On episode 5 of Wellfed, I visit Verena Michelitsch at the coworking space A/D/O to discuss her ongoing work with the lifestyle magazine Gossamer, her passion for design and the moment she realized she needed to learn more. I really admire that even though Verena was running a creative studio at a very early time in her career, she took the opportunity to intern in order to grow her skills. Verena's work is magnificent so it was very hard for me to try and not go on for hours about it. We cover the amazing companies she worked at previously including Pentagram, RoAndCo and Apple as well as her process for creating spectacular work for her clients.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:00:00] My guest is a Verena Michelitsch designer based in Brooklyn, who has worked with the likes of Apple, RoandCo, Pentagram, Sagmeister & Walsh, and one of my favorite magazines currently the weed and marijuana lifestyle magazine Gossamer.
So thank you so much for joining me today.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:01:43] Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:01:45] Very excited. You know, in the last year, seeing the design work that has gone into gossamer has been amazing, and I think that ultimately will, it led me to looking at your work and wanting to kind of speak with you for the podcast.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:01:58] Thank you.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:01:59] I want to start at the beginning. You are not originally from New York. You grew up in Austria.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:02:04] Yes. I grew up in a very small town in Austria, close to the border of Slovenia. Six, 7,000 people went to high school there. After that, I moved to the next closest bigger city, which is called Graz.
It's the second largest city in Austria, but it's actually still quite small. It's like 200-250,000 something like that. But it's a university town, so there's a lot of universities and different colleges, so it's great for education and yeah, that's, that's where I went. After high school.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:02:40] There's a lot of old and new in grass'.
You know, there's a lot of architecture and I believe there's a, an old legend about a clock tower there as well, the protector of Graz or the city.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:02:52] Really. Did you look it up. I'm really bad at that because. Now that you ask me, I don't know about it at the top of my head.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:03:01] But what is it? So there was a clock tower that has been there for hundreds of years.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:03:05] Yeah. I mean, that's the, the site kind of in Graz. So it's very visible from all points from the city,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:03:11] the protector or something like that. Could you tell me about the friendly alien?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:03:16] Sure. Yeah. So the friend, the alien is a museum for contemporary art in clouds. And this is whole area. So the city is kind of divided by this river called Mur, and there's one area in Graz which.
Was kind of not a great area. There were, there were a lot of brothels. It wasn't the best area of town, but in the recent years, I would say maybe like past 15 years, it really got very famous, especially because this friendly alien was built in this area. And I think that and other things, just how to bring this area to life.
And now it's. So kind of number one creative area in the city. There's a lot of design studios, a lot of things happening. I think the design for this museum was already done in the 70s but it just got, it took really long to, I guess, get it approved or get it built it. It looks very crazy. Unfortunately, it's a podcast so people can't see it.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:04:20] That's ok we'll leave a link
Verena Michelitsch: [00:04:21] It almost looks like an organ or something.
Yeah. It's also very visible from this cocktail hour that we talked about before, and it's just really stands out because there's so much very old architecture. This is a very modern, very organic building. I forgot the name of the architects, but that's okay.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:04:38] Research. So you went to school and Graz.
What did you go to study for?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:04:43] The course of study was called information design. So it's basically, it was communication design. There you could choose a major after two years, so you either went into more interactive digital or video kind of design, or you went into exhibition design and communication design, which is more kind of classic print.
That's what I did because I was really interested in exhibition design at first, and that's also some of my first. Projects or chops that I was working in was exhibition design. I really enjoyed that, working with either artists or with historians. I also very briefly started history of arts after college, but that was only like one semester.
So I was always into that museum aspect and art aspect as well, and that seemed to me that it's kind of the perfect combination to combine design with art, art history.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:05:38] We share an appreciation maybe for the Austrian philosopher. Otto Neurath.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:05:44] Oh yeah, yeah.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:05:45] I studied him in school as well, you did as well.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:05:49] That was one of my first design books that I think I ever got.
I think my mom. Bought it for me because I was really into pictograms. I think that's one thing that really drew me into design. I was just always trying to simplify things and really interested in where pictograms came from. So I learned about this guy called , who was Viennese, I think in the beginning of the 20th century.
He tried to simplify. Things for people to make them understand certain relationships or politics or economical circumstances. Because many people were illiterate at that time, so he was trying to find a way to make people go vote and go make them understand economics or politics or anything really. So I think that was really interesting to me that.
