I studied Graphic Design in the North East of England, first at Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) and then I went on to do a degree at Teesside University in Middlesbrough (UK). After graduating, I had a couple of short-lived jobs before going on my own and setting up Hype Type. The first job I had was part-time at a local printer for 6 months designing letterheads and business cards for small businesses and really just any person walking in off the street wanting something quick and cheap. It was hardly my idea of a dream job, but the staff were great and the old men running the printing presses were amazing. They taught me everything about color and setting up jobs for print. I would stay late after work to watch and help them run the presses into the night. I learned so much in that time regarding the print process. My next job was another short-lived role; this time at a design studio. And my last job was part-time design at the local council whilst building my own freelance business and transitioning into setting up Hype Type.
I didn’t really leave university with a master plan apart from trying to get a job as a graphic designer. I applied for every job I could find, got a lot of rejection letters and, in fact, I still have many of them. During my time at both the printer and local council, I had started picking up small freelance work for friends’ DJ gigs, music projects, and skateboard companies. So in my spare time and in the evening, I was designing lots of club flyers, posters, album covers, and t-shirt graphics. In 1999, I got to the point where I had enough work to leave my part-time job and Hype Type was officially founded in my bedroom with a used Power Macintosh 7200. Slowly and over time, my network grew; I was able to build relationships and start working with a much wider range of clients and industries.
My design was heavily influenced by my interests which had a more organic and DIY aesthetic found in skateboarding, graffiti, and music. But for a short time, I had a job at a design studio working with big corporate clients such as British Steel and clients in the petrochemical and manufacturing industries. The work was the complete opposite of the work I had hoped I would be doing and I struggled with how limiting and boring I perceived it at the time. Looking back, I learned a lot about a brand, how to deliver functional solutions relevant to the brief, client and intended audience as well as how to work within - and push - the strict brand guidelines to create effective, relevant work.
Hype Type is a multi-disciplinary design and creative studio that specializes in brand identity, art direction and typography. Built on a foundation of strategic and conceptual thinking, the studio prides itself on its unique ability to creatively problem solve, communicate and add value. Working closely with local, national and international clients, the studio’s experience is as broad as it is diverse. In addition to frequently published work, the studio is also a regular contributor to various design publications globally. With clients spanning a wide range of industries and sectors, the studio is capable of delivering creative outcomes efficiently and effectively at any scale.
At the moment, it’s just me in LA and we are partnered with Socio Design in London. The close relationship and collaboration across studios allow us to further strengthen our design offering an international reach. Working across multiple time zones has many benefits as the teams’ workdays partially overlap for meetings and reviews. And then as one team signs off, the other picks up. We can keep the momentum going on projects and deliver more quickly than a single studio in one time zone.