5 years?

I hope to be learning my fastest and working my hardest at a design studio that champions creativity and collaboration, getting a real good dose of agency life! I want to focus on editorial and type design.

Where to find Hannah:

Instagram: @hannahcolenbrander

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