Today we expand on our interview series to speak to Alex Fergusson, a graphic designer who is heading into his final year at Sheffield Hallam University. We speak to Alex about his early creative influences, who inspires him today, life at university, favourite people on twitter & more.
“The reason I chose to study at Sheffield Hallam University was the wide range of facilities available and the open studio spaces provides a great environment to learn and work amongst like minded creatives.” -Alex Fergusson
Who is Alex Fergusson? Who were your first creative influences?
I’m a Graphic Designer going into my final year of study with interests in variety of creative fields. I’ve recently begun to focus my work in a direction towards Editorial Design, Print Design and Interaction Design.
I came from an Art and Design background, whereby, the tools used were primarily paintbrushes and pencils, this meant that some of my very first creative influences came from fine artists such David Hockney and Martin Ridley. I had always had an interest in the design of skateboard graphics when growing up and this helped when deciding how I wanted to apply my Art and Design background at degree level and decided that I would be best suited to Graphic Design due there being so many disciplines to branch off into and learn more about.
Which creatives and agencies inspire your work today?
Creatives and agencies that inspire me most include; Matt Willey and his editorial work for both Elephant Magazine and Port Magazine, Sawdust Studio and their editorial and print work and also the branding and design agency busybuilding, all of which produce incredible design work. I have also been inspired by the work of Kate Moross, Ben Newman and Brendan Dawes who have all been part of recent Curated By conferences that take place throughout the year at Sheffield Hallam University.
What has been your favourite project to complete so far?
My favourite project to complete so far would be my Ice Hockey Data Visualisation. The data was gathered by filming an Ice Hockey game being played between the Sheffield Universities team; Sheffield Bears, and the Sheffield Steelers who are Sheffield’s professional home team. The footage was played back and each player from both teams, and the puck, were tracked manually. Live statistics were carried out to produce graphs and charts that display shot accuracy and passing success for each team. The overall game statistics show the number of face-off wins for both teams and the number of passes that took place. Whilst tracking the gameplay, time was tracked to add another element to the data visualisation. Time was displayed by marking every second with a dot upon each players line of travel. I decided to laser engrave the data onto perspex sheets to provide a link between the sport and the visual.
What made you pick Sheffield Hallam University? Do you enjoy learning + working at Sheffield Hallam University?
The reason I chose to study at Sheffield Hallam University was due to the freedom that is given to experiment with different design processes and the ability explore the areas of design that inspire you most and discover what truly defines you as a graphic designer. The wide range of facilities available and the open studio spaces provides a great environment to learn and work amongst like minded creatives. Sheffield Hallam University has also got some great connections to the design industry which provides some brilliant opportunities whilst studying.
What are your plans for the rest of 2014 and beyond?
Throughout 2014 I plan to continue experimenting with a range of design processes and tailor my work in the direction of the design disciplines that interest and inspire me the most; Editorial Design, Print Design and Interactive Design. I also plan to keep as busy as possible, achieving an ideal balance between university projects and the external projects that I am working on. After university I would like to move to London and hopefully find work within a magazine publishing firm specialising in either print or digital publishing.
Away from work how do you enjoy to relax in your free time?
When I’m not working I’m either flicking through design books or magazines, playing Ice Hockey, or making the most of university life.
What songs and albums are playing on your ipod at the moment?
I’ve recently been playing The Kooks new album Listen.
Who are your favourite people to follow on twitter?