Northampton grad Peter picked to design mobile phone start-up screen

Date 19.03.2018

Millions of people around the world get to see the work of a University of Northampton graduate every time they turn on their mobile phones.

Peter Crawley was chosen to design a start-up sequence for Motorola’s mobile handsets, after his work caught the eye of a fellow Northampton graduate, who works for the telecoms giant.

Peter specialises in ‘stitched illustrations’, in which he hand-pierces paper with a pin, and then stitches it with a needle and thread.

You can watch Peter’s hand-stitched illustration sequence below.

Watch how Peter created the illustration below.

Peter, who graduated from the Product Design course in 2006, first hit upon his stitched illustration concept following a US road trip with four fellow Northampton graduates in 2008.

“We drove a Winnebago from New York to San Francisco, 3,500miles coast to coast,” he said.

“We saw some amazing things along the way and when we got back I wanted a physical reminder of the trip on my wall. Photos did not do the trip justice as I couldn’t summarise everything in a small selection.

“That’s when I decided to illustrate the route, rather than one moment along it.

“I took reference from old maps and route markers and played with materials I’d not previously used. It was pure experimentation.”

You can see Peter’s map illustration on his website.

As Peter developed his work, he started getting noticed by creative agencies, but it was a call from his old uni friend and fellow US roadtripper, Chris Clare, that led to his stitched illustrations going global.

He said: “Chris ended up working at Motorola in San Francisco. We had wanted to work together for a while and when he had a brief for a mobile phone start-up sequence that needed to look organic and not technical he put my name forward.

“It was an amazing project and knowing millions of people will have seen it across the world is fantastic.”

Now head of design at Tensator Group, and with agency experience working for clients including Porsche and London 2012 Olympics, Peter also works as an independent designer. His clients have included British Airways, Elle Decoration, Harvey Nichols, Liberty London, Neiman Marcus, Saatchi & Saatchi, Vanity Fair and Wired.

He feels his time on the BSc Product Design course gave him the perfect grounding for success in the creative industries.

“The course had a great mix of creative, technical and business elements,” said Peter.

“The business side of design is often overlooked, but it is becoming more and more critical in the workplace – whether that be for your own self-promotion, landing a job or running a business and everything in between. We also touched on intellectual property, again, something that all creatives should be aware of.”