• Ac_diving
  • Ac_diving_detail
  • Ac_tennis
  • Ac_tennis_detail
  • Ac_sailing
  • Ac_sailing_detail
  • Ac_fencing
  • Ac_fencing_detail
  • Ac_book
  • Ac_book2
  • Ac_context
  • Ac_context3
  • Ac_posters
  • Ac_univers
Graphic Design

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.

Ab-300

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.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Jorgeleon-amigo-int-list

    It’s always refreshing to see a creative being really honest about the challenges of a particular brief before showing us their solution. So it is with Barcelona-based graphic designer and art director Jorge León, who sets up his work for the Amigos skate shop by referring to the “many problems” it had encountered with its brand.

  2. Unnamed

    International design agency IS Creative Studio has done some elegant branding work for both rotisserie AND grilled chicken restaurants. And both identities look refreshingly tasteful. The studio’s work spans print, product and retail design, and its practice is based on extensive research and a desire to always go beyond the product at hand. Or indeed the chicken. Founded in 2010 by Richard Meza, the agency produces great work that shifts aesthetics seamlessly. From visuals that wouldn’t be out of place on a summer’s day in Capri in 1965, to fast food stereotypes and what is described as “type [broken up] to simulate chunks of fruit swimming happily in cream,” it’s a bunch of consistently impressive design work.

  3. Screen-shot-2015-01-26-at-10.12.37

    It’s little surprise that Mike Lemanski’s graphic design work has been something of an It’s Nice That favourite, and since we last posted about him in 2013 he’s not let his style slip. Mike’s site boasts some beautiful, mature designs for Feuilleton magazine, which takes articles from various international publications such as The New York Times, translates them into French and publishes issues every quarter.

  4. Hardyseiler-hannover-list-int

    When Hanover-based designers Bureau Hardy Seiler and web design agency Created by Monkeys decided to pitch to design the identity for the Freies Theater Hannover, they found themselves faced with a dilemma. The theatre hosts every flavour of live performance going, from puppetry and musical shows to experimental dance, and all in one flexible and family-friendly space. How could they create a graphic language to match that?

  5. Charlottedelarue-list-3-int

    Illustrator and art director Charlotte Delarue’s varied work shows her to be an uncommonly talented illustrator, conjuring incredibly realistic portraits out of paper and pencil safe in the knowledge that she doesn’t need to do anything more to make them impressive. Her art direction is of another ilk entirely, however – she works with the likes of electro acts Chromeo, Justice and Kavinsky to draw up impactful logotypes and album artwork concepts that can be spotted from miles away, from the golden legs which reappear on almost every Chromeo album cover to Kavinsky’s mysterious blue-tinged scenes.

  6. Parades-artdillier-sale-int-1

    When you’ve got a load of Christmas stock to flog at the start of the new year there’s only one way to go; have a big sale. But everyone else has had that exact same idea, and it’s a pain in the arse to make a sale look good right? Wrong! If you’re smart you’ll hire Bordeaux’s Bureau Parade to come up with a bespoke solution to communicate your low, low prices. Geometric shapes, bold colours and a playful use of typography meant that everyone knew about the sweet deals at Bordeaux’s most high-end shoe retailer, Michard Ardillier, without the store having to Xerox a bunch of giant red signs à la Tie Rack. Nice solution to an often overlooked problem if you ask us.

  7. Cometsubstance-sleeve-1-int

    We’re big fans of Comet Substance, graphic designer Ronny Hunger’s poster-producing alter-ego. Since we last featured him back at the tail end of 2013 Ronny has shifted from the Xerox collage aesthetic to slicker lines and high production values, without losing any of the depth or attention to idiosyncratic details of his earlier work.

  8. Oyalstudio-dishonestmanifest-int-list

    Portugal’s Royal Studio are not just winningly adept at creating bold, interesting and creatively ambitious visual treatments – they’re also terrific at writing the most intriguing project summaries I think I’ve ever seen. There’s a fine line between being weird and funny on the one hand, and gratuitously wacky on the other but these guys manage to pull off descriptions that mirror the invention, and occasional iconoclasm, in their work. Take The Dishonest Manifest, a series which seems to be ridiculing the preoccupation with how posters look as opposed to how well they do their job. The clearest indication of this is a long, thin creation with the phrase “Don’t give a fuck about content” repeated over and over again.

  9. Bonhams-auction-catalogue-int-4

    The idea of London’s auction houses, all stuffed to bursting with hushed voices, incredible art, taut-faced women and a nonchalant yet overpowering scent of money (I’ve never been to one, if you hadn’t guessed) make them feel like something of an alien concept. A place not for the likes of me, and one happy to remain in its exclusive bubble. But recently a series of innovative redesigns have suggested that perhaps a new aesthetic sensibility seems to be settling into the high-end fabrics of these places. There’s a sense they’re working to rethink their approach to their brand and how it looks.

  10. Mobydigg-aaberaward-1-int

    How many design studios can you think of who are named after a mis-pronounced classic novel? Because Munich-based design studio Moby Digg is, and that fact, coupled with their fun, bright site, propels them above most straight-laced studios in our book.

  11. Aaronvinton-kidsong-1-int_copy

    Aaron Vinton graduated from CalArts in 2009 and has since been producing idiosyncratic, skilled and occasionally creepy graphic design. Clearly influenced by the working processes of the days of yore, the thematic span and style gauge in his work are reminiscent of studios like Push Pin, whose work would adapt to context seamlessly.

  12. List

    Designed by Minna Sakaria, Carolina Dahl and Maria Ines Gul, this great identity for the upcoming Royal College of Art’s School of Communication Work-in-Progress show is a modular representation of the works in progress that’ll be exhibited. Made up of a set of parts, the typeface allows for each element to contribute to any number of letterforms or abstract shapes. As well as existing online and in print, the specially-designed typeface has been printed on stickers with the intention of interrupting the RCA’s corporate identity in a playful and productive way.

  13. 1.-of_drippy_donut_copy

    “Designing for Odd Future was a little bit like working for a bunch of slightly familiar homies, who have ridiculously awesome ideas for apparel and a lot more money than you,” says Chris Burnett, a Portland, Oregon-based designer who got in touch recently to show off his rather awesome site.