Michael Johnson runs johnson banks, a London-based design consultancy with a global reputation.
Set up over two decades ago, his company works on design projects as varied as world famous museums (The Science Museum), art centres in Philadelphia and Paris and not-for- profits and impact investors across the world. They rebranded the pioneers of venture philanthropy, Acumen Fund, and are advising Mozilla, producers of the Firefox browser. Globally they are working with Action Against Hunger, across Europe they are working with the Gates Foundation and in the UK they are working with Unicef.
The company has consistently shown that a small group of designers and thinkers (there are rarely more than ten of them) can consistently solve the thorniest business problems with world-class solutions, whilst demonstrating wit, intelligence and humanity along the way.
Michael Johnson is the designer/writer/thinker who founded johnson banks. His main job is to oversee the studio’s strategic and creative output, but he is often to be found moonlighting on other projects either as curator or collaborator.
He writes for many design journals, judges design competitions and lectures worldwide on branding, identity issues and design history. He’s won most of the design world’s most prestigious awards, including eight Design and Art Direction (D&AD) pencils from 14 nominations and has dozens of designs in the V&A’s permanent collection.
As D&AD President in 2003, one of the youngest presidents ever, he led and organised a book (Phaidon) and exhibition (V&A) on the organisation’s 40 year history. He has been recognised by both The Guardian and Independent newspapers as one of the most influential designers in the UK and in a recent survey by D&AD of the last fifty years was their seventh most awarded designer of all time.
The second edition of his first book, Problem Solved (Phaidon) came out in 21012, and his new book, Branding: In Five and A Half Steps is released September 2016 (Thames and Hudson).
In his spare moments he edits the design blog, Thought for the week, dreams of being a better husband, dad and guitar player.