Andi Best Freelance Designer

The Best of 2019 Creative Roundup


  • Published 20-12-2019
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The Best of 2019 Creative Roundup

Snowed under with freelance design work for most of 2019

Merry Christmas.
Oh yeah, Andi, I'd forgotten about him.
That's actually what I wanted to talk to you about...

Here's a modern dilemma; creative freelancer provides a blog for those interested in his work, but is so busy creating work (blog-worthy and otherwise) that he has no time to publish blog posts. This is the first and only post I've written for the whole of 2019, for example. Is this considered a failure? Maybe. Could I do better? Definitely. Next year I would honestly like to try to. I really want to keep readers up to date with my freelance endeavours more frequently than one annual digest for sure. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram I do a fairly decent job of that owing to the immediacy of the platforms but with my blog, the issue I have is linking through to fresh content on my website, which - you guessed it - I have no time to update. In fact my website has languished largely unchanged for about the same period of time, not least because I'm amid the earliest stirrings of redesigning it which is derailing enthusiasm for maintaining it now.

Enough with the excuses, what's been keeping you so busy all year?

"How's work? Busy?" is a pair of questions I'm regularly asked by acquaintances. Honestly, this year, I ran out of different ways to phrase the same response. Yes. Very. Maybe too busy? I'm working almost every evening and I've done a couple of weekends too. I'm pushing some jobs right back into the calendar and turning down some altogether.
I'm not complaining of course. I'm deeply grateful for being so busy - it's testament to how well my career is going and how positively my clients are responding to my services.

Halo Coffee
The Best of 2019 Creative Roundup
Take Halo for example - a sustainable, environmentally conscious coffee company based on the Southbank. For a little over a year now I've been supplying weekly design resource to this small business to generate awareness and sales of their home-compostable coffee pods, in more ways than has ever been required of me before. I've been steadily nurturing the relationship with Halo, introducing them to my skillset and proving that I can adapt to their lightning deadlines and varied project load. Variety is probably the greatest draw of being a freelancer so in that respect Halo are an ideal and valuable client. We began working together in October 2018 building remarketing banners for distribution in Google's ad network - something we still do to this day - which was a fairly sizeable creative and technical blend right out of the gate. Since then we've worked together on webpage designs, bespoke photography, social media artwork, packaging design, promotional display stands, print ads, icon design - almost every creative service I offer.
Donorfy - CRM for charities
The Best of 2019 Creative Roundup
Another significant undertaking this year has been my involvement with Donorfy, the top-ranking CRM platform for charities. I fell in with Donorfy by chance back in 2015 whilst working with Heart of England forest to design a new interface for taking donations online. The custom work I built for the client caught the attention of the Donorfy team who invited me to become a certified Partner of the platform, offering digital services to their customers. Since then I've worked with scores of charities and non-profit organisations to generate Donorfy-driven digital experiences for staff and supporters alike, including campaign donation pages, email marketing automation and supporter identification and management. This kind of work has a huge development focus so scoping jobs, scheduling meetings/calls and executing the actual projects are much longer processes - another time gobbler.
Also this year I was extended the invitation to speak at the Donorfy Annual Conference to demonstrate first hand the kind of experiences I build for Donorfy customers. This being the third year I'd spoken at the event, my preparation work and rehearsals were a lot more thorough and my live demonstrations were a lot more ambitious, so a significant part of my time in September was dedicated to polishing how that hour would be delivered. It was thankfully well received.
Leukaemia Myeloma Research UK
The Best of 2019 Creative Roundup
On the subject of charity work, my involvement with two particular organisations has grown from strength to strength over this past year. Both Age UK and Leukaemia Myeloma Research UK have made recurring use of my creative services throughout 2019.
For Age UK I've principally been designing communications for email and social media; coding e-marketing journeys and designing graphics promoting the organisation's various products and services on Facebook.
For Leukaemia Myeloma Research UK I've been designing and updating printed brochures, creating infographics breaking down statistics in their field for social media and maintaining the website I built for them last year.
Fragrances Of The World
The Best of 2019 Creative Roundup
Back at the start of the year I was concentrating on a large app design project for Fragrances Of The World.
The international guide to perfume classification had formulated the idea for the app after accruing user feedback and identifying a gap in the market - there existed no single tool for fragrance matching. If a customer enjoyed a particular perfume by a rival brand, there was no convenient way for brand retailers to present their own comparable fragrances.
I was tasked with designing and constructing the prototype of the app for the Fragrances Of The World development team to adopt and build out. The concept I built revolves (literally) around the business' trademarked device - the fragrance wheel - to embellish an easy to use form-driven search mechanic that queries the vast Fragrances Of The World database to match fragrances based on user input. Stylistically the app is very clean and minimal and is sympathetic to the various sizes and orientations of devices it will feature on. It was an enjoyable challenge to solve.
SIGGA Knitwear
The Best of 2019 Creative Roundup
Not a great deal of work commissioned from startup businesses this year which is usually a significant focus. Sigga Knitwear is the only standout enterprise that commissioned me for brand discovery work in 2019, where together we crafted a robust identity for the client's fashion and textile business that perfectly realised their vision. The clarity of the brief and the energy from our initial meeting made this a transient project that moved swiftly through the development phases and onto the final lockup design in great time.
Corporate decks
The Best of 2019 Creative Roundup
Corporate sales and investment decks can be dry and clumsy, when in fact they should be inspiring opportunities to present the ethos and goals of your business to new audiences and potential investors. I actually produced three of these during 2019 for small businesses, which to me signals growth in the collateral nnel as a creative medium; recognition that attention to design and properly formatted documentation are critical components even in corporate communications. Freedom Works - a network of co-working spaces across the south coast, Precogs, an automation specialist for electronics procurement and Comet, an online tool for freelance outsourcing, all worked with me to translate their growth strategies and company achievements into concise, engaging, brand-sympathetic presentation decks.
Digital illustration
The Best of 2019 Creative Roundup
Dwindling use of my illustration talent is an increasing trend which worries me. Loud and clear is the need to promote my illustration work more effectively if I'm to gain clients who wish to make use of it, and that's a goal of 2020. The requirement for illustration this year has mostly been corporate, largely for explainer graphics and animations for various tech companies and the MOD.
Those particular projects aside, the rest of 2019 was occupied by a myriad of graphic design projects, digital development projects, a few rounds of iconography design, a fair amount of telephone/video consultation and so much more I can't even recall.
I sit here now, at 9pm the day before Christmas Eve, still at my desk, a week-deep in updates on social media from other companies and freelancers announcing their respective Out Of Office autoresponders being triggered, and I am desperately craving a festive break. I'm taking one now. I shall return to work on the 3rd of January 2020 where I will not only be diving head-long into the projects left incomplete from this side of Christmas, I'll also be taking calls, fielding enquiries, drafting up quotes, and breaking ground on the new ones already cued up.
Thanks for reading - enjoy your Christmas and have a fantastic New Year. See you on the other side.
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