Cardiff Met gave Alex tools to communicate his creativity
Completing his BA in Graphic Communication at Cardiff Metropolitan helped Alex Johnson channel his natural creative flair into an exciting design career.
When Alex left his hometown of Huddersfield to join Cardiff Met in 2009, a significant draw was the Cardiff School of Art & Design’s links with creative agencies in London.
Alex said: “I was particularly interested in the school’s
partnerships with high-profile agencies such as the Brand Union, where I
later secured a paid work placement.
“Of all my university interviews, Cardiff Met was the only one where I
felt nervous, which showed me how much I cared about getting a place!”
With a Foundation Diploma from Leeds College of Art & Design and
an established talent for life drawing and screen printing, Alex came to
Cardiff Met looking to pursue a more structural, graphic approach to
Alex commented: “During my degree, I realised that
the secret to creating something that can quickly and easily capture the
minds of your audience is to actually make it. I’ve since found this to
be a really beneficial mantra in my professional life too.”
With the guidance of School of Art & Design staff such as Graphic
Communication subject leader Olwen Moseley, Alex channeled his raw
artistic ability into crafting unique, tangible artworks from materials
like wood and glass.
Over three years, Alex built up a diverse portfolio of design work
and took part in several award briefs for prestigious creative bodies
such as You Can Now (YCN) and Design & Art Direction (D&AD).
Speaking about his time at Cardiff Met, Alex said:
“My favourite thing was the sense of community, support and
collaboration. Right from the lecturers to the students, there was a
real family atmosphere every year.
“Cardiff is a fantastic place to be at university – it’s a city, but it feels like one massive park to relax in!”
After graduating in 2012 with first-class honours, Alex moved to Bristol and began work as a Junior Designer at design consultancy Matthew Fairweather, creating corporate illustration for big brands like John Lewis, Orange and Marks & Spencer.
Alex is one of three Cardiff School of Art & Design alumni to
join the Matthew Fairweather team, and has remained a proactive member
of the Cardiff Met student community.
He said: “I targeted Matthew Fairweather as somewhere I’d like to
work whilst still a student; Cardiff Met places a real focus on
employability and encouraged me to develop career plans quite early on.
“I love working here – being part of a team of just five, you feel as
though you really add something to the company dynamic, which is really
rewarding. Having a studio train built into the floor also helps the
days go by!”
Alex is also heavily involved with the wider creative community in
Bristol and across the United Kingdom, regularly attending design
conferences and getting involved in festivals such as Typo and Four
He commented: “I still come back to Wales for Olwen’s Cardiff Design
Festival, which always has something interesting to dive into.
“I recently became a member of the West of England Design Forum,
which works to communicate with and contribute to the local creative
Under the spotlight:
2006 Studied A-levels in Art, English Literature and Business at Greenhead College
2008 Foundation Diploma at Leeds College of Art & Design
2009 Started BA Graphic Communication at Cardiff Met
2012 Graduated from Cardiff Met and started work at Matthew Fairweather
2013 Member of West of England Design Forum
Find out more about Graphic Communication at Cardiff Met.