Art & Design grad the creative force behind new LEGO® line

Designer Laura Perron co-developed DOTS™, a new twist on the world famous toy brick

Erik Einsiedel - 7 July 2020

Not only does Art & Design alumna from Sherwood Park Laura Perron (BDes, ‘16) get paid to play with LEGO, she is a designer on one of their latest product lines, DOTS. The imaginative series provides LEGO fans with small canvases they can decorate with colourful tiles and patterns, which can become anything from jewelry to room decorations. 

Perron’s career path to joining one of the most iconic toy companies in the world was “dotted” with a number of varied experiences including humble beginnings working retail, a summer camp, and even a popcorn stand at the Walt Disney World Resort.

“Working these different jobs really shaped me as a person and designer,” she says. “I learned a lot about myself at each job.”

Perron’s first design-related job was with Art Attack FX, an Edmonton company where she helped create large-scale props for attractions you might find at theme parks and interactive entertainment events. “I split my time there sculpting large scale props out of foam and working with their concept artist to render concepts for clients.”

Perron says she was always driven by an urge to create things, but didn’t know what kind of things until coming to the U of A. She credits her time with the Faculty of Arts for helping her realize what she wanted to create as a designer, and why.

“I learned that I enjoy making delightful and joyful projects,” she says. “Over the course of my four and a half years, I learned what I personally liked to create, and what I was really passionate about.”

While pursuing her BDes focus in Industrial Design, Laura met fellow Art & Design student Chris Perron (BDes, ‘14). Chris not only eventually became her husband, but also a fellow designer at LEGO.

“Chris really wanted to be a LEGO designer, and I knew from the beginning that we would end up in Denmark where The LEGO Group is based,” Laura says. “In 2016, literally days after my convocation, we moved together across the ocean to Europe.”

In March of 2017, Laura began as a Junior Designer with LEGO. The DOTS project began in May of 2017, with Laura joining its small team that September as one of its three designers.

“My role as a model designer is to work hands on with the LEGO bricks to design the building experience and the final product that you see on the shelf in stores. This includes building a lot of sketch models, creating different concepts, and collaborating with different stakeholders.”

 Laura is a designer who is now creating things to inspire the next generation of designers -- kids who use Laura’s DOTS to explore different ways to express themselves, and stretch their imaginations to create their own works of art. She leaves us with these pieces of advice for the Art & Design Class of 2020: 

  • “Even if you think it’s a long shot, apply to where you want to work and keep applying! It took multiple applications before I received an interview; sometimes it’s about catching the right timing so apply, apply, apply.”
  • “Put effort into your presentations! I know I often left presentations to the last minute, especially some of those last year projects. But how you present yourself as a designer and how you present your designs is important. You want to be able to clearly and effectively explain your ideas to others.”
  • “Fill your portfolio with projects you are passionate about, so work on what you like. Tailor your assignments to benefit your personal portfolio. I liked theme park design and attraction design, so a lot of my projects near the end of my degree had some sort of theme-park twist on it.”

 Follow Laura on Twitter to keep up with her latest DOTS projects, or follow her on Instagram. You can also watch Laura’s online talk from BrickSlopes 2020 about the DOTS design process and what it’s like to be a LEGO designer.