Sunday, 25 October 2015


So, it's been a while!

A lot has happened over the last 4 years since my last blog post. To be honest, I didn't even realise my blog content was still available so it was a nice surprise to find it all here and a little trip down memory lane reading through an archive of my student days. Particularly my 2011 new years blog to blog more... oops!

Blogging served a great purpose for me when I was at uni. Then somewhere along the line I guess I just didn't need it any more as I was busy forging my career, starting my own business and generally getting on with life.

But, I'm now working on a new project which encompasses my creative skills and passion for the creative world around me. 

Welcome to Soulo27, a stand-alone enterprise in which I attempt to balance a commercial presence in graphic design and feed my personal passion as a creative. This is a space I can showcase my portfolio and direct clients to, but much more than that, it’s a creative outlet for me to develop my own projects and keep one foot in the industry without giving up the day job.

I am currently working on the new website, I can’t wait for you all to have a poke around.

Watch this space!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Happy Inside

Lately, Ikea has made it on to my radar.  The variety of adverts they're producing at the moment is something to be marvelled at, especially since they are all so different.  I love it when a brand is confident enough to run ads that don't necessarily fit into a traditional 'campaign'.  These adverts are all individual and clever in their own right, the only thing that links them together is the 'Happy Inside' strapline.  Unlike some brands at the moment, ahem Cadbury, to me these don't come across as try hard, just natural, funny and refreshing ideas which really capture an insight into customer feelings and current trends.  And it comes as no surprise to find they were done by London agency Mother.

How the time goes by...

4 house moves, a month in London, 2 months in Manchester, 6 months in my first design job, a Post Grad in Creative Business Management, various freelance clients, and a new job later, I find myself at the degree show for the graduates of 2011!  Wow, it has gone so fast, but looking back I have achieved a lot and couldn't have wished for a better graduating year.  I have learned so much, but it was only when standing 1 year later on the fourth floor looking at the wonderful work, did I realised how much has changed.

Now I have just started a new role at Cotton Traders (those of you who know about Rugby will know the England legend that is Fran Cotton and the iconic rugby shirts they produce, see below).  As I am sure we all know, finding a job in the design industry faces tough competition, and I decided to leave my previous role as Junior Graphic Designer to move back to Manchester to gain some experience in the marketing side of things.  My new role (Marketing Production Assistant) means I work closely with the creative team to brief them, implement marketing messages and strategy, as well as competitor analysis and maintaining the marketing plan/schedule.  Compared to the tiny marketing budget I worked with at Panaz, this marketing team spends over 14 million a year on marketing, so they really do play with the big fish.

You may have seen their recent TV ad which aired a few months ago, a first for Cotton Traders and a huge success in terms of driving traffic to their website and sales.

However, this by no means marks the end of my design career, in fact its just the beginning.  I am working on a number of projects on the side and hope to be able to share these with you in the very near future!

Watch this space!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Look at these lovely wallpapers! I particularly love 'la vie ordinaire' (bottom), would be great for a childs room!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Panaz Healthcare Catalogue

For the last 6 months I have been working at Panaz, a textile design house just outside of Manchester! I've had a fantastic time here, but my contract is ending soon and I'm looking forward to moving on. While I've been here, I've worked on a number of big projects, including two 140+ page catalogues from start to finish. This was a bigger task than I could ever have imagined and a huge learning curve in printing, photoshop and proofreading!

This catalogue is for the Healthcare sector within the business, but I also did the Hospitality catalogue which is much more high spec. Unfortunately, this is only just going in to proofing stages so it will be a while before I get the finished article in my hand!

H and M Spring 2011

I've recently started seeing these ads on TV and 40D and I love them.  At first I couldn't put my finger on why, but then I realised that the ad is a take on changing room antics.  This concept is so subtle yet so effective - it captures that private moment in the changing rooms, that feeling you get when you find something that you know looks great on you, that little smile to yourself when you look at the price tag and its affordable!  It also really shows off the details of the clothes, yet is short and memorable.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Visit Wales

Possibly my favourite advert so far this year, maybe even last year too! I have a special soft spot for Wales as my Grandparents live there and it's where I spent most of my childhood holidays.  I think this advert captures this beautiful country perfectly, it is such a contrast from other holiday ads.  I love the use of type to compliment the touching and real film style.  And what's more, Weiden and Kennedy have totally hit the nail on the head, understanding their audience down to a tee.

This ad is also backed up by a great blog which actually gives details of the places shown in the ad and how to go there.  The Horse riding and converted barns are just round the corner from my Grandparents!

Maybe I'm a little biased, but the sign of a good advert is to evoke a reaction and this makes me tingle!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Good design is everywhere...

Part of my new job is to collect inspiration,
so here are some lovely things I collected last year...

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The Cooperative

This new advert for Cooperative is a little epic for my liking, however, it certainly caught my attention.  Made by TBWA Manchester, it's actually very clever, perfect timing for that new year buzz of fresh starts with cleverly placed nostalgia.  I imagine there are a lot of things people get pretty fed up with - the commute, the kids, the daily grind, but is food shopping one of them? does anyone pay for parking at a supermarket? Is shopping at the Cooperative really going to stop that?

I'm not convinced.

Heinz Soup

Heinz Whistle advert by AMV BBDO

This has been out for a while now, but its an excellent follow up advert to the Tomato Ketchup one, lovely art direction and most of all, as always, that perfect insight into it's consumers.  Love the girl who blows her soup then her nails, inspired.  It has to be Heinz!

Happy New Blog!

Wow I can't believe it's been nearly 3 months since I've blogged! And its 2011? How did that happen?

