With just one month left until late submissions close for the Creativepool Annual 2020, we’ve decided to focus a spotlight on some of the individual winners from last year.
Paul Jamie Kidd is a freelance creative designer with 12 years of experience in branding, graphic design and web development. His client list includes such major names as Virgin, Mars and Toshiba, but it’s his work for children’s companies Jack and Mimo and Ibbleobble that has earned him pride of place as the 3rd ranked branding designer on Creativepool.
We caught up with Paul the week to discuss his hopes for this year, his thoughts on the creative industries in general and what opportunities his Bronze Annual placing last year opened up for him.
How did you find out about the Creativepool Annual initially?
I have been a member of Creativepool for as long as I can remember, and the first time I really heard about it was from Creativepool themselves who encouraged me to enter a piece of work which they thought stood a good chance of being shortlisted.
So, I entered the work and while it didn’t win the award for Best Application Design, the whole process was a great experience and a perfect opportunity to go pitch my work in front of talented like-minded people.
Where do you keep your copy of the 2019 Annual?
I have copies of all the Annuals since it’s creation. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the event last year, but I still have 2019’s edition with the rest of them stored away nice and neatly in my bedroom on display.
Will you be entering again this year? And if so, what are your hopes?
I am a firm believer of being ‘in it to win it’ so I will be entering Ibbleobble.com in the website category. Since I won this category in 2017, I took the time in 2019 to give it a total revamp and in my opinion I have improved it in many areas.
I have streamlined the content, introduced some bespoke original photography and made wholesale changes to typography and how the content is displayed. Obviously, trends move on and technology changes, and I made a conscious effort to improve upon our old site.
How do you feel the creative landscape shifted in 2019?
This is a great question, I was only discussing this recently with some of my clients. I would say one of the biggest shifts I have seen is the emergence of DIY, drag-and-drop, off the shelf web builders which have almost saturated the market. They are nothing new of course, but this last year it feels companies have 'ramped it up’ in trying to attract more business this way.
Some people actually prefer to build sites like this, but I prefer to build from scratch, with the aid of Bootstrap as I feel creativity is lost when using off the shelf products. You wouldn’t want the same website as everybody else, would you?
Another example of shifts in the creative landscape is the number of companies that seem to be rebranding and rebranding more frequently. I am not sure if I am more aware of things like this but I am assuming trends are changing at a quicker rate too.
Your branding project for Jack and Mimo earned you a Bronze award last year. Can you tell us a little about that project and what you think it is about it that resonated with the judges?
I was happy with the Bronze Award last year, I was just as grateful to be shortlisted as I feel at least I am doing something right with the work I produce. The Jack and Mimo project epitomises my style of design and although it wasn’t a huge project, it still was enhanced her business and her fab pieces of clothing.
The judges probably saw that the design was incredibly personal and I approached the brief with an understanding of her industry and its appeal to parents and children too.
Looking back, you also took home an award in 2017 for your Ibbleobble branding work. Do you see any commonalities between these two projects?
Absolutely, a lot of my new work that comes in is based on what I have done for Ibbleobble. This suits me fine as I can let my imagination go a bit wild while remaining professional with the job in hand. If I had clients with work like this week in week out I would be more than happy to do it. I wouldn’t say I was a one-trick pony, If you try to master too many styles you end up not being good at anything!
Did the Annual placing open up any exciting new opportunities for you last year?
Yes and no. The giant that is Creativepool added a lot of credibility to my work. My clients generally are happy with what I do and that’s what matters most, I find the promotion and association with Creativepool certainly elevated me as a designer. Specific jobs haven’t come off the back of it as such, but people can reference the site to know what I am all about.
What do you think it is about the Creativepool Annual that sets it apart from other awards within the creative industries?
Again, another good question. My honest answer would be how Creativepool supports the underdog. If you look at Awwwards and D&AD it all feels very elitist. It appears that your business has to have certain about of money to even be considered for an award and the entry fee, especially for D&AD, is simply not affordable for a company of my size.
Creativepool seems to be more accommodating of smaller businesses and the 'little guy'. As your Annual event gets bigger, more costs are incurred so I am imagining prices to enter may too.
On a more general level, do you think awards and award ceremonies are still an important part of the creative landscape?
Very much so, the more eyes on your work the better. While design is very subjective and not for everyone, awards and ceremonies are a good way to bring like-minded creatives in one place and beyond.
What are your hopes for 2020 and will you be attending the Annual launch party this year?
I am extremely driven with ibbleobble.com and hope to keep growing it while undertaking freelance projects. Ibbleobble is only a small team of two and throws all kinds of challenges our way, but if it was easy everyone would be doing it, I guess.
Hopefully, I will be attending the launch, if I can get down to London, I have always enjoyed previous events.
What advice would you give to individuals looking to make an impression and earn a place in this year’s Annual?
Yes, with a capitalised Y! Just do it. There are some incredibly talented creatives out there and some who probably feel that their work isn’t worthy of entering, but I think it’s a brilliant platform to showcase your work and by entering you don’t have anything to lose.
Submit your work today for the Creativepool Annual 2020. To enter your best work from 2019, to be included in the Annual 2020, click HERE and to nominate Agency/Brand, Newcomer, Influencer of the Year or Best Place to Work click HERE. Best of luck and we look forward to seeing you at the Annual launch party on May 28th.