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Freelancer in the Spotlight - Meet Simon Vince

We recently interviewed Simon Vince, to find out why he chose freelancing and more about being a Graphic Designer.

What is a Graphic Designer, and what do you do?

To me, being a Graphic Designer is fundamentally about communication; visualising an idea or concept and essentially communicating that in the most effective and relevant means between the client, the brand and the audience. That’s fairly broad but that’s what I love about design. When freelancing I could be designing a logo for a new startup one week to creating the look and feel of a national ad campaign the next. I enjoy the variety of being a Designer and working freelance.  

How did you become a Graphic Designer?

If I wasn’t a Designer, I’m not quite sure what I would be doing now. I’ve always been creative, ever since I was a kid I was into art or designing little logos for things or making mixtape covers. I did that a lot. I did Graphic Design GCSE at school, then a GNVQ in art and design, followed by a 3 years Graphic Design degree, so knew from an early age it was what I wanted to do and it all just flowed. I was pretty lucky in that respect.

Simon is a pleasure to work with he takes time to understand the brief and in my experience has always delivered exceptional work. He provides an ample range of options all of which are high quality designs. For those wishing to build a brand or enhance one through the all important imagery, graphic design and visual communication, Simon Vince is one of the best I have worked with. Add to this his pricing is very fair for the quality of work he produces.
Jon Mansfield, Founder/CEO at MusicConnex & CEO at JM Music LTD

How long have you been freelancing?

I have been freelancing on and off for about 10 years now.

Design & Art Direction of ‘SHOP’ magazine for the Savoy Hotel (2013)

Why did you decide to go freelance?

After the 2009 recession, I was made redundant after grounding my initial years in the industry at a large advertising agency. It came as a bit of a shock at the time - but as the saying goes ‘as one door closes, another opens’ and hence gave me a push to start working for myself which I had always wanted to do and began sourcing my own clients. I focused on my own clients for a few years but really missed the agency side, so began freelancing at various companies and design studios. The last couple of years has given me a good balance of private jobs as well as freelance agency work.

What's the best thing about choosing to be an independent professional in your field?

I love the diversity freelancing brings and feel the traditional concept of a ‘9-6 job’ is rapidly changing and evolving with more people going freelance and taking on the industry in their own way - it's an exciting time. Especially now with the pandemic and how remote working is perceived. I love the fact I am working at different agencies, with different people on various creative projects but am still essentially my own boss.

Has there been any negatives of your choice?

I guess the downsides are the instability of regular work and knowing whether you will have work from one week to the next. Also managing your own time and money , both of which I’ve always been pretty good at thankfully. It can become frustrating at times juggling a few jobs at once or last minute cancellations, oh and having to chase up clients for money ... It’s only fair - If I complete the work on time, I expect to be paid on time. Something YJ caters very well towards.

What's one thing no one ever told you about freelancing you wished you'd known at the beginning?

I guess I knew what I was getting into in when I entered the freelancing world, though doing your own Tax returns and paying that first year upfront is always going to be painful!

How has YunoJuno helped you as a freelancer?

I have used YJ for about 4 years now, so from quite early on in their own journey. I liked the fact they are not just your typical recruitment agent and genuinely look out for their freelancers. I also preferred that I could look for posted briefs and apply as well as prospective clients contacting me through the platform. I would say over 60% of my work comes from YunoJuno.

Simon's work with us has been influential in winning recent pitches. He brings a level of professionalism to our pitches (and our existing clients), that really helps sell in our ideas. He takes a brief very well - and quickly gets his head around what is asked of him. He also worked very efficiently under pressure, put in extra hours when needed. He's also great company - which helps in the stressful conditions of pitch preparation.
Mike Clear, Head of Mother Studios

Can you talk about a project you're proud to have worked on?

This was a job I completed over 10 years when I was full time, but is the most memorable to date; creating the look and feel for Smirnoff & MTVs battle of the bands across Latin America. It was a fantastic brief in its own right and was given a fair bit of design responsibility, even at that early stage in my career. It came as a huge surprise that at the end of  the project they offered to pay for me to attend the Final event in Mexico City, so flew out, stayed in a lavish hotel and was pretty much treated like a rockstar for a week, as well as see all my design work live - it was an incredible experience! I actually happened to work for MTV again via a different agency some 8 years later, again creating the look and feel for their EMA Awards which was fun, as shown below.

Design & Art Direction of MTV’s EMA Awards (2016)
Design & Art Direction of Blink Theatre Companies production - ‘Girl Meets Boy’ (2019)

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to become a Graphic Designer?

Do what you want to do. Explore and experiment. You will have plenty of time to conform to brand guidelines and clients requests once in the industry. A lot comes with experience but ground yourself with an understanding of the process, conceptual thinking as well as relevant software. Also networking from early on really helps.

If a client was reading this, why should they hire you?

I’m fast, focused, versatile and an all round creative Senior Designer with 17 years experience in the design and advertising industry. From small design studios to international ad agencies, to working on my own private client projects. I am proud of the fact that I don’t have ‘a personal style’, I firmly believe in visualising what’s best, most effective and suitable for the client and audience. I have a broad and solid range of integrated work and wealth of experience within print and digital with a passion and understanding for both commercial and beautifully crafted design and detail…plus I still make a pretty good tea.

It is his innovative, contemporary style and genuine concern and commitment to projects that makes Simon stand out as a designer. He interpreted my initial logo/ design brief brilliantly and created an outcome which was 100% in line with my vision – suggesting two or three different creative directions, all of which I would have been happy to use. He worked with me to get the creative for my site design to exactly where I wanted it and I absolutely loved the final outcome. I would wholeheartedly recommend Simon – knowing that he could bring to life any design brief and exceed expectations every time!
Jae Ruax, Brand Manager & Empowerment Enthusiast

Meet Simon

Simon is a Senior Graphic Designer and overall creative visual thinker based in London. He has 17 years of experience working in the design and advertising industry with a broad and solid range of multi-disciplinary work within print and digital. From branding through to advertising, campaign art direction to point-of-sale, corporate literature to music artwork, infographics to website design, photoshop mockups to powerpoint presentations.  

Simon has played a key design role on a number of global accounts and clients including ; Nokia, Pepsi, 7UP, Budweiser, BMW, Orange, Smirnoff and XBOX. Plus, over 5 years freelancing for independent design studios and international Ad agencies, completing projects for Google, Facebook, BBC, MTV, 02, The Savoy, HMV, Adidas, The Tate, Universal Music & EA Games.

I’m fast, focused, versatile and an all round creative Senior Designer with 17 years experience in the design and advertising industry. From small design studios to international ad agencies, to working on my own private client projects. I am proud of the fact that I don’t have ‘a personal style’, I firmly believe in visualising what’s best, most effective and suitable for the client and audience. I have a broad and solid range of integrated work and wealth of experience within print and digital with a passion and understanding for both commercial and beautifully crafted design and detail…plus I still make a pretty good tea.

Simon Vince, Freelance Senior Graphic Designer
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