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Alan Baird

Graphic & Digital Designer in Newcastle upon Tyne, with a huge amount of experience in print and digital design, lover of graphic in all forms and the influence it can have on behaviours, evolving & exploring constantly.

“Alan is a consummate professional with an exceptional eye for detail and an ability to turn the most vague requirements into accurate, attention grabbing graphics. I couldn’t recommend him highly enough”.

Tom Oxley, Director at Wilson Oxley Ltd








About me

Graphic and Digital Designer with a huge amount of experience in branding, campaign development, POS, packaging and other forms of marketing material for print & digital media. I articulate my ideas effectively with clients, other designers and external suppliers confidently. Highly proficient with an Apple Mac using a wide range of industry standard software including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, QuarkXpress and Acrobat Pro. I have a small amount of experience using Artpro for a number of packaging projects when not using Illustrator. I possess a similar understanding of digital media software and programming languages including Dreamweaver CS, HTML, CSS and Flash CS (Adobe Certified Associate in Flash CS5) & Fireworks CS.

Specialties: Graphic Design, Digital Design including branding, corporate identity, marketing materials, websites, presentations, editorial design, magazine layouts and book cover design, large exhibition stands, direct mail material, newsletters and original illustrations. Website design and graphics, userinterface design, html, CSS, small amount of javascript, Flash CS and ActionScript 3.0

“Alan is an extremely creative person who can think outside the box when it comes to design. Alan is hard working and a professional individual with a “can do” attitude”.

Nusheen Hussain, Marketing Director at Pennine Home Improvements








My life journey



“I often needed Alan's help on short notice - he was always able to deliver a quality outcome for me clearly demonstrating flexibility and accuracy. I have no hesitation in recommending Alan to prospective employers”


Mike Worrall, Bid Director - Support Services, Middle East and North Africa at Carillion




“A top designer, creative and highly skilled in his tools of the trade. From print artwork, branding to bid graphics... Alan has the ability!”


Alan Grainge, Pursuit and Proposals Senior Manager at PwC

Today
2018

Senior Graphic Designer

Eaga PLC bought by Carillion PLC

June 2009 - January 2018


www.carillionplc.com

Senior Graphic Designer in the Work Winning Team at Carillon, I was responsible for ensuring the visual content for Carillion’s strategic bids are of the highest quality possible. Some of my responsibilities are ensuring bids align within the company’s corporate guidelines, however I am continuously looking to evolve the design and add value in a variety of ways including the way the submissions are submitted or presented, through creating engaging graphics, illustrations and infographics to better explain the solution or offer.

I work closely with other designers, bid managers, marketers & stakeholders provide creative design for B2B (Commercial, FM) & B2C markets via direct mail, national advertising campaigns and online advertising. One of my larger work commitments was working on a BBC Digital project which Carillion implemented for 3yrs. I provided the creative for the marketing communications for this project working closely with the BBC. I was design-lead in developing the new Carillion Food & More catering brand, all advertisements & marketing collateral. My designs and ideas have helped Carillion communicate their business strategy effectively to target audiences using effective print / web branding and marketing collateral. My other responsibilities include: offering guidance, managing multiple jobs at once, managing expectations & timelines, preparing jobs for final output for print or web, speaking and liaising with suppliers and outputting artwork for web developers, resizing artwork.


Some of my achievements are:
Successfully completing a number of flash animation projects that were used at trade shows for promotional and tendering purposes and then modified as banners and used online via 3rd party sites.

Helped win a number of key strategic bids for Carillion including ones for Government Designing a monthly internal comms magazine for the BBC’s Help Scheme

Producing well over 5,000 completed artwork jobs in 9 years

Successfully completing a number of flash animation projects that were used at exhibitions for sales / promotional and tendering purposes and then adapted as part of our online strategy generating leads

Mentoring and collaborating with other designers to better develop their skills

Senior Graphic Designer

Freelance Work

Continued to work freelance for a variety of clients across the UK, creating brands, artwork concepts, infographics and other marketing materials, developing existing websites, producing web banners, press advertising, flyers & exhibition stand designs.


2008

Our 2nd amazing little girl was born

Senior Graphic Designer

Freelance Work

2001 – 2009 – Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


Working freelance for a variety of clients across the UK.
Creating designs and branding, producing various materials, including packaging, brochures, visuals & press adverts.


