Alisa Burzic on drawing creative inspiration from architectural work, sculptural pieces, and abstract paintings

We took the time to speak to Alisa Burzic, a Fine Arts Bachelor, about graphic design, letterforms and her creative process. Alisa currently resides in Belgrade, Serbia. For the last 4 years, she’s been working in the graphic design field, mainly in logo and type design. The greatest influence on the form she frequently explores and uses in her designs comes from the interest in modernist architecture and antifascist monuments that were built in the period of Socialist Yugoslavia.

How did you get started with designing letterforms?

I’ve enrolled in a graphic design course four years ago, where the first exercise consisted of a monogram design. I liked the idea of having so many possibilities when it comes to design because each drawing gave me a new idea for the next one. Considering I’ve graduated in Painting, at first it came naturally for me to produce posters and book covers. I’ve started working more intensively on letterforms and lettering at this year’s 36 Days of Type challenge.

Where do you draw inspiration to motivate your creative practice?

In my case, the creative process starts with the observation of everyday real-time occurrences, which is a non-conscious process. Random shapes of furniture layout in my room, lighting and surface shadows, or creases on fabric can draw my attention. I’m also inspired by the work of other creative people. Those mostly consist of architectural work, sculptural pieces, and abstract paintings, or graphic design work. In both cases, I notice something that I think has a developing potential so I try working based on that.

Sometimes I have a clear picture of a certain type, or letter design solution, which is important for me to have, and sometimes I come to the solution during the drawing or composition research stage, which is important for me to comprehend.

Each creative practice comes down to the act of doing it, hence this willingness to achieve a satisfactory harmony in a piece of work becomes an inspiration in itself.

Do you have a most-loved lettering project?

I’m not sure that I do. Basically, I enjoy working on projects where I have artistic autonomy and learn or discover something new and novel.

Tell us more about the design process of your print

The initial idea for this ampersand design was hand-drawn on a piece of paper and I finalized it using the software. I’ve increased the line thickness until its outlines merged and decided to split it into halves to achieve a more dynamic look. For highlights, I’ve added the lines so that those halves can be differentiated from one another and to create a perception of depth. To create a poster, I’ve subsequently added a brief history of the origin of the symbol.

What are you working towards at the moment?

I find type design history and its design process very fascinating. I’m currently working on developing my first typeface.