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Who designed your favorite LEGO sets?

As you build official LEGO sets – especially the ones you really like – you may wonder which LEGO designer worked on them. In the past it was quite difficult to find out who designed a particular LEGO set. Danish people by nature are quite reserved, and they consider talking about their work boastful. So they prefer to quietly do their job, and are satisfied by simply seeing LEGO fans happy. However as LEGO fans started to share their amazing custom models online and through LEGO conventions, several designers got hired directly from the LEGO fan community. These LEGO designers became like a bridge between the company and the LEGO fan community, as they were intimately connected with both. 🙂

LEGO Sets Designed by LEGO Designers

Through these interactions the LEGO fan community started to learn more about the work of LEGO designers, and the company also realized that satisfying the curiosity of their fans will be beneficial to everyone. So now when a new exclusive LEGO set gets released there is always a video introduction by one or more of the designers, who share some interesting details about the set and the design process. And there are also a number of video-tutorials by LEGO designers you can watch online, as well as interviews to get to know the designers better. Both kids and adults enjoy learning about the everyday operation of their favorite company.

Most LEGO sets are not designed by just one person, but by several people, or even an entire team. Even when a set is designed by one person, it may have been inspired by the sketches or an earlier prototype of someone else. Besides official interviews and videos by LEGO designers, one of my favorite ways to keep up with how a LEGO set came about and what my favorite LEGO designers are working on is through Brickset.

Brickset allows any of its members to create “BrickLists” – meaning grouping sets together based on specific criteria. So for example if you want to keep track of all the LEGO mechs across all themes, you can create your own BrickList and add all sets to it that include a mech. You can share your BrickList publicly so other LEGO fans can benefit from it as well. I think the first LEGO designer who used this feature of Brickset to catalog the official LEGO sets he worked on was Mark Stafford. Mark was hired from the LEGO fan community, and besides being busy with designing some of the most amazing LEGO sets, he continues to be actively involved with the LEGO fan community.

LEGO Sets Designed by BrickLists

Following the footsteps of Mark, other LEGO designers also started to put together their own BrickList by adding the LEGO sets they worked on. These lists are an excellent way to get a glimpse into the LEGO set design process, as well as starting to learn more about the designers. When you look at these BrickLists, I recommend that you set them to List mode or Classic mode (instead of Gallery or Table), because this way you will also see the notes designers wrote on each model. Below is a list of each LEGO designer who currently shares a BrickList (or someone else is maintaining it for them) to give you an idea how valuable this resource is. You can find all the BrickLists mentioned here at the following link: LEGO DESIGNER BRICKLISTS ON BRICKSET

LEGO Sets Designed by BrickLists Details

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY MARK STAFFORD: Mark is very diligent to keep his BrickList up to date, with currently 63 sets on the list. He makes notes on each of them. For example he shares the following on the #5885 LEGO Dinosaur Triceratops Trapper: “I built the original sketch model. Final set design and all the really hard work was done by Raphael P. I also hand painted all of the dinosaurs. They were used as the basis for the final decorations. I kind of accidentally created the new olive color with these paint jobs. Pretty cool!” And on the #7066 LEGO Alien Conquest Earth Defense HQ he notes: “Sketch models by me, Luis C. and Michael F. Final set design by me. The human fighter is a nod towards the Flickr Vics Viper Group. The stickers by Kurt M. pay tribute to Nnenn, one of the creators of the group who’s life was cut tragically short in a car accident.” Mark was involved with designing many of the LEGO Exo-Force, LEGO Agents, LEGO Power Miners, LEGO Space Police, LEGO Atlantis, LEGO Alien Conquest, LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Legends of Chima, and LEGO Nexo Knights sets.

#21109 LEGO Exo Suit Details

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY JUSTIN RAMSDEN: Justin designed four LEGO Marvel Super Heroes sets for the company so far, including the very impressive #76051 LEGO Super Heroes Airport Battle and the #76057 LEGO Super Heroes Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle that will be released in August.

