What do you do?
A: As Creative Director and Managing Partner at LemonTop Creative I have the privilege of leading a team of the most creative designers in the industry. My role encompasses many disciplines including creating visual ideas, directing the design development process, project management, illustration and even copywriting.
Best part of your job?
A: Being able to use my imagination to create something out of nothing. Whether it’s a quick sketch or an elaborate design, it’s extremely satisfying for the whole team when a client gives their approval on something we have created and we know we’ve exceeded their expectations.
Is there anything about your job that you really don’t like?
A: Paperwork. I know it has to be done but I make every excuse to leave it until later. I’m a real procrastinator when it comes to paperwork and accounts. However, when I eventually start it I soon realise it’s not that bad and usually get it done with time to spare.
Favourite thing about working in this industry?
A: The diverse range of people and business owners we meet on a daily basis. They all have their own way of doing things and it’s great to be able to share thoughts and bounce ideas around with some really clever individuals.
Which company/client do you do the most work with?
A: Discover Brightwater. They are working with the local community to clean up the areas around the River Skerne that have been neglected for years. Their passion really shows and they are working tirelessly to create some beautiful areas of conservation which we can hopefully enjoy for generations to come.
Four famous people you’d love to have round for dinner and why?
A: David Ogilvy. To be known as “The father of advertising” is a testament to his meticulous way of thinking. Guy Martin because we share a lot of the same interests and he has a very unique way of looking at things. Elon Musk because I’d love to know how the mind of one of the most innovative and driven people in the world works. Professor Brian Cox because he fascinates me with his lectures on space and astronomy.
If you could do something else in business, what would it be?
A: My passion outside of work is motorbikes so I would probably be running my own vintage motorbike shop. I love creating and building things and vintage bikes let me do both.
What’s your favourite app?
A: The TED Talks app offers some really inspiring insights from some of the world’s greatest thinkers. I find myself spending hours listening to talks about everything from Business and Creativity through to Space Travel. I even found a really interesting talk on why everybody should try open water swimming!
Have you ever done anything really daring?
A:. I know many people take this kind of thing in their stride, but for someone who is not used to public speaking, the most daring thing I have done is give a talk to the Society of Independent Brewers at their annual conference about Beer Label Design.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
A:. Always look after your clients, because if you don’t, someone else will.
If money were no object, what would be your ideal car?
A: I’m really into motorbikes rather than cars. I’m in the process of restoring a Triumph Bonneville, so if I had to choose a car it would have to be something on the vintage theme, like my bike, so a 1969 Ford Shelby Mustang would be perfect for me.
Money no object, your dream holiday would be?
A: A visit to Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, where I would really be able to test the top speed of my Triumph Bonneville.
Do you have a favourite band or type of music?
A:. I must be the only person in the world who doesn’t really listen to music. My brother and friends think it’s a very strange thing to miss out on, however, my eldest son is at Manchester University on a music production course so I always listen to what he is producing.
What is your greatest achievement outside of business?
A: Running the Redcar Half Marathon, after a horrific knee injury that nearly made me give up sport altogether, is an achievement I’m really proud of. Steve and Andy, my business partners at LemonTop, pushed me all the way through training and made sure I never gave up. I’m now training for a triathlon so watch this space.
How would you best describe yourself in five words?
A: Creative, passionate, inquisitive, open, trustworthy.
What is your ambition for the future?
A: As part of a Lemontop community where like-minded creative people work and share ideas. Housed in a purpose-designed building, It’s a place where creative business leaders would meet for a coffee or enjoy breakfast before their day starts, it’s where students can learn from the very best, and it’s where LemonTop continue to produce the most creative and influential work for clients in all business sectors.
Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?
A: As a young football fan, I was awestruck to meet Trevor Brooking, who played for England at the time. Unfortunately, his team West Ham beat Sunderland that day so I never looked at him in the same way again.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
A:. Along with my obsession with motorbikes, I’m a science fiction geek. My favourite book is 1984 by George Orwell and I love anything to do with space travel. I even have a framed A1 painting of a Dalek at the top of the stairs. It’s the only place my wife would agree to put it.