13/05/2024

Stckmn wins 2 x Dieline packaging awards at New York City ceremony.

Three weeks ago, at 6:37pm on a Friday evening, an email popped into my studio account. I try my best not be checking work emails at night or weekends but this email subject was titled 'The Dieline Awards 2024'. I immediately felt butterflies in the pit of my stomach and with hands shaking I frantically scrolled through the email...I'd been nominated for not ONE but TWO 2024 Dieline Packaging Awards for my work on the Scotch Malt Whisky Society's 'The Only Drop'.

My jaw dropped and as I shared the news with my Wife, I was dancing around the living room like a man possessed and knew I had to make the trip stateside for the ceremony. The Dieline Awards is like the Oscars of the brand and packaging world and as an avid follower of The Dieline platform since the early days, it was huge to be nominated.

So, last week I jumped on a flight to New York City to attend the ceremony at Luxepack alongside a ton of other talented creatives. With over 1400 entries from 41 countries it was amazing to be part of the ceremony and I was delighted to come away victorius, bagging myself 2 awards;

  • 1st place Gold in the Design for Good category
  • 2nd place Silver in the Luxury category

As a one-man studio offering services that are predominantly self taught and after 18 years in the industry striving to create work that's seen as industry standard or accepted by my peers as on a level worthy of notoriety, it's incredibly special on a personal level to receive these prestigious awards.

The after party was at Pearlfisher HQ, it was amazing to speak with like minded creatives, make new contacts and be part of the global design community.

Big thanks go to the wider team of folks involved and to my wife Nicola Wilson and my son Caleb for the unrelenting support, I hope I’ve made you both proud.

You can check the full case study HERE

06/03/2024

Stckmn takes the hotseat on The Chatty Freelancer podcast.

I recently made my podcast debut as a guest on The Chatty Freelancer Podcast.

The Chatty Freelancer podcast is an honest space that explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of the freelancing and creative world. Hosted by Chloe Marie Doyle a digital designer, movie lover & pie enthusiast, who in her own words not mine, LOVES to overshare.

As an avid listener of the podcast I was delighted to be asked to share my story and take the hotseat to give my take on the industry and give insights into the running of my one-man studio. We discussed my career, how I land clients, how I price jobs, misconceptions of being your own boss and everything in-between. A part of each episode is reserved for a unique section discussing the guests 'movie of the week' and 'favourite pie'.

It was an extremely enjoyable experience, Chloe's approachable personality made for a really comfortable interview. Thanks to Chloe for having me part of her wonderful series.

So if you like creative based podcast episodes that go off on tangents, contain some swearing and rife with unscripted honesty then fire over and give it a listen here on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Interested in having me come speak at an event? be on a podcast? or just wanna hear my story? get in touch, I'd love to come share my ramblings.

20/02/2024

Stckmn talks at Unknown Errors Event.

Ophilia Steele Davis and Yexa Rivero run Unknown Errors, a series of creative talks that celebrate failings and what comes next. They kindly asked me to be part of the three person line-up alongside The Chatty Freelancer founder Chloe Marie Doyle and Amandine Elaye, a creative writer working across TV and Film.

The unique format centres on creatives sharing their failures, shit-hitting-fan moments and the negative experiences from their time in the industry with a goal of normalising the fact that things don't always go to plan. The three talks were followed by a Q&A panel where the attendees got a chance to as throw questions our way in a no holds barred session to gain some honest insights into the industry workings.

I was delighted to be involved, a great night all round with Ophilia and Yexa doing great things in building a local design community. The cherry on the cake was that all proceeds from ticket sales, £150 total, went to supporting the charity Refuweegee.

Photos by Randy Sanza.

Interested in having me come speak at an event? be on a podcast? or just wanna hear my story? get in touch, I'd love to come share my ramblings.

06/10/2023

Stckmn’s ‘The Only Drop’ for SMWS sells for £18,750 at the Distillers One of One Sotheby’s charity auction.

It's not everyday that a one-off design I've created for a client sells for £15,000 (£18,750 inc commission) at auction.

Stckmn partnered with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society to design and produce their inaugural contribution to the Distillers One of One charity auction.

I was fortunate enough to be invited along to the auction preview night at Hopetoun House in Edinburgh on the eve of the auction to experience first-hand the lots on display. The venue itself was incredible, beautiful ornately decorated rooms, very fitting for displaying some of the worlds rarest and uniquely designed whiskies.

It was an exciting experience watching live on the 5th of October as "The Only Drop" was put under the hammer by Sotheby's. A flurry of bids saw the price quickly rise, fetching 3 times the lower estimate. It was amazing to be part of such a worthwhile cause. A record-breaking £2.25 Million was raised at the 2023 auction, with all proceeds aiding disadvantaged youth across Scotland via Youth Action Fund..

