Introducing Marika Iivari: Visual design from socks to websites

Visual Designer Marika Iivari fulfilled a dream from her youth when she left for Australia to study visual design. At Paper Planes, she enjoys diverse creative client projects and appreciates the awesome colleagues she can always share a laugh with. Read what Marika says about her work.

What do I do at Paper Planes?

I design the visual elements of marketing materials for our clients. I have designed everything from socks to websites and campaign concepts.

At the moment, I’m both the oldest and one of the newest employees at the company. I first started my career at Paper Planes as a Visual Design Trainee in 2015 and then went on to become a Visual Designer. I left Paper Planes for six months in between but made a comeback in the summer of 2019, which makes me one of the latest additions to the team in that sense.

When I started as a trainee, it was only me and six others here at Paper Planes. Now there are almost 20 of us! It has been so cool to be involved in the growth and development of the firm.

The best aspects of my work

Creativity, versatile projects and colleagues.

In this creative line of business, you get to improve and develop your skills all the time as the digital world is constantly in a state of flux. You can never say “now I’m ready, I know it all.” There is no one way of doing anything I work on. Sometimes it can be frustrating, but, on the other hand, I get to continuously challenge myself and rationalize my choices.

Working with many clients at the same time adds variety to the job. All companies are different and so are their needs. I also learn new things when I familiarize myself with the clients and their lines of business.

“All companies are different and so are their needs.”

And, of course, the colleagues. To me it’s very important to work in a safe environment with nice people and a good spirit. There’s always someone who chuckles at a bad joke or is willing to share their thoughts on the latest reality TV shows. Not to forget that they are really skilled at what they do and always ready to lend a helping hand.

I’m so happy to be able to do what I do. I don’t take it for granted either, since I first graduated as an economist before switching to marketing. I found myself getting excited about job ads that required skills in visual design. Then I discovered Shillington College, which is in Australia, and decided to go and make two dreams come true at the same time. That was the best decision I’ve ever made.

“To me it’s very important to work in a safe environment with nice people and a good spirit.”

A couple of years ago, I found a letter at the bottom of one of my boxes at home. It was a letter I had written when I was fifteen and stated that I would become a visual or interior designer when I grow up. So, I ended up fulfilling a dream I had already forgotten.

In my spare time I enjoy

Traveling and good food, preferably at the same time. I’m a summer person, the hotter the better. Maybe that’s why I’m constantly looking for the next warm destination during the colder months.

My favorite hobby

Definitely synchronized skating, which I did on a competitive level for over ten years. Every fall I think about joining an amateur team, but I’ve gotten too comfortable with not having to commit to a specific training schedule. I attend the Finnish Championship as a fan, however, and secretly wipe tears if my favorite team performs flawlessly.

Something you would never guess about me

A few years ago, I read the KonMari book and I’ve folded my socks upright in the drawer ever since. A fabulous life hack to see all the available pairs at once!