Q & A with Luke Causby

Causby Luke

When the Australian Book Designers Association formed in 2014, Luke Causby was one of very first designers to sign up. Luke is based in Sydney and founded his company Blue Cork in 2005. 

Did you mean to end up as a book designer? What was your trajectory?
Growing up, I used to watch my Dad design books – before computers were on the scene. I found it fascinating. I really liked the idea of becoming a book designer one day too. I was lucky enough to gain work experience at HarperCollins during my final years at school, and was offered a job as a junior designer soon after and never looked back.

Does art — gallery, museum art — inspire you? Or film, TV etc? If so, what do you like?
Every time I go to an art gallery, it really stimulates the design juices. They’re a great source of inspiration if I am ever in a flat spot. But lately, I have enjoyed analysing intro credit sequences to TV shows. A couple I like are Bosch, The Night Of, True Detective and Breaking Bad. It makes me want to learn motion graphics.

What do you listen to when you work?
Usually just my own collection of music. I have quite eclectic taste, so depending on the book, I try to set a similar mood. Some favourite artists are Morphine, Built to Spill, Purplene, Tony Joe White, Metallica & Rage Against the Machine. I also love listening to the cricket when I’m working during the summer.

What question do you least enjoy from people when they discover you design books?
Probably when people ask “Do you draw the pictures?” I then have to explain that I’m not an illustrator, I’m a designer. They are quite different jobs. I’m quite jealous of those creatives out there who can master both!

What is your favourite tool on the computer? (Not just a program but within a program or OS)
I think the app that has saved me more times I can count is the Time Machine app within the MacOS. I am always accidentally saving over my layered Photoshop files with flattened ones, so it’s handy to be able to go back and recover all those valuable layers.

Best or favourite situation for getting creative.
I’ve found I work best when I have a tidy desk, so if I have a lot to do and I’m under the pump, the first thing I do is clean my work space. Then turn the music up and block everything else out.

Which creative person/identity/professional would you most want to impress?
I’ve always admired the work of Chip Kidd, so I guess it would be pretty cool to impress someone like that.


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