Published on

Q&A with Rob Clarke

British type designer and letterer

Hi, my name is Rob Clarke, I’m a British designer based in and around London. I design logos and typefaces both directly for clients or through collaboration with design and advertising agencies. I’ve been lucky enough to work on some of the world’s largest brands including Air Asia, Cadbury, Capitol Records, Dulux and Smirnoff.

What led you into logo design and what other branches of design are you involved in?

From early on in my design education I was always interested in the detail… the words rather than the layout of the page. I trained as a general graphic designer and still design the occasional poster or brochure, but my passion is most definitely in all things type. Although I have never been to a ‘type school’ my first proper job was as an assistant to a calligrapher. I guess I’ve always followed the dream of one day seeing my work making an impact around the world.

Where did you learn the foundations of graphic design and typography? Was your graduate program really suitable for you?

I had a brief introduction to graphic design on my art foundation course in Bourneville, Birmingham. However I really got the bug while at Nottingham Trent Uni during the latter part of my degree. Although I received no specialist training in type design it gave me the room to research, explore and experiment.

What famous (or not) logo designers’ works on how to make great logotypes and fonts would you recommend to study?

My early inspiration came from meeting people like Neville Brody and Erik Spiekermann. But there are so many designers I admire and have studied including: Herb Lubalin, Paul Rand, Milton Glazer, Lance Wyman, Alan Fletcher, Louise Fili,… to name but a few.

Where do you find beautiful logo design or fresh ideas for your own logotypes?

I look for inspiration in all aspects of life, music, people, art, not just from existing type and logos. I travel quite a bit and take pleasure soaking up local cultures. I often look to the past but I also keep myself aware of the industry and what the next generation of designers are producing.