Alex Turnwall designer + developer

Designer, developer, tinkerer.
Seeking collaboration.

I build impeccably designed interactive experiences for organizations that view design as an integral strategic asset. Work with me because you want a partner that will offer an educated opinion, not another yes-man.

Capabilities & Expertise

I design cross-media experiences with a strategy.

Those things ↑ may or may not involve these things ↓ which I also do.

WordPress development, Google Maps API, HTML, CSS, javascript, jQuery, PHP, mySQL, GIT, SVN. And yes, I can edit photos, illustrations, layouts, videos, audio and do print production. What don't I do? Email marketing and “a quick logo”.

I work with some great partners* for:

Enterprise-level CMS, e-Commerce, Android & iOS development, Photography, Animation, Marketing & PR.

*I routinely collaborate with amazing partners in Boston, New York and San Francisco and am happy to point you in their direction if it looks like they’ll be a better fit for your needs.

Inspiration is for amateurs—the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

Chuck Close


Helped grow a startup from 0 to 1,000+ customers. Worked at a studio. Ran a studio. Freelanced. Taught. Not necessarily in that order.

I design.

I spent the last few years running a small studio. Before that I alternated full-time freelancing and working at another studio. I chose to come back to solo freelancing because I like being immersed in the details of projects from start to finish, and because I can collaborate with more people on more interesting projects. I've managed projects for universities, large international corporations, startups, medical and research institutions, and government agencies.

I teach.

I teach interactive design and development at Northeastern, so I spend a good deal of time thinking about design in the classroom. This strengthens my practice just as much as client work impacts my teaching. I'm lucky to have fallen into a classroom this early in my career, and I always want to be juggling both the academic and professional sides—it really keeps me on my toes and affords a unique perspective.

I’m an entrepreneur.

I've been involved in entrepreneurship since I was an undergrad, helping start Northeastern's Venture Incubator program, IDEA. Since then I've worked with a few startups as a team member, a co-founder and (through my own business) as the hired creative.

All knowledge is spendable currency, depending on the market.”

Maya Angelou


Passion for technology, design and making a positive mark on the world.

My approach is culled from a joint background in design, business and marketing, (plus a somewhat boyish excitement for new technology). These are things I believe, which influence all of my work:


Design is a measurable strategic asset.

Good design can contribute directly to an organization's bottom line. According to multiple studies, organizations that value design consistently perform stronger on virtually all financial measures.


Good design can make life better.

From life-saving procedural instructions, to an easier-to-read ballot, to a more ergonomic product: design that we interact with everyday has the potential to make people's lives better (or worse). It is not simply an aesthetic treatment.


Diversity in collaboration yields the best results.

Our audiences are global. We live in an interconnected world where no one person has all of the skills to make most of the products we use everyday. We need to work with partners who are diverse in background and discipline to create better products, services and organizations for the future.


Technology should feel easy.

Every user is different and one size should not fit all. The goal of interaction design is to create products or interfaces that will work best for an intended user. That means it might have to work equally well for many users with many different technologies—today's tech has to be flexible and adaptable.


Marketing can be a force for good.

Understanding consumer behavior and knowing how to learn what a customer wants can work towards the promotion of a social campaign just as effectively as it can promote a product. Harnessing that power for the right reasons is a worthwhile endeavor.


Brands are not lipstick.

You can't throw together a logo, some type and a color and call it a brand… that is, in fact, an "identity" for a brand. Branding goes much deeper—it touches every facet of an organization and is reflected in everything an organization does. It's constantly evolving.


Trusting relationships produce better work, faster.

You trust me, I trust you; enough so that we both give honest opinions. This is how iteration produces better results, faster. Without this trust, it's hard to produce meaningful results. Trust takes effort, but it's worth it.

Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.”

Paul Rand

Would we hit it off?

Startups, Universities, Non-profits, Agencies:
Does this sound like you?

You believe in design.

Organizations willing to invest the time into the design process will value the input of a designer who's interested in learning about them in-depth to create the best solution for their own customers, users or audience.

You don’t want a supplier.

You want a partner. You don't come to me with all the answers, you come to me with a problem to solve together. You don't try to micromanage the design.

You have a mission.

I want to work with organizations that have something interesting to say, make the world a better place, enrich people lives, and want to tell a compelling story.

You are commited.

Your project is important to you and you give it the time it needs to get done. That means getting your content to me and setting a reasonable timeline for the project. I don't do rush jobs. (Unless we already have a relationship and you say "pretty please". Maybe.)

The output of my work may change, but the foundation stays the same: solve a problem of design.

I like to work on interesting and worthwhile projects for clients that are completely invested in their ideas, take the time to challenge me, and encourage me to challenge them.


Shall we?

I still prefer that good old-fashioned face-to-face approach, but email is the best way to reach me due to my fairly erratic schedule. Shoot me one and let’s grab a coffee or drink?

*Currently not accepting any new work, sorry.

But, I’m still happy to chat about non-freelance/contract-related opportunities like speaking, teaching, and writing engagements.