#76057 LEGO Super Heroes

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY ADAM GRABOWSKI: Adam has also been with the LEGO company for a long time, and he lists 69 sets that he had worked on. His notes on each set are fun to read. Take for example this one on the #3817 LEGO Spongebob Squarepants set: “This is a great one. It was initially a bet between some people about how it’s not possible to have a whole ship for such a low price-point. I built it within a few hours, and it was standing on my desk making everyone laugh who passed by. It took just few days to decide that it’s so ridiculous that it has to become a set. There you go. My design from the ground up.” Adam was involved with designing many of the LEGO Spongebob Squarepants, LEGO Toy Story, LEGO Indiana Jones, LEGO Creator, LEGO Power Miners, LEGO Space Police, LEGO Alien Conquest, LEGO Pharaoh’s Quest, LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, LEGO Monster Fighters, LEGO Super Heroes, and LEGO Star Wars sets.

#3817 LEGO Spongebob

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY MIKE PSIAKI: Mike lists 19 sets that he had worked on, all in the LEGO Creator line. He also makes interesting notes. Like for example on the recently released #31052 LEGO Creator Vacation Getaways he writes: “This is a set that we have been wanting to make for years. Morten Rauff had the original idea back in 2014. I struggled most with the design of the yacht. It started out as more of a houseboat, but I think the yacht design we ended up with is really nice. While I love all the little details we managed to get in this model, my favorite part is the bear. He was originally built to go with the #31048 LEGO Creator Lakeside Lodge, but we thought he was a little too big for that set, so he ended up here with the camper van.”

#31052 LEGO Motorhome

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY ADRIAN FLOREA: Adrian has been working as a LEGO designer for more than three years, and list 27 sets he was involved with – all in the LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Legends of Chima lines. His notes give a glimpse of how many of the LEGO Ninjago sets came about. On the #9446 LEGO Ninjago Destiny’s Bounty he writes: “The Bounty was developed by me from its earliest days when it was still a thought in my head. I was always fascinated by fantasy worlds, movies and books, so I insisted on the flying ship idea to be written into the show. The show version of the Bounty has tons more features and a bigger size. This is something I couldn’t do anything about, since the price-point of the set itself was set in stone.”

#9446 LEGO Ninjago Destiny's Bountry

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY JAMIE BERARD: This list is not maintained by Jamie directly, but one of his fans, who interviewed him about which sets he designed. There are 34 sets on the list, all in the LEGO Creator line. Jamie is well known for designing most of the large LEGO Creator Expert sets, including the LEGO Creator Modular Buildings.

#10247 LEGO Creator Ferris Wheel Overview

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY WES TALBOTT: Wes worked on eight of the LEGO Elves sets, including the beautiful LEGO Elves dragon sets, and the two large LEGO Elves castles.

#41073 LEGO Elves

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY HANS BURKHARD SCHLÖMER: Hans designed many of the LEGO Legends of Chima sets, as well as a number of large LEGO Star Wars sets, including the new #75105 LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon, and the #75060 LEGO Star Wars Slave I.

#75105 LEGO Star Wars

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY MICHAEL SVANE KNAP: Michael lists 31 sets that he had worked on, and his notes are very interesting. He designed all the free gifts for the LEGO Ninjago magazines, many of the small LEGO Ninjago polybags, the handles of all the LEGO Ninjago Airjitzu Flyers, plus a number of larger LEGO Ninjago sets. He was also part of a small team of LEGO designers who worked on the first wave of LEGO Dimensions sets.

#70732 LEGO Ninjago

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY SAMUEL JOHNSON: Samuel has been working for LEGO since 2010, and lists 40 sets he worked on – most in the LEGO City line. He sneaks his initials on many of the LEGO City vehicle license plates, and even his birthrate as the price of gas in the #4207 LEGO City Garage set. He also designed a number of the LEGO Legends of Chima sets, all of the Ultimate Knights for the LEGO Nexo Knights line, as well the final design of the #21304 LEGO Ideas Doctor Who set.

