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December 10, 2015

Class of 2015: Design graduates to watch

Over the past few weeks we’ve told you about this year’s most promising fashion design and visual arts graduates. Now, like your spiritually intuitive Great Aunt, we bring you the graphic design alumni that you should be keeping an eye on.

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  • Words: Sharmonie Cockayne
  • Pictures: Lewis Whittenbury

Of the 86 UniSA graphic design students graduating in 2015, two really stood out. Michael Cervelli and Claudia Fernandez-Villasante are the names you should remember.

Michael Cervelli


Originally a Creative Writing student, Michael Cervelli didn’t always know he was going to be a graphic designer. But now he is.

“What I loved about Creative Writing was the creativity part of it – to be able to go to work every day, use your creativity and come up with something from the ground up,” he says.

For Michael, the sane constant use of creativity he found in writing is what hooked him in to graphic design.

“You can go to work every day, and come up with something fresh. And not only that, you can help other people in the process, whether it’s starting a business, communicating a certain idea, or a message or theme,” he says.

“Design is my creative outlet. I think that’s why it’s good to be able to work in that field, because you go to work and your energy is just completely put out into that.”

Inspired by designers like Wade Jeffree (a Melbourne designer who worked for Stefan Sagmeister), and Vince Frost, Michael’s clean, minimalist, concept driven work is already at an impressive standard.

Michael has been snapped up by Adelaide based marketing agency, Simple Integrated Marketing. “They’ve been great,” says Michael, “I started an internship with them this year while I was doing my final year of university.”

Michael hopes to one day be in the role of Creative Director, but in the mean time, his goal is to continue to work on projects that he is 100 per cent passionate about.

More of Michael’s work can be found on his Instagram.

Claudia Fernandez-Villasante


Like Michael, Claudia didn’t always know she was meant to be a graphic designer. Though it had been lingering in the back of her mind for some time.

Claudia first studied Communications & Media and International Relations, before quitting International Relations for Graphic Design. The change proved to be the right move: “From day one, I loved it.”

Though she’s always been creative, Claudia says that her studies have taught her how to look at the world, and it’s something that she takes great joy in.

“Studying it has taught me how to look at everything in the finest detail, and to just look. Even at the little things,” she says.

A Peruvian citizen of the world, Claudia immerses herself fully in whatever culture she finds herself living amongst. So when asked what inspires her most, her answer comes as no surprise: “What inspires me most is the environment in which I am creating.”

She also takes great inspiration from designers with distinctive style, like Quentin Jones. “She’s unique – people try to recreate her way of working, but it’s not the same. It’s very unique to her.”

Interesting, because it could be said that Claudia’s work is unique as well. Give or take a few years, Adelaide might very well have our own Quentin Jones-esque designer on our hands.

Claudia is currently undertaking an internship at Metric, which is an opportunity that arose from the Graduate Show this past November.

Moving forward, Claudia has her sights set on working in print.

“I love print and paper. So, magazines would be ideal, something related to fashion,” she says.

View more of Claudia’s work on her website and Instagram, or just just get a feel for her vibe by looking at her tumblr.

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