Thursday, 8 October 2015

Q&A: Lynette Williamson - Graphic Designer

Le tombeau de Rachmaninov - One of Lynette's Latest
Available from Amazon

Rob Edgar spoke to Music Haven’s graphic designer Lynette Williamson about her life and career thus far:

Rob Edgar: Lynette, as a graphic designer, what attracted you to the music industry?

Lynette Williamson: I actually attended the Conservatorium of Music High School in Sydney where I studied piano and viola. After completing my studies, I deferred my place at Sydney University and went to London, where I changed track, enrolled at art college, and left four years later with a degree in Graphic design.

Music runs in the family, and with a brother in London who was a viola player in the English Chamber Orchestra, I had ready-made connections in the music world. On leaving college, I began work as a freelance designer, with a specialism in music covers. Schott gave me the first cover commission - an album of Clarinet Pieces. Following this I did illustration work for International Music Publications (IMP) and soon began working on a regular basis for a number of music publishers, including Universal Edition, Boosey and Hawkes, Faber Music, Lengnick, Novello, and Trinity College London.

RE: It’s not just score covers that you design though?

LW: Although covers have been my main focus, I have also designed numerous programmes and flyers for The Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, St John's Smith Square and Kings Place, as well as producing posters and exhibition material for music festivals.

RE: Any extra-musical design work?

LW: In the non-music field, I have designed for numerous organizations, including charities like the British Heart Foundation, the NSPCC, Mind, Cancer Research, and The Council for the Protection of Rural England, as well as doing general graphic design work for a wide range of companies, institutions and individuals. I have worked in-house on a freelance basis for magazines and book publishers.

Rob Edgar: How and when did you first start working with Music Haven?

Lynette Williamson: I first began working with Music Haven in 2008. At the time I was working with Peter Fribbins, designing programmes for the London Chamber Music Society at Kings Place. When he suggested working with Music Haven and establishing a cover style, it seemed a wonderful opportunity - to be able to create an identity for a publisher from the beginning. So often with cover design, there are restraints, such as the need to fit in with an established cover style and/or marketing parameters. It's very refreshing to be able to work directly with composers, reading the poems and texts that inspire them and doing my best to interpret the music visually. It's exciting to be part of a creative group with a real vision and energy.

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