Abby Clawson Low.

“This is a home office on the second floor of a 1940s Cape Cod style home (we are renting in Summit, NJ). The ceilings are quite low and dormered. It’s cozy. And quite a contrast to the East Village Studio (with a 15 foot ceiling) in NYC that I shared with friends.

The walls are painted a mint green (it’s a rental!). My husband and I built the desk similar to the style we had at Design MW. The Eames chair I bought on eBay. The rolling cart I bought this summer for $20 from my across the street neighbors at their garage sale.”

Abby Clawson Low is a design director specializing in identity and publication design. Her studio projects range from logos, web sites and books, to self-published projects and collaborations.

In her five years at Design MW, she worked for a variety of international clients, including Buttenfabrik Gmund, Chronicle Books, Takashimaya New York, West Elm and Wilson/Wenzel. From June 2004 until May 2007, Abby lent her creative leadership to Kate Spade’s in-house design team where she was the Senior Art Director and worked on various projects for the award-winning Kate Spade and Jack Spade brands.

Abby’s work has been featured in Communication Arts, How and Print, and by organizations such as the Type Directors Club and the AIGA. She was also selected as one of the 2006 ADC ‘Young Guns’ in the fifth biennial showcase of the Art Directors Club, chosen from hundreds of international artists aged 30 and under.

FROM YOUR DESKS: Have you always been this organized?
ABBY CLAWSON LOW: I’m one of those people who have a hard time focusing if there is a mess around. Give me a few more years with kids. I’m sure that will change.
FYD: My grandfather started me with a stamp collection. You are a stamp girl.  Do you collect and put them in a book?  What are your favorite stamps?
ACL: Funny, my grandfather also collects stamps — his collection is more traditional than mine. I first started collecting stamps when I was working at Design MW; JP Williams shared his collection with me and got me interested in philately. My collection isn’t a traditional one. I use my stamps for correspondence (don’t tell the guys at theStationery Show). I keep my stamp sheets in a variety of manila folders, postal envelopes, and glassine sleeves. I have too many favorites to name — however, I do prefer stamps that are engraved and on perforated and gummed sheets. I wish they still made stamps that way. Ditto.

FYD: For those without the benefit of graphic design education…are there any great books or educational materials you would recommend?  

ACL: “Forget all the rules you ever learned about graphic design” by Bob Gill is a great start.

FYD: Having worked for Kate and Jack Spade; are colours important?  How would you describe the look of their packaging?

ACL: Of course, color is just as important as layout, type, and image. It is a design element that conveys emotion, importance, and time. It sets the tone of a piece. At Kate and Jack Spade color was central to the design. It was sometimes used in grand gesture and other times it was playfully tucked in a pocket or as the lining of a bag. We were always looking at colorways found in everyday objects, new and old, for inspiration.

FYD: What is a favorite product or look you have designed?

ACL: Rain shoes and an umbrella!

Check out Abby’s smart, fun blog. Stay in the KNOW at HI+  LOW.

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