Mason's lens

Mason El Hage
  • Art Director
  • Designer

A keen visual storyteller, with an eye for crafting impactful design solutions across a range of mixed media, Mason specialises in branding with a love for typography and editorial design. As an Art Director and Designer, he is heavily influenced and inspired by non-digital processes, and always strives to bring authentic real-world texture into the digital space.

Having graduated from Ravensbourne in 2016, Mason quickly learned to adapt to different industries and subjects when he became an in-house designer on the Techstars London Accelerator. Mason further honed his skills after winning a Shillington scholarship in 2019 and joined monopo London shortly after.

メイソン

Director of Pastries born in london Half lebanese drip coffee connoisseur football follower veteran of verdansk lime prime enthusiast

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question 1

If you could be a pastry, what would you be and why?

Of course this is an incredibly challenging question to answer because there are plenty of great options out there – especially in the London area – and picking one would be doing an injustice to the others. However, for the sake of the question I will pick one that I feel best embodies my spirit – the Gails cinnamon bun.

This cinnamon bun is no ordinary cinnamon bun. It is the perfect balance between being crispy on the exterior, yet welcomingly soft and sweet once you reach the inner core. It carries a sophisticated yet tastefully retrained amount of cinnamon, and will never leave you feeling overwhelmed or sickly. The key message I'm looking to convey here is that there is a delicate, and beautifully honed sense of balance within this particular cinnamon bun. This same sense of balance is what I strive to achieve in my design work, and this particular Gails bun is often a source of inspiration.

Whether you are demolishing this thing in a desperate attempt to eat your way out of a hangover, or simply enjoying it on a casual Sunday afternoon accompanied by an oat flat white; I can guarantee you that in either scenario – much to the dismay of your summer body goals – you will be left wanting more.

Honourable shoutouts & mentions go out to:

• Aries Bakehouse (Brixton) – Biscoff Bun
• Little Sourdough Kitchen (Fulham) – Almond Croissant
• Gails Bakery (London) – Sea Salt Caramel, Banana & Pecan Cake
• Pret a Manger (Everywhere) – Cinnamon Danish

question 2

Is there a personal project you are particularly proud of?

Instagram @masonelh

Over the course of the first lockdown in March 2020, I decided to take up the creative challenge of producing a poster design every single day and sharing it on my Instagram. It was very much a means of making me stay productive in the downtime, but also an opportunity to experiment with different techniques and styles that I found inspiring. I ended up creating near to 100 different posters, and this personal project was ultimately what helped me get my job at monopo.

I think it's really important to keep yourself busy with side projects like this, and to have a creative outlet other than what you do 9-5 each day – whether that's design or not. You never know what might come as a result of it.

question 3

What is the most important thing you took away from your time at Shillington?

I learned a lot of valuable things during my time studying there. Because I'd had a fair amount of design experience beforehand, it was less about developing software skills for me, and more on the side of developing my process and creative thinking. Understanding the multiple ways in which you can approach a design problem in order to overcome it, and that every individual's process could be unique to them, was something that I hadn't fully grasped up until that point. I gained confidence in my ability, and left with a feeling that I was fully prepared to walk into a studio and be able to deliver.

On top of that, the overall experience and people I met along the way are also worth mentioning. It was an incredibly intense but fun 3 months, and I made some amazing friendships during that time with both students and teachers who I still see on a regular basis.

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