11 Questions with Jeff Matz from Lure Design in Orlando, FL Pt. 1

You can’t deny people are awesome. Who doesn’t like sitting down with good friends to ask them interesting, insightful, and funny questions? That’s what 11 Questions is for. I’ll be featuring some friends I look up to as well as people within the community I’ve always wanted to get to know. Let’s get started!


Nestled in the Mills 50 district of Orlando, Lure Design is an award winning design firm run by Jeff Matz, Paul Mastriani, and Sarah Collins. Lure has churned out some beautiful looking goods. You name it and they've done it. Advertising, books, brochures, identity, packaging, interactive, and my personal favorite, their posters. I remember going to shows at The Sapphire and seeing their hand pulled silk screened posters hanging from the exposed brick walls. I lusted after every one. Jeff and Sarah were always in the back, drinking a beer and selling these limited edition prints. They've done posters for Wilco, The Flaming Lips, The Decemberists, Elliott Smith, Kinds of Leon, John Vanderslice, and many more. Be sure to check out their goods at the L2 Design Collective store and buy yourself something special.

This week I'm featuring Jeff Matz. You can see Sarah Collins' post here.

Who do you look up to?

My Dad. Jimmy Page. And there are plenty of designers out there to admire for reasons beyond the great work they do: Art Chantry for his the honest, unapologetic attitude in his work. Charles Spencer Anderson for his wit and taste level. Stephan Sagmeister for his ability to always bring a fresh perspective. There are many others. But I’ve always found more inspiration in the people I’ve worked with over the years: Paul Mastriani, Sarah Collins, Thomas Scott, Billy Davis, Ron McQuein, and Mitch Boyd. Collaborating with these people and seeing them work through their processes has been more inspiring than just seeing finished work in a book.

Do you have a favorite book?

I should disqualify myself on this one. I always hate to admit it, but I really don’t read. I don’t usually have the patience for it--although I did make it through The Stand.

Favorite place to eat in Orlando?

Right now it’s a bit of a toss up between The Ravenous Pig and Prato. I had a sweetbreads dish at Prato recently that was pretty amazing.


If you could mate two different species of animals what would they be?

I really have no idea how to answer this. Are you testing my creative skills and I’m failing? A cat and a snake? A snat? A cake?

What gives you inspiration?

Mostly sharing ideas with my co-workers because that interaction is the most direct way to get inspired. Even though I’ve been in the business for nearly 30 years, I still find AIGA guest speaker events inspiring. You get beyond just seeing their work online or in a book--you get to hear about their process and what inspires them. Fine art quite often gives you points of view you may not get by looking at other design sources. And, music, of course.

If you had a chance to live in a different decade, what decade would you choose?

I think I’m actually pretty content in this one.


What in your personal life has influenced you to choose your career?

My inability to do anything else, probably. In high school I thought I might want to go into architecture but I suck at math. I guess I realized that the design part of architecture is what I found interesting. I had always been into drawing--not that I was really any good at it. In my senior year someone spoke to our art class about Fort Lauderdale School of Art and Design. It was in that moment that I realized that I might be able to make a living doing what I loved: making stuff.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?

It can be a challenge, especially when you own your own business. One thing I do is make a point of leaving the studio by 6pm every day. If I have to work late, I do it from home.

Is there anything you haven't done yet that you feel compelled to achieve in the future?

Put out a record (see #10). Not that anyone would buy it. But the process of doing the whole thing would be a blast. From writing, playing, recording and mixing to designing the packaging.


What are your other interests?

I’m a hack, but I like to play guitar. I like to write and record instrumental pieces of my own. I’ve also done some tracking for my friend, Stewart Grace, who’s a very talented musician/songwriter living in Virginia. We were in some bands together when he lived in Orlando.

What rejuvenates you?

Travel, but I really don’t do enough of it.