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Hi, I'm John

Freelance Digital Product Designer

Creating frictionless user experiences is what we as designers strive for.
Achieving them on the other hand is often a complex labyrinth
of research, planning, experimentation, user testing and strong coffee!

~ John Redhead

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About ME

So let's tell you a little about me...

I’m an award-winning web designer, graphic designer, digital product designer and full-stack developer, with a reputation and passion for providing compelling, innovative & creative solutions that my customers love.

The reason? I like getting users excited and engaged with my client’s products, refining the user experience, reiterating it, optimising it and testing it, so that the client can see real results in their business.

But, at the end of the day, it’s not about me at all. It’s about you and your users and ensuring that they get the best user experience, with as little friction as possible.

Product Design

It’s not rocket science, but some people think that we’ve got magic in our fingers, but I don’t know why. The only thing I can make disappear in a fraction of a second is a hot mug of black coffee. Oh, and a nice single malt whisky!

Design for Print

Ok. If someone tells me one more time that I use crayons for a living, then, woe betide.

Just for the record, I use crayons, quite often digital, and am pretty proud of it!

Brand Design

I couldn’t find an image of a branding iron that fitted in with the style that I was going for, so I had to use my brain! See what I did there?

Software Dev.

See ‘Product Design’ above, with the addition of other magical powers, that can (eventually) make the pictures move.

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Sectors

These are some of the fields that I have worked in...

  • Technology Research
  • Publishing
  • Education Software
  • Retail
  • Packaging
  • RFID solutions
  • Quality Assurance
 
I also have many years of experience designing point-of-sale & point-of-purchase materials for a broad spectrum of brands, delivering engaging, rich in-store customer experiences.
Product Design

It'll never take off...

When I first met my wife, who wasn’t my wife when I met her back in the late ’80s! I introduced her to the wonderful new sounds that would become the internet. Lifting the corded telephone handset (Yes, I said “corded”, just for you Gen Z’ers!), dialled a number and pushed the telephone into an acoustic coupler modem, where it would squawk a futuristic binary chorus as it eventually negotiated a “handshake” with the computer at the other end, after what seemed like an eternity. The speed? 300 bits per second*!

This magical time, connecting to the forerunners of the internet, with Dial-Up Bulletin Board Systems and closed-systems such as Compuserve and AOL, with an email address that you would never remember, and literally emptied your pockets by the minute, had me mesmerised.

Interactive Prototype

 

Even in the early ’90s, as baud speeds picked up, I recall saying to my then, soon to be wife, as we sat waiting for a connection and screen to appear, “This is the future.” and her retorting, “It’ll never take off…“!

So maybe she was right, maybe she was wrong, you make up your own mind, but that didn’t stop me from designing for this new exciting media.

* In comparison, on a good day, today I can get over 400Mbps, so a 10Mb Youtube clip will now take 0.2 seconds to download instead of (notwithstanding that Youtube didn’t exist back then) at 300bps, it would take around three and half days! A 100Mb music album would take just over a month to download instead of 2 seconds!

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

I'll never do what my dad does...

…then look what happened! But, that’s what teenagers say. I never wanted to go into programming, I was a designer. Programming wasn’t even on my radar. My dad was a great programmer and the Technical Director of a printing company.

Then in the late 90’s I was asked to quote on the first website for the National Rugby Football Union for Women (RFUW) and subsequently secured the gig! They wanted to have scores, fixtures, tables and news. How on earth was I going to achieve that?

I’d already done websites of course, but this was something far, far bigger than I’d ever attempted previously. Rolling up my sleeves I learnt as I went, Classic ASP, at that time, being my coding language of choice.

What I loved was the fact that those static design concepts that I put in front of customers were now dynamically coming to life before my eyes.

So the lesson here is, never say “never”, it might just come back and bite you on the ar**!

CORPORATE Branding

A business is nothing without a strong brand...

Maybe that statement is a bit harsh, but the reality today is that you need a strong brand image to stand out from the crowd. Corporate branding is not just visual; it encompasses the complete strategy of how your business portrays itself in all of its communications: visual, written and verbal.

As well as designing materials for various touchpoints, I create branding style guides to help clients and their design team build on the foundations of their brand identity, to help communicate consistently with their clients and customers.

DESIGN FOR PRINT

As we consume information in this digital age, there is still room for print...

There is just something about print that I love; the smell of the paper, the way that the ink sits on the page, and it’s tangible. Digital has become so pervasive today, children have even started to touch TV screens to see if they can interact with it! I wonder whether you, yourself have started to pinch-zoom or even tried to scroll a printed page! No… It must just be me then.

I have extensive experience in print design and promotional merchandise. From straightforward matt, gloss and satin finishes through to foil-blocking, embossing, spot UV varnish and engraving.

I take my clients’ visions and turn them into fantastic finished products. 

15 +
Years Experience
100 k+
Mugs of Coffee Consumed
15 %
Sense of Humour
Tools

Tools that I use

Basically, I use a lot of stuff, to get stuff done. Crayons, scalpel, mouse, Mac, PC, to name a few.

In the chart to the right, or below if you’re on mobile, you can see some of the ‘stuff’ that I use. This is not an extensive list, although for some reason my wife really likes lists, especially for tasks for me!

But let’s face it, do you really care what I use, if it gets the job done? I use them all day every day. The percentages are way out, but it makes a nice random pattern, and as a Virgo I love the way that they add up to exactly 100%.

Illustrator 75%
InDesign 45%
ProtoPie 90%
Photoshop 49%
Figma 65%
Coffee 100%
Lightwave 25%
Visual Studio 39%
Mac 80%
PC 20%
List getting too long 99%

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