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Give Your Party a Killer Theme with Help From Luke Lucas of Lifelounge

Take your afternoon party to the next level with help from an accomplished creative director.
By Concrete Playground
October 26, 2016
By Concrete Playground
October 26, 2016

in partnership with

One of Australia's most redeeming qualities is its ability to give good afternoon sun. There's something about its familiar glow that almost demands casual drinks — whether it's cracking open a cold beer after a day out, heading to the pub after a long day of work, or deciding on a whim that your backyard is perfect for having friends over. When you have friends this summer, heed our advice and take it to the next level by implementing a killer theme.

We've spoken to a few of our favourite chefs, musicians and artists, to get their insights on creating the perfect balmy afternoon. On this adventure we've spoken to Luke Lucas — uber talented, Sydney based typographer, creative director and co-creator of the now defunct Lifelounge magazine (may it rest in peace). Each issue of Lifelounge was themed, so we thought Luke was the perfect person to ask for some tips. Read these, and get creative the next time you have friends over.



The first step in throwing a next-level summer party is choosing the theme. No exceptions. You'll probably have a million ideas, but they'll most likely be unrelated to each other. Having a theme is a great way to bring everything together in a cohesive format. You could be really into the idea of having a pinata in your backyard. Once you've decided that your party is going to be all about food, you can make it into the shape of a burger.

"Coming up with the theme was the very first process we went through for each edition of the magazine," says Luke. "I think if you try to retrofit content to suit a theme then it can feel a little contrived or forced so for us the theme had to come first. For the most part curating content or designing within the bounds of a them gives you the ability to connect concepts and ideas that don't naturally go together but when presented within the theme are perfect partners. It can be lot of fun."



Everything in Lifelounge made it in because it was something Luke liked — not what he thought other people would like. "We were mostly creating the magazine for ourselves," he says. "It was a way of expressing thoughts and ideas about things we were passionate about. There wasn't a great deal of thought put into how appealing it might be to others." When you're thinking of a party theme, make sure it's something you're into. Don't go for a double denim theme just because you know your friends will like it. Pick something your passionated about — that could be a 90s theme. You're much more likely to get people hyped up. "I think if you are passionate about something then the way you present that passion is naturally infectious," Luke says wisely.



Trying to  one-up your mates with a better 90s party than they threw last year isn't going to work. You won't be able to do anything new, and everyone's costumes or activities will most likely be the same as last year. Instead, use last year's raging party for inspiration. If they did 90s, shy away from decades and try for something else – a clothing related double denim theme for example. As Luke says, "there needs to be enough of a point of difference between themes so we can create unique content and design treatments for each edition."



"We're influenced by everything we see, hear, touch and experience. Inspiration can come from any combination of those sources but for me it rarely presents itself if I'm searching too hard for it. Ideas present themselves when my mind is clear or I'm doing some kind of activity that involves little thought — like taking a shower or waiting in between sets in the surf." In the words of Mad Men's Don Draper, "think about it deeply, then forget it. An idea will jump up in your face."

Enjoy your summer afternoons with the new low-carb Heineken 3 — we're helping you make the most of them.

Images: Luke Lucas.

Published on October 26, 2016 by Concrete Playground
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