10 QS NATASHA LUCAS LANDSCAPE
10 QS NATASHA LUCAS PORTRAIT
27.10.22

10?‘s with graphic designer and type designer, Natasha Lucas

London-based graphic designer and type designer, Natasha Lucas is the youngest person to feature in our 10?‘s series so far; having already worked at Accept & Proceed, North and collaborated with MuirMcNeil we hit her with 10 unique questions to get her take on her day-to-day life and work and learnings so far.

It‘s nice to be chatting with you, Natasha. I first saw your work through your collaboration with MuirMcNeil and loved it. Instead of talking with those guys though, I wanted to talk with you, as a way to put a different spin on this 10?‘s series – talking to a younger and (for some of our audience) more relatable creative who‘s work we dig.

01.

Firstly, as a full-time graphic designer working at North, what does a usual workday for you look like?

I think one of the joys of working in a studio is that the day-to-day is diverse, allowing you to practice a variety of disciplines and work within new fields and sectors. I am in the studio 5 days a week with the team and the office itself is a really beautiful space. Coffee is an important part of my day and thanks to North I’ve dropped the Pret subscription and have learned how to make a decent flat white.

In terms of work, I tend to keep it relatively loose day to day and plan my time in two-week periods, around deadlines of course, so that I can work on things intuitively. The designers are given a lot of trust to manage their own projects and time, which I find really creatively liberating.

1 North Studio
North studio space
02.

How did you find the transition to North from Accept & Proceed, where you previously worked?

I joined A&P as a graduate and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to start my journey there. Work often felt like play, with designers being encouraged to push boundaries and find the most rigorous, bold and brave design solutions. After 3.5 years, I felt ready to take on new challenges.

I joined North in January 2022. Visual identity is an area of design that I am really interested in and I have admired North’s output for many years. They are responsible for a number of the most prolific cultural institutions that I experienced growing up in London, alongside having a diverse set of clients worldwide. I don’t think I could be in a better studio to develop into the designer I want to be.

It’s the first time I’ve transitioned between jobs, so my main takeaway would be to embrace being in a new environment, as though the change may be daunting it’s an opportunity to grow and realise what you are capable of. Every studio operates differently which can take some time to adjust to, so try not to second guess yourself or immediately do things differently based on what you think a new workplace may want from you. It’s important to remember that they brought you in because of your experience, fresh perspective and input.

2 Accept Proceed Nike Rise
Accept & Proceed Nike Rise
03.

If you could have a different job for just a day, what would you like to do?

I don’t think there’s much I could accomplish in a day… so I‘d probably do something indulgent and be a food critic and sample some fancy restaurants.

04.

You studied at the highly renowned UAL/London College of Communication. What is one piece of advice or insight that you learnt there from a tutor or peer that you still take with you and use on a regular basis?

A mantra from Hamish Muir:

Stop thinking start making. Stop making start thinking.

05.

Do you collect anything, if so what?

Probably like a lot of designers, a lot of books and posters.

06.

You‘ve collaborated with Hamish Muir and Paul McNeil previously, how did you find this process, especially being a younger designer working with two highly established type designers? Was there pressure?

I started working with Hamish and Paul as a result of my Final Major Project. They reached out about the letterforms I had created for my poster series and asked if I’d like to make them into a typeface.

I was very aware of how little I knew in comparison to them, but I was elated at the idea of getting to work with them and see their process.

I thought Bisect would be the only collaboration, but as the years went by we’d reconnect over a recent sketch they had seen on my Instagram and develop it together. The process has always been quite relaxed. As they are passion projects there are no deadlines or clients and we work remotely via email. We go back and forth on iterations and always remain open to how we can improve the design.

So in that sense, I wouldn’t say there was pressure, it’s just been amazing to have their input and still get to learn from them since leaving university.

6 Diode Muir Mc Neil 2020
Diode MuirMcNeil 2020
6 Anode Poster 2021
Anode 2021
6 Bisect Muir Mc Neil 2018
Bisect MuirMcNeil 2018 poster
07.

Do you have a favourite restaurant in London that you’d recommend to anyone?

There are so many but if I had to choose… Noble Rot.

Nr 02
Noble Rot Soho
Nr 01
Noble Rot Bloomsbury
08.

A lot of younger graphic designers are addicted to work, doing a 9–5 job and then personal projects in the evenings. What is your relationship with this? Do you like to switch off or are you always thinking about work?

I think it’s ultimately about valuing your free time and doing what you want without guilt, whether that’s investing time into your craft or taking time to unwind.

8 Miza Logo
Miza logo
8 Jamm Logo
Jamm logo

For me, designing type is a pleasure (albeit I don’t always have the time), and I only take on freelance work if it‘s worthwhile. Most evenings after work I try to switch off and chill.

09.

How do you deal with days where you don’t feel creative or are struggling with a brief? Do you have any tips?

Honestly, I just leave it till tomorrow and move on to another project. Letting things stew, especially over a night’s sleep has tended to work for me as I can revisit it the next day with fresh eyes.

Alternatively, simply reading the brief again and distilling it down can sometimes give me a sense of clarity when I’ve got tunnel vision. North also have an amazing book collection full of obscure references, which is fun to browse.

10.

Finally, what excites you about design right now?

For me right now, it has to be working with the talented people at North and being exposed to such exciting projects.

Natasha Lucas is a graphic designer and type designer who has worked at Accept and Proceed, North and has her own clients.

natashalucas.co.uk
@natashaldesign

Questions: Craig Berry
Editor: Craig Berry

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