Simple*, intelligent, content-led communication design.Design consultant and digital creative specialising in art direction, branding, user-experience, imaging and special projects for online, mobile, print and environment.
Currently based in Bristol, UK, with a background in graphic design and photography, as well as extensive experience of working within interactive design, I have handled work across a broad range of media.
For the past 20 years it has been my goal to design beautiful, engaging and functional interfaces for screens of all shapes and sizes. Passionate about the creative alliance of technology and design, my approach is one of reduction, simplicity, elegance and clarity – placing emphasis on relevant, content-driven design solutions with user experience at the centre of the design process.
I strive to create appropriate work with purpose, honesty, beauty and function. Whether it’s graphic design or interactive design, the core values of my creative process have remained the same – flexibility, craft consciousness and a commitment to deliver within budget and on time, time after time.
User Experience Design
User Interface Design
Wayfinding & Signage
Photography & Video
Science Learning Centres
Web Designer Magazine
1000 Favorite Websites, Taschen
Summit Creative Awards
Web Marketing Association Awards
When I first started I took inspiration from a lot of designers – the usual suspects Designers Republic, David Carson but now I try not to take too much inspiration from contemporary design, though I think its inevitable that your style is affected by trends.
I have found that with experience comes the ability to think up fresh ideas and conceptualise more quickly.
The challenge of taking a company’s message, distilling it down to the essence of the brand and communicating it in a direct visual form I find very rewarding. And also just having the chance to make a living from being creative and doing something I would probably be doing even if I wasn’t being paid for it, is pretty good.!
With the spread of broadband and a better understanding of the delivery of rich media online, many of these limitations have been lifted and we are seeing more effective examples online of the use of the web as an effective broadcast medium for video and other media rich applications.
Interactive design is, in many ways, closer to industrial design than graphic design or broadcast design – websites have users and involve interaction and are not read like magazines or passively viewed like television. With this in mind and following explorations into usability and accessibility, the web is a much saner place, though there is a danger of things swinging too far the other way, to a situation where all corporate sites start to look the same, devoid of any soul and with little to distinguish between them other than a change of logo.
At the end of the day, I think good design emphasizes the message and the brand whilst disregarding anything that will detract from it.
For example, I take a lot of inspiration from product design and architecture – airports in particular with their functional but often aesthetically pleasing signage and information systems.
Airline baggage labels are a great example of an aesthetically pleasing yet purely functional piece of information design, in the way that they display a heap of information in a relatively small space and yet manage to look good without any attempt at decoration. The enlarged barcodes and abbreviated symbols look the way they do for purely functional reasons but they inform the design and almost by accident have visual appeal – well to me anyway…!
Important lessons….? Get your invoices in on time…!
Good site architecture with clear sign-posting is vital and having usable pages is critical. Whilst adhering to standards and following conventions is important to a degree I don’t believe it should be at the expense of the identity or soul of the site. A lot of sites that boast about their standards compliancy are cold, uniform and indistinguishable from one another.
But also remember that content is king – it is the job of the interface to sit quietly in the background until needed – like the kind of waiters that you find in only the best restaurants.
Confusing navigation, for example hiding links beneath icons or images, or navigation bars that change their position as you move through the site are a bad idea. Having essential information like contact details buried away deep within the site is another fault commonly to be found in the sites of large organisations who really should know better.
Superfluous eye candy is a particular irritant of mine – if it doesn’t reinforce the message then leave it out.
There is sometimes a place for taking a different approach with some clients, throwing all notion of usability out of the window– take for example the Donnie Darko site designed by Hi-res. The cryptic navigation, employed on this flash based site adds to the user experience and was fully appropriate in communicating the twisted storylines of the movie.
about this site
If you like the cut of my jib then I could build one for you too — just get in touch.
I have recently added a shop and advertising to this site which just about covers my hosting costs. I only advertise products and services I have actually used or think may be of interest to my readership. You can read more on my policy regarding advertising on this site, here.
DISCLAIMER: All images, unless otherwise noted, were taken from the Internet and are assumed to be in the public domain. In the event that there is still a problem or error with copyrighted material, the break of the copyright is unintentional and noncommercial. The material in question will be removed immediately.