Anna Dora Lascsik is a Hungarian-born London-based graphic designer. In the last 10 years she has worked with internationally recognised clients and the biggest agencies such as Ogilvy, Spring Studios and Viceland. She recently started her own studio ADL and is getting involved in experimental, concept driven projects around the world. Her style is defined by a quirky, soft, futuristic look and feel that have led her to being specialised (but not limited) for fashion, start-ups and beauty related projects.
Anna spoke to us about maintaining her niche, mentoring young designers and taking the leap to start her own one-woman agency.
Wishu: Was there a particular age or moment where you realised that you truly are a creative?
Anna: I think it always felt obvious, like, in the same way a kid learns their name I learnt that I was a creative kid. I’m from Hungary and even from age 6 the artistic pathway was clear. It was hard for me to be passionate about anything else other than creativity. Until I was 16 I wanted to do fine art but at 17 I made the decision to get into graphic design. I now have a master and BA degree in graphic design from Central Saint Martins which I’m grateful for but it doesn’t define my creativity and isn’t as significant as it may seem. I would say 10% of my knowledge comes from university and the rest is self taught. I do a lot of mentoring helping graduates realise how they can be practical with graphic design and how you can make money from it which is important.
Wishu: You’re such a unique artist and you communicate your niche so well via marbling colour, texture and a soft feel and look. How did you find your design niche and could you explain some of your influences?
Anna: My niche reflects my personality so I never had to find it as I never lost it! I was always obsessed with pink and girly colours and images so now it’s just more tailored and sophisticated. I think it seems unique because it’s ambivalent but girly, sophisticated and with depth. It’s commercial at times and other times more obscure.
Wishu: How did you find the balance in being a specialised artist but one who is not limited to one particular style? And how do you maintain that streak?
Anna: I think it’s quite a natural thing. I try not to say no to a client especially when it’s a good client just because I think their goal won’t fit my aesthetic or because the brief is challenging. I try to diversify my work and match the new challenge. I have the same mindset but approach the brief in a different way.
Wishu: As someone with experience in beauty, what do you think separates the specific design niche of the fashion and beauty world from other creative sectors?
Anna: In fashion, there’s not necessarily a specific concept, there’s a bit more freedom with the brief; they just want a strong aesthetic, whereas other jobs are more specific.
Wishu: Was there a lightbulb moment that inspired you to set up your own agency?
Anna: I’m a one-person agency so it has just changed the way that I work with clients. For example, I don’t need to go to other people’s offices now and it gives me more ownership and responsibility as well as bigger projects. I take the full brief now rather than part of it which is when I was freelancing. Just before the pandemic I quit my employed permanent job and finished buying my new house which is tailored for videography, design and is the best environment for agency life. I made the decision because I wanted to create the best work possible. Also when I was permanent it felt more corporate and political pressure. I was turning 30 so I was assessing what I really wanted to do with my life and that was to create great timeless work and that required having my own agency.
Wishu: What inspired you to start working with the workshop for young designers?
Anna: I’m looking to do more but I do workshops in collaboration with Tumo, a creative technology school in Romania. So I did a workshop for 15-18 year olds where I taught graphic design techniques from the foundation to the niche elements. I have a couple more planned in Russia and Amsterdam which were cancelled due to the pandemic but they’re being rescheduled.
Wishu: How did you manage to build up such an impressive roster of clients from Kiko Makeup to Viceland? How important has building creative relationships proved in your work as a freelancer?
Anna: In the beginning, I developed good relationships with creative agencies I worked with. That definitely helped to get good clients and sped up the networking process. I’m also a mentor on The Dots and that helps with building a good reputation. I always try to do the best possible work and from my heart and it tends to generate clients coming back.