2005

Our 1st amazing little girl was born


2005

Bought our 1st family home whilst my wife was pregnant


2004

Married my beautiful girlfriend after 5 years


2002

Moved to the North east of England from London

Senior Graphic Designer

Freelance Work

2001 – 2009 – London / Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


Working on a huge number of projects of the years for a variety of clients across the UK. Creating & collaborating with ideas and producing finished designs for a number of SME companies, including creating packaging for a well known after market brake manufacturer, also corporate brochures, artwork visuals, many many press adverts, online banners and websites from concept right through to development.

“Alan is a very talented Graphic Designer. He has the rare quality of being artistically talented and yet able to communicate effectively in a business environment. He listens very well and always exceeds my expectations”


Adam Dunlop, Marketing Director at Northumbria University

“Alan is always approachable and willing to help with last minute tasks. His work ethic is second to none and his work is always of the highest standard. Alan has used his creative flair to help me with many projects and I would highly recommend him”


Jennifer Sewell, Marketing Communications UK and Ireland,
Thorn Lighting

2001

Senior Graphic Designer

Freelance Work

1997 – 2001 – London / Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


I have worked freelance for most of my adult life offering design solutions to small and medium sized organisations. I have worked with a variety of clients in various markets and industries, creating leading edge creative solutions, corporate identity’s, marketing material, reports and literature, logo’s, website layouts, mail order catalogues, brand awareness campaigns. This obviously involves me in presenting my ideas and designs to clients and working with them to fully understand and deliver on their briefs and expectations.


Some of my achievements are:
Designed a number of tender documents and supporting graphics large contracts.

Designed, produced and managed the creation of over 25 mail order catalogues.

Designed fresh re-brand packaging for an automotive manufacturing company, with an increase in sales of 12% in the first 3 months.









1998

Moved from Cambridge and bought my 2nd flat in Waltham Cross, London






Middleweight Graphic Designer

The Builder Group (UBM)

1997 – 2001 London docklands, UK


Managing the studio (job specifications, pricing, deadlines), delivered high quality print and web designs and provided consultation to the other designers.

Other responsibilities included; Creating layout & illustration artwork for trade publications, developing online awareness banners in flash and web page design & implementation (front facing) and uploading & proofing an online magazine.

I was directly responsible for all creative production, ongoing development of the design department ensuring the small team of 3 fulfilled objectives on time & efficiently and working closely with Marketing Director.


Some of my achievements are:
Successfully implementing the creation of 2 bi-monthly magazines.

Managing a studio, other designers workload and design output for 4 years.

Reduced waste of design resource by implementing certain guidelines and brand consistency.


1997

Bought my 1st flat in Cambridge and commuted to London

“Alan is one of those rare creative creatures who not only shows flair, but also listens intently to what you "actually want". Fast to respond (even when he's snowed-under), his attention to detail is supreme and his ability to provide something stunnning from the ordinary is quite rare. Put simply - use him - you won't be disappointed”


Martin Plenderleith (MCIPR), PR & Internal Communications,
BBC Switchover Help Scheme

“Alan is a highly capable and organised designer who excels in both web and print design. He consistently displays dedication and application to getting the job done to a high standard and asks all the right questions to gain a better understanding of what is being produced. I would strongly recommend Alan for any type of design work and have confidence that the quality of output will be high”


Harry Lovell, Group Digital Marketing Manager,
Carillion

1996

1997

rented my 2nd flat in Enfield, London

Graphic Designer

Freelance Work

1996 – 1997 – London / Cambridge, UK


Working freelance for a variety of clients offering design ideas to small and medium sized organisations, creating creative solutions, corporate identity’s, branded literature and brochures, marketing material, annual reports, logo’s, website layouts, mail order catalogues, brand awareness campaigns. Presenting my ideas and designs coherently to clients and working with them to fully understand and deliver on their briefs and expectations.


Some of my achievements are:
Designed a number of large mail order catalogues single handedly from initial concept ideas right through to final completion and printing.

Created numerous company logo's, literature and websites for start up business's and SME's.








1996

Freelance work on a fixed term for Performance Dynamics Motorsport. Design and produce their 96 page mail order catalogue


1995

Collaborated on the visuals for the Honda vehicle graphics for the 1995 British Touring Car championship whilst working at Ripspeed International

Junior Graphic Designer

Ripspeed International Ltd

1994 – 1996 London, UK


My main responsibilities were to oversee and produce all the company’s above the line advertising material, from monthly mail order adverts, company leaflets, letterheads, corporate branding, sales materials, banners, annual reports, annual mail order catalogues and vehicle livery.


