• 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. Stationary

    Hotel branding can so often be a dowdy affair, as if the design nods to the temporary nature of the building’s inhabitants – something to move on from, rather than to dwell on. So it’s wonderful to see a brave, opulent new identity for the Connaught in London’s Mayfair, designed by The Partners around a stunning new artwork by Kristjana S Williams which now hangs in the hotel.

  2. List

    I was surprised to learn that Amsterdam’s HOAX studio don’t seem to have been on the site before, and faced with their wide-ranging portfolio it was a challenge to focus in on a narrative that made sense. Founders Bram Buijs, Sven Gerhardt and Steven van der Kaaij joined forces based on their “shared love for typography, material and experimentation” and this passion for fresh creative thinking runs throughout their work.

  3. List

    Creating a cohesive identity for a design conference might not seem like such a tall order, but the reality of producing flyers, bags, programmes and that all-important logo mark for an international event isn’t as simple as you might think. For starters there’s an abundance of conferences out there, each with it’s own unique look and feel, so creating visuals that present a point of difference will always pose a challenge; secondly how on earth do you make a talks timetable look exciting?

  4. List

    Boasting PVC-clad bottoms, surreal jazz photography and beautifully-rendered risograph prints of basketball hoops, Shabazz Projects’ homepage certainly offers a well-curated and striking experience. The LA-based publishing platform was founded by Hassan Rahim and Brian Okarski, releasing art, photography and design-focused books and objects, all with a run of 200 or fewer editions. Stand-out pieces include the Various Basketball Hoops risographs, which put a whimsical spin on these often weary-looking monoliths; and Eric Wrenn and Antje Peters’ Jazz photographs, which place instruments against a dramatic plume of smoke. Hassan and Brian say their aim is to “provoke and surprise,” and from the images on their site alone, they’re certainly not letting themselves down.

  5. Hellotalja_kit-list-image

    Many a blue-sky-thinker and envelope-pusher has been extolling the virtues of meditation and mindfulness to pseudo-spiritually swell their business jargon lately. So it’s refreshing when a beautifully branded, creatively-minded product emerges that promises to offer that lucrative “pause from modern life.”

  6. List

    If all the magazines and small publications that used the internet as their subject matter were dumped on your head it’d be curtains for you – there’s bloody loads of them. Some, like Offscreen, deal with the people that make digital culture happen and try to bring these unsung heroes out from behind their screens into the RGB limelight, others, like French publication Nichons – Nous Dans l’Internet (Tits – We In The Internet) are more conceptually-minded, analysing and assessing the social and cultural phenomena brought about by the ubiquity of technology.

  7. Main

    Setting up a design studio and changing your name to a cool pseudonym is a good two-fingers-up to life on the quiet side. Parisian designer Julien Ducourthial decided to make this leap, and now overseas The Jazzist, offering bold, fluoro design work “serving in fields of graphic design, illustration and art direction in digital & printed media.” When Julien emailed us he told us he was inspired by 8-bit imagery and cartoons, which gave us an immediate inkling that we were going to like his work. Anyone looking to commission a great French designer any time soon? Julien is your man.

  8. List

    We haven’t featured Oslo-based studio Heydays on the site for a while but a quick check-in with their portfolio shows they’re still producing top-quality work for an eclectic range of clients. Nöra is a design house based between London and São Paulo which among other things supplied the seats for the World Cup stadia in Brazil. Heydays wanted a look and feel that felt “sophisticated with a stylish twist.” The pointillist type treatment pulls this off neatly and there’s some impressive animated elements you can see below as well. Keep up the great work team Heydays!

  9. List

    When it comes to a trendy commission, a restaurant in east London that serves everything on the bone is right up there. Credit is due then to Burgess Studio, whose identity for the eatery doesn’t take itself too seriously. Built around a nice typographic wordmark and the simple idea of making the all-important bone into a smile, the look and feel rolls out seamlessly across everything from bags to cups, menus to the website. It’s simple, it’s striking and it steers well clear of some kind of terrible hipster overload, all of which is to be very much commended.

  10. List

    It’s been a while since we last checked in with Stockholm-based Bedow studio but there’s a host of new work to enjoy over on their site as ever. I was particularly drawn to their ongoing collaboration with Essem Design, “a Swedish manufacturer of artisanal hallway interiors.” Bedow used a refreshingly straightforward way in to what might seem like rather a niche product, building an identity around the Swedish words for “hello” and “goodbye” – the utterances most commonly heard in a hallway.

  11. List

    Producing graphic collateral for one of the world’s largest international contemporary art fairs is a brief that would have some graphic design studios quaking in their boots, but when London-based Studio Frith was approached by Frieze Art Fair they accepted with relish.

  12. List

    “Churn out” always sounds like a derisive expression when referring to exceptional creative work, but the prolific nature of some studios means it’s the only one I like to use use to conjure up the relentless mechanical precision with which these studios proceed – and I definitely don’t mean it derisively. And so to Praline, the products of whose churning we’re here to admire.

  13. List

    For graphic design types, the opportunity to run wild with a printer’s various techniques is pretty much the dream brief, and Mexican agency Anagrama have well and truly lived that dream. They were one of seven agencies studios invited to create a notebook with Imprimerie du Marais, and they were given free rein to experiment with effects like hot foil stamping, microembossing, silk screening and sewn binding.