Sarah Bürvenich [designer]

Sarah Bürvenich graphic design Sarah Bürvenich graphic design

Sarah Bürvenich is a talented communication designer with art direction and concept experience. And she’s just moved to Australia! Sarah has recently relocated from Cologne, Germany, to Melbourne and is currently looking for work to get settled and stay in Australia.

Like most creatives, Sarah started her creative journey from a young age. There’s a few crazy stories from growing up, and one of these was the time when Sarah decided that she’d create a large-scale save-the-planet advertisement on the entire outside wall of her family home. Sarah thought she’d used chalk from the garage, but much to her parent’s embarrassment, she’d created the mural with waterproof builder’s wax crayons!

You can tell by her pursuit of design work and projects around the globe that Sarah’s adventurous but also a very passionate designer. She has a strong attention to detail, a thorough approach to her work and much experience in branding and packaging.

If you’d like to contact Sarah to see her commercial portfolio, you’re welcome to email her — for various reasons we couldn’t show some of her commercial projects here in the interview — or visit her design blog and Facebook page.

Stop HIV Poster Sarah Bürvenich graphic design

How have you got to where you are today?

I started when I was 6 years old. I painted posters and tinkered with small flyers about protecting the environment.

I then started seriously practicing design in 2001. I had an heavy handed apprenticeship at a Cologne based advertising company for 3 years where I learned at lot about graphic design, retouching, developing films for printing and making handicraft chromalin proofs – all which could be quite challenging.

After my apprenticeship, I continued working in Cologne but I also wanted to go deeper into substance with studies at FH Aachen University Of Applied Science. While I studied communication design I worked as a freelancer for my several clients and a few agencies.

Since then, I’ve also worked for an agency in Ponsonby, Auckland that was located between a sex shop and another sex shop. (Quite funny to open the small door and catch people making a bemused face when you enter.) I loved living and working in NZ and I’ll definitely be going back there one day.

In a few words, describe yourself…

Loud. Hyperactive. Emotional. Addicted to lemons. I like old things and furniture – if you listen and watch them carefully they tell you stories about life.

I’m a collector and a detail-lover. You’ll never ever see me without my beloved sketchbook.

My trademark is a tattooed swallow on the back of my hand – if I could choose being an animal that would be my choice.

Sarah Bürvenich graphic design Sarah Bürvenich graphic design Sarah Bürvenich graphic design

What are you spending your time on at the moment?

Life is about changes. A good friend of mine said once, “that the only thing in life what is for sure is that it is changing all the time”. True story.

I have just left Germany to travel to New Zealand and Australia again. I’m still searching for a nice and cosy place to stay for the next couple of years. I’m currently in Melbourne but I’ll take things as they come. I have some projects which I’ll finish in the near future so I’m open for new challenges.

I’m looking forward to working for some agencies in Australia or New Zealand where I used to live and work five years before. Anyone looking for a designer??

Do you have a ritual for getting into the creative mindset? Or a creative process?

Sometimes a clean and tidy desk is the best way to start a new project. For my private projects there is no rule how to get in a creative mood. It just happens. And I have to start immediately when I have a new idea. Frequently I start in the evening because this is my free time.

Once I’m in a creative mood I’ll forget everything around me and before you can say knife it’s early morning.

What or who inspires you?

Almost everything… Traveling, sailing, diving, getting fresh air, walking through the city, sitting in a cafe, watching people and learning about their attitude, and even flicking through my sketchbook.

When I’m working on a project and I’m stuck, then I just get onto another issue. That’s refreshing and mind-opening.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my mother. She’s a really stunning woman. I’m also proud of things that I’ve achieved in life so far. Maybe I wouldn’t have done them if my mother hadn’t of been this model of stability and bravery. When I was little she always gave me the feeling that I can be whatever I want to be. “Thanks mum, you’re right!”

Once I have a new idea in my head, I will do almost everything to reach it. I really don’t regret working hard (my whole career) even if I was on the brink of burnout collapse one day. The really good thing is that everything you learn in life will last forever if you listen carefully to yourself. Your experience is yours and you can make the best of a bad job. It’s up to you.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Who said I am grown up? Well, when I was little I thought I might become a Greenpeace activist and protect wales and turtles. Or might become an artist.

I also wanted to be a traveller going to several places like Aswan in Egypt, New Zealand, Australia, Macchu Picchu and Taka-Tuka-Land. I’ve been to these spots except the last one. Now I’m dreaming of my own agency on a boat somewhere, someday.

Written by Jenica Smith


Passionate about storytelling, design and creativity, Jenica is a Brisbane-based digital designer and founder of Design Montage. Follow on twitter.


2 Responses to “Sarah Bürvenich [designer]”

  1. Dave

    It´s not easy to tell the difference between chalk and waterproof builder´s wax crayons. Love that story! Awasome work, Sarah!