Michael Johnson is one of design’s characters. A man of enviable creative talent and one of D&AD’s youngest ever presidents in 2003, he is not afraid to speak his mind, but he is passionate about design and its execution.

His small London consultancy Johnson Banks has won many awards in its time for clients as diverse as the Victoria & Albert Museum, Paris’ Parc de La Villette and homelessness charity Shelter. Last year though it started to celebrate some of its biggest branding projects completed during 2010, by winning a Benchmarks award for its bold rebrand of London’s Science Museum.The Science Museum branding has divided many.

Some think the typographic, larger-than-life logo is a masterstroke, while others find it incomprehensible. Add to this branding for new-look design college Ravensbourne, launched ahead of its move into new premises on London’s Greenwich Peninsula by Foreign Office Architects, and the cutesy identity and plane livery for Virgin Atlantic Airways and 2010 becomes a seminal design year for Johnson Banks.

It is good to see that creative commitment can still pay off for a small independent group.

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