Interview with Joshua Lipka, Founder of Joshua Lipka Design, United States

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Joshua Lipka

Joshua has a natural eye for design and marketing, allowing him to create a solo agency that focuses on creating new products, marketing content, and brand new ideas.

Interview with the 2021 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Joshua Lipka

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

Hello! I'm Josh. An award-winning designer working with entrepreneurs and SMB to build their brand identity, reaching their next level. My focus is logos, brand identity systems, and web design that become your bold brand's visual hallmarks.

I launched Joshua Lipka Design (JLD) in early 2020 because the pandemic caused my employer to close up shop and consolidate. I took it upon myself to jump feet first into creating JLD to help others make their designs more cohesive, align with their goals and target audience, and really help them with their design objectives and final product. I have been in the design world for over 12+ years. I have worked on a wide variety of project types, from your typical day-to-day designs like logos, newsletters, web pages to physical products like packaging and hard & soft-line product development.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

I had a few coordinator and customer service jobs in my early career, and I kept finding myself wanting to change their logo or branding. I would sit at my desk and loosely sketch out ideas for my own sanity while listening to customer complaints. Then I decided to take a leap and go to school for Graphic Design. I had always dabbled in Adobe products since I was 16 years old, so it was easy to pick up and fly, and in 2008 I started doing Promotional Flyers and Business Cards for a Real Estate firm. This is what started my career.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

JLD is a hybrid-run operation. While it is technically just a one-man show, there is the occasional outsourcing for help and networking with local connections who also offer a service. This gives me the flexibility to focus more on projects' design side for clients providing them with the best personable and hands-on experience. My service offerings begin with Brand Identity and Web Design, but they reach far beyond that scope. I also offer my clients package design, apparel design, print design, photo & video assistance, social strategy, and design consulting.

4What does “design” mean to you?
5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

My favorite kind of design is product design. Imagine walking into a big-name department store and seeing the item that you designed. Imagine walking down the street and seeing someone where your art on their t-shirt. These feelings are priceless, and I'm still awestruck every time.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

Well, this is tricky. Art is very subjective. For me, a good design delivers the original goal of the project, on-brand, and the basic frameworks of design have been applied.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

I am very bold and outspoken, so my ideas and designs tend to walk the fine line of intriguing and almost audacious. With that said, I also combine my outlandish tendencies with a clean eye for modernism and elegance.

8Tell us about your design process.

My process is broken down into 4 main parts: Discover, Design, Refine, and Deliver. I discover all I can about the client and the goal of the project. I design with them in mind and their potential outcome. We refine the details together, so they feel included in the process, and then everything gets packaged up and delivered!

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

I live in Seattle, WA, USA, which is a very design-forward and progressive city. There is a literal design plethora anywhere you go, from grunge to nordic modernism. Yes, it definitely has an impact on my strategy and design.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2021 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

I am so thankful to be a winner! Sometimes as a designer, we don't always get to celebrate our moments of success. Sometimes we are also creatures of habit and just move onto the next project. Taking the time to enter this contest and to be juried by some fantastic talented individuals is validation that what I am doing serves a purpose and is meaningful.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2021 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

4Perscent was created because of the pandemic. The founder, Jocelyn Macdonald, wanted to bring awareness to taking time to focus on yourself to spend time taking care of those around you. With everyone having a packed schedule these days, the goal was to take 4% of your day and focus on yourself. Relax. Breathe. Meditate. Light the candle and let the aromas envelop you, and transport you to your favorite headspace. Come back feeling rested and energized to take on the rest of the day.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The challenge was translating the idea of "taking 4% of your day to practice self-care" and putting that to design. We knew we wanted it to be clean and modern, and we wanted it to be something that someone would enjoy looking at and want to keep in their home once the candle was all burned out. Many attempts were made to bring focus to a 4%, but nothing was working. Then we saw some inspiration with the Nordic History Museum, and the half-circles seemed to fit the bill. It took about 3-4 weeks to find the right shape and pattern.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

It validates my years of experience and pushes me to continue to grow and challenge myself.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

1) The variety of skills

2) The creative type personalities

3) Never ending education because of the changing market

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?

I think every country has its own uniqueness when it comes to design. You have to look at the history of the world to understand what can potentially come next in design. I take inspiration from all countries.

16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

Immersive experiences are really growing and so unique. AI is more intelligent and innovative every day, and virtual reality will soon be the most economical way to travel.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Always challenge yourself. When you think your design is finished, how can you take it a step further? And be ready for a never-ending educational saga.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?

Adobe had some fantastic resources available to those who are subscription members. You can learn techniques and tips from their great internal resources. Then I would suggest LinkedIn Learning included with any LinkedIn Premium Subscription. Lastly, I would recommend the king giant, YouTube, for the endless hours of training and knowledge available for free at your fingertips.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

I have a secret obsession with Doritos. And sometimes I eat them with marshmallows. Sounds gross, I know.

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Recently, I have been acting as a Creative Director for #ICANHELP. This non-profit org teaches students all about digital wellness and positivity while providing educators the tools and resources to teach and train their classes. It's a student-run organization, and each year there is a new group of interns. My design interns inspire me every week with their creativity and positivity. This opportunity has also shown me that I LOVE being a mentor and teaching new ways of design and branding to our youth and future changemakers!

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Believe in yourself and never stop learning. Find a mantra or a quote and repeat it daily. My personal favorite is "You will never be criticized by someone doing more than you." ~ Unknown

22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

I just want to say thank you for all of the support that my agency has had in the last year. All of my clients are wonderful, and their projects are truly inspirational.

Winning Entries

4Perscent: The Self-Care Candle Experiment - Package Design | 2020

4Perscent: The Self-Care Candle Experiment - Package Design | MUSE Design Awards

4Perscent candles were created to support a daily self-care routine. They are the desire to inspire you to invest time in yourself and help...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Joshua Lipka Design

Joshua Lipka Design is a Seattle based Brand & Web Designer studio for bold small businesses and solopreneurs.