Jelly Presents: Lebassis

Lettering artist Lebassis is known for his super bold lettering, colourful palettes and playful illustrations. We sat down with him to discuss his passion for championing different voices, equality in the industry & his life in vibrant São Paolo.

Monday 17 June 2024

Tell us a bit about you, what's your story?

I'm a black brazilian queer guy who grew up in a big family. My gramma had 14 children, and I was one of her almost 50 grandchildren. I'm obsessed with pop culture—music, fashion, movies, and everything in between. My addiction to magazines as a teenager brought design into my life, and I really want to be a part of it! I've done a bit of everything in design, from directing music videos to developing complex branding systems. I've worked for a small studio, run my own design studio, and been employed by a giant company, but typography has always been my main passion. The more I learned about it, the more I loved it! It's been a wonderful ride, full of ups and downs, for over 7 years as a freelancer.

How does your care for LGBTQ+ rights, gender topics, and Black culture express itself in your work?

Just being here doing typography is a challenge. It's a male/cis/white-dominated field, more so than any other area in design. I want to expand what an lgbtq+ black person can and should do. It's more than what I have to say; it speaks for itself. I can do anything, and people who look like me should feel empowered to do whatever they want, not just be targeted as one thing only.

What do you think is the key to a successful & harmonious brand collaboration?

For me, success is more than numbers; it's the truth. The brand should believe in the artist they are hiring and in what they want to create, not just what they have already done or similar work by others.

Are there any moments, achievements or projects that stand out as being something you’re particularly proud of, and why?

I always mention Rupaul or Wendell & Wild, but one more recent project that really challenged me was the Dove project. I created two fonts for them that i'm really proud of. It wasn't a quick task; I hadn't done a type system in a very long time, and those styles are not easy to create. It was a personal challenge for me to accomplish that. The feeling of developing something new, re-learning how to do it, and putting so much effort into one thing was incredibly rewarding.

You’ve been featured in It’s Nice That’s ‘Ones To Watch’ list and Young Guns 18 - and you’ve won some awards too… what advice would you give to emerging creators hoping to follow a similar path?

It's not that important. if you want commercial success, do your work and play the game. Think about this like you think about your next meal; reserve some money to submit the work you like to those awards, but don't measure how good your work is based on them.

What do you see as the “pain points” in the creative industry right now, and what do you think needs to happen to solve them?

Social media is weird. We need to organise ourselves better to have more control over what we do and where we put our work. It's important to have a plan to address issues like anxiety, plagiarism, and design coaches!!!

Do you have a favourite part of the creative process on a project?

I love the strange process when something that starts out really scratchy becomes something beautiful! when does that happen? it really depends on the project; it can be during the sketch phase, in vector form, or in the final touches.

What’s your plan for the rest of the year? Is there anything you are focusing on or prioritising?

Launch my stickerbook!!!!!!!!!!!

What helps you get into your creative mindset?

Music, yes. I'm an album person. Not a really big fan of playlists full of different sounds and artists when I work. Oh! And of course, I enjoy watching some Brazilian telenovelas (or just novelas as we say over here). It's almost therapeutic.

Where do you find your motivation & inspiration comes from?

Do something you really like—travel, go out, eat—not because it fits your style or you're searching for inspiration, but simply because you enjoy it. I've also learned to respect those times when I'm not motivated at all and not feeling inspired. It's difficult, but it's good advice! sometimes there's nothing you can do. so, do something else you like and try again later.

What's your favourite thing about being a part of the creative community?

Be a part of something—where people you can relate to work, struggle with the same complex problems, and discuss solutions. And of course, gossip!

What are your favourite things to do in São Paulo?

Eat! são paulo is known to have some good restaurants.

"casa do porco" is the best one.

See Lebassis' full portfolio here.

Young Guns 18'
D&AD Awards 2021
ADC Awards
LAD Awards
Applied Arts Awards
Bienal do Design
Forbes Under 30

Selected clients





Coca Cola