Steve is a career creative with over 33 years continuous experience in graphic design and advertising. Steve says the only thing he was particularly good at during his school days was art. That, via the careers officer, led him to a graphic design course at Sutton Coldfield College.
He finished that course early and took a job as not much more than a tea boy at a design studio in Bournville, as spending more time in school wasn’t for Steve. That was 1987.
He is a solo operator now but before that over the three-decades-or-so prior to that, he has:
- Set up and run artwork studios, run successful pitches for international clients against world-class competition
- Project managed enterprise-level website builds
- Conceived and curated brand roll-outs for public and private sector organisations
- Co-created a successful agency from nothing
- Been Creative Director of an agency with offices on opposite sides of the world
- Made work that’s ended up as every kind of output imaginable – from a beer mat to a national TV campaign and everything in-between.
To do all of this, for Steve, graphic design is the axis around which everything revolves. They do say if you find a job you love you’ll never work a day in your life and Steve does love being a graphic designer. He always has. He’s often also a writer, an art director, a maker and lots of other things besides. But when he’s in work mode, fundamentally a graphic designer is what he am. It’s his centre.
He designs all sorts of things but mostly branding-related stuff for smaller businesses and individuals. Startups and early-stagers, fighting to get a foothold and punch their weight with the big boys. He likes that challenge. The SME sector is the backbone of the UK economy. The sector that the UK Government plunders most, the sector that suffers most when times get tough and the sector that gets up, dusts itself off and drags the economy kicking and screaming toward recovery.
More people than ever before are starting their own businesses with many being forced to take that path by the extraordinary times in which we find ourselves.
In most cases, those businesses head straight into fierce competition with other companies offering similar products or services. The most successful start-ups find a way to stand out from the crowd. To stand out, you have to stand for something. Clearly defined and creatively executed branding can be a huge competitive advantage.