How did you initially get into the design field?
I was always the guy in school who instead of doing the work would just draw all over anything infront of me, whether that was my book or the table. I think this was because my mum was a graphic designer and she always thought the most important things in life were aesthetic, and not how to work out the hypotenuse of a triangle. This way of thinking had definitely rubbed off on me from a young age, as through school I only focussed on art, then through college, eventually studying graphics at university.
How has your trademark style developed over they years, what has influenced these changes?
My understanding and use of technology has definitely correlated with my artwork, over the years I’ve moved more over to analogue means of producing designs, understanding how these work and knowing what a certain thing would do to create a desired output. In terms of my visual style, this journey has altered over time because of many factors, whether it’s other artists, the music I listen to (which I must say is a big part) and the things I see. For example, there is a bus lane in Bedminster where it looks as if the road has melted, which warped and distorted the text on it – which gave me ideas to create a similar aesthetic using a scanner.
How would you initiate starting a new project/brief?
I’m pretty systematic when I approach a new brief, I’ll look for inspiration, whether thats books on the solar system, quantum physics documentaries or just artwork on instagram/pinterest, and just create a vibe I’m going for and just go for it.
Do you find it hard to include your own personal style, when working within set parameters for a client?
I used to use it where I could, it’s difficult when you’re just starting out because you take on any job you can to make money doing what you love (and more importantly for yourself). I’m lucky now though that most clients who ask for work usually get in touch because they want my style, but I really think that clients should respect designer’s decisions more and understand that restricting their creative freedom impacts the output. You wouldn’t get a plumber to fix your boiler and tell him how to do it.
Why Bristol? Why not London
I’m not gonna badmouth London cause I have a load of friends there haha. So, London is too fast-paced for me, too many people, and too stressful. I prefer the design, music and graffiti scene up here.
How do you go about finding freelance work and how has the experience of being a freelance designer been?
It’s very up and down, some days there aren’t actually enough hours in the day to complete what I have to do by the next, and some days I can finish work in a few hours and just chill the fuck out for the rest. Either way it’s pretty sweet, I’ve always had a problem with being told what to do so having no-one to do that is another reason why it’s good. I think I like having only myself to rely on too, just wish clients would see paying the designer as important as receiving their artwork 😉
How did you transition from education into graphic design?
I just grinded. As soon as I left university I had a shitty 9-5 working as a designer for a horribly corporate company, but at least it paid my rent. In my spare time I would make designs, learn new programs, research artists and look for freelance work. I’ve come to the conclusion over these years the more hours you put in, the more reward you get back (not just monetary reward, but knowledge and progression too.)
What would your top tips be for students finishing university and wanting to break through into the graphic design industry?
Go with your own style. Over a bit of time of producing artwork and making things because YOU think they look good, not just because a client wants it that way will inevitably reveal your own style of design to you. Go with it, no-one wants to see something that has been done before. Develop your skills in various programs and hardware, and experiment with them to create something new and interesting. Make sure you’re happy – I worked for a few years as a graphic designer at a company and design studio, and sadly took this long to realise that working under someone wasn’t for me, and it definitely impacted my output. If you have the chance and have the drive, working for yourself voids you from lots of things that the design industry isn’t good for, whether that is monetary exploitation or creative restrictions. Last of all don’t expect anything to happen over night, like I said before put in the hours and and you’ll see the return, don’t be stagnant.
Interview conducted by Jack Smith, Jack Pozniak and Josh Jefferson.
Alex Morgan is a freelance designer based in Bristol his work looks at using post futurism and takes on an intergalactic style. His work is fitted around the music scene and creating work for top nights in Bristol and around the UK, Alex Morgan is taking the scene by storm. As well as creating posters for events Alex Morgan also produces clothing which he sells on his website and album artwork for producers and artists.