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#GreenSurge and Graphic Design for the Manchester Green Party April 11, 2015

Posted by astridjohnson in Current Affairs, Graphic Design, Politics, Portfolio.
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A whimsical call to vote for the student population in Manchester Fallowfield.

A whimsical call to vote for the student population in Manchester Fallowfield.

Yes, I am part of the #GreenSurge. I joined in December 2014 and am an active member for the Manchester Green Party. Apart from the many policies I agree with, I feel I actually have a voice within the party, find that it is democratically run and meet many very engaged, awake and politically astute people.

The fact that smaller parties, a number of them leaning to the left, are shaking up this election in the UK is a good thing and locally it would be good to have a different voice in the Labour run Manchester Council.

Currently my daily physical exercise is leafleting for an hour or so in Rusholme and I must say, responses from people I meet on the street are mostly very encouraging. A lot of my time is spent with fellow activists planning leaflets and other publications and then offering my design skills. Enclosed some work I have done.







Mental Health Art Brochure August 18, 2013

Posted by astridjohnson in Graphic Design, Mental Health, Portfolio.
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An art project showcased in a brochure.

An art project showcased in a brochure.

Alan Shepley is an artist. He is also the ward manager at one of the acute wards in the medium secure unit of Prestwich Hospital, one of the largest mental health hospitals in the North West. Alan has been working there since 1985, starting as a domestic assistant and his rich experience of working with mental health patients has a large influence on his radical, social and political stencil art. I love his work, check it out on Alan’s flickr account.

In 2013 Alan got a grant from Greater Manchester West NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust to do two art projects. Alan asked me and my team of patient workforce to create a brochure to showcase both projects. The art project and the creation of the brochure was hugely supported by the management team of the Adult Forensic Services Directorate.

“For me the collaboration involving service users was the most  important part of the project, therefore it made sense  to use SMaRT Design & Print, because service users make up the studio’s workforce, and they produce quality work.”

Alan Shepley, Grasmere Ward Manager, Edenfield Centre

This was a perfect design project as we had a free run on the design and editorial of the brochure and it gave my workforce the opportunity to learn some new artworking skills.

“It really was a lengthy process working with the map. It was my first time working with high resolution images and I felt excited when it all came together. I was amazed by how much work goes into the touching-up process.”

AO, Service User, Edenfield Centre

One of the two art projects was the “Recovery Map”, a piece of art created from an Ordnance Survey Map of the Lake District. This was chosen because the wards in the medium secure unit are named after places in the area. The recovery mantra was stencilled onto the map. Service users, carers and staff were asked to share their thoughts and feelings about the recovery journey and add them to the map on a Post-It note. One of my workforce patiently scanned in the map in sections and learned   how to patch them together in Photoshop. He also learned how to highlight the colour of all the Post-It notes and the type on them.

The second project was to introduce a form of street art to the medium secure unit. Statements and quotes that reflect the needs and aims of service users were stencilled onto walls and floors in one of the courtyards. Another of my workforce learned how to select the yellow type on the images and colour correct them, so they all looked a brighter and a similar yellow.

“When Alan made his proposal to the GMW “Dragons’ Den” it was obvious at that point that this would be an excellent collaboration, capitalising on the talents of Alan and combining his artistic flair with some of our very talented budding artists within our user group. We were very lucky to receive the financial backing of the “Dragons” and I really do believe that Alan and his team have rewarded their faith in him a lasting message throughout the service in the form of art. The brochure produced by FST’s SMaRT Design & Print studio to showcase this project is fabulous and informative.”

John Walker, Deputy Service Director of the Adult Forensic Mental Health Services Directorate and Head of Operations for Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

front cover






GMWartbrochure-Blog_420x420_back cover

Poster and Flyer for a Mental Health Research Campaign March 31, 2013

Posted by astridjohnson in Graphic Design, Mental Health, Portfolio.
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Attractive bright colours.

Attractive bright colours.

The Research and Development Department of Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) needed highly visible and recognisable promotional material to invite service users in the North West to access and be involved in mental health research. They provided us with the “FAIR”campaign logo and asked my design studio to develop an A3 poster and a 6-page DL flyer. They were not just very happy with the design results, but also appreciated that we were able to handle their print management for 70,000 flyers very costeffectively.

Front, back and flap of the flyer.

Front, back and flap of the flyer.

Inside pages of the flyer.

Inside pages of the flyer.

The DL flyer has a perforation on one side for service users to tear off  the card and hand it to GMW.



Design and Artwork Portfolio September 15, 2010

Posted by astridjohnson in Graphic Design, Portfolio.
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A very rewarding design project

There is more to say about this summer than that I have created new Portfolio samples. Anyhow, for now this has to suffice. There are some job interviews for interesting design positions lined up for the end of this month and I will also be starting my part time MA with the illustrious Educational Cybernetics Department of the University of Bolton (I managed to pack one “illustrious” into this sentence… ;-)). All seems to be geared for a busy Autumn.

To see more of the colourful mix of design, creative artwork and artworking slides, go to the Design page Portfolio | Design and artwork samples …hmm, I can do more muted design as well…

.... ohhh, and so many cutouts ...

Artworker Portfolio June 21, 2010

Posted by astridjohnson in Graphic Design, Portfolio.
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A spread from the little book about artworking and creative artworking.

Well, it took ages to actually sit down and attempt to put 25 years of experience as an artworker, creative artworker and graphic designer on to some page. This is the humble beginning and functions as a portfolio for the artworking bit. Instead of showing all the brochures, magazines, flyers or complex marketing pieces I am going a bit more into the process… way more interesting… and funny. The design portfolio will follow soon.

Click here to download the low res version (sorry, still 4.4 MB) of the portfolio. Have patience, it might take some time to upload in your browser: Astrid_Johnson_Artwork_Lowres.pdf

To download the high res version in all its glory: Astrid_Johnson_Artwork_Highres.pdf

And for good measure and if you are actually need some work done, here my CV.

Another sample spread from the Artworker portfolio.

Design: Beyond Psychology | Illustration May 10, 2010

Posted by astridjohnson in Graphic Design.
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Who wants to be on that sofa?

Stealing my way through Google images I created today this little illustration for an article for the next German edition of EnlightenNext magazine (www.wie.org/de). It will be a piece about what might follow the introspective post-modern age, by the chief editor Tom Steininger.

To find out how it was done go to the design page  Beyond Psychology | Illustration

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