We chat to Lucy Heale, who has turned her passion for design into a very successful career. Having previously worked alongside the likes of Thomas Heatherwick, Lucy now works at RPM, where she has designed for a huge range of big-name clients…
Have you always wanted to work in design?
I have always been interested in the space around me: how things are made and materials and their construction. I also know I love to draw.
What educational route did you take?
I studied Product Design at Central St Martins in London and I am still an avid follower of the 3D design. However, in moving into event design, you have a chance to take the consumer through a journey and an experience, leaving a footprint in terms of memory rather than a physical item.
Did you gain work experience along the way?
I’ve worked in various different studios as an intern, between my second and third year of my course. I took one opportunity to live in Milan for 6 months. It was useful to see how working practices and attitudes vary from studio to studio.
RPM has a huge client base spanning a range of sectors, so I’m lucky to have worked on a wide range of projects for a number of different brands. My recent favourites were the World Class Cocktail Bar at Harrods and the mass participation cycling campaign Sky Ride in London and around the UK. I’ve was also tasked with the RPM rebrand, which led right through from designing the RPM brand image, to the internal comms to the website, to the interiors of the office revamp.
What are the pros of your line of work?
I find every element of being a designer interesting, from the initial strategy, research and understanding the user, to translating it to designs that the consumer can engage with. I get to work with some great people at RPM. The office has such a wide breadth of skills contained in different teams such as planning, production, photography and digital, all bubbling with energy and an a interest in their field.
What qualities do you need to have?
I think it’s important to love what you do. I have a passion and interest for design, amazing spaces and exciting brands. I also believe you should constantly expose yourself to other people’s work, which means getting out there and proactively seeing exhibitions or talks.
Being a designer can be testing at times; it’s important to have strength in your ideas and conceptual conviction!
What’s your average day like?
Normally, project/design briefings take place early in the morning, so you’re ready to work on it throughout the day. The day is filled with developing a design ready to send to the client.
What is your advice to budding designers?
Make sure you do visits to studios, and get out there and see as much as you can.