I have been commissioned for a variety of graphic design work over the years. I designed copious quantities of emails, web banners, posters, and in-print advertisements for a multitude of clients in my freelance years, and during my time at Zeta Global. I have produced logos, brand guidelines, style guides, and graphic assets for a wide variety of markets from finance and constuction, to travel and healthcare.
Creating designs from scratch for varying client needs come with such a wide range of challenges. You have to figure out what style suits the brand - if the brand already exists. If not, then you need to figure out what their brand style nees to be. You need to esure you have captured the right requirements for the work - what dimensions, resolution, and format the end result needs to be in. If the subject or market is unfamiliar, you need to immerse yourself in related works to see what style suits the audience. Identifying ways to stand out without seeming out of place can be especially difficult.
There's also the challenge of how you present the work in ways which help explain the decisions made along the way, and what you show to prospective employers at the end of it all! I decided to show off some of the pieces I'm most proud of, rather than trying to break down too much about the very varied and subjective processes behind them all.
When an author is looking to revive a series by narrating the audiobooks, they need covers that fit in with the original paperbacks, but with a new artist so they don't have to go through the previous publisher for rights. That was the request Emma Newman made of me when she needed new covers for the first two books in her Industrial Magic series.
As the series is set in an alternative history industrial revolution, and one of the characters is described as a sketch and paint artist, I took on a rough, scratchy line style with watercolour or ink style colouring. Depicting key scenes from the books, after discussing several options with the author, was a particular delight.
The Showgirl Academy run dance classes and local events in the South West, with two very different brands for their different dance styles.
I worked with the Acadmey for the best part of a decade on their posters, before having to retire our relationship to focus on other things. We established a definite sense of style, which helped them build brand recognition in the area for their shows.
While the vintage cabaret style is one I'm very familiar with from putting together a lot of design for friends over my years in cabaret, the style for their Dance Pumped brand needed to fit into an urban dance aesthetic, which was a nice challenge!
The density of information on some of these posters was also rather an interesting puzzle to complete.
Sometimes there are important little projects that need a bit more love and attention. Where you need to consider how to translate something into a higher resolution; where you're representing something in iconography, with enough details to identify the items easily, without overcomplicating them. Sometimes, the world needs just a little extra work that's not glamorous in the slightest, to help things get better everywhere.
The sort of work that gets used all over the world, by all manner of people, to make the world that tiny bit more inclusive.