Happy new year – I hope you all had a wonderful time over the holidays and are feeling refreshed and ready for the year ahead. I’m not particularly into the whole ‘new year new me’ thing, but I do enjoy taking the opportunity that the new year brings to pause, reflect on the year that’s just gone and have a little dream and plan for the coming months.
In terms of my work as a freelance graphic designer, 2017 was a huge stepping stone for me. I’ve been able to work with some lovely clients on lots of exciting projects, and I’ve really really really enjoyed the work I’ve done over the year.
One of the best parts about being a graphic designer is being able to use type and illustrations to solve problems for people, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourite projects from 2017.
As someone with a degree in typography, it’s safe to say that I love designing books and layouts. The first book project of the year was a very special 140-page book for Tiger Finch which I enjoyed working on immensely. Throughout the year, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Summersdale publishers in Chichester on a number of different projects: typesetting books, designing page layouts and also book covers. In November, I designed another Annual Report for Health & Hope, a Christian relief and development NGO working in Myanmar. Working with the Executive Director, we used bold typography and infographics to clearly display the work the charity have been doing over the past financial year.
Book design for Tiger Finch
Typesetting for Summersdale
Annual Report design for Health & Hope
Over the summer, I had the joy of beginning to work with the wonderful Chloe at Mama Journals to design some beautiful keepsake journals. The first one is a daily journal for new mama’s and has lots of lovely touches like gold foiling and luxury wire binding. We’ve also started work on two other journals which will be out in 2018, so watch this space!
‘Hello Mama’ journal for Mama Journals
I’ve been able to work with lots of different brands over the past year, helping them refine and focus their brand direction and helping them think about what typefaces, logo and colours will help them position their businesses appropriately. I’ve really enjoyed working with local businesses and one of the highlights was developing the brand identity for Steadfast Collective, a creative company in Southampton.
Brand identity for Steadfast Collective
I’ve also developed logo identities for Auxilio Advisors, a corporate company based in Southampton; Casting Little Memories, a creative body casting business in Portsmouth; Eastney Evangelical Church, a church in Portsmouth and Lighthouse Southsea, a mental health community in Southsea.
A new area of work that I’ve ventured into in the past year or so is the world of illustration, and I’ve loved drawing various fun illustrations for Christ Church Southampton and Cornerstone Church Portsmouth.
Illustrations for Christ Church Southampton
Illustrations for Cornerstone Church Portsmouth
Illustrations for Quadrille origami sets
The Portsmouth & Southsea Colouring Book
Of course, I couldn’t not mention one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on this year: illustrating and designing my very own book and then crowdfunding to get it published. The Portsmouth & Southsea Colouring Book began as a little dream way back in summer 2016 and I spent countless afternoons throughout 2017 illustrating some of my favourite places around Portsmouth and putting them together in a colouring book for grownups. I finished the book in October, raised enough money via Kickstarter to get it published in November and then got the printed copies in my hands (and in the hands of all the amazing people who pre-ordered!) in December. I really enjoyed every part of the creative process of making the book, from illustrating the pages, to designing the layouts and cover, to finding a suitable printer, to putting together a Kickstarter campaign and finally, selling copies of the book. It was great to be featured in Strong Island and the Portsmouth News and a massive thanks to everyone who supported me and helped spread the word.
Looking ahead to 2018
Looking back, I’m so thankful for all of the work that I’ve been able to do, and I’m particularly thankful to God for giving me the skills and creativity to be able to do what I love for a living. As I look forward to the next 12 months, I’m excited to get stuck in to more design projects and to see where the year takes me. My aim for 2018 is to ‘work smarter, not harder’ – which is more of a philosophy than a resolution, and although I will definitely work hard at whatever projects come my way, I don’t want to just work hard for the sake of it, but to instead use my time wisely and well on projects that are worthwhile and fulfilling.
Thank you, as always, for following along and supporting my little business, whether that’s by being a good friend, or reading my blog, or buying a product from my shop, or commissioning my design services. I’m truly grateful and looking forward to sharing the coming year with you!