Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives


Posted October 26th by Design Splat in Uncategorized

This weeks feature is a very talented Graphic Designer from Cardiff. Who graduated from the University of Glamorgan. I came across Michael and his work on the Design Forums.

Read on for a fantastic interview and some of Micheal’s work!

– Interview

Welcome to the Design Splat Michael!

How did you get into Graphic Design?

My first experiences were in 2000, I was doing a BTEC in media studies, the course was predominantly film studies, video and radio production, but there was some photography involved too, and that meant some photoshoping and it just spiraled from there, leading to a degree and then a masters.

When creating graphics, what to you is the most important aspect: planning design or implementation? and why?

It is impossible to have one without the other, when I was in uni, the planning and development stage was so important, that it seemed to outweigh the implementation stage, but then I had 6 weeks for one project!  Now, timeframes are totally different and overlap so much implementation overrides development.  I carry a notebook with me which is full of rudimentary sketches and illegible notes that make sense to me, it is gibberish to pretty much everyone else!

Planning is essential and unavoidable, it makes the implementation of a design easier.  Without some planning, in whatever form it may take, you can spend hours staring blankly at a screen!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Someone asked me this recently and it reminded me of being asked the same question 5 years ago.  My answer then doesn’t seem to reflect my life now, definitely a difficult question.  Life can change so much at the drop of at hat, and you can never judge what will happen.  I think the best  answer I’ve got is I hope I am working on something I love and I’m happy.  There is a slight chance I will have more grey hair by then.

Own Business or working for a company?

I can see the pluses and minus’ of both.  I think I’d be happier in house somewhere cool, but I am happy carving my own path at the moment, it has lead to some awesome opportunities.

Any specific company you would like to work for?

I would LOVE to work for Lucas Arts, I am a massive Star Wars fan!

Does fame attract you?

Not really, happiness attracts me, and I don’t necessarily associate happiness with fame.

How do you rate yourself as a designer?

Forever trying to improve, I’ve come a long way since my first experiences and there is no shame in admitting that.  Every time I look at my old work I see good ideas that could have executed better if only knew what I knew now!  The best answer would be ask me again in a few months and I’ll tell you better than a few months ago!

What makes a good graphic designer?

Experience and knowledge.

Don’t get me wrong, skills are important too, but you can be the an amazingly talented illustrator/graphic artist/photographer/whatever but without the knowledge of your end product and the process it takes to make it, you can be off base and end up creating more work for someone else!

You have to make mistakes to learn from them, I know, I’ve made them.  I have coded a piece and then realised I made a mistake in the early stages that then cost me hours to fix, to the point where I may as well have started again, I’ve sent files to a printer without a bleed, I’ve sent things to a printer with spelling mistakes…but these are mistakes I’ve made and most DEFINITELY learnt from.

What specific skills must a designer have?

A border line obsession to detail and a love affair with typography wouldn’t hurt!

Where do you go for inspiration?

Everywhere and anywhere.  It depends on the project, of late I have been getting into textures and this has meant going out with my camera and using the macro settings to take photos of floors, walls, piles of rubbish…a myspace I have designed recently has a photo of burnt stuffing from a hog roast grill in the background!  Obviously you wouldn’t know, but it makes me smile every time I see it!

Do you think the Graphic Design Industry will be difficult to get into? Are you worried about the amount of competition?

Yes and no.  There are so many amazing designers out there, but there are countless idiots who have a copy of photoshop and call themselves a designer! If you are prepared to learn and broaden your horizons then the ball is in your court.  Don’t neglect your key skills, but don’t be afraid to try other things, that way you become a more appealing designer and there is no reason why hard work won’t be rewarded.

What do you think it takes to become successful in the Graphic Design industry?

When I figure it out, I’ll tell you!  Seriously though, talent, experience and hard work.  Total cliche, I know, but it’s true.

Three words to describe yourself?

As a designer, grimey, clean and textured (perhaps a slight contradiction?). Personally, loud, obsessive and clumsy.

Hobbies and Interests?

Music in varying forms. I’ve been playing guitar for nearly 15 years, in and out of bands for a long time.  I have somewhere in the region of 3,000 CDs and about 500 records, I used to DJ and it has left me with an obsession for buying music (yes I said BUYING).
Reading, I love dog eared paper backs from second hand book shops and boot sales.
Tattooing, they are my reminders of the best things in my life.

Photography, I love getting in the thick of it at a gig, trying my best to capture the energy of a show.

Favourite Designer?

Way, way too many to pick one!

At the moment I have been loving Gregg Abbott (, the guy is a machine, he constantly turns out amazing work that just makes me smile!

Wotto (, I just love the guys style.

God Machine (, just a sickeningly talented guy, nice beard too!

Kyle Crawford (, out spoken, but got the talent to back it up.

Tools of the trade?

Muji notepad and pens (just love the way their pens feel), a 0.3mm 4H automatic pencil, Macbook, which ever Adobe programme suits the job, camera and lots of water.

Best and worst piece of work?

I don’t want to show it, just incase anyone gets offended.  But my best and worst pieces have often been related to the clients.  I’ve produced some pieces that I have thought were superb and then client says, “Can you change this to…” and the revisions just kept coming…  Same thing best work has been down to amazing clients who have placed total faith in me and my work.

Any Tips or advice to share with aspiring designers?

Watch, listen, learn, don’t be afraid to ask questions and be respectful.


Contact Michael:


Website: (for work and rambling), (just work), real site coming soon.

Any Other Links: (best place on the net)


Here are some images of Michaels Work:



He’s particularly diligent with a packet of Jaffa Cakes as well, or so i hear….


Rated you dog, hire me and I’ll bring the Jaffa Cakes to a meeting!

Mike Borgia

Michael P does some clean yet bold work and puts a lot of thought into making things perfect. Well done mate!


Now that is a nice comment. Thank you Mr B.

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