This month’s cover artists are Natasha Baker and Ollie Aplin, who are partners in both senses of the word. They run their design business – Well & Good - from a studio built in the back garden of the house they share with their dog, Henry, in Lewes.
“The name of our company reflects our business ethos,” says Ollie, who mainly deals with the digital aspects of their work. “It’s design done well, for the greater good,” explains Natasha, who trained as an illustrator, and who takes the role of art director. “We love to work with clients who have a positive impact on the lives of others.”
One of their most recent projects is for a charity called Small Green Shoots. “A group of young people (young shoots) are leading a new campaign to promote positive mental health” explains Natasha. “The young shoots are our clients. It’s great to be working directly with the young people who are at the centre of the campaign” says Ollie. Though, they reveal, they sometimes had to consult an online slang dictionary to decipher their feedback.
Which takes us to their interpretation of this month’s theme, ‘The Word’. “We wanted to do something typographical, but for there to be an illustration element in it as well,” says Natasha. “We wanted to use British Sign Language to reflect our ‘well and good’ company ethos and combine that with a bright palette to reflect spring,” continues Ollie, “and for the design to be inclusive and have an interactive element to it. We hope some people will be trying to sign ‘Viva Lewes’ at home.”
The couple moved to Lewes in February after two years in an out-of-the-way cottage in Chiddingly; before that they were based in Brighton. One project that has spanned both those moves is MindJournal, a beautifully crafted journal for men to jot down their thoughts and feelings, with motivational prompts to help the reluctant scribbler. “It was crowd-funded by Kickstarter, and led to a book deal with Penguin,” Ollie says. “We’re working on the third edition now.”
They’re busy then; but how difficult is it, you’ve got to wonder, to juggle a 24/7 work-and-play relationship? “That’s what we get asked the most!” says Natasha. “My friends say: really? I couldn’t do that! But it actually works really well, because we’re able to be 100% honest about what we think of each other’s work.” “You can be BRUTAL,” adds Ollie. “But it works: it makes us both better at what we do. And, luckily, living and working together doesn’t make us want to kill one another.”
wellandgood.studio / 01273 569110