It seems like a lifetime ago since I began my career as a freelance designer in 2001, so much experience is quite difficult to sum up. In the beginning I worked mainly as a freelance graphic designer for exhibitions and print projects, with various web based work thrown in for good measure. In 2004 I began my first freelance design contract with Egg Banking Plc. After the initial contract period it was further extended each month and I’ve worked with the Internal Agency there ever since, building some fantastic relationships with clients and making many close friends in the process. Since 2004 my client base has gone from strength to strength and with the inclusion of agency work there has never been a dull moment.
As my freelance experience and skill set is so versatile I’ve been able to work on a wide variety of different projects in different industry sectors, learning new skills along the way and pushing boundaries. Some of the most rewarding and enjoyable projects I’ve worked on are the UK and European Toy Fairs, Alstom Conferences overseas and various marketing campaigns at Egg including the infamous guinea pigs.
Okay, where to begin?! My name’s Matt as you’ve probably figured out already, I’m a 30 year old freelance designer and project manager, and the founder of Nuke Creative Ltd. I began my career as a freelance designer in March 2001 and for the past 8 years I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some amazing projects for some fantastic companies and brands. But before we get in to that, let me tell you a little more about the pre-freelance era...
My passion for design and photography began at a very early age. I started working in the design and build industry for exhibitions and interiors from around the age of 14 whilst also studying graphic design, fine art and photography. The majority of my early experiences involved sign–writing, brand awareness, communications, working with print production processes and stand architecture. At this time I was exposed to a variety of well known blue-chip companies which gave me an understanding of the importance of image and branding, something that has stayed with me ever since. Working for companies such as Checkland Kindleysides and Barsby Prince & Partners I was also given insight in to the overall project process, from concept through to completion (together with all the hard work inbetween).
My first full–time role, before I began life as a freelance designer was as a junior and then middle-weight designer at a design agency in Leicester called The Cube which was run by Nick Ruhl who now lectures at De Monfort University. Working with Nick was an inspiration and an extremely rewarding time in my life. It was here that I really honed my skills with key design based computer software such as the Adobe range and, when the web boom really took off, Macromedias Flash and Dreamweaver.
It wasn’t all about playing with computer software and developing a dislike for Microsoft though I can assure you! Some of The Cubes clients included Hoverspeed, Tag Heuer, Maurice Lacroix, Ebel, Adidas, Ellesse, Lotus Cars, Porsche and Mazda amongst others. The Cube was primarily an offline agency, creating, producing and managing graphic design services for it’s clients in various areas including exhibition, point of sale, signage and communications. When the dotcom explosion began, we started work with digital media, web design, flash animation and CD/DVD authoring. After 3 and a half years, I left to set up my own business and began my career as a freelance designer. Having developed my skills to a very high standard in a variety of software applications it felt like the right time to go it alone.
If you’ve read this far I’m surprised, you’ve proved all those web gurus wrong about web site attention spans, good for you!