Luca Ionescu is designer and director of Like Minded Studio – a Sydney-based design house who have worked with brands such as LYNX Australia, MTV, Nike, and Stussy. Luca is renowned for custom typography and graphic art. We have a chat.
February 5th, 2015
• How did you come to be a graphic designer? What first drew you to it?
I always had a passion for art and drawing. My grandmother was an artist so she taught how to draw and encouraged me to do so. In high school this naturally progressed into more of a design realm by doing Design & Technology and later a Design Degree at Enmore. I entered the design industry in 1998.
• Has the reality of graphic design differed from your expectations? In what ways?
I think the design industry has been an amazing journey that has led to a wealth of experiences. My goal has always been to better my skills through the projects I work on and to produce interesting and engaging work. This has led to working with big brands and exploring a variety of mediums. The industry now definitely surpassed my expectations in terms of how many mediums and channels there are to work with and explore, which is definitely a positive for the industry and its future.
• Have you developed a personal style or philosophy in your work? How would you describe this?
I believe in developing strong ideas and then figuring out the best way to implement them. The process of finding the right idea for a particular brief determines the aesthetics and style of the final piece, and then it’s a matter of crafting it to look amazing. Clients come to us because of that and our track record for crafting beautiful award winning work.
• What do you believe to be the main forces and challenges for graphic design currently? What do you think they will be in the future?
I think the forces influencing our industry are ever changing, but some of the main ones currently are social media and clients craving new, unique experiences. This means as a creative / designer you need to think outside the box and have an open mind to all mediums available and harness those for your clients. That means keeping up to date with changes in technology, virtual experiences, lighting, prototyping, art, fashion, kinetic sculptures etc… being open to all those mediums means that when your client is faces with forces and challenges they don’t understand, you can arm them with new ideas and campaigns to help their business. Visual Storytelling and experiences for clients to immerse and engage their audience in is definitely a way of the future.
• In what ways have you seen the profession change since you entered the industry? Are these good or bad?
When I entered the industry in late 90’s people were struggling with the Y2K and dial up modems… so yeah its definitely changed. I also entered the industry embracing change and doing web designs for my clients and being pro-tech and pro-change whilst still having my roots in illustration and traditional design.
I think as long as you have an open mind and educate yourself on new mediums and tech there is no good or bad, it’s just a matter of encouraging clients to take the leap and invest and support new ideas and mediums. Having an open minded client investing in new ideas is every designers dream.
• What is your latest project? Can you tell us a bit about it?
We just completed an awesome project for a LYNX Australia called Expression Series. This is the type of client I mentioned above – one who is open minded and willing to support new ideas and mediums. We were able to design and explore the creative process in a variety of mediums and document it all in a video. This is some of the visual storytelling that consumers like to experience, and that allows them to be part of the creative process and take on a journey of discovery.
We crafted a Gold & Dark can (to align with the launch of a new fragrance, Gold Temptation) and were able to hand illustrate then 3D print the final pieces. The vision for the project was to make two can look as if they had been hand sculpted and an eruption of graphics with intricate details was emerging from the can, and we were able to do that. I’m very thankful to be able to do that for our clients as we have been experimenting with the medium for some time.
• What are the most exciting or significant developments for graphic design? How does this affect your work?
The ability to access different mediums such as augmented reality, social media, apps, 3d printing, projection mapping, LED fabrics… and clients wanting their brand interpreted and experienced by their audience and consumers in those ways. This is an exciting development allowing for a lot of experimenting and new user experiences.
• What are your plans for the future?
Keep producing awesome work for open minded clients!
• What advice do you have for aspiring designers?
Don’t be afraid to experiment and make mistakes. Building up your skills takes time, make it an enjoyable journey!
See Luca’s work in action here.
Like Minded Studio
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