#4207 LEGO City Garage Content

LEGO SETS DESIGNED MARCOS BESSA: This list is not maintained by Marcos directly, but by one of his fans. It includes 35 sets Marcos has worked on, including LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Super Heroes, LEGO The Lone Ranger, The LEGO Movie and LEGO Ghostbusters sets. In addition, Marcos is a huge fan of The Simpsons, so he was given the task of designing bot LEGO The Simpsons sets.

#71016 LEGO Kwik-E-Mart Details

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY MORTEN RAUFF: Morten designed many of the LEGO Creator animal sets, as well as all three of the LEGO Creator 3-in-1 smaller modular buildings, and other LEGO Creator sets.

LEGO Creator Bike Shop Small Modular Buildings

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY PIERRE NORMANDIN: Pierre lists 34 sets that he worked on as a LEGO designer, mostly in the LEGO City line. He also designed many of the LEGO City Train sets, as well as the #10219 LEGO Maersk Container Train.

#60098 LEGO City Train

LEGO SETS DESIGN BY JOHN HO: John worked on many of the new LEGO Bionicle sets, and the large LEGO Star Wars buildable figures. He lists 18 sets in his Bricklist.

#75110 & #751101 LEGO Star Wars

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY ANDY SEENAN: Andy worked on 84 LEGO sets in the eight year period he has been a LEGO designer, including many of the recent LEGO DUPLO sets for younger kids, and a good number of LEGO Creator sets. Andy is also the lead designer for the LEGO Mixels line. He shares some interesting tidbits about each characters, like that Flain was the first Mixel and was originally called Flame Brain.

LEGO Mixels Characters

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY ROBERT HEIM: Robert worked on some very interesting sets, like the #4002014 LEGO HUB Birds and the #4002015 LEGO Borkum Riffgrund 1 – both employee gifts. He also worked on several of the LEGO Minecraft sets, including the #21128 LEGO Minecraft The Village, which he designed together with Carl Merriam. The two of them collaborated on the recently released LEGO Mixels Pyrratz tribe as well.

#21128 LEGO Minecraft The Village View

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY JEREMY LUETTGEN: Jeremy lists three sets that he helped to design, including the #31048 LEGO Creator Lakeside Lodge. He shares that his favorite features are the water lilies, the moose, the chopped logs, and the scrambled eggs in the frying pan.

#31048 LEGO Creator Lodge Details

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY JOEL BAKER: Joel started working for LEGO in 2015, mostly on new themes and concept that he obviously cannot share yet. So he right now got zero sets in his BrickList. It is going to be interesting to check back to see what he worked on.

LEGO SETS DESIGNED BY MEL CADDICK: This list is not maintained by Mel directly, but one of her fans. She is the only female LEGO designer with a BrickList. Mel is a lifelong LEGO fan from Australia, who was involved with the design of 83 LEGO sets according to her BrickList. This includes the LEGO Master Builder Academy sets, the very first LEGO Ideas/LEGO CUUSOO set (#21101 LEGO CUUSOO Hayabusa), a number of LEGO Creator sets (including all of those cute seasonal vignettes and brick-built animals), several of the LEGO Inside Tour exclusive sets, all of the Toys’R’Us promotional mini modulars, and the LEGO Monthly Mini Model Builds at LEGO stores.

LEGO Seasonal Vignettes Collection

Knowing who designed your favorite LEGO sets can make your relationships with that set even more special. You might also start noticing other sets designed by the same person, and begin to look forward to what they are working on next. It is also very interesting to read the designers’ notes, as you can pick up some interesting tidbits and trivia about the design process. And if you are inspired to become a LEGO designer yourself, learning from current LEGO designers can be invaluable information. So bookmark these BrickLists, and check back often.

LEGO Sets Designed by BrickLists

What do you think? Have you been taking notice of who designed your most favorite LEGO sets? Do you have a favorite LEGO designer who’s work you really like? Are there any other LEGO sets that you would like to find out who designed? If you could meet any of the LEGO designers, who would it be? What would you ask them? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Peter July 11, 2016, 11:20 AM

    I’m hoping someone updates Nicholas Groves’s list here: http://www.coroflot.com/nicholas_groves/lego-sets

    His Diagon Alley is one of my most favorite sets.

