My name is Richard James. That’s what the J stands for in my web address. I live in Norwich, Norfolk and have been designing for businesses since 2006. Back then I was working for marketing agencies, but decided to become a freelance graphic designer in 2015. Welcome to my new chapter.
I have had an interest in art and design since I was child. It was my strongest subject at school - and thus my favourite. Growing up in the digital age naturally steered me towards graphic design and this is the path I pursued into further education, first with a BTEC National Diploma in Graphic Design from Great Yarmouth College, then on to DeMontfort University in Leicester where I emerged three drink-fuelled years later with a BA (Hons) degree in Multimedia Design.
After University I returned to Norwich and landed a nice little job with a print company designing estate agency brochures to promote their high-end properties. It was here that I was able to develop everything I had learned in Uni and hone my skills in a professional environment. Although I did not realise it at the time, the job enabled me to lay foundations that would stand me in good stead to become a freelance graphic designer.
For the following decade I worked with several advertising agencies where I gained valuable experience designing marketing materials for print and digital publications, trade shows, advertising boards, brochures, editorial layouts and websites. During this time, I worked on dozens of projects with companies from all corners of the globe which helped to shape my understanding of consumer psychology.
Before becoming a freelancer, my final piece of experience was as a graphic designer in Norwich where I worked on developing brand designs for companies across the UK. It would prove to be the final slice of knowledge pie that would set me on my way to becoming a professional freelance graphic designer. And here I am.
The best brands designs resonate with an audience on an emotional level. And not just any audience. Customers that have value to you. Consumers steer towards brands they need or they feel reflect their own personality and ideals. So, as you would expect from any freelance graphic designer worth their grain, I have a work process to ensure I obtain the information I need, in order to understand my clients, their audience and the design solutions that work best for them.
My research process involves understanding your business objectives and your audience in order to determine where your brand is positioned in the market and what brand personality your audience will most relate to.
This stage of the process involves gathering ideas and drafting design concepts that portray your brand personality. I look at shapes, patterns, colours, formats and fonts that best reflect the psychology of your ideal customer and communicates your brand identity.
At this point I focus on the ideas that have the most potential. Each project is different so I won’t go into detail here, but the crux of my process is I produce a selection of designs and send them over to you for thoughts and feedback.
After taking on board your feedback, I develop the designs you want to work with and tweak them accordingly until you are completely happy with the end product. Then we are good to go. You finalise the payment and I release the designs. Job done.