Six years on since registering her business, Sam has made the shift from working as a full-time in-house Graphic Designer and part-time freelancer, to a full-time self-employed Graphic Designer with SK DESIGN STUDIO as her main business. This has seen Sam acquire many adaptable skills from a breadth of experience, making her an asset to any team and an enthusiastic, knowledgeable person to work with.
After studying in Leeds for a Degree in Graphic Arts and Design, Sam moved back to the North East for a few years before venturing down South to live and work for 3 years, and is now based back up at home in the Toon (Newcastle upon Tyne) along the beautiful North East coast, having grown up in the coastal town of Whitley Bay.
In 2014, having been asked by a then work colleague to design his wedding invitations, Sam agreed and muddled her way through her first 'freelance job'....
"Two illustrations, hours and hours spent and a rather hefty print bill later, my beautiful bespoke invitations were delivered to an extremely happy customer; which left a not so happy me with a hole in my pocket! Having paid the printer a fee which exceeded my customers payment (true story!), not to mention the ribbons, envelopes, and all of my time spent applying my skills and knowledge in illustration, layout and typography, I completely underestimated the cost of getting the invitations printed on quality paperstock by a local high street print company, and I ended up out of pocket!
However it didn't leave me thinking I wouldn't ever take on a personal design job again, quite the opposite in fact. I enjoyed the process and journey of creating the wedding invitations from initial consultation through print production to the end product so much that I knew it was something I wanted to do again; it was so rewarding knowing I played a huge part in gathering the wedding couple's guests together for the best day of their lives!
It was at this point I just knew I wanted to develop my skills further from a creative point of view, and definitely needed to improve from a business point of view too! My main drive was to explore a different type of creative output in design to that which I was working in at the time. I love being customer-facing, working with people to 'creatively problem solve' whilst designing and producing a real, tactile product in print that is not only informative and useful, but beautiful and reflective of the couples personality and upcoming wedding."
Not one to give up, Sam continued to grow her client base (at first completely unintentionally) by designing typographic personalised prints; designed, printed and framed for special gifts as requested by her friends, family and work colleagues. Two in-house jobs later, a move down South and back, alongside hundreds of typographic prints and wedding stationery suites created whilst working full-time, Sam found herself busy enough to take the leap of faith into full-time self-employment in October 2018. A move back up North and her third in-house design job (with yet another long commute), made Sam realise that her enjoyment in being a Graphic Designer lay in the variety of creative projects; working with different, interesting people, helping customers and clients creatively problem solve ... things which working in an in-house design role didn't present at the time.
Being her own boss and running her Design business, Sam loves to work with like-minded customers and clients who share her passion for beautiful and practical design.
After several years working in-house Sam reached a point whereby further career progression would have inevitably meant moving into a management role, which would in turn result in less 'creative time', deferring from her motivation and passion for working within the industry. Being her own boss, Sam loves to work with like-minded customers and clients who share her passion for beautiful and practical design. If that's you, please get in touch - she's canny friendly!
Sam loves everything about Print Design, and is a self-confessed stationery geek. She loves typography and lettering, paperstock, colour as well as creating and strengthening a brand, and loves even more how her favourite things are all a key part of creating a couples wedding stationery suite.
Much like a branding project, Sam is confident in transforming a request or small idea into a beautiful suite of stationery from 'Save the Date' cards to bespoke Wedding Invitations all the way through to the 'On the Day' designs and signage and eventually 'Thank You' cards for after your big day.
As a wedding-lover too, Sam's enthusiasm and love for great design will ensure you have the most perfect printed wedding designs you'll love; you'll be desperate and excited to share them with your family and friends!
We all have values... business owner or not. We may not realise it, but we all do.
If you didn't know, in ethics 'value' denotes the degree of importance of some thing or action to you, with the aim of determining what actions are best to do or what way is best to live. For me, my life values run through to my business and everything I do.