That was actually how pictograms kind of started.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:06:47] I did a font in school after learning about him and studying it, where it was kind of like a dingbats thing where every letter was a different icon that you could potentially experience while in college. So you got basketball game or a bus or things around the college campus that you experienced.
But I loved his work and it was amazing to kind of find out that you were also very much inspired by him because I think your work now shows a lot of that. Trying to simplify sort of some messaging sometimes and make pictograms and icons that are very legible and immediately recognized.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:07:19] Yeah, for sure.
I think that's the thing in communication designed to be able to convey any message in a visual way and in a way that, that people understand it. Either it's like in an emotional sense or in a sense that it just needs to. To explain a circumstance in any visual way. Really,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:07:42] After you graduated, you freelance for a while?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:07:46] Yeah, I kind of went freelance right away. So during college I already worked, I started working at an advertising agency when I was 19 it was one of the most kind of oldest advertising agencies in the city. It is very classical, so it was very eighties advertising vibe. Yeah. That was really good for me too, to see how things work.
They even let me present work already, which is crazy. I think I had my first presentation when I was 21 to clients, but yeah, I did it part time, so I would be there every now and then when I didn't have. To like study at university and then after it. So I was kind of familiar with almost like freedom to work or doing something on the side.
I also started to do logos for like my uncle's company or like small things here and there, and then the federal state of Australia I was living in, they had this. Um, kind of competition, or they offered young artists and designers in the city a space to work in for one year for almost free. So you had to pay a very low fee.
It was also an in this like area that I was talking about called Lend in Graz. So you had to apply to get that residency. It was almost like an artist in residency. So I applied with a photographer friend of mine, and it was a very cool building too. It was very modern and very, um, beautiful in a way. And they also organized exhibitions and really took care of the artists.
So they wanted to support young people to do their own thing. In like any artistic or creative sense. So yeah, we ended up winning this residency for a year, so it really helped me to make the decision to go freelance right away, and I had to deal with like finding out everything about how I set up my business and how I, how much I charge per hour or per day or whatever, which was kind of crazy when I think back because I really didn't know much.
I just did whatever I learned in school, I did more web design. Weirdly. Yeah. I just figured it out. Learning by doing kind of, but I also really enjoyed it. It was very rewarding to get money after you did something without sitting in a studio and having to like getting paid, like whatever, every two weeks or every month you could really see.
That if I put in that work, I get that back. And so yeah, that was really
Jon Sorrentino: [00:10:15] business owner at a very young age.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:10:16] Yeah, little bit. Yeah.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:10:18] You had mentioned that you were doing web design was, were you doing just all kinds of different service and design work
Verena Michelitsch: [00:10:23] Yea that, I mean that was in maybe like 2008 or something, so.
There were weird web back end systems. I almost forgot the name. I think it was called drupal lite or something. So it was like almost like WordPress, but I just familiarize myself with that platform and based on that, I built different websites for any sorts of clients. Like there were a couple of vineyards or.
I don't even remember what, what types of websites and built, but it just,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:10:56] Anything come into the desk, I think that's cool. I think you freelanced about three years. Um, at what point then, cause you start the creative studio En Guard and what was part of that decision and how did that come about?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:11:14] So. My friends that I had the residency with, her boyfriend was a graphic designer too.
His name was Mario and the other guy was called Phillip and they already started, they already freelance in graphic design and they called themselves En Guard already, so that was very fresh at that point. It was just two of them, and they were sitting in an office behind a hairdresser. It was a tiny, like one room studio.
So yeah, I got to know them. I really loved their work a lot and admire them for what they were doing. And yeah, at some point they were asking me if I want to be kind of the third part of En Guard, if I want to help them grow the company and grow the network. At that point it was like a freelance network.
So the idea was to team up with a lot of freelances, share a space and team up on projects. That's what I did. So we spent. Maybe half a year, or maybe it was not a year. I don't remember. But we still kept working out of this small.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:12:14] The spot you had for the residency or behind the hairdresser?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:12:17] That was a hairdresser.
We worked out of the hairdresser for a bit and then eventually we moved into an office. That was really fun. Then because we started taking on larger projects and we pitched for statewide competitions to do larger projects. We did a lot of things for like theaters or famous Austrian fashion designer.
