I’ve always been inspired by the craft of good typography. I was taught in Gutenberg’s home town of Mainz, learning about Bauhaus typography, letterpress printing, grids and structures. I had a passion for black and red, as we Germans tend to.

My move to London opened up a whole new world. A love for words and typography has stayed with me, but I also discovered humour, colour and that good design needs to engage on a very human level – to make us smile or provoke thought.

There are many ways to do this, but I particularly enjoy working with illustrators and the way in which illustration can bring personality to design. One of my greatest heroes is Saul Steinberg. He understood human behaviour in the finest detail. Looking at his illustrations makes me feel alive.

We recently designed a wine brand for my father’s vineyard in Germany (winner of a Design Week Benchmarks award). I worked closely with a copywriter and an illustrator and the harmony of words and pictures was really exciting.

And guess what? The design is all in black and red. But I haven’t forgotten the human element – the work is fun, friendly and engaging. Prost!

Katja Thielen

Together Design

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