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Since 2010 I am running a small design agency called SMaRT Design & Print (SMaRT – Socially Minded and Responsible Trading. That’s smart!) as a social enterprise for First Step Trust.

First Step Trust (FST) is a national charity that provides real work, training and employment opportunities for people excluded from ordinary working life because of mental health problems or other disadvantages.

The studio is located at FST Salford, in the medium secure unit at Prestwich hospital. In the moment three patients of the unit are working with me. This summer I am starting to guide them through their Level 2 NVQ in Graphic Design.

We provide professional design and print management services, including branding/logo design. Projects include design, illustration and layout for stationery, flyers, tickets, brochures, magazine, annual reports and exhibition design.

Clients are mostly from the health, non for profit, education, publishing and corporate sector (NHS, Citizens Advice Bureau, Royal College of Psychiatrist, Manchester Drug Services, Manchester Mind, Imagine, Anglo Ltd., SAMstore).

Check out our work from last and this year:

During the entirety of my career my interest in rapidly advancing technology has increasingly aided both production and communication processes. I have always been at the forefront of exploring how the most successful, efficient and satisfying work results can be achieved in a virtual and non-virtual environment and I relish the resulting networking connections.

In the 25 years before joining FST I worked mainly as an international creative artworker and graphic designer for print, self employed or for agencies in the UK, Germany and US. I have been involved in exciting projects, working directly with clients or agency managers, alone and in collaboration with dedicated teams of professionals. Having been responsible for varying sizes of projects I gained experienced at people management, having supervised designer and production teams and trained junior artworkers. I am also a skilled project manager, arranging studio schedules and working voluntarily as art director on an award-winning magazine.

These pages will eventually host a number of design and illustration samples.

If you are interested in commissioning work from me, please don’t hesitate to contact me: astridjohnson@icloud.com

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