And yeah, I kind of really enjoyed that time because we were all quite young still. We were really under 25 like we were all like super young, but we just figured it out and it was just a very good vibe in the office because everyone loved doing graphic design and there was also something really exciting and challenging about.
Challenging other studios in the city, like some of the really old, bigger ones and
Jon Sorrentino: [00:13:05] Going up against them as like the underdog. The studio is still around. They're still doing work or doing awesome work. When you joined, I think recently, I've heard. Someone say that you should join a situation where you are not doing the same thing as someone else, you should join people that balance you in that sense.
So for me, I'm not great at writing copy or things like that. So that would be kind of an example. But was that a similar situation that you were in or were you all kind of focused on communication, design, information design and things like that?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:13:35] I think. We all had very specific skill sets like the three of us in the beginning.
Um, Phillip was more the business minded guy and was very kind of web savvy and technology savvy. Mario was super artistic and was very much into doing also like things like festivals and connecting people and he was really great about that. And I think. I was the one that was like super, like designed nerdy.
So I really was picking up everything about design from around the world and was really looking also outside of Austria. So I think we balanced each other out in a very good way. And I think it was also good for them in a way, because they were very close friends. So I feel like they also needed like a third balancing person.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:14:25] Sure to not butt heads all the time.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:14:26] I think three of us had a, had a good dynamic.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:14:29] That's cool. And before we get into this next part, I feel like I can ask you this question and you might have a really good response. Is there a favorite typeface that you do you have a favorite?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:14:40] It's really hard to say.
I don't think that, I honestly have a favorite typeface. I think. Always admired, were like very simple typefaces in a way. And it's a classic kind of Swiss Helvetica or Neue Haas Grotesk typefaces. And for the longest time, actually, I was more into sans-serif typefaces for for a weird reason. But honestly, no, I don't think that.
That there's a type foundries that are really amazing. But yeah.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:15:09] So this next leg of your career, you go onto then intern at Sagmeister and Walsh, you then also work with Pentagram and then work at RoandCo and some of the biggest studios in New York. How did you go from and En Guard to interning at Sagmeister and Walsh going from Austria over to New York?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:15:29] So Stefan Sagmeister was always one. Of my design heroes. Even when I was a teenager, I saw some of this work and I just thought, it's really amazing what you can do with graphic design, because I didn't really understand what graphic design was really. I, to me, it seemed really boring, but when I saw his work, I was like, this is actually really amazing and so different, and yeah, so I learned about him.
And then at En Guard at some point. I also realized after doing that for like three years, I also realized I was missing a mentor or I was missing kind of new feedback or more inspiration because I still felt like I'm, I'm quite young and I never worked at a place where someone, someone told me to, gave me like really like strong feedback or gave me guidance or was a little bit older than all of us were.
So I felt I was missing that a bit and I was just really curious about working in a studio that I admire a lot and just being ready to learn more and to have a mentor really. So I send out a lot of applications to New York. It wasn't, Sagmeister that wasn't my first choice because. I mean, I was like super happy to be there, and yet of course, but first I really thought I want to go back to exhibition design.
So I wrote to a lot of museums, so I wrote to the MoMA and the new museum and really wanted to do exhibition catalogs or exhibition design, things like that. But nobody really got back. So it was really hard to write all of these emails. And.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:17:09] To hear nothing back at all emotionally.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:17:11] And I even made these kind of printed portfolios that were really nice and really with complicated laser cut covers and whatever.
So I had 10 of them, and then I figured, well, I could also send them to Stefan Sagmeister because why not? I have it already. And yeah. Uh, very shortly after I heard back from Jessica. At that point. So when I was interning there, it was a still Sagmeister Inc. So it was before they became bigger and they said they are looking for an intern for three months in like two months time.
So it went really fast and I went to New York, did this internship, so I kind of went back from. Working already and almost having my own business to interning, but I knew that that was the only way to get into New York, and I was still like young enough to do that. And also it was really amazing to all of a sudden be in his studio.
And of course, like the first week there was a little bit of, I was a little like star struck. Whenever someone would look at my screen, I was like, Oh my God. Like am I doing the right thing with, with whatever I'm doing with my mouse right now? But I worked on the happy show there, which was an exhibition.
