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Designer puts his art and soul into website (Local Newspaper)

Graphic designer Stephan Johnstone has launched his own website to showcase his work to potential clients. The Bermudian prides himself on being skilled enough to take on a broad range of design jobs — from creating brand logos to print adverts and websites.

Mr. Johnstone, 27, is the creative director of SJD World and his company website went live on Wednesday. It was first launched on February 1, 2004, but has been revamped and now only features his work.

Mr. Johnstone said: “It started as an experiment and slowly grew into a way of life.
“During the first four years of the site’s existence I featured Bermudian and international artists, painters, illustrators, photographers and poets monthly.

Personal

“After I had finished design school I landed a job with a small design firm and printing house in Toronto called Outcome Designs and Copycat-inc Printing.

“I was also taking on freelance work and it felt like I was spreading myself too thin so I decided to stop featuring people and slowly move SJD World from a fun, experimental, personal site into more of a business and at the same time build the brand.

“This transition was the reason for the hiatus as I had to redefine and rebuild.” The designer relaunched the site on Wednesday because it would have been the seventh anniversary.

Mr. Johnstone said he “stumbled on to” graphic design. He added: “I wanted to be a boat pilot so I had sailed on the Tall Ships back in 2001 from Boston to Halifax and while I was in Halifax I purchased a scanner. I don’t know why, I wasn’t even into computers at the time, but as soon as I brought it back to Bermuda I have been up every night since manipulating images and creating.”

Mr. Johnstone said he specializes in a range of design jobs. He added: “Branding, print advertising, online advertising, brochure design, magazine design, catalogue design, annual reports, packaging design, social media integration, guerilla marketing and small to medium size websites… this is just a basic list and I don’t restrict myself to it, so if you are unsure if I can take on your creative job, e-mail me.”

His client base is “very diverse”, from “small business to corporate clients to independent artists and public figures”. Asked why he wanted to be an entrepreneur, he replied: “It didn’t feel like a decision at all.

“For the longest time I have felt like I was moving in this direction and when I finally made it here it feels like I am exactly where I am supposed to be — creating what I’m suppose to create with purpose.” Mr. Johnstone believes the best feature of the site is his portfolio.

He said: “I have put in a lot of late nights and long hours to get to this point. “I’m really happy that I have been able to do such a wide range of work with such amazing clients.

By Mikaela Ian Pearman
Online News Reporter

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