Designer, web developer and beanpole
I’ve been designing professionally since 1996 and I built my first website way back in 1995 when the web was just for geeks.
I have expertise in graphic design, typography, branding, print, web design, web development and server management. These days I mostly build sites using WordPress and I am an expert at customising it to do exactly what clients need.
I’ve worked with organisations of all sizes and types and my key strength is being able to see right to the soul of what is needed in every project.
Education and employment history
My interest in design started as a child when and I used to draw posters for clubs my mum used to organise. I did Graphics at GCSE and Art at A-level before I went to the University of Reading to study at the world-renowned Typography and Graphic Communication course there. I graduated in 1996 and went to work in London for a publisher that produced books about antiques and gardening and also rather oddly, The Joy of Sex.
After a year or so there I joined a busy design agency where I worked with blue chip clients such as Guinness, Diageo, PricewaterhouseCoopers and many large companies based in the City. Two years later I moved to the charity ActionAid to try and do more social good with my skills. I worked there for a few years collaborating with people from ActionAid’s country programmes all over the world. The web was really starting to take off then and due to my interest in new technology I ended up becoming the in-house web guy. After an organisational shake-up I decided it was a good time to leave and start Bananadesign with Holly in 2000.
I’m a bit of an all-rounder but I take great pride in learning things deeply and making sure everything I do is done extremely well:
- Print design (InDesign, QuarkXPress, Acrobat, Adobe Creative Cloud)
- Print production (Acrobat, Adobe Creative Cloud)
- Web design (UX, UI, Responsive design, Adobe Creative Cloud)
- Website management (Website security, Website optimisation, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Uptime monitoring, Backup strategy, SEO)
- Server set-up and administration (LAMP/LEMP stack, Digital Ocean, Jelastic, Plesk)
Some possibly interesting things about me
- I’m 1.85m tall and a bit too skinny. I’ve always struggled to put on weight, despite eating a lot of chocolate.
- I have monocular vision (I only use one eye at any one time; both are fine but my right eye is stronger). I only found this out recently after an eye test – I’d never noticed it in all my life as it has never caused me any trouble. Apparently birds and most lizards have monocular vision.
- I like English Bull Terriers and have a crazy one called Hector.
- My favourite colour is magenta but it turns out it doesn’t exist.
- I love really good coffee.
- I was once run over by a car.
- I have been known to dye my hair funny colours.
- I’m a lifelong Liverpool FC fan and was at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
- I’ve learned Swedish and Italian over the years but I’m not really any good at either.
- I’m a cyclist, a runner and kung-fu enthusiast.
- I’m a dad to two fabulous children.
My favourite monkey…
Is the Mandrill as they are so unusual. Interesting fact: Mandrills are the largest of all monkeys.