Originally published on The Phoenix News on March 21, 2017.
If you walk downtown and explore the local restaurants, chances are you have probably seen a sign made by Lucas Glenn. In fact, if you have stopped by the Women’s Resource Centre at any point, there is a sign created by Glenn at the back of the room, displaying a chalk art design. There’s a fair chance that you have seen a lot of his work around campus, too; Lucas designs posters for various student organizations on campus and for the Student’s Union as well.
As a UBCO Alumnus, designing work for our community makes sense. Lucas Glenn graduated from the fine arts program and has produced work locally ever since. When he first arrived at the university, he noticed the lack of programs and classes in typography and publishing. He always had a passion for the written word, because it is an art that has been preserved for thousands of years. It is more intimate and personal than type, and provides more versatility if done by hand. Because of the lack of graphic design programs in his current field, Lucas decided to specialize in screen printing. He currently works for a company that produces graphic design work for other businesses, but receives clients on his own as well.
Art wasn’t always in the radar for Lucas, though. His first encounter with graphic design, which also happened to be a turning point for him, was an opportunity to design the cover for his school’s yearbook during his twelfth-grade year. He produced a cover that featured a two-tone design and silhouettes, and it was one of his proudest work. He stressed to me that he actually saved the Yearbook Committee thousands of dollars in the process. The idea of producing something that looked good and also helping someone save money inspired him, and Lucas has been involved in the arts ever since. His experience designing the yearbook cover helped him gauge interest in the graphic design field, and it has changed his life ever since.
I asked Lucas if there were any clients that were the most notable in his mind, and he said that there aren’t any, but restaurant owners are one of the best clients to work with. “Restaurant owners are very motivated and driven people, so they are very hands-off with the designing process,” he said. As a result, he usually has a lot of freedom and tries to convey the restaurant’s message to their target audience. He tries to portray the restaurant’s style of food along with the business’s inherent atmosphere and personality in a sign. Quoting Steve Powers, Lucas says, “Perfection is standard, mistakes cost extra.”
Right now Lucas is working on an individual project regarding gender and hyper-masculinity. He takes advertisements that display social expectations and recreate them through photographing himself. He has always been interested in gender and gender issues, and his project has helped him reflect on the ways mass media portrays masculinity.