Both somehow spent most of our days with Photoshop and Illustrator in mode on and it’s always good to know what other designers are doing, how they find inspiration .. is basically always good to know that we are not alone in this daily struggle for creativity (private jokes). Lauren is graphical designer, she is 23 and works for Topshop. Apart from having a portfolio of envy, Lauren also knows how to give a few tips.
Curly Essence: What “catches your eye” as a graphic designer?
Lauren: I moved back here to London after ten years in a small coastal town in Australia… This city can be a sensory overload sometimes – you can find something unique in the most unexpected of places. I like the smaller details – so the things that catch my eye and get me excited can be anything from a hand-written note found on the ground to a cute sticker or tag!
We follow your account on pinterest, obviously! It is where you find inspo for your work?
Each time I have a new project, I start researching on the internet – Pinterest and Tumblr mainly. But every fortnight or so I like to print all of my favourite images out that I’ve found and create big moodboards. You can get pretty lost online sometimes, so I find it helps to get more hands-on and this is when I really start to see stories or concepts coming to life.
Regarding your studies. You feel university was a key part to your development as a designer?
I studied at a small design college in Australia with only five other people in my class! Learning this way meant it was very one-on-one with our teachers and we could experiment more. While I was studying I contacted magazines that I loved and asked if I could do any illustration or design work for them, and this helped me grow outside of my studies.
What qualities and skills someone need to succeed in your job?
It took me a while to learn that when you are a designer for a brand, you have to not take every bit of feedback to heart. I have to remind myself sometimes that my work has to get a message across rather than just look visually pleasing! Even if I wish it didn’t haha. So I would say looking at your designs from another angle is an important skill, and assessing whether it’s the absolute best it can be!
How it is to work for Topshop?
Because I started at Topshop at 20 as a junior designer, I feel like I have spent the last three years growing with the brand… Moving up into a mid weight position, and taking on all the incredible projects that have come with that has meant testing myself sometimes, and pushing myself every single week to be a better designer. It’s a huge privilege to be one of four designers responsible for everything printed that such a huge company puts out there into the fashion world!
What was the project that has caused you headaches?
London Fashion week! I just know it’s waiting there for me twice a year… I have been lucky enough to design the graphics for the Unique Showspaces the past two seasons now. The last show was at the Tate Britain, so it was amazing to create graphics to sit within such an incredible and famous British building. It certainly came with many headaches though!
Topshop x Adidas what gave you more pleasure when drawing up the design?
Adidas and Topshop are both such iconic labels, so it was amazing to create a branding that brought the two together. The starting point was a logo for the collaboration, and then all the fun things like tags, flyers, windows and all of the instore graphics that grew from that! It was amazing seeing it all come together and watching how different stores across the world brought the campaign and collection to life.
Are you those designers who can only work with earphones?
When I know I need to totally focus on a project, my Dre Beats come out and I can sit there for hours in my own world. The artists that I have on repeat at the moment are:
1. Mick Jenkins
3. Loyle Carner
5. Some 90’s and early ’00s rnb mixes
Is there any brand you would love Topshop to collaborate with aka brand you would like to do the design for ?
I would love to see some small independent brands do collaborations with Topshop. One company I absolutely love is Mama’s Boutique who are a UK based brand run by four lovely girls. They always have the perfect dress whenever I need a special outfit, and they just get the fit so right. It would be great to see what could happen if there were collaborations with smaller and more upcoming labels like this.
What advice would you give to aspiring talent who is working to established themselves in the Design industry?
I would say put yourself out there as much as you can – even while you are studying. It makes such a difference to show that you have pursued projects outside of your studies, even if the smallest unpaid projects make a difference and make your portfolio so much stronger!!