Up the worker…

May I rant? Ok, thank you. As a freelancer you’re looking for opportunities for new clients, different types of work to extend your experience or to fill in work gaps between bigger projects. Or to just see what the world has to offer today. UpWork is a marketplace for businesses or individuals to hire someone for a specific task. Jobs are posted and you offer up a proposal, with examples of your work or covering letter outlining your immense experience with a mouse and a Pantone swatch. All good.

I picked up a job on there for a logo design a while ago for a glassware startup company and we went through lots of good sensible communication with the owner about the project and how he lives in the town where I grew up. All good I think, so I go about the brief and start designing a new logo design and have final ideas ready when I realise the client has gone rather quiet. I enquire before sending any proof files. Still rather quiet. Maybe he changed his mind, went on holiday, maybe it was hilarious high jinks, or fake news… Who knows? This (mild) rant is aimed at me – I should of checked the fine print and made sure the proposal was actively accepted.

Still, I think it’s a nice logo. Anyone have a thermal glassware company?


D’avila website

A few months ago I finished working on updating a website for D’avila Illustration, a new company set up by former manager of Oxford Designers & Illustrators. The site is self hosted on WordPress and my job was to set up accounts, select premium theme and redevelop and design the site. It’s a simple site offering illustration commissioning featuring a wide range of artists and their portfolios, blog and contact page.

Davila Illustration


An unmarked package dropped through the letter box today, which oddly made me suspicious as I’d just watched the Manhunt: Unabomber series on Netflix. But, like a slave to society as the series opening script claimed we all are, I opened it happily enough, and was greeted, fortunately by the Japanese Way of the Rugby Fan…or Gambare!

This is a travel guide to Japan for the rugby fan who may be venturing off to Japan for the World Cup this year that I designed for the author Angus Turvill, and illustrated by Harry Venning.

It’s a great pocket-sized guide to Japanese customs, etiquette, transport, food, language and of course rugby game locations. For more information about the book and to buy a copy click here.

I even discovered how my name looks in Japanese! Arigato!


Here’s some cover development for Curious Fox trade young adult fiction I did, whilst working with Raintree publishing and taking on a cover re-design, after disappointing initial sales of the original print run. Sometimes a book is judged by a cover…

Is going to the London Book Fair a good idea for the freelance designer?

It’s a natural state of thought that if you specialise in book design, in one form or another that the London Book Fair is the place to be. Or at least a place to be peering into the roped-off stand of that big publisher you dream of designing covers for – penguins aside, is the Book Fair the place to be or is time better spent with a nice Cappuccino in front of a warm backlit keyboard contact hunting on LinkedIn? I searched for an answer…courtesy of bookcareers.com, who were recently thinking the same thing.

  1. Don’t expect to find a job at the London Book Fair. Nobody is interested in your CV, but maybe you can sneak a business card into their fish bowl. Yes, a real business card! Do you have one?
  2. Network. I just picked up a book from the library called, The Introvert Entrepreneur. Bill Gates (& Mark Zuckerberg for the millennials) is an introvert – he did ok I think.
  3. Exhibitors are there to make deals, not talk to you about freelance work, unless you have a close cousin in the Chinese Ministry of Education perhaps.
  4. Look at the stands – which ones are busy, look for reasons why and it might give you an idea of publishing trends, design styles, font use etc. Look at competitor stands and see which product range most suits your style or interest. The Book Fair is a great place for research, new developments and insight.
  5. Find out about relevant seminars before you go and book a place, then make sure you turn up! Some are free, so seek these out and book early.
  6. Wear comfortable shoes, but probably not flip-flops…

Harvest Moon

I’m currently working with author Zachary H. Lovelady on his epic novel, Harvest Moon to redesign the interior typesetting, and look at different ePub formats available. T-shirts are even available here!

When the harvest moon is high, two hearts unite in the shadows of the dark pine forest. Hunted by their tribes, the pair, Kiowa and Anoki, meet in secret. They defy the elements with the gentle warmth of their love. A great medicine man brings special magic to help them. He unveils a golden lance and says, “You must sacrifice everything if you are to be one. You must learn to skin walk!”


A Squatter in London

“Squatters. Dirty disheveled hippies lazing about smoking dope while occupying other people’s properties? Maybe. Maybe not.”

That’s the opening description of this self-published novel I worked on with author Irene Pylypec, laying out the text and designing the cover, which reflects the author’s fond memories of looking out over the rooftops of London under starry skies. You can buy the book here at this rather well known book store…

Broadleaf Services logo

This was a client who wanted a new logo design for their business, which combined three different business ventures into one business name and gave the business a more professional identity, which would be applied to vehicles, clothing, business stationary, new website and marketing materials.