Design studio profile. Some facts about Shark Attack.

Because we wouldn’t expect you to buy a car without kicking the tyres. (Ok, so it’s not a perfect metaphor).

The design studio


Shark Attack is a small, UK graphic design studio with clients around the world. The studio specialises in providing integrated design solutions — so you no longer need to get your online and offline projects designed by different teams.

In addition to creating integrated identity/web packages for businesses, Shark Attack designs record sleeves (of which it has designed over one hundred), corporate literature, marketing materials, books and book jackets.

The studio is owned and run by Rick Lecoat, who started it in 1999 after spending the better part of a decade as a working in-house designer. He continues to design all of the studio's creative output, whilst expert team members take care of the specialist technical aspects.

What’s good?

Shark Attack combines strong, graphic imagery with clean, fuss-free typography in order to find the most effective design solution to a client’s brief.

The studio works one-on-one with the client to ensure that they get exactly the design they’re after. And its integrated service means a more efficient design process with greater consistency across your brand, whether online or offline.


Recent projects have been excitingly diverse: intranet design for the London Metropolitan Police, an identity for a firm of building contractors specialising in energy-efficiency construction, album sleeves for jazz artist Tim Lapthorn and indie band Pony Club, and consulting work for the online branding of a new BBC TV show.

One more thing

Shark Attack has never had an unsatisfied customer.

Our approach to design

You are unique

Every client is different, and every project is different.

Of course, this means that there can never be a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Instead, by adhering to certain principles and methodologies we maintain the high standards that clients have the right to expect.

Consistency is king

Effective design requires a clear vision, consistently applied. We believe that this is best achieved by using a single design team.

Our goal

Create work that…

  • Looks fantastic;
  • Performs its job in an intelligent, stylish, user-friendly way;
  • Does not let the visual design get in the way of the functionality.

Rules of thumb

Design can’t be boiled down to a list of rules, of course. It is an iterative process of problem solving and refinement, and the solution will be different for each project.

Nevertheless, there are certain time-honoured principles of design that continue to hold true. They play a part in all of Shark Attack’s work.

  1. Form follows function

    Essentially, the form of something should be derived from the job that it does. If a design doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do then the designer has failed, no matter how fancy it looks.

  2. Less is more

    Simplicity is best. The best designs are honed to remove all but the essential elements. A common misconception is that simplicity is easier to achieve than a complicated, busy design. Nothing could further from the truth. As some writer said, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”.

  3. White space is not wasted space

    White space is the name for the empty parts of the page in between the visual elements of the design. Visual designs need room to breathe.

    Enough said.

Last word

The great 19th century designer William Morris proclaimed that one should “have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.

Shark Attack’s starting point for any design project is that the solution should aspire to being both useful and beautiful. I mean, really, is that so much to ask?

Who will I deal with?

No middle-men

At Shark Attack you deal directly with the designer. Design is about communication, after all, and never more crucially than between the client and the designer. Not having to trust an intermediate ‘account handler’ to accurately pass on your views greatly improves communication, and largely does away with misunderstandings.

You deal direct with Rick.

Rick Lecoat

Rick Lecoat portraitRick Lecoat trained in typography and graphic design at Saint Martin’s School of Art and the London College of Printing. In the early 1990s he worked in New York at Tibor Kalman’s near-legendary design firm M&Co., before returning to London to take up the post of head designer at Mercury Records.

During his 5 years in this position he created sleeve designs for an extremely wide spectrum of artists and bands, ranging from old-school giants like Dire Straits, Elton John and Marc Almond through to obscure cutting-edge dance acts that only a hardcore of underground club-goers ever heard of.

In 1999 he formed Shark Attack in order to be able to work more closely with his clients on a greater diversity of projects, including a move into web design.

In addition to his design work Rick has written articles for magazines such as Computer Arts, Carve, ThreeSixty and Surfers Path. His work in the field of record (and CD) sleeve design was recently profiled in a four-page interview for MacUser magazine (Vol. 24, Number 11) here in the UK.


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