I’ve been working as a freelancer now for fookin’ ages. As well as illustrating and designing ‘tings’ for print, I would actually say that my main area is web design – in terms of work load etc.
But if you look at my web design portfolio you might well say: “Mate … there’s bloody bugger-all there, my man! What’s all that about?”
Well, I’ve certainly not been sitting around twiddling me thumbs and whistling the hits of ‘Genesis’. Indeed, I do have a few freelance projects in development and a redesign here and there, and – more relevant to this ‘ere post – I actually do a shed load of sub-contract work for a splendid North Wales based design agency called View Creative.
I’ve actually been involved in the latest incarnation of the View site – which is in a kinda ‘lets-get-a-presence’ state at the mo – just to give a flavour and get the portfolio ‘out there’ etc. It’s certainly not exactly how I would want it, ‘resource-wise’, but it does have its charm and a bit of ‘balls’ to boot. The initial design concept was conceived by the gaffer himself – MD Simon Cotton (I reiterate: MD, not MC), and many of the View team, including myself, also got there hands dirty with many of the design and build ideas. Anyway …
To give you a quick summary of the View Creative set-up …
The team is made up of (starts counting on fingers), erm, 10 print designers and (starts counting on toes), umm, 5 web designers / developers (2 ASP and PHP programmers), plus 2 project managers, 2 marketing managers, an admin gal, the main MD himself, and a partridge in a pear tree. I must say that they are all absolutely bloody ‘splendito’ to work alongside – it’s a ‘real bubble of like-minded creatives’ kinda vibe.
The agency has a positive attitude towards design, ideas and creativity which, in part, stems from the fact that the gaffer is from a ‘hands-on’ design background himself – all our design work, if possible, should be worthy of the portfolio, and he won’t let any old shit go off to print / get published online. Hats off to the ‘Salmon’, I say.
My role is in the planning (proposals, scopes, strategies, site-plans etc.), design, development and build of websites.
Actually, many of the initial visual ideas for a site will come from some of the other designers. Working as a freelancer, from a graphic design background, and who is used to doing a whole web project from conception to solution, this could be a problem – but it isn’t. Mainly because the designers at View are extremely adept at coming up with clever and original web visual ideas, and also because they see the web from a purely visual design angle, and also from more of an ‘everyday users’ point of view. This leads to great source ideas to work with, and also some great challenges to ‘make stuff work’ in HTML and CSS. It’s a system which works surprisingly well.
OK. So here is my ‘View Creative Portfolio’, so to speak. As I’ve mentioned, most of these projects have been designed as a team effort – with a few exceptions, so note that many are not 100% my visual ‘designs’, but they have all been hand-coded by me – both XHTML and CSS (oh, and there is some right clever ASP / PHP in some of them as well, which is definitely nowt to do with me!) ...
I’ll update the info and list above as new stuff gets completed and that …