COUNTING THE RINGS (of experience, of course)

With over ten years experience in the graphics design industry, it true what they say:

"From little acorns do mighty oaks grow."

And what better way to track the journey and development of this budding designer
than to mark each new milestone, ring by ring, as I embark (pun intended)
upon each new experience.

tip: start at the centre of the tree, and gently move outwards
to discover the rings of past experience...

1999 Sweet Sixteen

I still get nostalgic over the smell of vinyl, my first encounter with design and print was working in
a sign-makers as part of my work experience.

Right from the start, I enjoyed being hands on, from making car reg plates to doing simple 'weeding' on new signage, I was hooked. To this day, Im still friends with the guy who gave me my first taste
of design.

I've since learned he can juggle with knives and now regularly participates in an amateur dramatics society, (interesting guy).

2001-2007 Premier Advertising Limited

Initially employed to help in the office, I quickly passed my NNQ in Business Admin, putting my GCSE A* gained in Business Studies into practice, developing skills in accountancy, sales and
production management.

As it was a small office, I was soon given lots of opportunities to integrate within the design team, working with clients, designers and printers and even the accountant. It gave me a greater understanding of the running of a design company.

I developed a strong sense of pride and commitment to the company. When the workload got too heavy, I was there to be trained to use a mac, it was then my love and appreciation for design was born.

From simple text amends and print output, to huge 600pp catalogues, I was learning to take simple, rough sketches of layout through to the finished final printing stage, understanding the importance of speed and accuracy as I did so.

2005-2007 HND in Graphic Design

With speed and discipline growing, I was encouraged by my boss, to complete the HND at Wigan and Leigh College. This affirmed my love for design and allowed me to develop new skills, conceptualise and bounce ideas of my other peers in class.

With my privileged exposure to the print industry and other working designers, I was at a given advantage which I refused to take for granted, which meant I also ensured I went above and beyond every brief earning myself a distinction or merit at very least in almost every piece of work set.

I had the unique opportunity of maintaining my design/production role with Premier Advertising Limited, working in between college 2 days a week, which ultimately meant not a day was wasted.

If I wasn't at college, or in the library studying, I was in the office itching to test out new techniques and keyboard shortcuts.

2007 Rapport Creative

This design agency worked with national and international corporations including Balfour Beatty, Travel Lodge, Sibelco, Groundwork and Kelloggs.

During my time at Rapport, I assisted in the design and production of all kinds of print.

I particularly enjoyed working for Delamere Hotels, as their corporate identity is simple, elegant and stylish and their use of design was so very understated, less was definitely more.

2008-2010 Rossmann Haigh - the prospectus people

As their name implies, they were one of the leading companies designing prospectuses for schools up and down the country. No two pieces of artwork where the same it was something which I'm proud to have been part of.

All schools have similarities, they all want to promote similar messages of healthy active lifestyle, good learning and teaching, wide range of activities and extra-curriculum activities, numerous awards and quotes from Ofsted, but it is how these are put together and with what direction, is what pushes the boundaries of imagination and design to deliver something which is unique and memorable.

Of course, it's not just schools, I often got the opportunity to delve into other areas such as the charitable work of Saint John of God, which deals with harsh, sensitive issues such as the world of exploitation and prostitution, heavy stuff - a world away from the rainbows and fluffy clouds of a nursery.

2010 Kaltz

Nearly every school, every Emergency services, and every NHS office will be familiar with the procurement directories produced by Kaltz, Bolton.

My role involved designing the adverts, some of which where sent over, but needed some technical assistance to make them print-ready.

The variety of the adverts was immense, from army camouflage suppliers, to acting agencies, who employ the use of people with missing limbs to feature in shock/dramas and films! I never tired of exploring the design opportunities to treat each advert and client with the respect it deserved.

2010-2011 RSW International Limited

Here is where I learned everything I know about promotional branding and all the important aspects involved in creating a memorable, distinctive, likeable brand.

Working directly with clients such as TK Maxx, BnM, Poundland and Pound-stretcher to name just a few, I have worked on everything from dog bowl designs to baby bottles, from stationary to housewares, I appreciate the variety and always the relish the opportunity to try something new.

It has given me a broader understanding of marketing, and appealing to specific target audiences and awareness of current trends and the cost implications that often evoked.

I have also had the fantastic opportunity to work more in Illustrator, thus improving and honing my skills as an Illustrator and Graphic Artist.

2011 Full time Freelancer

With the success and growth of the part time freelance I was doing whilst working at RSW, I have since took the collosal jump into the unstable yet very thrilling world of the self employed.

I'm working hard on creating special offers for my clients, some of which are inclusive of everything, the design, print and delivery.

I'm now more socially connected, I'm on Facebook, twitter, and of course, I've even started my very own blog, to feature the nice emails I receive, photos of clients with printed work I've designed.

The blog will feature new client work, this provides some well deserved publicity exposure, ideal for new start up companies and small business alike.

Now I'm available almost 7 days a week, ready and raring to go. For any non-obligation enquiries, please feel free to contact me.

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