pen and ink drawing

David Weekes Illustrator

Life is funny sometimes. I sit in front of my computer day after day and am often bombarded by emails containing portfolios of designers, illustrators or developers looking to show me their skills in the hope I can give them work. Many are good, some are not well thought out and some are quite simply, amazing. However, how many do I really deal with? Not many. Emails are impersonal, you know you’re being blind copied in and unless I see something in it straight away to make me click through, most honestly just dont get looked at in any detail.

Harsh? Maybe. Common? Definitely. Most designers I know are exactly the same. Bombarded daily, overworked, little free time and so therefore this situation happens again and again.

But this week it was different. Very different. Something extraordinary happened. I received a letter. Not an email. A letter. And it was handwritten, not printed out. And in it was a memory stick and a wonderful message from and illustrator called David Weekes. As he took the time to hand write me a letter, I read it in detail, and proceeded to attach the memory stick to my computer to see what was on it. And am I glad I did. It was brilliant.

Beautiful little hand-drawn images that reminded me of Roald Dahl books, clever little sketches of characters and illustrations that were full of charm. To cut a long story short, I called him and we got chatting. He has just left a meeting with myself and now we know each other alot better than before. And all because of a simple handwritten letter. As we spoke for over an hour we got on famously and shared many likes (and opinions). And that is the power of building a relationship. One that would never have happened if he had just emailed me. So to all those budding designers, illustrators and web developers who get in touch with me every day take a lesson from this. Be different. Be personal. and be real. It makes all the difference and could make a difference to you in many ways.

P.S. I am now actively seeking work for David and his illustrations and have already had firm interest. And all it took was time to write a letter.

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Character Illustration in Illustrator

Meet Mac the Jack. You will be seeing a lot more of his beardy little face over the coming months, but thought you two might like to introduce yourselves now. A whole series of images is on its way. Check back soon!

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Voucher Code Website Video

A bit of fun with this, as the Vouchermole needed a small promotional video to be placed on YouTube and their website.

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Vector Illustration

Photoshop and Illustrator Childrens Picture

The Owl and the Pussycat (Kind Of…)

What I particularly love about this illustration is the way the colours mix to create a surreal world where the Pussycat stalks in a grumbling mood, whilst the wise old owl sits framed against what could be a sunset. There are a whole set of images coming to complement this so check back soon….

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Poster Design – Personal Work

Poster Design - Personal Work

Sometimes personal work offers the best opportunity just to cut loose, have fun, make mistakes, reap rewards and remember why you started designing in the first place.

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Manchester in a Day – A beautiful time lapse video.

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Stormfront Computers Website

Apple Premium Reseller WebsiteStormfront are the UK’s largest Apple Premium Reseller and required a slick, contemporary design that reflected their position in the market. With stores throughout England, Scotland and Wales they are renowned for their beautiful stores and needed a web presence to match this. With 60% white space, and a strong typographic typekit in place, this website design helps Stormfront in being perfectly placed to become one of the UKs most successful independent retailers. For further examples find out more at our sister site.

 

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Photoshop Illustration

"Inhale/Exhale"

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Google Page Rank Update

Business Website pageRank Increase

Did your site see its PageRank increase?

Well after a long old wait, it seems Google have finally made the last update to their PageRank for 2012. For many of us it’s good news. PageRank has increased which is good for the ego, although not necessarily for your search ranks.

However, an increase in PageRank determines one thing for certain – You are doing things right. In an age of the ‘Penguin’ many sites I have seen have had a drastic reduction, and this is sympomatic of bad practices. If your site has taken a tumble, then it’s time to address the reasons why, as it can be recovered. Now i’m not talking doing a serious overhaul of your SEO, after all off-site SEO is probably something that we should all put on the backburner for a while. What I am looking at is your on-site optimisation.

I manage many websites, and the one over-riding factor I have seen since Penguin is that those sites that have been left untouched off-site are experiencing a pagerank increase. For some of my older sites, where you did work offsite, there has been a mixed bag of results. Some have increased, some have decreased. What I will be addressing though is those that have suffered a drop I will now be taking a fresh look at everything that happened before we had the last major algorythm update.

In no way, shape or form did I ever engage in ‘black-hat’ practices, but we all looked to draw links from external sites, and sometimes we weren’t as vigilant as we should have been in where they came from. Now, we are focusing solely on what we can do on-site, and also with social media. Google+, Stumbleupon, Twitter and Linkedin have all taken the front seat in where we aim our efforts. And this is good. Yes, because it means we are building relationships with people. We cant make links happen, all we can do is engage people to visit, like and recommend our website. And after the initial shock of penguin, I think this is a great thing and should be embraced.

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