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The Penfolders: Meet our Freelancers, Peter Dyer

Ellie Lister
Monday 1st June, 2020

You’ve already heard that Penfold is built for the self employed and freelancer community. But have you heard that we’re actually built by our self employed community too? From web developers to coding whizzes to marketing, our freelancers help strengthen our business each and every day. So we wanted to introduce them to you in our new blog series, The Penfolders. First up is our freelance designer, Peter. 

Meet Peter Dyer, our amazing freelance designer, who has helped design our brand new website layout. Peter has launched his own studio, Brunch Design in Cardiff, working with brands internationally from fashion magazines to coffee packaging.

Peter had been following Penfold on social media for a while and when we found his impressive perspective and experience via Twine, we couldn’t wait to start working together. Here, we chat to Peter about his loves - typography, street art and rugby, where and why his freelancing began, and his top tips for aspiring designers.

“I’m really happy with Penfold's final website and hope it shows the friendliness and community aspect that sets them apart, beyond just a great app.”

Tell us a bit about yourself, what you do and how long you’ve been doing it for.

I’m a designer based in Cardiff. My main loves are typography and street art. I recently launched my own studio, Brunch Design (link to www.brunch.design) where I focus on helping to build brands and push them to the next level. We’ve worked with international brands through to local startups across all fields of design – from branding and digital experiences, to fashion magazines and coffee packaging.

What do you love to do outside of design?

Originally from Cornwall, I moved to Cardiff to study for my degree in graphic design. Curiously I ended up meeting a girl from Cornwall also living in Cardiff, and we’ve been here ever since. We recently got a rough collie puppy (picture a baby “Lassie”) and outside of work I really enjoy getting out into the countryside with them both.

I really love going to gigs (at least before lockdown started) and art exhibitions. I’m also a rugby fan (which as an Englishman living in Wales can get a bit tense!). 

What made you get into design?

From a young age I loved designing layouts - of houses, board games, Lego and then in secondary school I had an amazing graphic design tutor (shout out to Mr. Scott!) who opened my eyes to the design industry and how it could be a fantastic career and not just a hobby.

Why did you become a freelancer?

After spending several years designing within some excellent Cardiff agencies, I found the structure of an agency wasn’t suiting my creative process. I often felt a detachment from the client themselves, usually only meeting them in the initial meeting and the final presentation. I really craved a role where I could carve my own creative direction, lead the design and build a much more personal relationship with my clients.

I think this ethos is part of the reason I’ve been able to grow several valued repeat clients, 

some of which I’ve now been working with for over 5 years.

How did you find designing Penfold’s new website?

I stepped in part way through the design process to give a fresh perspective and help guide the visual direction. It’s been great to get to know Chris and the team, and we’ve worked iteratively across design sprints on the site, constantly benchmarking the design to ensure we capture the reason Penfold are different.

“It’s been particularly interesting, as I’m exactly the type of person Penfold is helping with their pension service.”

What’s your favorite thing about working for yourself?

The best thing of working for yourself has to be the flexibility and freedom it offers. I really enjoy working from home and the (slightly cliché) ability to work from a coffee shop. From a design perspective, it’s great to have the final decision of what gets presented to my clients and to build an ongoing dialogue and understanding that delivers great projects.

And, the most difficult part about working for yourself?

Along with the freedom working for yourself provides, it does bring a lot of extra responsibility that you don’t have in an agency.

It’s down to you to ensure work gets completed on time, and to keep your eyes peeled for that next exciting project. You also have to ensure the financial side of things is covered, that there’s money in the bank, and you’re paying into your pension.

What are your top tips for freelancers?

Without wanting to repeat the usual designs tips, I’d say that design doesn’t have to fill every minute of your life. Pursuing your other interests and passions is great for the mind and soul, (plus quite often this is when you’ll suddenly think of a solution to that challenging brief).

I’d also suggest while it’s definitely worth keeping up to date with your peers and favorite agencies' work, it’s important to do your own thing and not judge your work against others (easier said than done sometimes).

It’s really important for freelancers to build relationships with collaborators. You may get approached about a project with an aspect outside your skillset - If you know someone you can partner up with, or can find someone through your network, it’s a great way to take the project on as well as learn some new skills and insights.

And, top tips for aspiring designers?

Take as many opportunities as you can to build your portfolio of work, and learn from those who inspire you. There are so many amazing resources online, and fantastic podcasts on the  creative processes of various designers. These are great to inspire and guide you - but the most important thing is just tackling the work in front of you and trying to push each project to the next level.

Follow Peter on his twitter, and instagram!

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