i'm piers elliott- graphic designer / web designer / photographer / artist currently living in hampshire.
Skyfox Design is the company I created 10 years ago to be the front
for all my professional work.
Graduating preschool at the age of 5, I grew up wanting to be a time-traveller, a pirate and at one point a dinosaur. I realised early on that realistically -career-wise- some of these were off the table, so instead I picked up some pencils and drew myself as them. This began a lifelong interest in the world of design and media.
Finishing School with their highest accolade for Art, I studied Graphic
Design at college, finished a foundation course in Art then went on to
study Graphic Design with Animation at University in Bristol.
Over the last 10 years I have worked with a variety of clients as brand consultant, from small start-ups and bars, to large charities and festivals. I believe that all businesses (big or small) should have a memorable, unique brand that will stand out from the crowd. That's why I do what I do. Vivid identities, user-friendly interfaces, clear communication and a focus on the details.
In my spare time I like to read, play frisbee and cycle. When I'm not doing these, you'll often find me sitting in front of old star trek or stargate reruns. I like learning new skills. I like to create things. I like photography. I like long walks on the beach. I like a cold beer after long walks. I like films, especially those featuring Bill Murray. I like science. I like typography. I'm a massive old school graphic adventure affacionado. But above all else, I love good design.
why should we hire you, i hear you ask? these are my accomplishments so far.
this is my archive of pr
I was approached back in 2012 by therapist Gaye Donaldson to create a new look for her simplistic website. What she wanted was something that felt alive, something that reflected the calming nature of her work. I settled on a moving stream of colour that would flow over a selection of stones in the background (these stones are used in her work to identify patterns within problems). These stones would also glow in random patterns to highlight structure within chaos, a key message in her therapy.
I created this site in Wordpress with a completely custom theme incorporating a new EventBrite system for managing her sessions combined with Mailchimp for her campaigns. On top of this I made sure that her site was completely SEO friendly and got her onto page 2 of Google for her main keyword.
As with all my websites, the site is fluid and mobile optimised.
The following image is the logo I created for her brand "Gaye Donaldson". The remit for the logo was that it needed to embody the company name, and the ethos of her business, ie: helping others overcome obstacles in their lives and turn a corner. I decided I was going to go for a typography based logo and concentrate on her initials, but I wanted it to be seen as one shape, as a symbol. I settled on this design as it took the idea of turning someones life around from being on a downwards path to rising back up again, and contains both the 'G' and the 'd' of her initials.
Below are the different colours that the site takes on at varying times of the day. This was chosen by Gaye to reflect the moods of her clients viewing the site at different times.
WEBSITE| skyfoxdesign.com (v1)
This website began as a test of my website creation and animation ability- I had only been learning flash for 3 months before it launched. It's 'cube' navigation was originally related to the box of promotional material I would send alongside my C.V.
Above is the net of the cube that contains the site's navigation. A rudimentary
blog was followed by an 'about me' section, and a 'further information'
section. After this I wanted the user to have some fun when they went to
my page and so I implemented a simple drawing system similar to microsoft
When it came to actually coding an online portfolio area I wanted to expand upon the interactivity and chose to go headfirst into the land of skeuomorphism and depict the gallery as a book, with one side showing my design work, the other my photography. However even back in 2006 I could see the drawbacks to flash. It wasn't supported by mobile platforms and people had to have the plugin installed. This made me create a second site which duplicated the visual look, but was rendered entirely in html/css (with a little jquery).
I was contacted by Nirmali Fenn (an Australian composer who now lectures
at Hong Kong University) to develop a simple website that captured the
essense of movement and life.
I decided to use a scrolling background that carried a flow of colours and patterns upon which sat her biography and compositions. This was created entirely with html, css and jquery and adapts to different screen sizes. The colours change depending on the time of day you visit (in relation to the users region). The deep blue, for example, is used at night to fit in with a gentler ambience while the rich amber comes in around early morning to give a punchy wakeup vibe. The brief also specified multiple languages must be selectable, so I incorporated a small flag array in the upper right which, when clicked, translate the website into the respective language.
BRANDING| the sustainable food trust
I was contacted by the board of the Sustainable Food Trust (SFT), and
it's US partner, the Sustainable Food Alliance (SFA) to assist in developing
their logo/brand identity, and to consult on a complete systems overhaul
for their Bristol headquarters. The remit was that it must be a classic
design to be approved by HRH the Prince of Wales, yet be modern enough
that it did not feel 'stuffy'. It also must say collaboration and communication
with a global reach.
My final logo submission was a yin/yang 'leaves' combination, with the veins of the leaves alluding to longitude/latitude lines on a globe. The 'S' of sustainable is also capured in the negative space. After several years the charity has now positioned itself as more of a voice for change, and the logo has since been updated to convey this.
Below is a selection of the design work I have done for them over the years.
When preparing to get married in 2012, the subject of invites and save-the-dates
came up, and my partner and I decided that to keep up with the times (and
to give me something to sink my teeth into whilst she went dress shopping)
we would have a companion website to expand upon information traditionally
carried on an invitation.
As our wedding was to be vintage 30's style, the website had to reflect this, so I had to find a way to make the website seem thoroughly modern yet completely retro at the same time. With the accent colour of green settled and the era to work from I began contruction. Instead of traditional save-the-date cards, relatives and friends were sent an email with a link to the splash page giving them the basic info to put in their diaries. The main page was kept behind a password wall until the full invitations were sent out.
