Design with CAUSE

Michael Lepore ’12 has always been interested in art and drawing. As a child, Lepore enjoyed learning photo editing software and programs such as Paint. As a freshman in high school, he excelled in an applied art and graphic art/printing course. He remembered, “When I was looking for a college, I wanted something close to home with a great design program. After seeing the campus in person, Colby-Sawyer was an easy choice.”

During his time on campus, Lepore held two work-study positions designing materials for the Office of Student Development and event posters for the Campus Activities Board. In those positions, Lepore designed 174 event posters which eventually worked their way into his senior capstone exhibition. He was also involved in the Wesson Honors Program and was president of the student graphic design club. Lepore said, “I had the best time at Colby-Sawyer. College was so much fun. There were great friends, I loved the campus and it was great being around so many other designers/artists.”

After graduation, Lepore did a fair amount of traveling and moved around a bit. He spent time in Vermont, Connecticut and New York before returning to southern New Hampshire. He has started his own freelance company, Causarē, which follows the guiding principle of design with a CAUSE: Concept, Aesthetics, Usability, Simplicity, in Everything. Lepore believes that when work is created using these elements, the outcome is deeper than strictly visuals and will stand out in lasting fashion. The name Causarē, which is inspired by his heritage, means “to cause” in Italian.

He said, “I feel the ‘Design with CAUSE’ principle helps me tackle any kind of project, and I really pride myself on the variety of my work. I'm always looking for a new challenge; recently I've gotten more into video-based projects such as film editing and commercials. That being said, my two favorite types of projects are branding and poster designs. Building a brand from the ground up is a fun and exciting experience where you must find the personality of a company and then reflect it across a lot of different mediums consistently. A poster is the opposite of that — a one-shot self-contained work where you convey an idea or event in a quick snapshot. They are two totally different kinds of fun that always have their own challenges involved.”

Lepore’s latest venture is a book containing some of his designs. It is a compilation of a lot of pieces he has worked on along the way, including projects for start-up brands, independent films, t-shirts, advertisements and book covers. He said, “I figured this compilation book would be an interesting way to bring all these different pieces together for the first time. In addition to the main Causarē portfolio, the book also includes different extras such as essays, articles and exhibitions that laid the foundation for my company and career.” The book also features some work from Lepore’s senior capstone project as well as some logos he created during his work-study jobs at Colby-Sawyer.

Lepore’s passion for graphic design is evident in everything he does. He said, “I love the creative problem-solving aspect of graphic design. I love that there are any number of ways and tools that can be used to solve a visual problem. The ability to solve a problem a litany of different ways is what keeps things fresh and exciting.”

Lepore currently resides in southern New Hampshire and in his spare times enjoys traveling, cooking, retro-gaming and movies, either watching and collecting them or acting in small parts for some of the independent films he designs for.

Lepore’s book, Causarē Volume 1, can be found here.