    • admin July 11, 2016, 2:24 PM

      Peter, thanks for sharing! If you like, you can make a list for him yourself. 🙂

      • Peter July 12, 2016, 11:12 AM

        I just realized that the rest of his projects on Coroflot contain his more current sets. Awesome! I hope to have them updated on Brickset as well.

        • admin July 12, 2016, 12:29 PM

          Peter, that’s great to hear! 🙂

    • Håkan July 11, 2016, 6:39 PM

      Many nice sets… I like that freaky fish in Angler Attack (the angler is actually a real fish with a rod-like light-up extension from the head used to catch its bait, weird…), the cartoonishness of the Toy Story sets and the emphasis of regular townsfolk and villagers in the Castle sets…

  • Håkan July 11, 2016, 5:42 PM

    These designer videos are fascinating. You realize how hard the designers have been directed by the company beforehand, and then, they often come across awkwardly, due to various strong accents and since they are quite often introverts who aren’t really comfortable in front of the camera…

    It’s often clear that these videos are not the main reason they applied for the job… 😉

    • admin July 11, 2016, 5:48 PM

      Yeah, some of them look like they rather craw under the table than talk about the gorgeous set they just designed! I think it’s endearing that they are so awkward in front of the camera despite being such brilliant designers. Nerds can be so cute. 😀

  • BLProductions July 11, 2016, 6:03 PM

    I’ve heard of this on Brickset, it is very neat. I should check the designer bricklists out. And I’m glad they put the moose in Lakeside Lodge rather than the bear… I like the moose better. 🙂
    Also: http://brickset.com/article/22484/71040-disney-castle-press-release I thought it was going to be some purple little castle, like Bell’s Enchanted Castle from Disney Princess, but no, this is one epic castle! It uses so many nice techniques and good pieces. But the minifigs… they just don’t look that great. 😕

    • Håkan July 11, 2016, 6:31 PM

      Are the minifigures any different than the ones from the CMF series? Seems to me there aren’t really any new molds for the castle…

      Then, I thought that they looked like Disneyland actors rather than cartoon characters even since I first saw them, so they actually fit better for the castle than as standalone minifigs…

      The castle itself is looking pretty cool, though, if you have that amount of money to spend… I wonder what it’ll look like on the inside…

      • BLProductions July 11, 2016, 8:40 PM

        All the minifigs except Donald Duck are different from their CMF versions, although it’s really just updated torso and leg printings. I haven’t found any new molds for the set either, just recolors and new prints. Tinkerbell looks wrong to me, she just doesn’t make it as a minifig, so actually it would be better to assume her a Disneyland actor. Interesting thought. 🙂
        You can see the inside in the alternate images here: http://brickset.com/sets/71040-1/Disney-Castle There’s rooms for different movie scenes, like the Death Star.

        • admin July 11, 2016, 11:45 PM

          I have heard from a reliable source that there will be a second series of Disney Minifigs. Perhaps those characters can be added to the Disney Castle as well. 🙂

          • BLProductions July 12, 2016, 5:30 PM

            I heard that too from a reliable source – Brickset. 😉 But I agree, the second series should fill out most of the gaps, although not including Cinderella with her own castle is still odd. Possibly, they haven’t released many important Disney characters in minifigs because the Disney Princess line has many characters in mini-doll form. Also, they could be spreading the major characters out so that people have to spend more to get them all, thereby maximizing profit. 😕

            • admin July 12, 2016, 8:19 PM

              I actually heard it from someone else not on Brickset. Hearing it from two unrelated sources makes it even more plausible. I’m pretty sure people want most of the characters as regular minifigs (not just mini-dolls), so we might get even more than just a second wave. 🙂

    • admin July 11, 2016, 11:44 PM

      We will talk about the Disney Castle in a couple of days. I just couldn’t squeeze in the press-release earlier. I do have some thoughts on it myself, and would love to hear yours in more detail. 🙂

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