On this week’s DMTV Milkshake, we talk to the Brooklyn-based artists, sculptors, designers, and all-around polymaths, Wade Jeffree and Leta Sobierajski, who work together as Wade and Leta. Their work, as they put it is “to create satisfying and emotional visuals ranging from conventional identities to colorfully charged compositions and installations” – for clients ranging from Google and Instagram to Herman Miller, Gucci and Comme des Garçons.
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Wade and Leta met like many young graphic designers in Brooklyn in the pre-Tinder, pre-Zoom age: on OkCupid. “OkCupid was a much simpler app [compared] to what’s around now, so it was as simple as ‘Brooklyn, graphic designer,’” says Wade. (Leta clarifies: “This is very reflective of our personalities because Wade had, like, no information on his profile: male, I don’t know how old you were at the time, graphic designer,” she says. “Ultimately I thought he was really cute. He had some cute pictures: ‘He looks handsome.’)
Today, the couple travel the world while making work that expands on traditional color palettes to create “really intense vibrations,” as Leta puts it, and on a conventional sense of scale: “The bigger, the better,” Leta says. “I think we’re going to go as big as we possibly can. I think that with each project, it’s kind of a stepping stone. We keep on trying to test the limits – and testing the limits of materials that we’re working with as well.” Wade continues: “The big projects don’t necessarily have to be better than smaller projects – I think that at times the smaller ones are more interesting in a way, in how they question what you’re trying to get from the brief, what the client’s trying to get from the brief,” he says. “That said, is there something that’s too big? I would say no. We want to keep going bigger and bigger.”
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Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.
Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.