WHAT DO YOU DO?
I run Laikin Studio – a nimble and spirited design studio, crafting delightful brand identities and websites.
Pssstt... Laikin is pronounced 'lar-kin' and it's yorkshire talk for playing!
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
Oh boy, what a messy spaghetti bowl of a list!
My journey to design started out in music and theatre, where I learned to view life through different lenses and to take play very seriously. From there I found my way to the highly-academic art history, where I properly learned how to learn and to seek out meaning in what at first glance seems meaningless. In both, I learned how important communication is, written and visual. Eventually, I found my way to design by seeing someone on Photoshop and saying – hey that’s cool, what are you doing?
I’ve been designing and creating digital content for the past 6 years, from brand identities to event posters. Each project has led me to develop new skills, seek out new techniques and grow. I’m pretty jazzed about visual design, and the more knowledge I have, the better I can do my job.
So I guess the quick answer is, I got here because a lot of wonderful people and places offered me up opportunities, and I stayed curious and hungry enough to take them.
How do you stand out in your field?
I work with small businesses and individuals, and I stand out by designing for them, and them alone. I believe in the power of small, I believe in the power of businesses being a part of communities (digital or physical) and I’m here to serve those super cool people and businesses that are doing good for their people.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Two big things at the moment!
A rebrand and website design for a small business in London. The amazing founder has created a product that is way more healthy and helpful for keeping wigs in place. I’m very into it!
I’m also working on a series of themed, customizable, downloadable designs for the typical things busy, small business owners need. Business cards, thank you cards, Pinterest posts, ect. These are for those people that have diy-ed their brands, or already been through that process with a designer, but need to quickly get some things ready to go. We’ve all been in that place before, a million plates spinning and we need a well designed business and note card for an event in two days. I want to help!
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I like and design things that are playful and colourful, but also feel well cultivated and smart. Laikin Studio is nimble and spirited. It’s about that quick-wit and colourful fun that comes from studied and determined work. That visually can look pretty different depending on the project, and that’s what keeps me coming back!
I really appreciate the work I did for Phil Jordan Counselling. Counselling and branding is maybe not something a lot of people think about. But picking a counsellor is a really scary and confusing process, and the visual communication of many counsellors is... off. I think it's something counsellors should think about more, and I'm really happy with the work I did for it.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I really love hand lettering, and I still have so much to learn. It’s an area I’m hoping to develop in more, as I think that human touch brings something so special. Plus I’d love to work in more physical spaces, and letter a mural one day! Is it not the most joyful feeling when you turn past a grey corner and stumble upon a bright mural? I’d like to create that moment for someone.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I need to get out more, with my sketchbook in hand! With my background in art history, physically spending time around art is an important part of my practice and process. So is being/walking in nature and sketching ideas. I take a lot of inspiration and ideas from it.
As someone new to running my own business, making the time for things that are important to my practice, but feel slightly frivolous sometimes, can be hard! But Laikin Studio’s motto is good work, takes good play. So I need to do it!
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
On the one hand I would say, finances and paper work, because it’s so dull and my brain wanders constantly. But then, on the other hand, having someone to critique my work more often and bounce ideas off of would also be grand! Is that a thing? Does anyone want to pay $20 to essential be my design friend?
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
No way, if films with time traveling in them have taught me anything it’s that you’re not supposed to run into yourself in the past!
But in all seriousness, I’m grateful for everything I’ve done, even the worrying, stress and fear, because they often lead to my biggest breakthroughs.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
How to create the most environmentally responsible design practice.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I’d really like to work with more small business/people that want to challenge the status quo and move the needle forward. There’s so much good to put into the world right now, but it takes guts. I want to work with those people that are all in on taking risks for things that matter.
Design is incredibly powerful, it can change the way people think and feel. I want to use that power for good.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
Dream client would be a business or organisation that has social/environmental responsibility at the heart of it. Maybe a refill store, or well-loved clothing shop?
I’m really keen to get refill shops to not all use beige and light green as their colour palette! Come on people, you can communicate environmental value without looking like a tree! Let’s make environmental responsibility actually appeal to people beyond the very hippie, liberal community. I love those people, I know those people, I break bread with those people. But it’s got to appeal to more than just those people. It would be a dream to take that on.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Every design project depends on the agreed needs of the business. But in general a branding project starts at £1000 and I charge £75 an hour for smaller projects. I use £ as I'm UK based, but I'm happy to work internationally!
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Oh yes, please say hi! Pop me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Sleeping, Coffee, Walking, Trees, Chating, Repeat
This member profile was originally published in September 2019.