AWESOME DESIGN. COLLECTIVE WORKING. NO FAFF.
I’m an independent graphic designer working out of Duke Studios in Leeds. I love getting up to my elbows in interesting projects for awesome clients. I love the kind of design problems that make my brain fizz and my fingers tingle. The projects that have me waking up at 5am with an idea that’s clawed its way out of my subconscious.*
I also love bringing together teams of freelancers for jobs that need more than just a graphic design solution.
In my 15 years as a designer I’ve worked in-house, for agencies, at agencies (I was head of design at magpie before I went solo) and as an independent. I’ve done high-profile branding projects, packaging, design for web (and, yes, a bit of UX), campaigns… all of it, really.
It’s diving into a brand, puzzling out their identity and then setting off creative fireworks that I love best, but I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves and graft away when it’s time to get the roll-out done.
When you get right down to it, it’s all about finding creative ways to solve problems. If you have a problem that needs some creative energy zapping at it, get in touch.
Agencies are great. I’ve done some brilliant work with agencies. But you don’t always need an agency. When you’re an agency everything can start to look like a multi-pronged focus-tested blah-de-blah, and you end up with overheads oozing out of your eyeballs. Sometimes you just need the right team of creative freelancers to get in, do their bit and get out again.
I love working this way, bringing together a few brilliant people who fit the job spec, doing some ace design and a bit of project management for the client, then getting out of the way. It’s agile, it keeps things fresh. No faff. No bullsh!t. It allows you to do powerful work for great clients who don’t necessarily have the budget to work with a massive agency (or maybe just want that budget to go further). And, let’s be honest, a lot of the best people are freelancers!
KERNING THE GAP
In November 2019, I co-launched the Yorkshire chapter of Kerning the Gap, a network aimed at addressing the gender imbalance in design leadership, with the awesome Eve Warren.
The moment I first heard of KTG I felt a little jolt of electricity run up my spine. As a designer in my 30s I’ve often looked up the ranks of the design industry and struggled to see myself reflected there. You can go to the KTG website for the stats, but no-one in the industry needs them to know that there’s a serious lack of women at the creative director level and beyond. You’ll struggle to find a lot of women over the age of 40 in the design industry at all. It’s one of the reasons I went independent – I couldn’t see a path for myself inside the agency structure.
So when I heard about KTG I knew immediately that it had to come to Yorkshire and I did what I do – rolled up my sleeves and made it happen. I reached out to Nat, I got Eve involved and within a couple of months we were on our way. If you want to know more or want to collaborate on an event, either head over to the KTG website or give me a shout.
To find out more about KTG Yorkshire, me and what I do, listen to the episode of the brilliant Creative Boom podcast that Eve and I were on.
*No, I don’t actually want to be awake at 5am thinking about design. But it happens ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I’m working on it!