Michael Johnson
Teacher Plus

Michael Johnson

Founder and Creative Director, Johnson Banks

London, United Kingdom

Michael Johnson

Michael set up his company Johnson Banks in 1992. His company is known for how they define, then design, brands that make a difference. They work with people who want to do big things: tackle hunger; fight for an open internet; address child poverty; raise billions for innovation and education; bring culture and enlightenment to the world; create products that question the norm; shift paradigms and change lives.

Their projects are as varied as world famous museums, art centres in Philadelphia and Paris and not-for-profits across the world. They rebranded the pioneers of ethical investment, Acumen Fund, and for Mozilla undertook the world’s first truly ‘open’ rebrand. They rebranded Action Against Hunger across 54 countries, worked for the Gates Foundation in Europe and in the UK they are working with the University of Cambridge. Recently they have rebranded Teach First, Duolingo, the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and the Royal Academy of Music. 2022 projects include a campaign for a major London museum and the rebrand of a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Johnson himself oversees the strategic and creative output of the company but is just as likely to roll up his sleeves and get involved in the work himself. He is a regular speaker at the world’s design and branding conferences, including multiple appearances at Typo Berlin, Kyoorius Design Yatra in India and Brand New conferences in the USA and Europe. He has conducted lecture tours across India and China, been an external examiner at multiple UK design colleges, is a Fellow of Ravensbourne College and is a visiting professor at Glasgow School of Art.

He has written three books, including the transatlantic bestseller 'Branding: In five and a half steps', his third, 'Now Try Something Weirder' was published in 2019 and he is working on his fourth. He has won most of the design world’s key prizes, including seven ‘Yellow’ and one ‘Black’ Pencil from D&AD, and has dozens of designs in the V&A's permanent collection. In 2017 he was awarded D&AD's highest honour, its gold President’s Award, joining a list of previous recipients that include Terence Conran, Ridley Scott, Wally Olins, Alan Parker and John Hegarty.

In his spare time he meddles with old-fashioned-yet wonderful cameras and wonders, after 50 years of practice, why he isn't a better guitar player.



Professional listing

Joined August 2020