Frequently Asked Questions

When did you start building with LEGO bricks?


When I was about 4 years old I received my first LEGO set (6552) and since then building with LEGO bricks has been my number one hobby. I always loved to build, more so than roleplaying with my builds. To me, building was playing and after I finished something, I would show it to my parents and then take it apart to start all over again. Around the age of 13, I put away my LEGO bricks, convinced by everyone around me that playing with LEGO bricks wasn't for my age anymore. Later, at the age of 19, I found out about the AFOL Community (AFOL = "Adult Fan Of LEGO"), and my love for building was awakened.




How did you become a LEGO Designer?


In 2010, I found out about a job offer the LEGO company posted on their website and decided to apply. I sent my portfolio together with a very humble CV (I was just about to finish my bachelor's degree in Computer Science). Based on that, I was invited to travel to Denmark to attend a recruitment workshop with 40 other candidates from all around the world. I got offered a job after those 2 days of showing what I was capable of, based on exercises of conceptual design, building, drawing, and ideation.




What is your education? / What do I need to study to become a LEGO Designer?


I studied Computer Science with Orientation in Computer Engineering, in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Oporto (a.k.a. FEUP), in Portugal. After 3 years, I completed my bachelor's degree and instead of continuing with my Masters (as the original program suggests), I moved to Denmark to work as a LEGO Designer. I don't have any formal training in Design, but I've always been interested in the subject and worked a lot on developing my skill set. The LEGO design team is composed of people with all kinds of backgrounds: jewelry makers, architects, engineers, teachers, industrial designers (among so many others)... But we all have a common love for the LEGO brick and a strong desire to create great toys and remarkable experiences.




Are you part of any LEGO fan community?


When I started building with LEGO bricks again, back in 2008, I joined the Portuguese Comunidade 0937 and Eurobricks. I was a very active member of both communities for two years until I got hired by the LEGO company.




Where can I hear your music?


My original music is published on all major streaming platforms. You can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and so on. Just search for "Marcos Bessa". You can read about all my released music, here. Some old covers and original demos can also be heard on my SoundCloud profile, here.




What is your current job description at the LEGO Group?


As of June 2021, I'm a Design Master, focused on designing LEGO toys and experiences full-time again. Prior to this, I was a Design Manager with a Creative Lead role in different projects. Until April 2021, I've headed the design team responsible for LEGO Harry Potter, having had the same role in the past for LEGO Jurassic World (2019 and 2020 products) and LEGO BrickHeadz (2018 products). As a Creative Lead, I was responsible to set the design direction on a product level and, together with the Marketing and Project Leads, establish the product line assortment and launch strategy. Although I had a leading role in the team, I tried to remain very much involved with creating the toys, taking any opportunity I had to be the lead model designer on specific products. As much as I enjoyed that hybrid position of "model designer/creative lead", my true passion is in desiging models, and that is why I refocused into that, with my new Design Master role. In my LEGO portfolio, you can see all the products I have been involved in over the years.




Who is involved in the process of creating a LEGO product?


This is a very hard question to answer, simply because there is so much that goes into creating a LEGO product. An idea usually starts with the model designer, which creates a sketch model (i.e. rough build, to illustrate that idea). This idea can also be "fed" to the designers in the form of a brief that comes from a strategic need and/or market research. Then from this sketch model, a lot of hands get to touch the model, among them:

  • Model Designer: responsible for the build itself;
  • Creative Lead (CL): setting the overall direction, ensuring consistency across the assortment and providing feedback to the design team to help elevate the products and the experience around them;
  • Graphic Designer: responsible for minifig designs and other decorative motifs;
  • Marketing Lead: in charge of the launch and distribution plans, helping the CL setting the direction for each product and overall assortment, as well as the marketing campaign plans;
  • Element Designer: responsible for the development of any novelty elements required for the execution of the product;
  • Building Instruction Developer: responsible for the overall building experience and the creator of the building flow illustrated in the form of building steps in the printed/digital instructions;
  • Model Coach: an expert in and "guardian" of the LEGO System, ensuring every model lives up to LEGO's high-quality standards;
  • Packaging Designer: creator of the packaging graphics and box layouts;
  • Packing Engineer: responsible for the packing solutions that ensure a timely and efficient production line, making the products reach all corners of the world at the same time.
  • Marketing Associates: overseeing the copy of the products, packaging process, marketing campaign execution, among other things.
  • And so much more...
Hopefully, the list above paints a more clear picture of how many people are involved in creating all the LEGO products.




Where can I submit my own question?


If you could not find an answer to your question, you're welcome to reach out to me here.