Martha Riessland – Communication Design



my name is Martha Riessland and I am a graphic designer from Vienna, Austria. After going to business school for five years, where using a colored pen was seen as extremely wild and highly creative, I decided to go to University to study art history and besides to start working on my portfolio for the entrance exam to the graphic and communication design course at “die Graphische”.

After successfully completing my studies in Vienna, I felt that it was time to go abroad. I applied for the MA Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. Our course director said on our first day of University that we (students) are our best resource. And that was true. I had the opportunity to get to know and work with extremely interesting, highly talented and motivated people from all over the world. This made the two years a great experience for me. All my experiences so far, my curiosity for different places and people make me the designer who I am.

During my time at University I developed a special interest in the creative process and how design could help to focus, enhance and promote the creative process. I therefore focused my studies on investigating how design can be applied to support creatives at work. My approach was to find practical ways of enhancing the creative process by implementing physical tools which are at the same time playful. I therefore developed a number of tools which may be a starting point for further investigation in this field. The creative process is hard to put into a “one-size-fits-all” box as it may vary from person to person and project to project. Different people need different kind of support. Surprisingly, there is a lack of emphasis in visual representations that the non-design activities (such as preparation for work and communications with others) are an essential part of the design process. I discovered that structuring your workday by making a plan is an important step for starting the workday. Breaks are similarly important as they help you to relax – which can be essential for creative insights. Although it was my aim to target workers from the creative industries, I have come to realise that the developed tools may enhance creativity in a wider range of professions.

I have done internships at J. Walter Thompson in Frankfurt, Kossdorff Werbeagentur in Vienna and Apfel Zet in Berlin. I am currently working as a Graphic Designer for Lichtwitz Leinfellner visuelle Kultur KG in Vienna.