Well since the New Year has begun, I thought I better conform to all the cliches and make some resolutions.  Unbelievably, I generally do keep my resolutions fairly well (last year I worked my way through all 12 books on my shelf that I hadn't read, stopped eating potatoes after lunchtime and joined a gym).  As cheesy as it is, I like the New Year being a big fat metaphor for a fresh start, and I usually think quite hard about what it is I want to do!  So here goes,

1. Blog (again)
During the final year of uni we were required to record every moment of our lives on here but now that student days are behind me and i'm not getting marked, I've decided my blog can take a much more visual approach.  After all, in the real world we never have to document and record every thought and reflection but instead it becomes just a natural part of the day.  So, from now on my blog will be much simpler, less about me and more about the big wide world with all together less writing and reflecting.  It will still be a little bit about me, though, with a few opinions thrown in, just no essays about greater meanings.  Apart from this post.

Good riddance to University!

2. Draw more - this is something I lost the time for when I was at uni so now seems the perfect time to get out the pencil sharpener!

3. Don't be complacent - I am loving my job as Junior Graphics and Marketing assistant right now and have learned so much already, but I've decided I don't want to miss any opportunity, so 2011 will be the year of seizing and building my career.

Watch this space everyone, I have lots of lovely things saved up from the last few months to show you.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Banksy exhibition!

I have now been in the delightful Burnley for 8 weeks... On Saturday there was a Banksy exhibition in a town near here, for one weekend only.  I have found a perk at last and a little taste of the city =)

Friday, 3 September 2010

New Opportunities

The month of August has also been very exciting in other ways for me, as lots of new opportunities have arisen.

Firstly, I had an interview for a Graduate scheme I applied for to win a free post grad course in Creative Business Management and a 6 month paid placement, which I recently found out I'd won.  After swearing I would not go back in to education even if someone paid me, 2 months later and I will be enrolling on a seven week post grad course at UCLAN (on my birthday, no less).  However, 7 weeks is not long, and they are paying me, so it was too good of an opportunity to turn down!  Then in October I will start a new 6 month paid placement as Graphics and Marketing assistant at a textile company called Panaz.  I am really excited about the possibilities and experience I will gain from this, and hope it will lead onto bigger and better things.  The only downside is the area, an old textile mill near Burnley - but I will be living in a gorgeous house with some new people and hopefully lots of new things to explore!

Secondly, I was approached by the agency Let Loose Design and asked to go for an interview there, so I am now officially on the books as a freelancer.  Quite how I will juggle these two things, I'm not sure yet, but for the time being things are pretty busy!

So, having recently gained a car, a new house, a job and a freelance roll, and about to turn 23, I feel like a real grown up now!  Eek! I have to pay council tax!

Cheethem Bell JWT

During the DNA event at the end of term, I had a number of interviews and portfolio crits which lead to me meeting Dom Rodwell, Digital Creative Director of JWT Manchester.  After getting back in touch with him, I organised to go there for a month placement so that is where I have spent the wet and rainy August!

Working on digital campaigns for BMI Baby, The Cornerhouse and Whitbread Pub Chain, I had my first real experience of working within social media and website design.  I learned a lot while I was there, made some good friends and connections and added to the growing list of agencies I've worked in.

This is Man... This is Woman

Hello blog, It's been a while!

There's a lot to catch up on, so watch this space, but for starters, here's a few things I've been meaning to share for a while!

This is the Man, This is the Woman is a campaign for French connection that I spotted in the window of the Manchester store a few months ago and fell in love with.  A little late, so i'm sure many have seen it too, but just incase you haven't then here it is!

The campaign plays on the stereotypes of men and women, inspired by classic cinema and was also backed up by a facebook and twitter campaigns with challenges for men and short films.

I love the whole style and attitude of this campaign, the copywriting is absolutely spot on, witty but sophisticated sarcasm and clever cultural undertones.  It reminds me of Ed Ruscha, one of my favourite artists.  This is what I call fashion advertising with substance!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Vivid London

Since graduating I have been busy busy busy.

A few months before uni ended I was thinking, what am I going to do... each year the whole summer stretches out before me and I think, oh I'll have plenty of time to do that, and visit so and so and catch up on that and then low and behold the weeks start to fill up and suddenly it's september again.

But now September will never be a significant month in the year again.  No more first day backs on my birthday (every year since I started school).  No, now I just have the rest of my life stretching out in front of me!

Last week I finished my first placement of the summer at Vivid London, a marketing and communications agency in London.  I had a really great time here, and learned more than I have at any other placement.  I enjoyed working in a small agency and a close knit environment where everyone was working together and responsible for everything.  I got the chance to work on a number of jobs including design, writing, market research and PR lists.  I even spent an hour as a 'pretend make-up artist' - brief: touch the client a lot and make him feel as uncomfortable as possible.  All in a day's work for media training!

My logo designs for one of their clients was chosen to be used as well, so all in all it was a great two weeks and I want to thank Vivid London for having me!

You can read their blog here, which has some great articles on it, well worth the read!

Onto the next placement for now, but I do hope I'll get to go back to Vivid London as I had a great time there.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Go Ape!

For the last two weeks, I have been working in a London agency called Vivid London....more about that later... and have been staying with my Auntie here.  At the weekend, we decided to go on a bit of an adventure and signed up for a Go Ape course in a nearby park.  This is essentially a tree top  rope assault course. 

As it was just my Auntie and myself we couldn't take any pics, but here's an idea of the kind of things we did.  I'm not really scared of heights usually, but on more than a few occasions my stomach went through my mouth - especially on the tarzan swing where you had to jump completely off the platform and swing through the air into a cargo net!