So it came like full circle back to exhibition design, which was kind of amazing. So I was able to do exactly what I wanted at Stefan Sagmeister
Jon Sorrentino: [00:18:36] That's awesome. Cause the happy show. I remember like seeing that while I was in school and just being like, wow, great work. Um, the most recent exhibition that he did in Zurich as well, um, was it also called the happy show?
Everything was yellow. Yeah.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:18:51] Uh, in Vienna, they did. Um. Beauty show. I think
Jon Sorrentino: [00:18:56] That was recent as well. There was one in Switzerland and I was able to see off the top of my head, I can't remember it now, of course, but I mean, that's great that you're able to get exposed to the exhibition design that you know, without really even going directly to like the MoMA or anything like that.
You were there for three months. You then eventually had to go back to Austria.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:19:16] Yeah. I'm not even sure if I'm allowed to say it in public, but basically you're allowed to stay in the U S for three months,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:19:23] visa or whatever it may be.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:19:25] Yeah. But you could extend it if you just leave the country and come back completely.
So at that point, I still had my company in Austria, so I was able to write invoices from there. So I just wrote to different studios and. Then eventually landed a Pentagram with Eddie Opara, and freelanced there for a bit, which was also really amazing because it's such a famous design studio. So I was really lucky to get in there, learned a lot about editorial design, and was able to do an amazing illustration together with Eddie Opara.
And yeah, that's point. I really felt like, I don't want to go back to Austria.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:20:05] Sure. Yeah.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:20:06] I want to work here full time and I want to stay longer.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:20:11] The energy of New York just kind of sweeps you out.
You had mentioned that you ended up at pentagram, but what was the process for that? You know, did you go through the same idea of sending out your portfolio and trying to get in touch with studios that you, you know, really admire?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:20:26] I think I'd really just went online and looked for email addresses from Pentagram and that's how it came about. It definitely helped to have Stefan Sagmeister in the resume at that point. Yeah, just reached out and then had an interview and then went there.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:20:43] You spend some time at Sagmeister and Walsh.
You spend some time at Pentagram already in my eyes. That is like riding high on the design, uh, stops and then you also end up at RoandCo and RondCo. I think they're still creating amazing work. The quality is phenomenal. You spent two years there. How was that experience?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:21:04] Yeah, it was really great. I mean, it was my first full time job abroad, but it was also really my first really full time job being employed ever, and I really enjoyed it and I love the detail work that they're putting into every project.
I just love the style of Roann, the founder, and every project that I was able to work on was just really amazing, interesting, and also beautiful. So we worked on a lot of fashion branding and fashion art direction work there. I just learned so much about processes, about print production, about how you really work with clients and about having the constructure to your work.
I think that's what they read it very well.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:21:51] I think it's amazing that you recognize it. For the internship at Sagmeister and Walsh, that some people may say like, Oh, I have my own studio. I'm not going to give up and go to an intern or do that, because that would mean that I'm taking a step backward, which I think is not the case at all.
You know, like you saw the opportunity to really want to get your foot in the door in New York and also learn from one of your heroes essentially. And I think that's really key to leading to the rest of your amazing opportunities after RoAndCo, you step into Sid Lee as a design director.
Was that scary?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:22:23] It was scary for sure.
After RoAndCo I first really didn't know what I really want to do, and I ended up just interviewing at a lot of different places, and I even went to interviews where I was like, I don't think that I want to work there, but it really helped me figure out what I really want to do. And at that point I really enjoyed art direction.
So I was really into that, and I was looking for opportunities where I could work on bigger shoots or bigger productions and learn more about that really. And I think one good way in is to go into a more advertising direction because of they have productions and bigger budgets. So I interviewed there and I really liked the vibe there.
Right away I got along with the creative directors were very well and it felt really right. And so I got actually hired as a senior designer slash art director, but they told me that eventually they want to help me get to design director position so I could start my own team and everything. But it happened very quickly.
So it happened after almost a month or so because the whole internal structure at Sid Lee changed. And one of the ECDs left and everyone got bumped up one position. Happened rather soon, and I get thrown into the cold water. It was really great. I love to kind of figure things out by just doing it, and I am sure I made a lot of mistakes, but I was also able to exchange myself with all the other creative directors or senior directors there to just learn from them and ask for tips, and everyone knew that I'm also fresh in that position.
