• About: Jordan Lyle

    Jamaican-born freelance designer and art director Jordan Lyle knows that the most impactful visuals are sometimes composed of the simplest elements. Practical lines, complimentary shapes, and low-key colors can all work together to draw the eye. Same goes for his personal style— he works-in monochromatic details, functional pieces, and neutral tones to create effortless everyday looks for his life in the city. We recently caught up with Jordan to chat about his background and the ins-ands-outs of life in L.A. 
    Photos by Logan Delaney 

    Who is Jordan Lyle? 
    I’m a Jamaican, Designer, Art Director and all-round creative person living in Los Angeles. I like to think of myself mainly as a creative problem-solver. I recently took the exciting jump into freelancing at some of my favorite motion design studios around LA after a few years as an Art Director at a design and production studio in Culver City. Lately I’ve been having a rewarding love affair with photography and Instagram. I’d love to see where photography takes me professionally. 

    Can you tell us about yourself and your background? You’re originally from Jamaica, correct? 
    For sure. I was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica where I lived with my parents until age 16 when I took the opportunity to represent Jamaica at the United World College in New Mexico. It’s a prestigious international school that brought 200 academically talented teenagers from over 70 countries around the world to live and share in a mini cultural melting pot, global citizen incubator of sorts. From there I went on to spend 4 years in Savannah, GA doing my undergrad in Broadcast Design and Motion Graphics at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Now I live and work in LA.

    Can you tell us about your design background? When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer? 
    Being a ‘designer’ was never really on my radar in the way I think about it now. I’ve always been driven by details and finding clever, interesting solutions to things, but I can’t say I ever had my heart set on being a designer, because I didn’t even know it was an option. In Jamaica, it used to be that most careers outside of medicine, law and finance weren’t really encouraged, so it was a gamble to pursue something so different. At the end of the day I had very little interest in a traditional career that wasn’t inherently creative. It wasn’t until I went to art school at SCAD that things started to click and I ran with the opportunities to put things into practice that had seemed to come naturally for me. 

    Going back to your childhood, what’s the very first thing you can ever remember making? 
    The first thing I made was probably a painting I did at 7 that my mom laminated and turned into a placemat. Some of my finest works were birthday and mother’s day cards as a young kid (lol). Each year I was determined to outdo the previous one. One year I remember making this fancy, purple, handwritten, layered, cut paper bookmark that I’m sure is stored away for posterity. I was so proud! As the years went on, the cards and mementos took on digital components which I’m sure subliminally influenced me to appreciate design more. 

    How would you describe your personal style? 
    Clean, simple and well put together. I subscribe to lots of black, gray, and earthy neutrals. I don’t like having to stress about what to wear in the morning so I like that the cuts, colors and shapes compliment each other without a struggle. What I wear is pretty practical and minimal with a thoughtful twist either in my accessories, outerwear, or my hair. I like to switch it up from time to time with patterns. Never tank tops. 

    Do you have any items you can’t live without?
    Photoshop is my bread and butter so I can’t imagine living without that. I find it hard to be without a phone or computer for too long either just for the sake of needing information. Apart from that, more and more I’m realizing I don’t go far without my camera. LA has opened my eyes to a world of tones and architectural details that I never really stopped to consider until I started to photograph them. The way shadows and light interact with spaces around Los Angeles is very inviting.

    Do you have any icons you look to for inspiration? 
    Two of favorite typography legends are Erik Marinovich – who has created type for things you love that you didn’t know he did, and Gemma O’Brien — an Australian illustration and lettering rockstar. Patrick Clair is one of my favorite creative voices in the world of motion graphics and title design. It might be strange to say but Instagram is actually a huge source of inspiration for me. People are consistently creating things and just putting themselves out there without fear. 

    Can you walk us through an average day in your life? 
    An average day for me includes usually managing to wake up before my alarms. I take some time to catch up on some social media feeds, news stories and design blogs. I might be the only designer that doesn’t drink coffee religiously but I low-key enjoy not being that tapped into caffeine. The majority of my day is spent eyeballs deep behind a computer and Wacom tablet in photoshop - blasting music in my headphones and scouring sites for reference images. Whether at home or at a design studio, I’m illustrating, designing, developing and art directing video and animated content for brands. I’ll end up thinking about what to post and then posting something to Instagram more often than not. I like to finish my day hanging with friends, having a glass of wine and catching up on random tv shows.

    Do you have any favorite under-the-radar spots around Los Angeles? 
    I have to shout out to my go-to bar The Mandrake in the arts district of Culver City. It’s been kind of like a home base for me because they used to serve Jamaican beer and rum. It’s where I met the folks and now great friends that throw an awesome event called “Bashment Boogie” that migrated to Los Globos is Silver Lake. I’ve been in LA for 4 years but there’s still so much to explore. 

    What’s the last great thing you read? Watched? Listened to? 
    The last thing I watched that gripped me was the series 'The Night Of', which I assume we all can say was great. The last really interesting thing I read was an article about the “Mercury Retrograde”. I never really took it into account seriously but the article presented some interesting coincidences. I listen to a lot of music daily when I’m working, so it’s tough to pinpoint, but I’m a big fan of finding new remixes and playlists on this site - MXTPS.com

    What’s next for you? 
    I’m still figuring out how to take the world by storm (on a budget), but I’d love to visit a couple more countries before the year is up. I’m speaking at a motion graphics conference in St. Louis pretty soon which will be a great first experience for me to tick off my career bucket list. I would love to start seriously curating a solid body of photography work to round out my portfolio. I’ve been toying with the idea of fostering some sort of platform or brand that brings together creative communities that share similar experiences as a hub for all the social and creative ventures that I’m passionate about and want to promote. We’ll see how that comes together.

    Follow Jordan on Instagram 
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