There’s nothing more heart-warming than someone’s reaction when they realise they’ve won. In a video he posted to his Instagram, Johannes Belach recorded our directors as they announced he’d been awarded the title of Design Cuts Live 2020 “Community Star”. His genuine gasp was enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. When we reposted his video, people reacted with equal happiness, acknowledging this Design Cutter’s mark on our community.

The purpose of Design Cuts Live was to celebrate community members like Johannes, who make what we do a pure joy. As a way to observe our 7th birthday, our aim was to bring value to designers across the world in a way that hadn’t been done in the industry. We hosted over 26 of the biggest designers, near and far, in a series of free live tutorials dedicated to teaching our community about a range of graphic design topics. This birthday celebration marked a huge milestone in our company history, but an even bigger one in that of our community.

“If you go to our 'About' page, the first words you’ll read are ‘we care’”. If you’re a Design Cutter, you’ll know that we’re not in the business of selling, but of forging meaningful connections. Our values as a company can be found in the everyday interactions between our community members, in the way that they uplift each other. We ran our birthday competition to not only highlight our ‘Community Star’, but to also acknowledge our much wider constellation of Community Stars.

To win, we asked our Design Cutters to get engaged - on social media, our live sessions, the chats. Our goal was to continue linking creatives and bringing them together in a time of isolation. Our community members took this to heart and ran with it. Though their enthusiasm made this a particularly close competition, our standout candidate was Johannes Belach, a freelance designer, illustrator, filmmaker and abstract artist from Germany. As our ‘Community Star’, we were more than a little curious to get to know him better as a person and artist.

Johannes grew up wanting to be an artist, a director, a DJ, and did it all. After studying art and design at university, he found his niche amongst bands and musicians, covering everything from logo design, cover illustrations, and music videos. Around that time, he discovered Design Cuts and made his first purchase on the 15th of October, 2013 (yes, he remembers the date!), making him an original Design Cutter.

Now, he’s focusing on going “back to the roots” after falling in love with acrylics (hint: take a look at the painting below - that’s his!). Though he’s found a passion going down the analogue route, as our ‘Community Star’ and winner of an iPad Pro his wish is to one day combine traditional and digital art to create content for Design Cuts.

Johannes might have been the well-deserved winner of our birthday competition, but our runners-up were equally positive forces throughout the event. Sam Diaz and Anupama Rao were consistently engaged and posed questions that triggered compelling conversations. And most importantly, their comments made our community and team members feel appreciated and seen, an ability that we value immensely as a brand.

Although these three Design Cutters deserve recognition, it’s worth noting how proud we are of our entire community. To all of our Design Cutters, thank you for breathing life into everything that we do. Our biggest asset is, and always will be, our community.

We couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds for our team and this community. We hope you’ll stay on this rollercoaster of a ride with us that promises to continue taking us to new heights!

More honourable mentions: Paul Hallam, Kayla Ermer, Hiba Aydeed, Neeta Budhraja, Emma Williams, Kathy Wilson, Reema,, Susan Pearson, Rebekah Pelusza, Michelle Ray Goolsby, Kellie Graham, Harmony G, Stacy Mitchell, Martha Regina, Damilola Adeduro, Wendy, Madz Madaje, Rachel Edington, Lindsay Elissa Coils, Spraart2026, Marie Elisabeth, West Kirkley, Mia, AJ Hashmat, Elena Statham, Mabel, AG, Becky, Jo Louise, Beth, Johnny, and many, many more!