Freelance Graphic Designer Stephanie Burns

Stephanie Burns is a graduate in BA (Hons) Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London 2013 and is currently working full time within the design industry specialising in magazine design (at FHM). Whilst also working as a freelance graphic designer of which allows her to offer a more versatile approach to design.


‘Let me tell you a little bit about myself and my approach to design. The first thing one learns about design is there are many rules and maxims. The second is such rules are made to be broken and the third is that breaking the rules is just another one of the rules. This is what excites me. Learning the rules and then being able to push them see where you can push them or how. Learning new skills is a key part of my journey. My approach to Graphic Design is open and broad. I enjoy not knowing what is going to happen or where I am going to go. Everything starts with a blank piece of paper. The journey for me is often the most exciting part.

I am passionate about all areas of design — particularly typography. My work places an emphasis on creativity and concept-driven work and holds a strong concentration on typographic form. It represents my appreciation of typography as a means of communication, whilst illustrating a lot about my personality, with my obsessive attention to detail and my rebellious attitude of pushing rules and boundaries imposed upon Graphic Design. I mean nobody likes getting told what to do right?’

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‘I originally studied back at home in Liverpool in simply my local community college, where I studied a foundation diploma in Art and Design. My work at this stage specialised in printmaking before going on to study at Central Saint Martins UAL. Where I realised the importance of technology and design. Here I began to focus more on digital design and the possibilities this offered. This allowed me to develop quite a varied sill set.’

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‘I have many influences within the design world, of which illustrate my versatility as a designer as I dabble in each spectrum from typography, design, illustration to photography. Some of my influences include Jonathon Barnbrook and his rebellious approach to typography, Nigel Peake and his delicate use of line and obsessive attention to detail, Andy Warhol and how he challenged the ideal of what is Art? And finally major surrealist Max Ernst and his Photography.’

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‘I have been lucky to have worked on a lot of really interesting projects, but one of my favourite projects is a personal project developed whilst studying at Central Saint Martins. This Project was a typographic project based on the title ‘Is Rebellion Dead?’ It is a direct response to the de-professionalism and the threat imposed by the last several years of contemporary Graphic Design. Where artists and designers have began to rebel against all general appeal, and instead ventured into new artistic styles that are truly unattractive. This is a published declaration of the intentions, motives on design and the emerging trend called Pretty Ugly. Deliberate wilful rule breaking like that we see through Pretty Ugly is that it is done for the desired affect of getting the viewers attention. This newspaper (disposable) manifesto Typographically points on what can be achieved through disposing of the rules, whilst pointing out the rules. Not that the design bunch (including myself) are really a do as your told, goodie-goodie bunch.

This manifesto is shown here through illustration only. Firstly my 20 established rules of typography, followed by 20 typographic experiments illustrating each specific rule and how to break them. This was a really enjoyable project working purely with typography and illustrates well my personal approach to design.’

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Website | @StephBurnsGD