With clients like Marks & Spencer and Hugo Boss on their books, newly established creative design trio iLovedust are making waves from their seaside base in Southsea.




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Like a lot of companies, iLovedust was established by a couple of designers hacked off at working for the corporates. “We set up our studio in the seaside town of Southsea about 18 months ago,” says founding partner Mark Graham. “We were getting very pissed off about not really being given a chance to express our ideas on design and both felt we had more to give.” 
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“We started getting a few small jobs together and took the plunge in May 2003. It has been very hard work, late nights and excessive coffee consumption ever since. However, we are really happy with what we’ve achieved in that time.”
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Achievements include winning high profile clients like Marks & Spencer and Hugo Boss as well as a plethora of smaller companies.
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“Our philosophy is simple,” says Graham. “We just want to produce really nice work for our clients and keep them happy and smiling.” He admits: “The actual business side of it can be very hard to organize at times, and we’ve had to learn the hard way on a number of occasions.”
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Typical of many small design companies, they rely on their creativity, style and determination to get them through. But also typical is their uncertainty over defining their style – too much analysis can destroy the magic.
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“I think that our style is an unknown beast with about 40 legs,” jokes Graham. “We enjoy so many different things and take so many influences from all over, so it’s quite hard to put a finger on it. I think describing our work as subtly sweet and a little evil in places would make us happy.”
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Graham’s design partner, Ben Beach, agrees. “It’s a funny thing to try and analyze our style. We often get asked to make something a bit more ‘dusty’, so I guess there must be a clear style in our work. We all sit back and think: ‘Dusty? What do they mean?’ Like Mark says, I suppose we have a cute front with some dark undertones.”
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<h2>Milestones</h2>
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Reviewing the first 18-months of their company, there have been some real highlights. “Charlotte Hatherley was a personal milestone for both of us,” says Graham. Hatherley is “the unofficial queen of Britrock” according to London radio station XFM, and was asked to join Ash as their guitarist when she was 18. iLovedust created the artwork for her first solo album.
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“Our first album cover,” says Graham. “Nothing prepares you for walking into Tower Records and seeing your work 10-feet wide in a display. Charlotte cracks me up and it’s nice when relationships blossom through work.”
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“Many of our projects have been milestones for us,” agrees Beach. “The Charlotte Hatherley job really pushed us and involved steep learning curves. We got the job after designing a Web site for her label. We built up a good relationship with the label and have worked closely with some of their artists like Ash and The Ludes, but being given the job to design Charlotte’s album artwork was a real treat. 
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