There...I’ve Said It
OK. Here’s the thing. As I see it, our way of life increasingly relies on our ability to persuade each other to buy products, services and lifestyles we don’t need, don’t want and can’t afford. I don’t think that’s sustainable, and I don’t want to be part of that process. However, my career’s steeped in brand strategy, visual identity and communication design, so I know it works, and I know how to do it well.
What to do? Well, my solution is to work with clients who contribute to the common good – social enterprises, charities, community groups, environmental organisations, and people working in the education, culture and creative sectors who are trying to make a difference. If that sounds like you, please get in touch – I’d like to work with you.
Career Timeline: 2019-Present
I launched my current studio in 2019, and specialise in Brand-led Strategy & Design for the Common Good. Alongside my work as a designer, teaching forms an important part of my practice. I run an ongoing programme of Brand Definition Workshops specially designed for social enterprises and third sector organisations. I also provide training around brand and visual communication on behalf of Third Sector Interfaces, and have delivered classes for Engage Renfrewshire and Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire. I’m also a guest lecturer on Glasgow Caledonian University’s ‘Marketing, Design & Creativity’ module.
2006-19: Red Empire
Between 2006 and 2019, I worked under the studio name, Red Empire. Operating as a one-person creative agency, regular clients included The Confucius Institute for Scotland, Glasgow City Heritage Trust and The University of Glasgow. I also created identities for The Scottish Fiscal Commission and Mitchells Roberton Solicitors, among many others.
2015: Borrowed Light
In 2015, The Lighthouse (Scotland’s Centre for Design & Architecture) hosted my solo exhibition, ‘Borrowed Light’. It featured nine large-scale, abstract, photographic prints. Contrary to initial appearances, all the images were generated from everyday domestic objects, and were created entirely in-camera, without specialist lighting. You can see the full Borrowed Light portfolio, along with some of my other personal projects, here.
2015: The Only Way is Ethics
In 2015, I took on the role of Festival Manager for The Only Way is Ethics – an 8-day, 20 venue, 50-event festival that took place across Glasgow. The aim of the festival was to encourage and promote ethical thinking in all walks of life, with a particular focus on social inclusion, social responsibility, environmental protection and animal rights. Find out more.
2009-2012: Touch Sensitive
Between 2009 and 2012 I curated Touch Sensitive, a self-generated dual-language music project. Aimed at promoting new music from Scotland and Spain, it culminated in the release of a limited edition CD album entitled ‘2×6’.
1997-2002: Chemikal Underground & Other Labels
Between 1997 and 2002 I created artwork for over 60 records. During that time I worked with many different bands and labels, but I was most closely associated with the highly influential Chemikal Underground Records.
My credits include ‘Philophobia’ by Arab Strap and ‘Come On Die Young’ by Mogwai – both UK Top 40 albums – and ‘Pull the Wires from the Wall’ by the Delgados, a John Peel Festive 50 Number 1 single.
1994-2005: Glasgow Caledonian University
My CV also includes 11 years as Senior Designer at Glasgow Caledonian University, where I was instrumental in establishing the in-house Design Studio. I was a key member of the team responsible for implementing the rebranding as the institution evolved from Glasgow College, through Glasgow Polytechnic to become Glasgow Caledonian University.