So there was a lot of helping each other out and just figuring it out together.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:24:10] A little forgiveness in a grace period.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:24:12] Yeah, for sure.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:24:13] What do you think some of the key learnings basically being thrown into a creative director would say like you just didn't have the experience from before. You know, I think you had mentioned they started to build a team under you, so was that something that you had had experience or exposure to before?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:24:29] I mean, at En Guard we hired designers and we hired people and we had interns, so there was a little bit from that maybe, but. Still, it was very different. It was at a very different level. I think what was hard for me there was to be more in a managerial position, so I wasn't as hands on on most projects.
So I would start projects and give a direction and then let designers execute, which I was really not used to doing. So I was giving a lot of feedback and spent a lot of times just looking at PDFs and commenting and commenting, commenting, and things. But yeah, it was, it was also great to have that experience and I was able to focus on a lot of art direction there.
And yeah, I was really able to go on so many shoots and really big productions for Facebook or for Apple, and we traveled the world and I learned so much from that. That feels really precious to me.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:25:29] I read, you know, as I was doing my research site that you said you really love your job and that you really love design, and I was curious if you could maybe speak a little bit about if there's anything specific in there that you love so much about design, being able to do that every day.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:25:44] I don't know what exactly or why I really love it, but I think it just always really enjoyed it and they love to look at beautiful things, and I love materials and like touching things and like haptic things. And I don't know, it's, it's hard to say. I don't know why I like it, but I think I'm just like really happy by doing that work every day.
And of course there's projects where sometimes things get a little annoying or repetitive or something, but all in all, I think I'm not getting tired of it because there's so many fields and directions that you can go in with design that. It's kind of always exciting to me.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:26:26] And your portfolio of work, the projects that you've been able to work on is such a high level of execution and quality that goes into it that you put energy behind.
I'm curious how much of the work that you show, say on your website or you see around the web are from the professional kind of opportunities that you've had, but then also how many are from side projects or passion projects that you've worked on.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:26:50] All projects actually on my site, except the subsection called play are professionals.
So everything is luckily paid, but I always love to do side projects, especially in the, in the beginning in New York, I did way more side projects first to experiment with what were kind of like the love design, but then also to put it on my sides to show what I'm actually really interested in. Doing and hoping to attract the right tie ins for the projects.
But right now, luckily all projects are paid on client projects. But of course there's a lot of projects that I'm also doing that eventually don't land on the website. So. Yeah.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:27:33] Eventually the two different roads eventually merge. Right? Like this idea of you're doing work for your full time and your, your passion projects now being freelance, those that have kind of merged because you've been able to put out there the work that you want to do and that you really are excited about.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:27:48] Yeah, totally.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:27:49] I want to make sure I mentioned this before we talk about one of the things I'm most excited about, you were able to work with Apple for a short time. What do they have you do? And also like how did they find you.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:28:01] When I was working at Sid Lee, we did a campaign for Apple for Apple news, and it was a pitch I think and we had to work on the campaign visuals, and we only had like 48 hours.
It was really crazy. So I worked with my team and we won this kind of pitch, and it was really exciting that we got this Apple client, and I don't know if that helped that I had this work also in my portfolio, but. I was talking to a recruit at Apple. I think someone just reached out to me and say, we're looking for freelancers or permalancers that would go there for a couple of months and work on specific projects and yeah, after Sidley I knew that I want to go back to freelance or to have my own thing and try that out in the States as well.
Where I was a little bit more scared about doing that here just because the cost of living is much higher. And so yeah, a great first step for me was to do a permalance kind of at Apple. So I went there for I think total like six or seven months almost with a break. It was really great to see the inside of Apple and was just really amazing how much time you have to put into.
A specific task or a specific thing, you could really see that design was valued so much. So I also didn't have to do that many things in parallel. So there was one big focus that I had a lot of time to spend on. It made me understand that it just really needs that time and effort to create great work.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:29:39] So when you say that you had so much time, is that they allowed you the space to continue to work ideas and mold them over?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:29:45] I think there was just a lot of ideation on things, so there were just like round and round rounds. Just make it really perfect. It's not that I had a lot of time and like just sat around whatever.
There was so much focus on design and art direction and finding that perfect solution for things, because of course, it's like the biggest company on the planet and so known for amazing design. So I wasn't surprised about that.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:30:10] That's awesome. So you've. Been able to have this amazing design experiences, resume of work, and being able to work at some of the best agencies, in my opinion.
