Meet Alex Baldwin, Senior Designer at Skew
Another Central Saint Martins alumni, this time in Graphic Design, Alex joined Skew as a graphic design junior and is now senior designer, leading teams on client projects and taking a leading role in our rebrand. For Alex, it’s the entertainment brands that inspire her. Developing brand identities for Aardman, behind the scenes tours at Pinewood, and flying up to Scotland to leaf through the Beano archive. But one of her most memorable projects connected back to her childhood favourite - Peter Rabbit.
Question and Answer
Well it started young. I had two arty parents, mom is textiley and makes ceramics and dad is a painter and printer. I did my foundation art course at St Martins. I was really open to everything. I nearly did theatre design, ceramics but when we rotated to graphic design I felt like that it was more me.
It’s the variety, you never feel like you’re stuck in a niche. You have graphics designers inputting on print and product development and people from a textile background working on brand identity. Together it’s very collaborative and I like the openness of thinking. It has felt like a different company through different stages of growth.
It starts with the client relationship. That means open communication, getting right into the brief so you’re clear on outcomes and expectations. This early part of challenging the thinking the client brings to us is critical to how Skew works. I sometimes wonder if some think “oh for christ’s sake, can't you just do it as I say” but they’re grateful for the end result. We always get that feedback.
They need to open to being collaborative. It’s a process not a box ticking exercise. They need to enter into a dialogue. The best projects tend to be the ones that help clients rethink what they can achieve with the final result. Why are the doing the project? Who is it they are trying to reach? Who ELSE could they reach that they’d not considered?
We were flexible before it was trendy to be flexible. It’s what everyone is now waking up to. You’ve got to have a bit of trust and a relationship to build on for it to work brilliantly but seaside living is what it’s all about. It’s allowed me to bring up three babies in the countryside and head off down to the sea after school like I always dreamt of.
I like the openness of taking in inspiration from anywhere. You can go to an exhibition, see take phenomenal colour palettes and then link them back to a project that has nothing to do with what you saw.
We don’t want to be bored and we don’t want your project to be boring so we’re going to try and make something fresh for you. We don’t want to make boring work.