Lifelounge started as a website presenting news about x-sports, music and fashion but later developed into a multi-discipline creative firm offering design, marketing and advertising to companies that wanted to communicate with the same target group that were already talking to. Lifelounge is now offered in print form as well. Each edition is based on a different theme which generally works backwards from the typography or the type treatment of the name Lifelounge, including subtle hidden details or elements of humor on the cover. Thirty-two year old typographic illustrator Luke Lucas, who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia, is the co-founder and executive director at Lifelounge. Mainly influenced from his early years of skateboarding, Luke creates unique inspiring typographic design with a ton of character and humor in his work. We had a chat with Luke Lucas about Lifelounge magazine and his typographic illustrations, so here it goes.
Can you give us the concept/philosophy behind Lifelounge magazine?
To be honest, Lifelounge Magazine in it’s printed form was originally created in part, for the selfish reason that, although there were a lot of good magazines out there, we felt that none of them really represented what we at Lifelounge were about. Aside from that, we aimed for it to be a source of inspiration and entertainment for like minded folks and to represent the things that we care about in an honest way, free from pretension and bullshit.
Each edition has a separate theme, which dictates the articles covered, the design and aesthetics and layout and typefaces chosen. As a designer, this is fantastic as it’s as if you can constantly reinvent yourself. I try to hide as many hidden details in each edition as I can so that the reader can have a multiple of experiences.
What are your main influences and their origin? ( fashion movement of a decade, a certain culture, designers etc.)
Influences come from all over the place and what I’m interested in is shaped by so many factors that it’s hard to put my finger on any specifics. Over the years my sources of inspiration have changed and evolved. Through the late 80s to the mid 90s I was heavily influenced by skate culture and the graphics, ads and publications within that world. There used to be so much amazing inspiration there. As I’ve gotten a little older my inspirations have shifted away from that scene and could come from from everything from street art to vintage film posters and advertising to type masters like Herb Lubalin and Edward Benguiat. I could name names forever. The truth is I’m inspired by all that’s around me.
Lately we see alot of typographic illustrations, Is this a trend? What type of typographic illustrations do you think we will see more often in the future (structures, craft, digital, other) ?
Yeah that’s an interesting observation. I can’t help but think that for a period there, computers acted as a hindrance for progressive type design. Type design seemed be a little lazy and typographically there seemed to be a lot of similar and repetitive work around. I think what we’ve been seeing over the last few years has been a reaction against that maybe. Maybe what we’re all trying to do is bringing back the attention to detail that was once observed by masters of the past.
Is typographic Illustration a matter of choice based on aesthetics or just because it is easier to get the message across, than using a different type of illustration?
It’s quite a subjective thing to comment on and I’m sure if you were to ask a handful of designers they would all come back with very different answers to this. For me Illustration is a powerful means for conveying a message as is typographic illustration. There’s a place for each and there’s a place for none. Sometimes what you choose to omit can be more powerful in conveying a message than placing something obvious and literal. It’s really judgment made on a case by case basis.
How do you work through a brief? What steps do you follow till the finished illustration?It really depends on the brief. Sometimes I’ll go straight from a concept to the computer, sometimes I can spend hours sketching and sometimes I build 3D prototypes with glue, paper, clay or whatever I can get my hands on. It varies.
Do you use a commercial typeface as a base for an illustration or you prefer to design one from scratch? What is more convenient?
This generally varies too. For the most part, the majority of type treatments and illustrations I work up are based on typefaces and fonts that I’ve created. Sometimes this can be easier and sometimes this can be a pain in the ass. At times there maybe particular elements that I’ll use as inspiration from a commercial typeface, like a line weight variation that I like, or a loop or tail or whatever, it really varies from case to case.
Which motto describes best yourself and your work?
I don’t know about an actual motto, but I really enjoy what I do and the people I work with and try to have as much fun with my work as I can.