And now you are independent, you're commissioned to do work, and you work with clients. One of the reasons why that I eventually found you as the magazine Gossamer and. I remember when the website started. I was just so curious. I was like, what is this? What are they going to do? And their approach to weed and marijuana and the lifestyle that it's not just, they're kind of like demystifying what that means as a person nowadays, and the content was so well curated, but also so well designed and you're now working with them.
What is the relationship? What are you in charge of.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:30:53] So first I'm doing all the magazine design. I'm doing in collaboration with my friend Kristina, who is a designer in Austria who I met at En Guard. So the magazine design is like totally like 50 50 between the two of us. She actually works more on the layout, kind of editorial side, and I do more of the art direction and yeah, started working with gossamer like one and a half years ago.
I think I met the founder who is also card Verena on the, on the Instagram. So we were just like Instagram friends. And then of course I followed her brand too. And then eventually she asked me if I want to work on their second issue. And that was really excited about it because I haven't worked on editorial for so long, but I also had like a lot of respect.
Uh, it just because I wasn't sure what I would get myself into it because it's a really big magazines. It's 144 pages, I wasn't sure if I really could do it by myself. So I reached out to my friend Kristina, and yeah, it worked out really perfectly. And I'm super appreciative about the relationship that we have with gossamer just because they really trust us and they let us.
To almost like whatever we want. Of course it needs to make sense with the content and everything, but every photographer or illustrator that we suggest, they give us so much freedom and liberty. And also over time, we really start to understand what gossamer is about. And it's so much fun to help define the brand and help kind of define the vibe of it and how it should feel in like different means of communication, whether it's.
The magazine or web or art direction or packaging even.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:32:39] You mentioned that when you decide to work with other partners or the creatives that you kind of have full trust from Verena as well. I saw that you were able to work with like Thomas Prior, who is a huge favorite of mine. I as a photographer as well.
Does a little bit of your childhood sort of creeping, having come from a photography based family.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:32:58] Yeah, totally. So first Tom is great. I actually got to know him with one of them. These very large Facebook productions that we did at Sid Lee, we traveled half of the world, like shooting. So yeah, with photography, I always really loved it because my grandmother started a photography business in the 50s and she had like a very classic photography business where she had two stores where she would develop photos and also do portraits and shoot weddings and all of that.
And we had this. Little stores, so it's just spend a lot of time there. Even helping as, as a teenager or helping out as a kid and then also being in a dark room and seeing images being developed and helping out on shoots. I did that from childhood on and always really loved it. Yeah.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:33:52] So in addition to gossamer, you have also worked on a number of projects that have gone a lot of light in the design community and in what you could say as press.
But when you see something beautiful come on your feet or on the internet somewhere, you just can't help but stop. I think the work that you did for Jumbo, uh, it was really cool. You did a laundromat, you done a kid's clothing brand. What do you think has been a big contributing factor to being able to work on these projects that'll give you so much freedom and trust.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:34:23] So with Jumbo for example, was sometimes it's just like really a lucky coincidence to be honest. I met the cofounder of Jumbo here at a/d/o. So they have a furniture company and it's a very specific style of furniture, and he was looking for a logo. So it was a kind of a very quick project. And he had something in mind and was also very open and there was a lot of like freedom for it.
So we just iterated on the logo together for a bit. And then that's how it kind of came about. And it's the same thing with the laundromat. There was this girl Leanna writing me an email and she was telling me about how much she loves. Laundromats. So she was really into land romance and she would just like talk and write about them all the time.
So I always think it's very exciting if people are very excited about something and I think her energy just swept over, and I thought, what an amazing project to design a laundromat. And so yeah, we just decided to team up on it and do it together. And luckily I had a lot of freedom on this project too.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:35:32] I can go on and pick apart some of the projects on your site and. Keep you here for a longer time than you probably want, but where can people find more of your work and get in touch to either work together, get some advice from you or anything like that?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:35:46] Well, you can always write me, um, my email address, which is [email protected], which is probably really hard to understand, but maybe it's just try to Google search and I don't,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:36:01] I'll leave a link on the website. Where can they find you on Instagram?
Verena Michelitsch: [00:36:05] Instagram. It's @verenamichelitsch,
which is also a weird handle, but a friend of mine gave that name to me, the girl that I had this studio with in Graz.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:36:17] Verena thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today.
Verena Michelitsch: [00:36:20] Thank you so much for having me so much fun.