"For every job it is important for me to be in dialogue with the client"
Lucas Hesse is a Hamburg-based graphic & motion designer as well as a web developer with focus on typography. During his studies in Mainz, he spent a semester abroad in Seoul, joined a course at the HfG in Offenbach under the direction of Eike König and gained experience trough an internship at Studio Dumbar. This made him curious about how different personalities and people from different cultures approach design.
How important is a formal qualification in design today?
I think that in order to work successfully in a field, it is not important nowadays whether you have a degree. With enough motivation and ambition you can be just as successful. Meanwhile there are some formative designers who have never studied or have not finished their studies. Often these people rather shape the current zeitgeist, as they have much fresher approaches and new ideas.
How else can designers distinguish themselves, especially if it's right out of school and they're trying to find work?
As I said before, I think it is important to stay motivated and curious before, during and after studies. If you want to try out new things and are always ready to learn, you will have no problems to stand up to other designers. Creativity and design is not something that just happens to you one day. It is important to always stay with it, to try out and practice a lot. You can train your own abilities like a muscle.
MMCA IN SEOUL (2017) - CORPORATE IDENTITY (unofficial)
What are your thoughts on specialization vs. generalization?
Because of my three relatively different focuses of graphic design, motion design & web development I see myself somewhere in between. However, I’d never master these three areas as well as someone who specializes exclusively in one area. But nevertheless I ask myself this question again and again. Shouldn't I rather specialize in one of the main areas and try to become one of the best in this field? But then I realize how much fun and pleasure it gives me to try out new things and techniques. I especially enjoy the variety and the switching back and forth between these areas. I would quickly get bored if I had only one focus. I think, as with so many things, the solution is somewhere in between.
When you start a job, what do you analyze first? Where does inspiration come from?
For every job it is important for me to be in dialogue with the client. Above all, I want to find out whether the client knows or has understood what he wants. To know what piece of service he expected is the most important thing. To achieve customer satisfaction without me or the customer himself knowing what he will be satisfied with is impossible and only waste time for both parties. Through this dialogue, I usually gained so many insights and references that the way to a good concept is not far away.
BAMA EXHIBTION (2019) - CORPORATE IDENTITY
How would you describe your work to someone who hasn’t seen it before?
My work is built very systematically, I break down the content into its simplest form and put it in a graphic scheme that’s as straightforward as possible. A Swiss-inspired design that focuses on grid-based simplicity which offers the viewer an obtainable clarity. This aesthetic is also amplified through a mainly monochrome colour scheme and a graphic environment such as geometric shapes or contours.
Who or what has been your biggest design influence-and why?
I think my studies had the biggest visible influence on me and my projects. This has completely changed my idea of what design actually is. But still, I don't think that there is one big influence. Every little step or person has influenced me. Even before my studies and apprenticeship I did several short internships in different agencies. There I noticed early, that every designer has different views of thinking and ways of working. You can take something for yourself everywhere. I think that all these little things and experiences shape your work more than a certain place, time or person.
QUANTIFY YOURSELF (2016) - EDITORIAL DESIGN
How has the type of work you do changed from the early days?
Basically I work mostly digitally on my laptop, not much has changed over the years. But I always try to discover new areas and experiment with different tools and techniques. My focus has always shifted a little bit. In the last few years I have been working a lot with motion design, which is a pretty big part of my projects right now. At the moment I'm experimenting a lot with creative coding. I could imagine to gain experience in this area.
What do you enjoy the most about design?
For me, the versatility and different creative approaches is definitely the biggest attraction. Because of my different focuses I can always switch between different projects, media and tools, so the work always remains interesting and does not quickly become a routine. But I also like the fact that design is a visual discipline. With time, you can see what you have achieved over the years. How your own style and projects have developed. Especially Instagram works very well as an archive, you have quick and easy access to the work of the last years and get a good overview every day.
What's been the most satisfying project you have worked on?
I don't think there is one project that I have enjoyed most. However, in terms of my current motion design projects, the kinetic typography lyric video for Ghostpoet — "(We’re) Dominoes" was a pretty important one. It was a self-initiated, unofficial project, which I made during my semester abroad in Seoul.
It was the first time I experimented with motion design and gained a lot of skills in a very short time. I think that this has resulted in many contacts and projects, which gives me the opportunity to work on many commercial motion design projects right now. It is precisely these non-commercial, experimental projects that attract the attention of clients and lead to new projects.
Can you tell us about your present and future plans?
I started working as a freelancer right after my studies. I definitely want to consolidate this in order to survive as a freelance designer in the long run. But besides commercial projects I also want to push my own personal projects. An important project that I would like to expand is Call for Creatives, which was developed as part of my bachelor thesis. It is a platform where designers can publish their graduation project in relation to their university, graduation year and creative field. I would like to make the universities more visible and, above all, to make them more comparable. There are still some plans for this project something like the to all universities expansion in each country.