Leroy met Rose in 2012 during one of the hottest summers ever recorded in the Peach State. After a few exhausting cotillons and debutante balls, they fell in love and moved across the country to the City of Angels. It was there, in a Pacific Palisades garage, that Leroy & Rose was born. Since then, the family has grown to 50+ valiant and loyal creative stars of all kinds, spreading kindness and love all over the cosmos. Today, they’re known as “The Best Agency in the Universe!”
Here’s a snippet of their Q&A:
What inspired or motivated you to have a career in design? Melchior Lamy (M.L.), President: Probably the art school I went to. I studied business first, and when I graduated, I did not see myself working right away. I convinced my parents to let me try one year at Penninghen in Paris. After my first day, I knew what I wanted to do. 28 years later, I’m still doing it with the same passion. Since then, I’ve never looked back. Chris Cotu (C.C.), Creative Director: In my late teens, I started drawing tattoos for friends. Leo Pia (L.P.), Creative Director: I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a kid, so I always knew I would do something in that realm. When I was growing up in Célony, a tiny village in the south of France, I never imagined that I would be working in this industry in Los Angeles. Caroline Valette (C.V.), Associate Creative Director: I was playing in a rock band, and we were just out of the studio when we realized we needed a designer for our album cover. After trying out different graphic designers, I ended up making the cover, and I thought designing album covers for other artists would be the most exciting job.
What is your work philosophy? M.L.: Work hard and have fun! C.C.: If I have to work, I might as well do it well. L.P.: Love what you do. During the creative process, I’m always looking for something that excites me, no matter the project or the due date. C.V.: Concept always comes first for me. A pretty design without thought behind it is like wallpaper; it’s nice on the walls, but won’t deliver the message.
What is it about design that you’re passionate about? M.L.: Solving problems and briefs while being creative. C.C.: Conceptualizing. Trying to capture the essence of a film or TV show, which is made of thousands of frames, in a single image. L.P.: What you can do in a limited area is limitless.
What is the key to making appealing and memorable TV and entertainment ads? M.L.: It’s 75% idea, 25% execution. Having creative clients also helps. C.C.: Making the viewer feel something. If they don’t feel anything, they won’t remember it. L.P.: A strong idea with a simple but tasteful execution. C.V.: To make a memorable ad, you want to be able to evoke an emotion or a reaction in the viewer. It’s the combination of a great idea and a well-executed visual.
What interests do you have outside of your work? M.L.: Too many to list, but it starts with my four boys. C.C.: Loving my wife and twin daughters, making furniture, surfing, and renovating my house in the Topanga Canyon. L.P.: I’m really interested in filmmaking. It’s actually pretty hard for me to separate work from life since my wife and I work together at Leroy & Rose, and we’re both passionate about what we do. Music was also a big part of my life before I moved to America. I have my studio at home, and I keep writing songs, mainly for other artists. C.V.: Anything creative. I practice photography, pottery, and music. I love interior and furniture design, as well as architecture. I’m also currently taking directing classes.
What advice would you give to students starting out today? M.L.: Don’t get into it if you’re not really, really, really passionate about it. C.C.: Only do stuff you would want to hang on your wall (a lesson I learned from Peter Bemis). L.P.: Learn the basics of graphic design. It can be from school, books, or the internet. Graphic design is everywhere. Every time you walk outside, look around you and get inspired by things you like. Practice as much as you can, and try mimicking your favorite designers. Then experiment, break the rules, try new things by mixing styles and media, etc. C.V.: Be curious. In an era where Google has the answer for everything and YouTube has tutorials, you can educate yourself and make a difference just by being interested in learning new things. Don’t expect teachers to give you all the answers.
Check out Leroy and Rose’s website here. Read more about Leroy & Rose poster designs here.