Bettina Reinemann was born and raised in the Rhineland area, close to the Dutch border. She studied Illustration and Graphic Design in Muenster and Hamburg. Her love for typography led her to packaging design, then to Amsterdam to work as a freelance illustrator. She joined GoLive Systems in Hamburg in 1998 which became part of Adobe in 1999.
For the last 10 years Bettina has led a small team exclusively focused on defining and designing the visual icon language at Adobe.
Becoming an icon designer was not based on a plan, but somehow happened to her. At GoLive Systems Bettina had been asked to help out creating some icons, with limited colors and dimensions. It reminded her of embroidery projects she did as a teenager. (she even once used sewing yarn to stitch a picture, compared to normal stitching yarn this could compare to a retina display today…)
Icons became a growing passion ever since.
She is a big fan of pictograms and signs and their visual language that is readable without words. Around the world. Ideally. The same goes for her icons, implemented into software that is distributed internationally. What makes sense in the US, doesn’t necessarily work in Asia.
What Bettina loves about icon design is the complexity, even – or especially? – for the smallest design: the process of finding the best metaphor for often quite abstract features, by getting to the heart of it, and finally bringing it across in a most simplified and meaningful image.
The interest in smallest illustrations, such as icons, inspired Bettina to create miniature worlds in matchboxes, each staging “situations” as a kind of snapshot.
And stitching projects came into focus again…