Our good friend, blog designer and fellow U.K. book blogger, Lois, has sat down with us to answer some interview style questions. We love her designs for rebranding our blog, and we wanted to talk to her more about graphic design, and her process for designing. It’s been incredibly lovely to watch Lois grow as a designer, so keep reading for her process.
Tell us a bit about yourself …
I’m Lois and I run the blog Lois Reads Books! I’ve been blogging for nearly 4 years now and to this day think it is one of the best things I’ve ever done. At the time I had no friends who enjoyed reading or discussing books and wanted to join a community of people who loved talking about and reading books. Nearly 4 years on, I have made best friends thanks to my blog, friends who I adore and have a lot of love for. When I’m not reading, you can normally find me watching TV, listening to music or designing and being creative.
What do you enjoy most about designing?
I love the freedom that designing has. You can be as creative as you want to, whenever you want to. Sometimes I have no ideas or just don’t feel creative at all so designing is the last thing I want to do. Other times all I want to do is design and days can go by where I’ve just been messing around with ideas and little projects. Sometimes a design I love will come out of it and other times nothing comes out of it, but that’s ok. It is all practise and it is all being creative and I love it.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Absolutely anywhere and everywhere if I’m honest. Book covers inspire me a lot so I am always taking pictures of any I like for inspiration in the future.
Also, nature is a big inspiration for me. I love flowers and trees and just general nature. So, you can quite often find me in a nature taking pictures of flowers and trees and animals to take inspiration from for a design idea in the future.
Another big inspiration is the set designs at concerts which might sound a little weird. But, whenever I go to a concert I am always interested in the set design and what bands have on the screen during certain songs they play. After seeing The 1975 earlier this year, their stage aesthetic and aesthetic in general seems to be creeping into any designs I do somehow. I’ve been a fan of them since I was in college so around 2013 and even things back then I created for my a-levels had a touch of The 1975 in them somehow.
If you were to design a book cover, what book would it be and what would the cover look like?
This is such a difficult question! I’d quite like to redesign the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before book series covers. I know these covers are iconic and recognisable but I would love them to have illustrated covers. Imagine To All the Boys with a cute letter/envelope design on the front. I would love to give that a go. I’m not saying it would be good because I’m sure it wouldn’t be but I would love to see that happen and I’d love to give it a go.
When did you become interested in graphic design?
I’ve always loved being creative, be that by playing guitar, drawing, creating short films or even just scrapbooking. Back in college we had to create either a movie or tour poster for one of our assignments in my media class and that started my love for designing. I adore tour posters and always have, so I made up a band and got designing. I’ve since lost that design (I think it was pretty terrible) but it is definitely where my interest started.
Over the years since then I’ve done little design things here and there such as card designs for family, projects for my work etc. But, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I finally decided to invest in a graphics tablet and proper design software and give it all a real go. I still have a lot of practise to get to the point where I am happy with the things I create but it is a start and I’m proud of myself for doing that!
What’s your favourite thing you’ve designed?
My favourite thing I have ever designed has to be your blog logo! When this idea popped into my head I couldn’t wait to get it on screen and then messing around with it until I adored it. It was so much fun. I love all the little details in this like the sunflowers for Sophie and stars for Sarah as well as the little pride flags on the book spines. I love that it is simple yet so detailed and I’m really proud of it!
How easy was it to work with us and do you still like us as friends?
You were both so wonderful to work with! You had so many ideas and had an organised list of what you wanted way before I started the design. It really helped to make sure I got everything you wanted sorted for you both. And, of course I still like you as friends! You’re both my best pals and I’m so glad I got to do this with you both! I can’t wait to keep seeing the designs on your blog things and I love you both a lot!
Are there any other small creators that you enjoy?
There are so many creators that I love. Instagram, Twitter and Etsy are some of my favourite ways of finding creators. I spend a lot of time scrolling through the explore page on my Instagram to find new creators. I’m currently in the process of buying a house so a lot of these creators have prints that I cannot wait to buy and frame for that.
I think these creators deserve all the love in the world and I aspire to be like them one day!
Show us some recent designs
I’ve been in a little bit of a design slump recently and I’ve only designed a few things whilst in lockdown. I am trying out a number of ideas though and can’t wait to see how they turn out. I’ve been designing a few bookmarks and a couple of quote images. They aren’t my favourite designs but I’m really proud of myself for creating them! I’m hoping to do even more in the next few weeks and fingers crossed the practise helps my designs improve too. Here are 4 of my most recent designs! My favourite is the Read All Day bookmark and would love to see that as an actual bookmark one day!
How is it best for people to contact you if they’re interest in your designs?
I have a few ways you can get in touch with me. You can drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, you can also follow me on Twitter @loisreadsbooks and on Instagram @loisreadsbooks! Also, you can follow me on my blog Lois Reads Books, where I quite often post about my latest designs!
Thank you both for having me! This has been so much fun!