The Best of 2015 Creative Roundup
- Published 21-01-2017
10 of the most popular creative works in 2015
I trust that, like me, you're suitably full of chocolate selection boxes and sparkling Bucks Fizz, and have rendered yourself beached on your sofa for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, a brand new year is approaching and the need to stand up, put on clothing that won't offend the public and leave your house will soon be upon you (I know, sorry). You'll combat the weather, realise the commute won't be ready for another three months and when you do finally make it to the office, there will be a lot
of work to contend with. 'New Year, new idea' will be the rallying cry as managers will demand to know how the corporate brand can be refreshed, how the company website can be improved, how to market the next big product or how to creatively initiate an entire new venture altogether. These are difficult thoughts to stomach (not least because you're still full of roast potatoes), but thankfully the solution is quite straightforward; outsource your projects to an astute and talented freelancer like me
Throughout 2015 my creative freelance services were well utilised by clients, resulting in many intriguing and inventive digital and print-based products and campaigns. Below you'll see I've put together a roundup of all the noteworthy projects I was commissioned to work on this year...
1. Fashion Bloc
At the beginning of the year, the website I had been building for Fashion Bloc
was launched. It was by far the most ambitious project I'd ever undertaken in terms of both development scope and man hours. The brief was to take the client's Eastern European fashion blog (which I'd also built previously) and evolve it into a combined e-commerce and editorial platform, allowing bloggers to write about trends and styles whilst selling products directly from articles. Throughout the rest of this year the client and I have worked together to maintain the site, evaluate its features and develop new functions and user tools; a relationship which I predict will continue to grow as the client gains further insight into their users' spending and browsing behaviour.
2. CTA Fire
have been clients of mine since the days when 'mobile responsiveness' referred to how worn down your interchangeable Nokia 3210 keypad was. Several years later I continue to design the company's marketing materials
and maintain their online presence. At the beginning of this year I finished up and launched the latest iteration of their company website
following a refreshed design and approach. The brief was to improve the user experience for both desktop and mobile visitors, devise new page layouts that enforced more coherent information hierarchies and strengthen SEO throughout. Having successfully achieved the first two criteria the client and I will enter 2016 with a programme of landing page launches promoting key company services, driven with an SEO agenda.
3. Rowin Design & Build
I thoroughly enjoy working with start-ups as absolutely every aspect of their creative presentation needs building from the ground up. Clients launching new ventures have enough to worry about without needing to plan their websites or sketch up logo ideas - that's why I offer a comprehensive design package aimed precisely at start-up companies that takes care of all of that. One client who opted to take up this package earlier in 2015 was Rowin Design & Build. For a very competitive fixed fee, the building and carpentry firm got their logo designed and their website created
in a matter of weeks. As a follow on service, which I predict will continue long into 2016 and beyond, I've been retouching the photographs that the client sends me from their on-site jobs and transform them into digital galleries to showcase on their website.
4. Music On Screen
In the summer of 2015 I finished work on a project for Music On Screen
, a company of composers and musicians creating music for TV ads, film scores and audio libraries. As well as a total rebrand of the company logo, stationery and general aesthetic, the client needed a means to properly showcase the wealth of tracks it had produced for household names the world over. I built them a very stylised site that offers audio and video playback and contextual profiles of each of the creative teams involved. The client has expressed an interest in expanding the site further in 2016, so I look forward to finding out what they have in mind.
5. Octane magazine
Midway through summer, Octane magazine was getting ready to stack its 150th issue on shelves across the country. It was a landmark event for the publication and one that warranted a stand-out visual graphic for its accompanying marketing campaign. I was commissioned to produce this illustration
for use across all the promotional material in print and online; three classic cars bearing the racing numbers 1, 5 and 0.
In the past I've worked with Octane magazine on various other marketing projects
, but in 2016 I hope I can come back to produce even more bespoke illustrated pieces.
6. Motoring Father's Day
Father's Day 2015 was the source of a very poignant campaign for the motoring-based magazines of Dennis Publishing. The entire vehicular division ran an illustrated marketing promotion
offering gift subscriptions to their suite of magazines geared towards fathers the world over, especially those with a passion for Land Rovers, vintage classics, sports cars and contemporary driving. It was another opportunity for me to produce some original artwork for the company that reflected the needs of the subscription marketing team.
In 2016 I'm looking forward to hearing what seasonal campaigns the motoring division will be planning so that I may contribute my illustrative skills further.
7. I Fucking Love Science
Towards the end of the summer I began working with a new client - I Fucking Love Science. As an initiation project they commissioned me to produce merchandise designs
in their favoured cartoon aesthetic around the time that NASA was making its photographic studies of Pluto. The designs printed on T-shirts were met with high sales turnover and so the client now regularly commissions me to illustrate for their brand
as well as design banners and ads for their online marketing campaigns, co-branded pitches and more. I've not even pulled my Christmas decorations down yet and the client has already alluded to how much work they have set aside for me to tackle come January, which I'm very excited about.
8. Heart of England Forest
I've lost count of the number of email communications I was commissioned to design and code for The Heart of England Forest
in 2015 but I'm pretty sure trees from all four seasons have made an appearance in the header artwork. Newsletters, national awareness shout outs, Christmas gifting, planting days... the list went on, and for each campaign the Forest rolled out a volume of emails, follow up emails, sign up forms and database feeds were needed to ensure the user base was fully supported and trafficked. For 2016 I anticipate the email communication workload to be just as steady, though it'll be alongside a very interesting project that they have commissioned me to tackle once the New Year has begun - more on that in the spring.
9. Land Rover Monthly magazine
Strictly speaking, the commission I received from Land Rover Monthly magazine to produce this marketing illustration
promoting the sale of its 200th issue took place at the end of last year, however I'm including it in this year's roundup not only because the issue went on sale in January of this year, but also because just a few weeks ago the campaign featuring the artwork picked up the PPA Customer Direct 2015's Integrated Campaign of the Year award, owing to its creativity and sales performance - what fantastic news to end the year!
10. Bum Toucher cushion
Finally, as the Christmas shopping frenzy has begun to wind down I can pull up my online sales statistics and reveal that of all the art and design gifts and products available to buy from my shop, the Bum Toucher cushion
was the most popular this year!
That concludes the nostalgic look back over my prominent work for the year. I truly hope that my project load for the coming year is as diverse, as challenging and yields as great a creative out-pouring as the examples in this 2015 roundup. Of course, only you can make that happen, so if you'd like to discuss your new freelance opportunity or creative project with me, please get in touch
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