06/07/2023

Stckmn receives RA Recognition Award

Due to the fast paced nature of running a one-man studio, moving from one project straight into the next or having multiple projects overlapping, means I rarely get time to reflect on the work I've just completed.

A few weeks back a 'PLEASE DO NOT BEND' style envelope arrived at the studio. Thinking it was print/paper samples I'd ordered for a client project I opened it without much thought and was taken aback to see I’d received a recognition award from Right Aligned (they do great things for the design community and provide a platform for the little guys like me to be seen and heard.)

I’m not gonna lie, I welled up, then proceeded to jump around the studio like a kid. Accompanying the award was a small note from Chris Sanders (the founder of Right Aligned) thanking me for my contributions to the community and complimenting my work. It felt incredible and my confidence and motivation has been fired up since.

Chris’ kind gesture of recognition reminded me I need to carve out time to enjoy the small wins and the achievements within each successful project delivery, and to keep doing what I'm doing. I'm off to add 'award winning' to my title.

On a side note, the assemble-yourself style award was the cherry on the cake, as a fan of Lego and assembling Ikea furniture, this ticked all the boxes.

You can check out the invaluable work Right Aligned are doing for the design community HERE.

06/07/2023

Stckmn x RA Online Design Festival ’23

From 5th-9th June '23, Right Aligned Events hosted their inaugural Online Design Festival. A week long event with 30 events and 50 speakers. I was one of fifty speakers hosting a workshop in the 'Nice Work' series format sharing my design process and all that goes in to creating a new brand.

It was a real honour to have been asked to participate amongst so many talented creatives, and delighted to see I even got my name on the line-up poster (a dream I've had since my days of being a frontman of a pop punk band)

You can watch the full talk here.

01/02/2023

Stckmn talks with RA on ‘Building a Studio’

Right Aligned are empowering creative communities by sharing the story of people working in the creative industries. Their programme consists of talks, workshops and events, giving everyone the opportunity to be heard including juniors, freelancers and founders because they believe in developing equal opportunities that are accessible to all, irrelevant of age, ability and background.

I was delighted to be asked to share my story as part of the 'Building a Studio' series that Right Aligned host. I sat down with founder Chris Sanders for an hour long talk where we chatted about my career so far, the pros and cons of keeping it small and being proud to be a generalist.

You can catch the full length conversation on their youtube channel HERE

25/01/2023

Fedrigoni’s love letter to the craft of creativity feat Stckmn.

Fedrigoni 365 has always been an expression of love. It has been its own love letter to the power of creativity, of fine paper and of exquisite print. For the 2023 edition of Fedrigoni 365, each contributor was asked to use the concept of 'LOVE' as their core inspiration along with an assigned date, mine being Jan 28th.

Inspired by the concept “love is in the air” I explored a balloon-like type in the form of an inflated beating heart.

The numbers form a soft tissue style aesthetic seen in a real human heart. When in love our heart skips a beat and makes us feel like we are walking on air.

Using Open-Source software Blender, I created 3D type and inflated the numbers in the form of a love heart, with each '28' softly nestling and cuddling one another, multiple parts forming one united shape.

Each book was assembled at random, with varying coloured front and back cover boards glued onto each book block. The internal pages showcasing the red and pink hues of the paper range.

Special thanks to Susan Mitchell for the invite to take part (and for her wonderfully skillful wrapping of the book) and to TM Studio and Identity Print for producing a source of inspiration for new designers, showcasing the endless possibilities of finishing and book binding.

Show some love and pick yourself up a copy from Counterprintbooks with profits going to the British Heart Foundation.

30/03/2022

Stckmn gets a second date with Fedrigoni.

Another year and another feature in the prestigious Fedrigoni 365 calendar.

Each contributor was given a date to inspire their design. I was assigned the 16th of December.

My date conjured up memories of flicking through the pages of an Argos catalogue picking what items I hoped to get for Christmas. One of those eagerly anticipated presents was the first 16-bit games console, the Sega Mega Drive.

An icon of the games industry I created a technical style illustration of the console to represent my given number of 16, with Christmas representing December. With the silver metallic Pantone being my assigned colour for the print, the design is reflective of printed circuit boards typically found in consoles of that era.

The edition is divided into four volumes, each of which were produced by a different print partner. All of whom flexed their creative and technical muscles on the earthy tones of Materica.

Special thanks to Susan Mitchell for the invite to take part and to TM Studio and Diamond for producing a source of inspiration for new designers, showcasing the endless possibilities of finishing and book binding.

Available to buy from Counterprintbooks with profits going to Mind charity.