Some of my achievements are:
Completion of a 96 page mail order catalogue from concept idea to final finished artwork within 9 weeks including all the design, layout, scanning, photomanipulation and proofing.

Saved the organisation over £30,000 per year on outsourcing additional design requirement by suggesting and implementing significant improvements to the design processes, the briefs received and sign-offs of final artwork.

Re-designing the corporate brand, rolling out across all materials within time and budget.





1994

Landed my first full-time graphic designer job at Ripspeed International







“Alan's contribution to 'getting the job done' extends far beyond his Creative Design skills. Having worked with Alan on many Direct Mail campaigns I have found him excellent at ensuring accuracy whilst absorbing and adhering to the many technical constraints. Basically, he is excellent at harnessing his creative ability and ensuring he delivers a practical application. Hire him!”


Gary Walker, Senior Account Manager,
Snap Marketing Solutions Ltd

“Alan is a very experienced and talented graphic designer. He has the ability to work under pressure whilst maintaining great attention to detail. Alan puts his all in every project and his work will always impress. He's a great asset to any team. He brings creativity, determination, style and flexibility to the table, and I would highly recommend Alan”


Kirsty Jameson, Head of Marketing, Creating Careers Ltd

1994

1993

Moved to Essex from London and rented my first flat in Newbury Park







Finished college education

Looking for any freelance work

As an aspiring designer an having just finished college years I spent time networking and trying to pick up any interesting projects and working for free to try and prove my skills to potential employers.

...



“Alan is simply a "Go to" guy. Great for producing ideas and concepts, also for turning around production ready work very quickly. Not simply a highly skilled technician, also very creative and hard working”.

Rob Kirton, SEO / E-commerce Expert




“Alan is a design god: hire him. He's got that rare gift amongst graphic designers: he can turn your mad, random ideas into seductive graphics that tell compelling stories, but at the same time know when you want your own bit of design to make it through the process. Some GDs are dogmatic and want to show off, while others just turn your amateur mess into professional mess. Alan gets the balance spot-on. As I said, hire him!”


Jamie McDonald, Executive Customer Experience Consultant

“Alan and I have worked together for over five years and most recently on the setup and the development of Victorious Academies Trust. Alan worked with us developing all of the branding, marketing and communications materials for the Trust and the high quality of the design and professional advice that he gave to us during these early stages is fundamental to the success of the Trust. As a thoughtful, understanding and creative designer with the best interests of the Trust, our Academies and stakeholders throughout he was able to create a brand for us that we are incredibly proud of. He always responded promptly to requests and the work that he did with us was always provided on time and provided exceptional value for money. This branding is endlessly praised and commented upon by other organisations we work with and I would unreservedly recommend Alan for work across all business sectors”.


Nicky Wise, Chief Operations Officer at Victorious Academies Trust

Portfolio

  • Website creative

    Website design and new logo for Vermin Controllers | A free vermin control service to farmers & land owners

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  • Packaging

    3 Packaging concepts and illustrations for Ringtons 'Limited Edition' spiced chai tea range. From initial concept ideas to outputting final design and printing

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  • Magazine

    Magazine layout designs created for a number of different clients over the years during freelance work

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  • Illustration

    A nice simple illustration created for use on a front cover of a monthly magazine with a festive look and feel but still keeping within brand

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  • Illustration

    A new style of illusrtaion drawn that is loosly based on an existing style used accross the organisation. Quite alot of amends and development with this project but great fun

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  • Website creative

    Ideas, concepts based on a Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) customer journey, amends through to supplying artwork to web team for remote site build.

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  • Print

    Design a series of Ringtons pop up sales banners for sales and bidding work. Explaining their unique offering through clear, concise imagery and effective brand design.

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  • Print

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Illustration

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Website creative

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Print

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Illustration

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Website creative

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Website creative

    Design and illustrate a new brand logo for a free service provider in the north east of England. Simple yet with honour and trust.

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  • Print

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Illustration

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Bids

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Illustration

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Website creative

    Design and illustrate a new brand logo for a free service provider in the north east of England. Simple yet with honour and trust.

    View it

  • Print

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

    View it

  • Bids

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Print

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Print

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Bids

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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  • Bids

    I am busy populating my this site with fresh content so please accept my apologies.

