Featured Creative

Gabby Lord

May 2018

We chat with our #TDKeurope van designer Gabby Lord about empowering and respecting women in the industry, typesetting in Japanese, plus she shares her backlog of face-palm moments 🤦🏼‍♀️

Any passion projects you would like to share or collaborations you have been working on?

Always! I write a weekly newsletter called OMGLORD, which is basically a roundup of thoughts and handy resources relating to design. I’ve written over 150 by now, so it’s less a passion and more a habitual process to be honest.

Another project that’s unfortunately not as regular is Broads Down Under, which aims to celebrate and empower Australian women in design and female designers contributing to Australia. I sporadically add to the growing list of profiles (along with my pal Baz) but definitely wish we had more time to give this what it really deserves.

I’ve also been collaborating with a few friends from different disciplines which is always really inspiring. I love working with people who have totally different skills to me because the result is always something I could never have done by myself.

What does a typical working day include for you right now?

Everything I do involves a computer, so a lot of my day is spent sitting (or standing) at a desk. Depending on what I’m working on though, there are things that break this time up such as meetings, presentations, press checks and photoshoots. I crave variation so I really love that no day is particularly “typical”. The past months have involved sourcing props for photoshoots, hand painting my designs onto a cafe counter and even typesetting in Japanese! FYI it’s really hard to typeset languages you can’t read.

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?

I have very vivid memories of scrunching up paper because my drawings weren’t good enough as a kid, but thankfully I’ve gotten (a little) better at handling my frustrations. I was always tinkering and unconsciously designing from a young age and went on to win a few art competitions, cementing the idea that I was in fact good at it. Despite this, I never really understood what design was until about half way through design school. After my initial aha! moment, things started to make sense and I realised design was my voice to communicate ideas with the world.

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I think we could all try harder not to fetishise the same designers and hear what the underdogs are up to.

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What do you think the design community could do more of to give back?

At risk of going all “hold my poodle”, I really do believe the design community could try harder.

I think those at the top could try harder to teach, mentor and support. I think those starting out could try harder to find their own voice. I think we could all try harder to include, empower and respect women. That we could try harder not to fetishise the same designers and hear what the underdogs are up to. And finally, try harder to credit people where credit is due.

I know there are so many people doing all of these things, but if it’s about doing MORE, than these are things I believe are important to do more of. Myself very much included.

Who would be the “dream client” that you would do anything to work for?

Gorman! It’s my favourite clothing brand and I would die to be one of their collaborating artists. From designing the prints to art directing the shoot—I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Right now my folio doesn’t really reflect this type of work though so I’m slowly working on some side projects to change that.

What have been some of your biggest disasters and how have you learnt from it?

Oh man, just relating to design? Because I have a backlog of face-palm moments so big it almost needs a tagging system. One of my biggest disasters would still have to be going to Fabrica, which I talked through fully for the first time at a Shot Down event in Sydney. Through this experience I learned that things aren’t always what you expect and can only be as good as you make them. Also that if you want something bad enough it doesn’t matter how many people tell you that you can’t do it. Proving yourself right is almost as rewarding as proving others wrong.

Website: omglord.com

Instagram: @omglord

Twitter: @gabbylord_

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