How would you introduce yourself?
Hello, I’m Michael.
When did you realise you wanted to be a designer/illustrator?
I wanted to be an architect from quite a young age, at least that’s what I thought I wanted to be until doing a foundation course at Scarborough College. Found out I was good at the Graphic design part and went on to do an OND + HND in Graphic Design at York College and Newcastle College respectively.
Who have you looked to as inspiration throughout your career – how has this influenced your work?
As a kid I was really into heavy metal music, and sleeves by Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Saxon were huge sources of inspiration. I used to paint these sleeves on people’s leather jackets and could draw their logos ‘off by heart’ at a really young age. As I grew older my tastes in music changed and was particularly taken by the work of Vaughan Oliver for 4AD records (Colourbox, Cocteau Twins etc), also the sleeves by Peter Saville for Factory were a big influence. I then discovered the work of Sheffield-based studio The Designers Republic, did a placement with them whilst at college and subsequently ended up working there for nearly 10 years. So music and design have been instrumental in shaping my view of design.
Tell us the concept and inspiration behind your designs for Strut and Fibre? Your hero or inspiration.
I really enjoy the work of the American artist Christopher Wool and took inspiration from his large scale typographic paintings. I wanted the business cards and postcard to be super simple. The information side being very clear, whilst the other side being bigger and bolder. The ‘HI’ is intended to be super approachable, not formal in any way. The posters are much more expressive and are a vent for my recent frustrations over the Brexit result and my thoughts on the government in general. For me design is a vehicle for expression, and not about everything being pristine and pretty.
What do you see as the power of print?
Its physicality, we live in a physical world. I love being able to touch, hold, tear and interact with. Print for me isn’t just about something to look at, its something that elicits an emotional use from the person holding/touching it.
Describe your typical working day?
Wake up, eat, design, eat, design, eat, sleep (repeat).
What advice would you offer an aspiring creative?
Show enthusiasm, don’t be blasé about design, be willing to work like a bastard and love it. Acting cool is for losers.
What’s been your favourite project you’ve worked on recently?
Really enjoyed working with Nike on the look and feel for Track and Field. In general the best pieces of work are done when you have a good relationship and rapport with a client.
Why should you own a good business card?
I’ve lost count of the amount of crap business cards I’ve found in my pocket after an event/night out. The ones that are good I keep, the others I throw away. Think of it as a way to show someone you care about how you present yourself.
Build, Ambassador Collection Interview8th September 2016
If you are willing to work hard and keep going then you’ll find a route into design.Read More
The Psychology of Colour8th September 2016
Go with the colour that you feel best represents your personal or professional brand.Read More