July 7, 2015

Notable Skills
  • Graphic Design
  • Logo Design
  • Illustration
  • Lettering
  • O, The Oprah Magazine
  • The Junos
  • City of Hamilton

Jamie Lawson of Poly specializes in logo design, hand-painted lettering, packaging and illustration

Jamie is a formidable designer, illustrator and artist out of Hamilton, Ontario. After attending McMaster University in Hamilton for Fine Arts he went on to build his own design studio and practice. He currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario with his wife, illustrator Jacqui Oakley, their adorable kiddo, and an impressive collection of vinyl.

Lecture Highlights

Some of our favourite parts from Jamie’s lecture

Share Your Work 1:59

A couple of years after Jamie posted an experimental lettering project online, design blogger Emily Gregory in Australia discovered the work and decided to feature it in her Little Book of Lettering.

Comic Books 2:32

Jamie found himself drawing logos before he even knew what they were. He reflects on the impact that simple insignia from comic books played in shaping his early understanding of art and design.

Jamie Lawson at Paris Lectures

Talented, introspective, ambitious and hard-working, Jamie is an accomplished graphic designer whose work embodies his commitment to always reaching for improvement. Above all, Jamie is kind and generous, and didn’t hesitate to share the roots and path of his career with our community. Watch his 20 minute lecture in its entirety, below.

Vermillion Sands

Lawson + Oakley

Jamie and his partner, fellow illustrator Jacqui Oakley, collaborate on various commercial and art projects both locally and internationally. Together they have crafted unique 3d artifacts, painted murals, and co-designed gallery exhibits.

It was a strong reinforcement of the idea that if I keep trying to stretch, if I keep experimenting and if I put things out there, people will find them. However mysterious, there's some sort of logic to this.

Jamie onThe importance of sharing your work

Our son Felix was on the way and I realized how certain I was that I didn't want to be in charge of people. I didn't want to become a manager instead of an artist. I wanted to be maneuverable.

Jamie onMaintaining artistic flexibility

I'm going to go up another notch. The only other thing better than ice-cream to me is Oprah Winfrey.

Jamie onDream clients

Jacqui and I both work at home, our son is around all the time right now and so we're doing double duty a lot and I have way less time than I ever did to mess about. So I'd much rather be working on hand lettering than a bunch of Tim Hortons coupons.

Jamie onBeing a new parent
Stoke Stoke Stoke

30 Circles Test

At each Paris Lectures we ask the crowd to courageously participate in a creative warm-up exercise, or “stoke”, that varies for each event. The ask is low bar and whimsical and helps everyone relax, including us.


30 Circles Test

Grab a pencil, pen, crayon or marker and a 30 circles template print out. Fill as many of the 30 circles as you can in one minute. The goal is quantity, not quality. Patterns, doodles, shapes, animals, plants, words, and objects are all fair game, as are drawings that incorporate more than one circle. In the end, see how your sheet compares to neighbour's. Are your ideas free-flowing and uninhibited, or do you constantly edit yourself before you've even begun?

Jamie's Hand Lettering