Friday Fives: Lauren Platzker '20

Every Friday we give #highfives to a different designer from our extended family of PNCA students, faculty, alumni, and guest lecturers. 🙌🙌🙌 We ask them five questions. They send us five images. Lauren Platzker '20 is a graphic design major with a special focus in illustration.

Follow the series @pncadesign.

Tiger illustration, Lauren Platzker

Q: So, you started out wanting to be an illustrator, what made you want to pursue design as well?

A: I knew I loved to draw and create visual narratives so an artistic career was a no-brainer. I wanted a way to add context and functionality to my drawings so I dipped into learning what design really was. Initially, I wanted design as a technical base to enhance my illustration, to be able to understand composition and typography better, along with other aspects that both design and illustration utilizes. Design has now become a giant part of my life and I can easily say I have a huge passion for the design world along with the illustration world (and these worlds do not have to be separate)!

Risograph poster by Lauren Platzker, '20

Honestly, design forces me to articulate my work and understand what I am making.

Lauren Platzker '20

Q: What is the biggest thing that illustrators can learn from designers?

A: Being organized with file management—naming layers, having a file system, PACKAGING YOUR FILES—all of this technical stuff is a life saver for any sort of digital curation of your work. And I always push for [learning] typography. Understanding type and refining your type taste can make or break any piece, illustration or design.

Q: What is the biggest thing designers can learn from illustrators?

A: Find your personal style! Design doesn't have to be cookie cutter work each time, something I think illustration really helps with is understanding your own hand and how YOU make work. Adding some of your own personality in the way you set type, choose type, your colors, your layout, your image making, etc., will only make your work better.

Tiger pattern by Lauren Platzker '20.

Q: What skill set have you learned from design that you didn't even know that you needed?

A: Communication skills! Honestly, design forces me to articulate my work and understand what I am making so I can present it professionally for critique or even clients. Design gave me a much more critical eye. Understanding what works in a piece and what doesn't is such a useful skill that I didn't learn until being in a design environment.

Q: Who inspires you that has both the illustrator and design thing going for them?

A: Bráulio Amado is someone who has really honed his own style into design and has really made a mark. He is so unique and has such a developed style in both his design and illustration. I am so awed by how he seamlessly incorporates both skills into his work.

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Mallary Wilson '20 interviewed Lauren Platzker '20 for this series. Follow along with our #fridayfives on instagram @pncadesign.