Founding Member Spotlight: Frances MacLeod

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Frances MacLeod


Neighborhood:  LSQ!

Company / Organization:  independent graphic designer, letterer, and maker of things

Role / Title:  person who makes sure all of the things get done

Company Mission: 

I help good people and good organizations figure out how to grow their ideas in thoughtful, smart, and beautiful ways. I also draw letters and make silly things.

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What excites you most about your work?

So much excites me about my work, but I think it's really wonderful how my livelihood intersects with the passions of so many amazing people. I'm fortunate to work on a bunch of different kinds of projects -- I get to help all kinds of people with big ideas clarify their messages and understand how they want to interact with their audiences. No two projects are the same.


Someone who has influenced your work:

If I have to pick one person who is not my mother...

I owe so much to sweet Andy Luce (who is currently on a year-long adventure with his wife Liz in Europe, follow their travels on instagram if you want to feel all wanderlusty). Andy is incredibly hardworking, talented, passionate, and one of the world's kindest humans. He's been so helpful as I've navigated the waters of working for myself -- introducing me to wonderful people, letting me peek at his contracts and business-y practices, and offering critical feedback in ways that have helped me grow as a letterer and businessperson. He does all these things while maintaining an infectious spirit of joy and wonder, I'm so grateful for his example and friendship.


Tell us about a favorite project or an upcoming project you're excited about: 

Some friends and I are in the beginning stages of branding a restaurant in Chicago's River North neighborhood. Restaurants are always a treat, but this project is especially fun since we get to collaborate -- each of us freelancers in our own disciplines (photo, web, and video), we're excited to work together as a team. Some of the lettering work I do is very solitary, so collaborative projects are a fun way to balance that out.

(I'd say I'm not getting paid to say this, but, full disclosure, I am getting paid so...)

Working on all the materials for Workshop has been a big-time joy. It's really dreamy to work with clients (who are also friends) who say "Yes, and..." to nearly every idea, especially when most of the questions we're asking are "How can we make this more thoughtful?" or "How can we make people feel valued in this experience?" This is not an every-day scenario, and I'm savoring it.


Favorite winter activity:

After a busy Chicago summer, I secretly enjoy the slower pace of hibernation season. I'm trying to read more just for fun and take time for projects I wouldn't tackle if the weather was nicer. But truthfully, I spend a lot of my time holed up watching Netflix and baking things. Come on over! We have bread and just started re-watching Freaks and Geeks!


Frances is a member of Workshop's Advisory Board and will call Workshop home as a founding member. We're incredibly proud to have her on the Workshop team as our Creative Lead! We can't get enough Frances.

Follow Frances on Twitter/Instagram (@francesblank), & view/buy her work at!