The Arts University Bournemouth graphic design graduate whose work embodies his overt and ethical ethos
Clarity is pretty much imperative in design. From project to project, the challenge is to communicate effectively with the desired audience. That of course gets pretty tricky as you always have to make assumptions on that audience, when in fact their reading of a piece of communication can often be incredibly subjective.
One way to guard against misreading the context of the work you’re undertaking is to set out your stall from the offset. It’s something that Arts University Bournemouth graduate James Marshall does brilliantly. The “Approach” paragraph on his site leaves you both reassured and enthused by his ethos. “Having your own personal design philosophy is important”, James explained to me. “Not just because it gives potential employers an insight into what makes you tick, but it’s also helpful to clarify as you make decisions about where you want to apply and the type of projects which might interest you in the future”.
Admittedly, when he started his foundation at AUB, James wasn’t really sure what direction he would head in. Over the last four years, he’s learned about his practice and himself, by reflecting on his mistakes and making lots and lots of work.
The teaching staff at AUB encouraged James to develop the conceptual side of his process which now, alongside extensive research forms the foundations of each project he undertakes. The great variety in the briefs set during his studies “from the more constrained and instinctive, to much more open” was also key in James honing in on his craft.
Now, he employs something of an iterative approach where research informs each step of a project and this attention to every last detail has not gone unnoticed. With four awards to his name already, including a coveted D&AD New Blood wooden pencil, James recently completed an internship with Bond & Coyne, impressing so much that he’s recently been taken on as a Junior Designer.
With a client base featuring charities and educational institutions, James appears to have found a great outlet for his brand of highly considered, socially aware design. It’s great for us to see a graduate with the confidence to define their work so clearly and for it to pay dividends.