suzy tuxen photographed by sarah anderson




suzy tuxen has been practicing design for over ten years, both in the UK and australia. in early 2009 she established a friend of mine, where she currently works alongside emily fitts and cassie brock.



DB: please could you tell us about the evolution of your work?
ST: I have always enjoyed art and design as an expressive outlet. it can be quite cathartic and time can pass in a very different way when you are ‘in the zone’ with design. I come from a family of doctors (mother, father, sister) but I was never drawn to the scientific side of things, and was lucky enough from a very early age for my parents to support my different creative path.


by the time I was sixteen years old I already knew that I desperately wanted to be a graphic designer. while I was at high school did some work experience at a local agency in melbourne along with some courses that would help me get into university. but when I submitted my portfolios to the university I was rejected. I was absolutely devastated as my entire dream was crushed. my older sister rang up secretly and begged my favorite university to give me an interview and luckily they saw how desperate I was and gave me a place on their course.


after university I worked at several studios before starting my own practice, namely round in melbourne and then multistorey in london. both were fantastic experiences, and very different in their approach so I was able to see the different ways in which people operated. I moved back to melbourne with my now husband shane loorham and decided it was a ‘now or never’ moment and started a friend of mine in the second bedroom of our rental flat.





SuzyTuxenAFOMinterview_02identity for – a complete web-based platform for distributing, selling and reading ebooks.






















DB: what’s been the biggest single influence on your work?
ST: impossible to say! I’m influenced daily and like lots of different things which keeps things mixed up and prevents boredom. perhaps some influential fields would be geometry, bright colors and custom typography.



DB: how would you describe your work to someone who hasn’t seen it before?
ST: a mixed bag.  





identity for kitsch&tea – a store and cafe by naomi burd selling bespoke teas and homewares.










DB: what attracted you to designing brand identities?
ST: I love the challenge of distilling the essence of a business into a brand identity. as you are essentially creating a face for a company there is so much responsibility that comes with it. but it is so rewarding when you get it right and it speaks to people in the right language. the idea of being able to design how the branding is rolled out can be a lot of fun too, it often spans different mediums from print and digital to environmental — and leads to collaborations with architects to photographers to curators — all of which keeps things very interesting!



DB: what advice would you give to a young designer when working on an identity system?
ST: idea first, computer later.





identity for modhouse – a company that specializes in sustainable modular homes.














DB: what are your thoughts on specialization vs generalization?
ST: both have their merits. we choose to have a general approach which keeps things unpredictable for us in that we can explore and work across different disciplines and mediums. that said, there are fantastic individuals and businesses who carve a niche for themselves and become masters of one specific thing such as typography.






VCE season of excellence identity 2011 – exhibition and publication of  A+ grade work produced by VCE students in an array of creative fields.













DB: do you draw and do you think it’s important for a graphic designer to be able to draw?
ST: no. I do think the ability to craft is important, but it’s not the be-all and end all. if you have a wonderfully witty idea which needs craft or illustration, it may be that you can get away with somebody else helping you with this aspect. often designers engage illustrators to help with certain drawn aspects, and this collaborative mindset and acknowledging that you might not be able to create every aspect of a design is often what leads to wonderful results.






VCE season of excellence identity 2012














DB: what’s the biggest lesson you have learned in your career so far?
ST: always listen. listen very closely to clients and try and empathize with their situation and needs. I always get frustrated when I see design work which is made on the personal whim of the designer and not at all based on what the project needs. as designers, we need to overcome our selfish desires.





design and art direction of ‘the good life’ written by adrian richardson published by pan macmillan

















DB: besides design, what are you passionate about?
ST: crafts. I love to keep my hands busy. I make things at home. I’m a bit crazy and do lots of weekend classes, I’ve done a weaving class in the past and at the moment i’m learning pottery. I’m hopeless at being idle!


DB: do you have any superstitious beliefs?
ST: no, not really. I will avoid walking under a ladder but that’s about it!