Graduate Spotlight: Graphic Designer and Educator Tove Martens

10 May 2024

A woman with dark hair wearing a stripy top looking into the camera
Tove Martens
Type: Text
Category: Our graduates

Introducing Tove Martens, a Graphic Design MA (Online) graduate whose time on the course ignited her dedication to creative research. Based in the southeast of Sweden, she worked as a graphic designer and lecturer at her local university. She joined Falmouth’s global online community of creatives and completed her studies in 2023, and is now embarking on a second master’s, with the ambition to continue her research journey. We asked Tove about her creative background and how her experiences on the course have helped to shape her creative future.

Can you tell us a bit about your creative background?                     

My background is in graphic design, and I ran a design studio with a friend for eight years. I also worked as a guest lecturer at the local university at the same time and I am still there, working at the Department of Design and the Department of Media and Journalism. My friend and I ended our business due to relocations and life changes, and I took a job at an advertising firm, but it was just not for me. So, I quit and decided that I wanted to pursue postgraduate study. 

What made you decide to join Falmouth’s online community of graphic designers?     

I wanted to find a master's in graphic design that focused on the things I was passionate about; I’m interested in typography for example, and I find that Swedish education doesn't have that same tradition or care for typography that other countries in Europe do. I also wanted to find a community of like-minded people in which I could be challenged. However, I was not able to relocate at that point, and Falmouth’s online course seemed interesting – I knew some of the names that were presented as previous guest lecturers on the web page, and it seemed solid and fun! 


Did you enjoy the experience of learning online? 

I like to have my own time and space to work with ideas, and the flexibility of studying online also suited me, since I was working alongside studying. The best part of the course being online was getting to know people in different parts of the world – some students were very generous in sharing parts of their visual culture in projects, which is a meaningful learning experience in itself. 

How has the course helped to develop your work?                     

Every project served as a step towards the work I did in the Final Major Project and effectively the research I do today. I used every project in quite a strategic and possibly egocentric way to navigate and build my academic persona. The briefs for the assignments were quite open, and we were allowed to bend them, so I did. For example, instead of writing a strategic business plan, I wrote a PhD proposal, which allowed me to further navigate my research interests. I then reformulated the research from that proposal into the next assignment, which helped me distill my research interests further, and find a more defined route forward. 

The tutors gave me a lot of space to develop the way I wanted and helped me from the premises of my interests and ambitions. That allowed me to really excavate the skills and knowledge that I needed to define my academic intentions. Ben Evans James really helped me plunge through the rough times of most of my projects throughout the course, and Frauke Stegmann uplifted my entire being with her insights and sensible feedback. I am very grateful for them. 

For me, the Final Major Project was the moment where all the pieces from the course came together. I found a way to work with typography where I could underpin its role as a mediator between language and culture. I created the project as a stepping-stone towards continued research and it has really helped in the development of my research interests. 


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