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Guest artist... Mat Lazenby


Mat Lazenby, founder and creative director at York branding and web design agency, LazenbyBrown, has been in the creative industry for a cool 27 years, working closely with business owners to breathe life and energy into their brands, whilst designing prints and t-shirts on the side. 

A key figure on the northern creative scene, Mat’s got his fingers in lots of design pies - both at work and at play. Scroll down to discover more about his work, inspirations and his natural, elemental design for Ootrey… 

Guest artist... Mat Lazenby

by Matthew Taylor

5 months ago


"I’ve sold my work at print fairs and regularly sell t-shirts over in the US. I’ve always pursued design for fun, as an outlet and a way to express things. 

"My Dad worked for IBM and to keep himself level he built boats. I used to help him from a young age - I loved the idea of creating something from nothing. That early work got bound up in a love for hip-hop culture and graffiti, then the work of Reid Miles, in-house designer for Blue Note Records.

"Music inspires me a great deal. And the way design and fashion operates in circles. There’s constant reinvention. I love the parallels with sampling and mix-tape culture. 

"I love to work with other designers, artists and craftspeople across disciplines. I feel as if we share so much common ground, but we’re just skilled with different sets of tools

"I’ve got some clients who I’ve been working with for over 10 years. With that length of working relationship comes ups and downs, but also a deep trust and mutual respect. No one is watching the clock and the work becomes instinctive, like the difference between convergence and collaboration. 

"Right now I’m working on... A theatre season, a set of five world beers, a brand for a modular house builder, a brand for a Yorkshire district of three towns and an interactive projected exhibition for York Minster. Blue sky; I’d love to design a joint exhibition with Ian Swift, AKA Swifty

"The past year has been tough. Fortunately, work has been pretty constant, but the combination of being distanced from my team and juggling two children through home-schooling has been a challenge. But I’ve learnt that we can do this job from anywhere and that the only real value of our agency is all contained in our heads. Liberating and terrifying. 

"As a designer I’m always drawn to the accuracy of Swiss modernism. But I’ve often found that school of design so cold and aloof. I love the idea of blending accuracy with something more natural and elemental, which is what I’ve gone for with my design for Ootrey. This design is perfect for people who used to be the kid who saw patterns in things instead of listening to what an adult was saying."

Instagram: @lazenbybrown_york