I am honest, trustworthy and friendly. I am really good at my job (which really doesn't feel like a job at times!). This is proven by having tonnes of repeat customers who appreciate my values (below) and that I am true to them. I have years and years of experience in design, an eagle eye, artistic flair and respect that the people I work with have an opinion - design is subjective after all. The reason my clients choose to work with me, is my integrity of my moral principles in my values...
I produce the highest quality products with care, designed bespoke to my customers' needs and pride myself on my attention to detail, often spotting things others haven't. I am a total perfectionist, but honest enough to admit I am not always perfect. I appreciate quality products and a quality service and love to shout about the amazing businesses I buy from that deliver quality!
I am a passionate person. I value every minute of my time, whether that be doing the job I love, looking after myself or spending time with the people I love. I get excited over design and working with others and that comes from how passionate I am about helping you, through the vehicle of design. I love a quality service from the businesses I use and I don't believe this can be achieved without passion. I take considered care in my work and take so much satisfaction and joy in pleasing others and doing a great job that you love.
It's the name of the game I am in. If I wasn't creative, I wouldn't have a job in this amazing industry! One of the best aspects of working with me is that as well as a talented Graphic Designer I am also a 'Creative Problem Solver'. All my customers come to me with some form of problem; the lack of inspiration for a unique gift, the requirement to communicate the details of their wedding day, a new identity for their business, an extra pair of hands and creative brain in their marketing team... I solve a variety of problems for individual customers, and clients big and small, always in a creative way.
I shop local, supporting small businesses. I love working with and helping people, business owners or otherwise, in and out of work. I am happy to give advice throughout our project working together, and will happily take direction too - supporting you through new challenges in your business or your wedding planning. Being supportive to me also means being ACTIVE; actively helping you solve a problem.
I am 100% a team player. Despite working for myself, usually in isolation, I regular say I work WITH my clients and customers, not FOR them. You can be confident that upon taking on any work with you, I am committed to finding you the best possible price and that I see it through from initial conversation and idea, through production to the finished product, whether that be a digital piece or in print. I enjoy playing netball outside of work and love the 'team spirit' of achieving things together with others.
(or a shade of SK bluey/green teal!)
I hate throwing things away(!) and love recycling, so sometimes my packaging is pre-used. I get daily deliveries to my home studio and always look at ways to re-use or re-purpose things around my home or in my business, especially packaging. If you can reuse the box I send you, I would encourage you to! I love a mooch around a charity shop and the whoopsie aisle in the supermarket! I ensure you get great value in your purchases from me too, and also source the majority of my Print Design work from UK based printers on recyclable paper/card stock.
FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGN SERVICES
Sam's experience working in-house for marketing teams, means her understanding of a consistent brand and following brand guidelines is ingrained in her approach to thorough design. Along with her creativity, this makes her perfect for creating your logo and branding to enhance your business identity.
As well as her friendly, professional and helpful manner, Sam is adaptable and versatile; capable of supporting your design team in busy periods of high demand.
Flexible to work from her studio or to join you in your work space, Sam is able to travel to your premises* to work with you and your team as an extra pair of hands and creative brain - the perfect extension to your team.
*Within the North East of England. Subject to availability. Pre-bookings taken in advance will secure your design work / days.
"I am most definitely a people-person and would love the opportunity to discuss your design needs and how I can create them for you, preferably over a coffee.
Whether you'd like bespoke wedding invitations designed, a logo and branding for a new business, you're in need of an extra pair of hands (and creative brain) in your busy work place in the form of a freelance designer or, something else, just ask... I'm dead friendly! :)
I am a problem-solver, a wedding-lover and have a passion for all things creative; being adaptable and resourceful in everything I do. I have a breadth of in-house and freelance experience including working in a design agency, in-house design and marketing teams, as well as always working direct with clients and individual customers as well as liaising with printers and suppliers... I'd love to discuss your requirements and work on creating design you'll love."
Graphic Designer &
Creative Problem Solver
SK DESIGN STUDIO