Review: Make Your Own Luck by Kate Moross

Make Your Own Luck by Kate Moross is bursting with everything you need to know about making it in the design industry.

In Neville Brody’s foreword, he describes Kate as “brilliant, creative, fun, unique and obsessed”. These traits have enabled her to create an outstanding portfolio of work, across a range of disciplines and awarded her a vast knowledge of the design industry. Her decision to turn this knowledge into a book is a gift to all those wanting to make a career in design – the result is as brilliant, creative, fun and unique and she is.


Kate’s creative genius has been evident for many years. Having been awarded Creative Review’s Creative Future award back in 2008, she has since worked as an Illustrator, Graphic Designer and Art Director for the likes of Nike, Topshop and Google. In 2012, Kate launched Studio Moross her own full-service design studio.


Make Your Own Luck – the title of the book and a motto of Kate’s – is the belief that if you work hard and put your all in to what you are passionate about, the rest (success and recognition) will fall into place. Having put this theory into practise throughout her career, Kate is living proof that making your own luck is the key to success.

Her DIY attitude to design is another key part of the Moross ethos and what she believes brings all of her work together.


The idea of expressing yourself and creating work with the simplest means, and of learning how to achieve your own goals, continues to drive me.


This drive is explored extensively in its own chapter, shedding light on the determination and alternative thinking Kate has used to her advantage.

Throughout the book, a confident and refreshingly honest tone of voice is applied, with each anecdote and tip written in and approachable and charming fashion. Humour is also key in Kate’s writing, infusing each chapter with a sense of personality.

OK, so I probably could have hired bona fide models to swan around in my clothes, perhaps a girl and a boy to represent the unisex nature of the pieces. But why do that when I am a boyish girl – and the clothes are my designs? I might as well wear them myself!


Kate’s vibrant personality is equally evident in her work, having developed a flamboyant and colourful style. This style has proved versatile, being adapted for a range of projects and concepts – a quality Kate clearly works hard to achieve and finds important to have as she offers caution on having too style-orientated a portfolio.


Style is dangerous, it can go in and out of fashion or date quickly. The most important thing is that your images have a quirk – over and above aesthetics.


Topics discussed in the book include those which many face during and after university such as how much to charge for freelance work and when to work for free. Both are covered in the suitably titled chapter “Money, Money, Money” and the latter, Kate explains, is a personal choice which she has her own view on.

Looking back, it was my enthusiasm people responded to. Many people for whom I did for nothing early on ended up employing me for paid work later on. There was a return in all of my invested efforts.

This enthusiasm is key in both her work and writing making for an easy and entertaining read as well as punchy, fun work.

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Kate also speaks confidently about lesser known areas that graphic artists can go in to such as “Making Music Videos”. Music has always been a passion of Kate’s. As her music taste evolved from The Spice Girls to Stevie Wonder, her creative talent flourished until the two finally intertwined with some of her first design jobs being music related. On the topics of music videos, she gives the harsh but honest truth about how competitive it is.

Let there be no glamorous illusions about making music videos… It is hard work for what usually amounts to very little money for such  a large investment of time and creativity.

Having cracked it herself, Kate goes on to explains how to create good music videos if you share her level of passion. And it is advice like this which makes the book so impressive as Kate can offer plenty of advice on even the more obscure areas of design. Having gathered this seemingly boundless wealth of knowledge in a relatively short career, gives Kate a unique perspective and makes her the perfect person to write about the dos and don’ts of design.

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As well as her words of wisdom, Make Your Own Luck works as an extensive catalogue of Kate’s work. Bursting with colour, her work ranges from large scale murals and giant fibre-glass eggs to record sleeves and T-shirts. Prominent throughout, is her use of hand drawn type and pattern, both skills that she has mastered. Seeing all the imagery in the book alone is enough to inspire someone to go for a career in design.

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Posted on Nov 14th, 14 by

Greg McIndoe - also known as Headless Greg - is an illustrator and design writer based in Glasgow, Scotland. He regularly writes for design magazines and online platforms, interviewing fellow illustrators and leading creatives.

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