Jolly Interviews! Roxanne Daner

Roxanne is part owner and Lead Designer at the Los Angeles based Ludlow Kingsley. Ludlow Kingsley is a full range design studio

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There are a lot of moustaches going on. We need to know your three favourite kinds of moustache, in order from favourite to slightly less favourite.

You noticed! Well, its become such a ‘thing’ that we’ve been slowly been trying to phase out the ‘stache since they’re everywhere… but we’ve had it for so long that we also want to stand strong and make it though this whole ‘stache craze! I found that by adding the profile above the ‘stache, putting it on an angle, reducing the size and making the logo circular its stays true to us but doesn’t make the ‘stache the center of attention.

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You’re a Design Director for a Los Angeles based design firm. What do you love most about that?

I’m the Design Director and a partner in Ludlow Kingsley so I’ve actually helped to build the company from the ground up with my Partner Clark Stiles. Because of that, I have a lot invested in everything that we do — including designing (or overseeing the design) of pretty much everything that comes into our hands. We have a lot of different types clients and I’m always having to change gears… something that I’ve learned to do over time. I really enjoy that initial discussion with a client where we listen to what they want and need for their project and a picture usually begins to form in my mind. There’s always lots of exploration to do after that but feels like that first conversation is key to understanding the heart of the project, something that you can always have available throughout the entire process – that’s one of the magic things that I really love about my job.Lkreport

In one of Ludlow Kingsley’s project briefs it says your client said “we don’t need our website to say anything, we just need it to be fun”. That’s a rarity! This seems like a client who really gets design. In your experience do you think more clients are more trusting of designers?

I think its a combination for us here at Ludlow Kingsley. On one hand we have some clients that need extensive, well organized, content heavy sites but our playful nature also attracts clients that trust us creatively and want to just set us loose on their project to see what we’ll come up with. Over the years we’ve tried to build a portfolio of work that we’re proud of, that will attract the types of clients that we’d like to work with and we’re finding that it works for us!

What’s your most recent favourite project and why?

We just started a project for a new client that’s in the beginning phases of developing a brand. I got to work on the identity and extend that to a large set of illustrations that will be a key part of the brand. It’s always extremely satisfying when the design work that I do at Ludlow Kingsley allows me to bring some of my illustration sensibility to the table.

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Whilst looking for inspiration and candidates for interviews—such as this—we’re struck by how the world of illustration, and more generally the digital creative arts has established success among both sexes. Coming from a fine arts background, we see a lot more men finding success than women for some reason. It’s refreshing to see such success from both men and women in the design field. In the United State women are still paid $.70 to the dollar, is this something you’ve experienced? Do you think the design field is close to overcoming that imbalance?

I personally haven’t experienced an imbalance, but I have always worked for myself. As far as I’ve seen, if you respect your own work and understand the value of what you do as an artist/illustrator, you’ll be able to be competitive within that world. The beautiful thing about our community is that each artist is so unique and that in its self holds value whether you’re male or female.

We hear a lot of great things about San Francisco and as a city it’s the first place a lot of our contemporaries mention regarding California. What are the differences between Los Angeles and San Francisco in terms of the creative scenes?

Hmm…I don’t know too much about SF since I’ve only been there two times! I do know that there are a handful of creative people that I see on the internet from SF that are doing incredible things. I can only speak about Los Angeles which I think has a blossoming design community. There’s so much out here to be inspired by and it’s the kind of City that you can make what you want of. You have beautiful nature surrounding you and then access to city life at the same time, its fantastic!

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In the work on your site we see a touch of 70′s folk feel and dashes of 50′s modernist shapes. Who are your major design influences?

It’s interesting to hear that you can see that in my work! I can’t really pinpoint a specific artist or era but do love to look at vintage illustrations and mid-century designs as much as I possibly can just to experience the shapes, color palette ideas, line quality and brush techniques. The more I see the more I digest and hopefully it comes back out through my illustration or design feeling somewhat influenced by anything 50s – 70s. I love going around flickr and Favoriting anything that might be of interest from those eras so that I have a lovely collection of inspiration to soak up before starting an illustration. Lately I’ve been watching my new box set of UPA cartoons and feeling extremely inspired!

What’s your daily inspirational poison?

I follow some great people on Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest and of course Dribbble but I always seem to find incredible stuff from Twitter! If you follow interesting people you end up being exposed to some amazing stuff. I also love Instagram for seeing little bits of things my designer/illustrator friends are working on.

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Please tell us about your dog. Does he come to work with you?

Ah, my favorite subject! My dog’s name is Ludlow and I got him 6 years ago when I moved to Los Angeles. He was just a huge dog from the pound and turned out to be the perfect dog for me and in my opinion, the best dog ever. We do everything together. He sleeps next to me and then comes to work with me every day. If you drive down Sunset Blvd. you’ll probably see him sleeping (what he’s best at) in the window of our studio! He has a massive head, huge paws and jowls that he loves to let flap in the wind as we drive around town.