I guess it is fair to say that I’ve always been a creative type, often found under the table at family parties as a child with my drawing book and pencils. I spent most of my school days camped out in the art block and was in the first year of students to be offered, taken and passed a graphic design A-level. Upon leaving 6th Form I shocked my careers advisor by suggesting that what I wanted to do was to make spaceships fly. They spent a confused minute or two reading my notes and explaining that if that was the case I should have taken physics and maths, not art and graphic design until I explained that I meant spaceships as in Star Wars. Back then (1986) there were no recognised special effects courses in the UK and everything was done by model making, so I joined an advertising agency instead.
I started at MW Publicity in 1986 as a ‘paste up artist’ in the days before Apple Macs and was taught traditional camera ready artwork and design. I learnt how to prepare artwork for print, how to hand draw logos, how to scamp up rough visuals and build full colour mock ups and this hands on experience has been useful even since the advent of computers. Working on the first Apple Macs as they were introduced to the studio I learnt digital design from day one and still recall the nervous feeling when the first job was sent to print on a massive tape with no way of being sure that the final printing would be correct. Needless to say it was and the rest is history.
As well as graphic design and artwork I was also lucky enough to be involved in advertising, exhibitions, editorial, and PR at MW Publicity giving me a wide overview of the whole creative industry and an insight to how it can all work together. When the internet first appeared over the horizon I also began tinkering around with websites in the mid to late 90s as well.
I launch my own creative design company, Gabriel Design, in 1998 and have been growing since then, offering the same wide choice of services as MW Publicity and offering more besides. One thing I believe to be most important about graphic design and marketing is that there should be a joined up approach. There should be a look and feel across everything, digital media, traditional media, printing, exhibitions, advertising, everything. If you are trying to put forward a message then it should be clear across all media.
I have also filled my free time with creative pursuits as well. For many years I was editor for a national youth organisation magazine and subsequently I have taken up the writing and drawing of comics and cartoons. As well as having a few published in print I also have my own weekly webcomic sharing the surreal and supernatural tales of a traditional British pub.
It occurred to me earlier this year that I have a lifetime’s experience and knowledge of graphic design and creativity, and what with the world around filling with more and more graphic content that maybe I should share some of this. Thus Graphical Content was born!