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Graduates 2009: Alan Clarke

Posted by Alex Bec,

To ease us into our penultimate week of our graduate feature we welcome Falmouth’s Alan Clarke. A big fan of the outdoors, and with a really brilliant set of Olympic posters, he’s given himself a fantastic springboard to taking his first steps in the industry.

Alan’s aim is for his work to clearly speak to people, for it to be easy and clear to understand. With a belief that design should be about clear and considered messages, simplicity and great ideas as well-conceived typography. Attempting to try and avoid trends and fads, he’s inspired by timeless pieces of and hopes to achieve a little bit of the same in his own work.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I have always loved drawing and art. So from a young age, I would have loved to work in these areas. I also had a love of the outdoors, the thought of being a conservationist appealed to me. But I did not have a real focus, until I found graphic design.

In reflection, how bad was your work in the first year? (and did it improve?)

In the first year of my degree my work was bad, I had no idea of typography, ideas or of the design process. During my 3 years at Falmouth, my problem-solving capabilities, knowledge of design (and its history) and idea generation has improved immensely. I feel a lot more capable to design, but there is so much more to learn, I suppose you don’t stop.

If you could show a piece of your folio to one person, what piece would you choose, and who would you show it to?

It’s a difficult question to answer. There are many designers who I admire. I suppose Justus Oehler would be one designer that interests me. I was first attracted to graphic design through picking up one of his book covers for a Faber and Faber poetry series. I loved the simplicity of the design and the clarity. It had an almost timeless quality to the design. The striking use of contrasting colours, with the typeface Perpetua, worked so well to my mind. I hope my Olympic posters have that simple, clarity and timeless about them! And that he would like them.

If you had your own business, who would you employ and why? (this doesn’t have to be design related)

It would have to be someone I got along with well and that shared my same views about what graphic design is about. No one specific person (can’t answer that question fully).

If you’ve got any left, what will you spend the last of your student loan on?

Living and traveling, being in Cornwall it is a distance from London etc…

Where will we find you in 12 months?

Maybe London in a studio, I’ve also had an offer of work in LA, so possibly there? Also the thought of a design agency down in Cornwall has a great appeal, who knows, I will have to wait and see.

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Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.