Accept & Proceed

While CR readers may not be familiar with designer David Johnston’s name, his work for Red Design in Brighton has consistently featured in these pages over the last year or so. Before his two year stint at Red, art directing projects for clients such as EMI and MTV, Johnston worked in-house for Nike at their European HQ in Hilversum, Holland.

Now, seven years after graduating from Central Saint Martins, Johnston has set up his own one-man studio, Accept & Proceed, keeping some key clients he established relationships with while at Red. One of those clients is Brighton club Audio, for whom he has provided all the graphic elements from logo through to poster and flyer design since it opened in 2004. Johnston is expanding his client base, recently adding new digital culture festival, Loop. He is also about to head across the pond to New York to meet with one of the coolest trainer brands on the planet, Run Athletics. “It’s a sneaker-heads’ brand that’s co-owned by Reverend Run (of Run-DMC fame),” he explains. “I’m being brought on board to help with branding and marketing.”

Cool new clients, meetings in New York… Johnston makes setting up a studio seem like a walk in the park.  “I’m aware that I’ve still got some learning to do,” he readily admits, “but the time just felt right,” he says of his decision to go it alone.

He doesn’t plan to work alone, however. “I love to collaborate,” he reveals. And one particular section of Accept & Proceed’s website, titled “A & P by”, is testament to that. Johnston has been approaching illustrators, designers and image makers that he admires and reveres and asking them to illustrate the letters “A & P”. The list of contributors is impressive, including David Shrigley, Mr Bingo, Build, A Forest, to name a few.

“This project is putting me in contact with some of the most talented people on the planet,” enthuses Johnston, “many of whom I would like to work with in the future. I really admire the way companies such as Big Active or This is Real Art have taken a fresh approach to the way a design company can function.”

Johnston reveals he may even take some pointers from these businesses as Accept & Proceed develops over the next few years. “But I’m in no rush,” he adds. “The journey, to me, is more important than the destination.”

 

See more A & P illustrations and Johnston’s portfolio at his new website: acceptandproceed.com

 


 

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The Alan Fletcher Show: Some Thoughts

Alan Fletcher as pictured in his final book, Picturing and Poeting, £24.95 / € 39.95, Phaidon 2006
The Design Museum was packed out with the great and good (plus CR) last night for the official opening of Alan Fletcher: Fifty years of graphic work (and play). Given the tragic circumstances, Fletcher having died little more than a month before, the evening was as much celebratory tribute as private view: a chance for the industry to show how much they loved and admired the man. Among those paying homage were Wim Crouwel, Bob Gill and, bizarrely, former quiz show host Bamber Gascoigne (anyone who knows his connection with Fletcher, please enlighten us).
Derek Birdsall gave a touching, if meandering speech and we all left clutching Quentin Newark’s beautiful show guide (the latter features biographical text from the exhibition alongside Peter Wood’s photographs of Fletcher’s gorgeous studio and is almost worth the admission money alone).
Of course the show is great – GTF’s design is respectful and understated while still providing some delightful touches (including a giant 3D Reuters logo) and Emily King cleverly paces the journey through Fletcher’s remarkable career. It’s all there: from the iconoclastic early years, through major corporate work at Pentagram to the exuberance of an independence secured late in life. But as with all great shows, Fletcher’s should be as much about influencing the future as documenting the past. It is the effect that the show will have on those who come to see it that will be as important as the joy of reviewing his triumphs. So here are some thoughts prompted by last night…

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Graphic Designer

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
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Integrated Designer

Centaur Media