I guess you could call this my blog but it is just really a collection of thoughts and ideas. Some of these are work related, some creative and some either about cats or movies. Hopefully they will give an insight into my working process and mindset.

What am I currently reading?

I am a bit of a book nerd spedning a long time infront of the screen audio books have become a bit of a thing. I am currently reading A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell - fascinating to read about other cultures and the happiest country on earth.

Room 101

It has to be said my number one pet hate is design companies that will purchase a WordPress theme and then pass the work off as their own. Stating that they are 'experts in design'. I'm sorry but I would not expect an artist to use someone else's painting add a pretty pussycat to it and then call it their own painting.

Wordpress themes have their place and there are some fantastic ones, especially found at the likes of https://themeforest.net/ and there is nothing wrong in purchasing one of these and getting your friendly neighborhood web designer to amend this theme to your own needs. I have done this for a number of people over the years to great success.

But please, please fellow designers use your website to demonstrate your own creativity, not someone elses.

Mini-rant over.

Say Cheese

If an image speaks a thousand words then image selection and how that image is used in your marketing material has never been so important. With over 1.2 trillion digital photographs taken last year alone, the availability of high-quality images has never been so easy to access.

In this article, I have compiled my 5 tips for how businesses should use images online. Hopefully, you will find them useful

  1. Don't steal images - This may be pretty obvious but just because you find an image on Google does not mean you can grab it and use it on your website. There are so many great libraries of images around like https://www.adobestock.com, that offer high-quality images for a low cost there is really no need to face the copyright police.
  2. Size matters - Yes digital images can be a lower resolution than images you need for a brochure. But think about the size of the image. If you have a picture which is 10cm wide that is at a relatively low resolution, to begin with, you cannot just stretch this as much as you want and expect it to look great.
  3. Proportions, proportions, proportions - This might be teaching you to suck the proverbial egg but if you are resizing an image don't mess with the proportions. In most image manipulation packages when you click on an image you will get what is called a bounding box. Use the corner square to resize your image or things can look ugly quite quickly.
  4. Smiley Happy People - If you are using purchased images for your business website then please don't use images with more cheese than a Marks and Spencers cheese counter. See the examples here - one is a little too staged and is clearly a stock image the other has an actual touch of the real about it - think which will bring the most integrity to your website.
  5. You can just get rid of that can't you - A client of a friend of mine recently sent him some photographs of his factory which he took on his iPhone, each one with the date and time emblazoned in the bottom right-hand corner. My friend was then asked to 'Photoshop out' each of the date and time on each photo and charged his client a full days work. Think when you are taking your own images 'How close are these to how I want them to appear on my website?'. You could be saving yourself a lot of retouching budget.
  6. There is a little free trial to adobe stock if you click on this link below - which will get you a free 30-day trial and 10 images for free. It's worth doing if you are thinking of adding some new images to your site or need some for your next project. https://www.adobestock.com (don't forget to cancel your trial - or it's £23.00 for 12 images a month)

Digital Work

I have been around computers since the dawn of the ZX Spectrum, you may need to Google this. My experience in digital projects has been varied and I have been really lucky to turn my hobby into my career. If you would like to see some examples of the work that I have produced click on the link below.

See portfolio >>

Print Work

My experience in design for print goes back 20 years. Coming from a creative family, design has always been in my blood and I am thrilled when I make my clients delighted with their printed projects, wether it is exhibition stands, adverts or bsuiness stationary.

See portfolio >>

Other Experience

I have been involved in a lot of different projects over the years, these include event management, strategic planning and projcet management of large scale digital projects. If you need help in a project that is more left field, it may be worth having a chat.

Read more >>

Why we love working with Graham

"We have been working with Graham for almost 15 years now and he has become an indispensible member of the Marpatt team. His work on our company website and advertising has helped us win a lot of clients and provide the level of experience that we hope raises the Marpatt brand to the levels that we strive for."

Mark Koeberle : Director

"Graham is a valuable member of our team and has been instrumental in creating CHAS as a digital brand for the Contractors Health and Safety industry. His digital experience is second to none and we are constantly amazed at the returns his digital campaigns yield."

Allen Bloor : Director

"Working with Graham has been an absolute pleasure. Not only are his skills in digital marketing a tremendous benefit to the business but he also has a real commercial awareness that ensures we can the best benefit for the least amount of resource possible. I encourage anyone looking to grow their business to talk to Graham, you will not be disappointed."

Vince deStefano : Director

"I met Graham through a Facebook that we were both part of and his assitance in creating a brand and a digital presence could not have come at a better time. I am grateful for all his efforts and would recommend him to anyone for their marketing and web work"

Martyn Lax : Director

"Graham always provides excellent value for money and turns around all the projects that I give him someimes an unbelievably quick time. I am always astonished by his skill set, the things which he says are 'no problem' literally sometimes blow my mind. Use Graham for your web work, it's that simple."

Scott Kempin : Director

"Mr D as I call him (he calls me the same), is my right hand man when it comes to anything digital. As well as putting the world to rights on more than one occassion he is a valuable asset for me and my customers."

Warwick Dipple : Owner