My road to addiction
My decades of addiction and design insight is what helps your product leap off the shelf and into the eager hands (and thirsty throats) of your customers. Whether working on worldwide booze brands, marketing pink diamonds to high-end customers, or creating packaging for premium dips and nibbles, my design experience cuts through.
I prefer to call myself a 'designaholic'
My love of design, music, and the odd nip or two, has been my mainstay, my income, and sometimes my solace for much of my life.
I gained my first apprenticeship at 17 in an advertising agency. So much was my dedication, I even missed my high school graduation because I was getting a big project out the door. I studied a lot of brands and saw a lot of bands. In this post-punk Factory Records era, design and music came together – then exploded. I haunted every record store in town and pored over intricate gatefolds and inserts of record sleeves; taking in the design, the art, the presentation. I was addicted.
Along the way everyone’s tastes in booze matured, and so did mine. From teenage fumblings around a flagon of Old Jock’s Cream of Wellies, I started to insist on cut glass decanters and little booklets bound with gold thread.
As my tastes developed, so did my design specialisation in the drinks industry.
Since those golden days, I’ve chased that feeling around the world - from various design agencies around Edinburgh, Scotland to an international packaging agency in Brussels where I designed the Bounty wrapper still in stores today! I circled back to a couple of agencies in Ireland, my country of birth, and then back to Scotland where I spent years as a Creative Director at one of the UK's top agencies, working with major corporate clients and distilleries such as Glenmorangie.
I started my design business in 2001, building a loyal base of top quality clients (including Glenmorangie - they followed me) and Sheraton Hotels (see it’s not all about the booze). In 2006 I transported myself and my business to Bondi Beach in Sydney, and now I am comfortably settled in Melbourne where I share a studio with a lovely Bunch of inspirational people.
The un-bullshit approach
I’m supposed to blab here about my passion for design. I could boast about the 10 industry awards I've won over the years.We both know that’s got nothing to do with you or your audience. After 34 years of pure un-bullshit, I assure you that good design is only possible with great client service.
Good design means something. It speaks directly to your audience. It sells your brand, your products, and service. And I get us there by engaging directly with you.
The un-bullshit approach is collaborative, fair, and sometimes challenges the status quo. I only work with brands and people I care about, trust, and respect (and you feel the same way too!).
The un-bullshit approach has a direct effect on how well your products sell, your business, and even your family.
You won’t find this in any well-thumbed ideas from David Ogilvy or Steve Jobs. But it’s worked for me, my clients, and their brands, for over three decades.