For having such a sophisticated and internationally acclaimed design studio to his credit [Keep Left Studio], Luca Ionescu’s responsibilities edge him artfully close to the term “cowboy.” Lassoing in the ever-elusive global artist for collaborations, contributions, and conferences, he’s made a side career of bringing the global design mind to the Outback. In ’03, feeling unfulfilled by the over-priced and uninspired design publications available in Australia, he launched Refill magazine with Michelle Hendriks and Matty Burton. An epic visual indulgence, each issue is an international roll call of designers, artists, and innovators. In 2005, he and Kevin Vo, also of Keep Left, organized the RPRSNT Creative Conference, gathering artisans like Angela Boatwright, Brand New School, and Pablo Ferro from their respective continents for a two-day state-of-the-artist union in Sydney.
With the strength-in-numbers approach, Ionescu and Keep Left Studio have tackled projects for MTV, VH1, Sony, and Coca-Cola. His gift for brand-defining logo work is clear in his slipmat offering, a laser-cut tribute to traditional playing card iconography. “I thought the King of Spades and King of Hearts would be a great way to play on the idea of the slipmats rotating, in the same way in life we are sometimes playing the King of Spades and other times that of Hearts…so, happy and unhappy king, side by side.”