The invites were digitally printed on heavy 350gsm card with the section creases made using a bone folder for a professional finish. The top section of each of the invites was hand embossed, and to reflect the website navigation I used a silk ribbon to give interest to the central page of the invite. For the last section of the invite, we wanted something a little special, something personal that we hadn't seen with any other wedding invitation. For each and every one of our guests we created a seperate video, personally inviting them to our wedding with their names rendered into the recording. I sourced some discs that had the appearance and feel of an old record (complete with grooves) that also had a printable section in the centre so that I could customise the label.
Once sent out I launched the companion website. This was coded from the ground up in html5/css3/jquery with responsive design for mobile browsers. The website (among other things) integrated the Google Maps API with custom directions and colour scheme, an interactive timeline of our lives together, and links to local taxi companies/places to stay. Every element of design was built specifically for this website- nothing was off the shelf.
Below is a selection of the designs I created for use on the day, including the evening event postcards that were sent out.
This was a side project I worked on with a group of friends to bring an
idea to proof of concept stage. The idea was that instead of purchasing
a £20,000 painting, you would purchase pixels of the painting for £1 each,
and once all were bought, a pixel would be randomly selected and the painting
would be delivered to the winner. Nearly all other sites with comparable
ideas used flash, but I made sure the platform would be accessable on mobile.
Without any advertising our little idea seems to be trickling along slowly and we are getting purchases from every major continent. We are in discussions with various companies and charities to license and expand the concept to sell any product.
CODING/DESIGN| psp gui redesigns
After purchsing a PSP after launch, I quickly grew tired of the interface
and became interested in customising it. I participated in PSP cusomisation
forums and IIRC chat and became part of a wave of users who decyphered
the files used to create the PSP's GUI.
Many themes were released that changed the iconography and the sounds but none of them worked like I would have wanted. So I thought I would try my hand at it to see what I could come up with. Instead of just creating some nice looking icons and uploading the files for people to install on their devices, I wanted to take things a step further. I began to learn how to edit the hex code that goverened how the entire operating system animated and moved.
After spending months finding and recording the job of each and every offset in the code, I founded 'Inacor' - a small group of the most dedicated and talented designers, and we began releasing complete system redesigns, that aside from my personal creations, emulated Apple's OSX and more recently Windows Media Centre. These releases became the most downloaded themes, and helped other developers create more complex designs. This project got me hooked on interface design.
I was asked to develop the brand identity of a new bar in central Southampton,
that specialised in American cuisine, but with a relaxed vibe. It was also
the city's first non-smoking bar. I created the dark magenta and cream
colour scheme to acheive a gender neutral feel. The final logo developed
had to be clean, crisp, modern and not be too macho.
After suggesting the colour scheme for the logo, they rolled the colours out across the interior decoration, and commissioned me to create two-tone artwork of various musicians to be hung around to wallspace. What follows are the menu designs I created.
BRANDING/PRINT| uwe christian union
Whilst at university in Bristol, I was commissioned to create a new logo
for the Christian union, and to work on their advertising. Having analysed
their previous efforts and identified what needed to change, I worked
with them on what areas needed to be modernised, and what direction to
go down with advertising. I submitted this logo design for them to use, alongside
a typography heavy identity. They wanted the design to be very modern, to be eye
catching, but not complicated.
The split C/U represents the initials, with the cross in the centre recognising the belief they hold dear. This design was a success and helped change people's attitudes away from the notion of the CU being 'out of touch'. The following are a few posters I created for various UWECU events.
One of my hobbies is to paint- I find it relaxing and a great way to unwind.
The following is a small selection of commissions. The painting of the Alps was entered into the 'Not the Turner Prize' and out of over 10,000 applicants was selected to be displayed in central London gallery, and placed in the top 50 'Highly Commended' pieces. The size is 6' by 1.5'. The wave is 2' by 6'.
BRANDING| service champions
I was commissioned to create a new identity for online retailer 'Service Champions'. They wanted to branch out into a variety of sub-brands, namely 'Tool Champions', 'Outdoor Champions', 'Ski Champions' and 'Bike Champions'. I created a main logo structure that placed the qualifier above the word Champions, and simply swapped out the central part of the left-aligned logo for the corresponding icon. This allowed the brand to be unified but also diverse enough to allow further editions to the sub-brands as the family grew.
BRANDING| the anglo indian chef
I was commissioned to redesign the logo for the Anglo Indian Chef and
his range of 'Curry Now!' home cook curry packs. The brief was that it
didn't have to say 'Anglo Indian' as much as it had to inspire confidence
in the flavours and authenticity. I used the idea of the traditional 'Balti
dish' as a container for an explosion of vibrant Indian colours that brought
to life the spices and tastes.
My concept was that each of the curry packets would use a different colour scheme to suggest the particular flavours and atmosphere of the different dishes.
BRANDING/PRINT| zion projects
In the mid-noughties I was brought on board to look at the current branding
of various local Church logos/promotional materials, and was tasked with
freshening up the 'project' team's look. Their remit was that it must
appeal to the youth, it must not feel too imposing, must be able to blend
in, but yet should tell the organisation's story. So I took their idea
of a 'holy of holies' surrounded by inner courts, outer courts and the
nations, and made it into effectively a graffiti 'tag'. A simple quick
design that does not have to be the same every time, and can be used with
different colours to suit the environment.
Below are some of the other promotional materials I made for the Church.
Another of my hobbies, I really enjoy photography of all types; from action shots all the way to macro images. I use a Canon 60D with a variety of lenses. In the field I generally shoot on Eyefi, and immediately sync to iPad so clients can see my shots immediately on-site without going back to base. Clients and subjects involve Za Za Bazaar, and the Duchy Home Farm/Highgrove. Here is a small selection of my images.
I created the album cover CD artwork for an early promo, and was their official photographer at a number of gigs across the country.
This is a selection of random designs I have created over the years for personal projects.
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