Dave Allen

Graphic Designer & Project Manager

Why hire me?

  • I’m experienced enough to know that design is not just decoration. The designer is there to deliver a benefit, solve a problem or prompt an action.
  • My skills are up to date, from the supply of pristine press-ready artwork files to mobile-first website design.
  • I can communicate. I listen to the brief and can explain my proposals to clients and colleagues.
  • Large-scale projects are something I welcome. I know how to get them completed.
  • I’ll never stop learning.
  • I am highly experienced in helping stakeholders decide where to spend limited time, personnel resources and budget.

EXPERIENCE

Andy Thornton Ltd, Elland (present), Graphic Designer.

Andy Thornton is leading supplier of furniture, lighting and architectural salvage for restaurants, bars and hotels. Originally appointed on a one-year contract(!), my role and skills have been transformed dramatically during my employment. A recurring aspect has been the management of a number of large scale projects.

Andy Thornton is famous in the hospitality business for its extensive printed catalogue, which uniquely combined product offerings across a range of disparate categories, from furniture and lighting to metal fittings, carvings and interior accessories. My role has been to manage the production of several editions of the catalogue. At one time this involved the manufacture and photography of the entirety of the product range. All printed materials have been been designed and artworked by myself for the past 10 years.

More dominantly in recent years has been the management of andythornton.com, a site with nearly 6000 products. In 2016 the marketing team obtained the largest investment in digital to date from the board and I was the project lead. This entailed assessing and appointing a new digital agency and then creating a detailed brief for the agency, in-house team and directors. The goal of the new site, launched in August 2017 was to more accurately focus on the company’s key client types and market areas and enhance ecommerce functionality.

Within these two broad areas there are, of course, many other tasks created by a company established in 1975 employing over 100 people. A key responsibility is ensuring strong and cost effective relationships with key suppliers, notably our current digital agency, our two photography firms and printers of various types. On other occasions I might be called upon to build an enewsletter or edit the meta descriptions for a particular product category.

Frank Mitchell Carpets, Elland (1993–1994), Production Supervisor.

This was a complete break from the marketing and print world. The position involved managing a team of machine operators and delivering product to retailers.

The Design Wing (Brahm) Leeds (1991–1992), Client Services Manager.

Acted as the link between studio and client. The main task was to understand clients’ business needs and to brief Creative on how best to achieve these goals in the appropriate medium. To ensure that costs were controlled and profitability maintained per account. Researching into the clients’ business market areas.

Ash Direct Marketing Services, Ilkley (1989-1990), Account Manager.

Responsible for new business development, I won the London Scottish Bank plc account for this small agency and then managed the media buying for this client.

Helpfinder UK, Leeds (1988), Office Sales Manager

Managing a team of tele-sales staff for this early version of a trade finding network.

Ashbee Design, Huddersfield (1985–1987), Self employed.

With a Princes Trust award of £1000, my partner and I started a design agency, producing brochures, press ads and annual reports. With scalpels and SprayMount. We ended up creating 4 jobs.

Europress Publishing, Huddersfield (1983–1984), Advertising Sales

Display advertising sales for a regional business magazine. Self employed, commission only. Surprisingly lucrative.

TOOLBOX

InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat Pro, MS Office, Google Analytics. Capable of designing and coding web sites using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript frameworks. Sites built in WordPress or Jekyll. I also welcome copy writing and editing. Email marketing applications e.g. ClickDimensions, DotMailer.

EDUCATION

University Of Hull, BA (Hons) English.
Huddersfield New College, GCSE ‘A’ levels: (English (A*), History, Geography, General Studies).
Huddersfield New College, GCSE ‘O’ levels (9 subjects passed).

INTERESTS

I like to get outdoors as much as possible, usually on a bike. I was a founding member of a mountain biking club, and have been cycling regularly since 1993, more recently on a road bike. Currently in training for the Tour de Yorkshire (75 km route). I have a decent collection of cookery books but don’t use them half as much as I say I do. Music has always been important. Just adopted the car-park cat, Claude.