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Education

Adobe Certified Associate

Flash CS 5.5 - Academy Class an Approved Adobe Trainer

2011 - Glasgow, UK

Flash when used effectively can make a design stand out from the crowd and can be used to create truly eye-catching and interactive animations. In this intensive Flash ACA course, I learnt everything I needed to know to begin creating my own Flash animations, how I could avoid the most common errors designers make when working with Flash, and how I could work with Flash’s latest features. Best of all, at the end of the course I undertook the ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) test, making me a certified Flash Associate.
Academy Class - Approved Adobe Trainer.

BTEC National Diploma

Graphic Design – Newham College

1992 - 1994 - london, UK

This course introduced me to all areas of graphic design, including ideas generation, visual studies, contextual studies,typography, photography, and computer production. In the second year I worked on a number of live briefs set by the client.

The use of an Apple Mac was essential to the course structure.

BTEC First Diploma

DESIGN - WALTHAM FOREST COLLEGE

1991 - 1992 - LONDON, UK

This was a course that covered all aspects of design and the development of conceptual thinking, experimenting with colour, textile design, fine art and life drawing to name but a few. Computer training also played an important part of the curriculum.

GSCE'S

SCHOOL YEARS – WARWICK SCHOOL FOR BOYS

1990 - 1991 - london, UK


  • Art - 'A'
  • Sport - 'B'
  • Maths - 'B'
  • Science - 'C'
  • English - 'C'
  • Geography - 'C'
  • Religious Education - 'D'
  • GSCE'S

    SCHOOL YEARS – Bedlingtonshire High School

    1987 - 1990 - NORTHUMBERLAND, UK

    GSCE'S

    SCHOOL YEARS – Garabaldi High School

    1983 - 1987 - NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, UK





    Skills

    Adobe InDesign CCExpert
    Adobe Photoshop CCExpert
    Adobe Illustrator CCExpert
    ESKO Art ProIntermediate
    QuarkXpress 8Expert
    HTML/CSSIntermediate
    Adobe DreamweaverIntermediate
    Adobe FlashPro
    JS/jQueryNovice/Intermediate
    Adobe Acrobat ProPro / Expert
    Office 365 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Sharepoint, Skype) Pro
    Mac OSXExpert

    Awesomness level

    I am proficient in a wide range of industry standard software (Adobe Creative Cloud - Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign - Adobe Certified Associate, Acrobat Pro, Dreamweaver, Flash - Adobe Certified Associate, Fireworks), HTML, CSS and and Microsoft Office 0365 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Skype, Outlook, Sharepoint), QuarkXpress, Artpro, Windows 10 & Mac OSX.

    Back in the day

    There was a time way back in my career when designing web sites as fast as possible was almost as high a priority for clients as making them look good. In today's Internet, the mantra is to make a web site as flashy as possible. As a graphic designer and early web developer, most people including me tend to forget that there are a lot of people out there that still use older browsers or browse on slow Internet connections. It is easy for me to sit at home or work on a broadband connection with a newer browser and not worry about the speed or even if the browser will display image png's, but try going to a location that has slow connections or browse on an old computer, phone or portable device and you can quickly get impatient.

    Google ranks a website on a number of factors one being speed and this affects the websites page rankings. With this in mind, it is more important than ever to tune up the performance of a site I'm working on. What can cause speed problems and how do you fix them?

    A typical example of this is: Using CSS for design instead of tables will give you cleaner HTML and smaller pages. Using tables creates more HTML markup than using CSS for design. You can save up to 50% on file size by switching to pure CSS design instead of tables.

    Whilst I don't work on a ton of websites daily I do try and keep on top of current trends and be as efficient as and I'm always trying to learn new things.

    Working on improving my skills

    Graphic design I feel is a skill that is quickly changing, both creatively and technically, and whilst it's easy for me to get caught up in learning new technical skills, it is just as important to me to focus improving and pushing the limits of my creativity.

    I am a collector. Each time I see a design that inspires me, I collect it, bring it home and file it away, allowing me to access it when I need to or when I can find it. These are a great resource of inspiration when needed. I also do this online and download work which I like. On my Mac computer I have a folder named 'Inspiration'. I save everything I like in there. Every time I'm stuck or have no idea what to add, I always look in my 'Inspiration' folder.

    My books. Having an extensive nerdy book collection is essential to my learning. I try to buy a new design or graphics book at least every few weeks. I look for a range of inspirational, educational, fun, and technical topics.

    There are other ways of me improving my knowledge and skills but the ones mentioned above is just a small list of examples.

    Contact

    Contact info




    Please feel free to contact me regarding any questions or design requirements you have and I would love to see if I can help you using my plethera of skills and experience.