Vanessa Mikoleit

Scholz & Volkmer, Germany

Since 2007, Vanessa Mikoleit has been art director at Scholz & Volkmer and her works have received prizes in national as well as international competitions. The aim in developing the "Coke DataViz" intranet application was to create a web controlling tool that combines a playful approach with the data on user behaviour, which are gathered from web statistics and customer relations databases.

red dot: What inspires you?
Vanessa Mikoleit:
I often take inspiration from a flood of impressions, such as when I visit fairs like Art Cologne or the book fair. This abundance of beautiful objects, unexpected combinations and new forms of expression leaves me every time with whispers in my head. At art fairs in particular, I often have the feeling of floating in a delicate bubble, which focuses on issues of social importance, and in which human beings as such play a role. If something of this attitude can be transferred into a consumer-orientated design, that’s something I find remarkable.

red dot: Which (communication) designers do you admire?
Vanessa Mikoleit:
I admire designers whose work manages to create enthusiasm beyond its original aims – and even to move people. An example of this for me is Strichpunkt’s “Book of Independence”, which is actually advertising for paper, but has succeeded in making the leap to being an independent product. I believe that the idea behind it was just too beautiful to remain as “only” advertising. Or a campaign like that of Fallon for Cadbury, which featured a gorilla playing the drums. Really a quite simple idea – but very, very many users have enthusiastically taken part. I find that small trivial things which reflect human nature can often be more moving than ambitious productions.

red dot: Where do you work on your projects?
Vanessa Mikoleit:
In the office I work at Scholz & Volkmer - in a former hospital set on a hill above Wiesbaden. When I work at home, I like to sit at my yellow-painted tabletop, which is placed on an Eiermann base. The base is really a little too low for my work, but I would never part with it. That’s because it always reminds me that I almost became an architect instead of a designer.