My Journey as a Graphic Designer in the Wix Community

Seeing as I've not yet been able to attend one of the wonderful Wix community events, I thought I'd share a little bit about myself. There is a lot to tell, but I'll try to keep it brief as I don't want you falling off your office chairs in boredom.

My name is Matt Lowe of Matt Lowe Design. I'm a freelance graphic and web designer based in Rotherham, a small town that sits at the southern tip of the county of Yorkshire in England. I'm 45 years young, and I live with my little dog Alfie who's my Marketing Manager. Alfie's work ethic isn't great, and I'm not altogether sure he has any discernible marketing qualifications or experience for that matter. Still, he does keep me going, and he is lots of fun.

After school, I attended the now-demolished Sheffield Engineering College, where I studied Desktop Publishing, Marketing, and Computer-Aided Design. However, halfway through my studies and during one of the college open days, I was approached by a newly formed Secure Communications Company. I was asked to establish their in-house marketing department, which would consist of one person, me. I was responsible for creating and distributing all marketing material, CAD drawings, business presentations, business proposals, and any other type of graphics-based media. These would then be distributed to the Ministry of Defence, various airports, and any other large scale businesses in need of secure communications equipment around the UK. I enjoyed the position immensely, and my love for all things design started to flourish. However, two years into the job, the company began underperforming, and operations were scaled down. It went from a team of 10/15 people to just 3/4, and they eventually relocated to London.

So there I was, high and dry with bills to pay and incomplete education. The sensible option at this point was to return to college, complete my studies, continue my learning, and see where my qualifications took me. But me being me, I decided against that and tried working my way back into a similar role somewhere else. The only problem was, I needed a 'quick job' to tide me over until the next big thing came along. After a few inquiries, I started working in a scrap yard a few days later! Yes, after all that work, my studies, and my love for design, I was working in a scrapyard. I knew it wouldn't last long and that I'd soon be back in the design world, but I was wrong.

Two years passed, and I was still working my fingers to the bone in the scrapyard. The days were long, extremely hot, or cold and incredibly hard. I slowly realized that my dream of being a designer was fading with each day that passed. Eventually, I left my job at the scrapyard and began working for the local government as a Technical Team Leader in 2007. Although this wasn't strictly a design role, it did offer me the chance to get involved with technology again. Most importantly, it gave me the ability to start designing part-time because my working days were shorter and much less arduous.

It's difficult to say when I first started using Wix, my memory for times and dates is not the best. Still, looking at the timeline above, it was probably somewhere around 2009/2010. Let's put it this way; when I first started using Wix, the current Wix editor was just a twinkle in the Wix team's eye. An email filed under 'possibilities for the future' and neatly filed away in a shared folder for further consideration.

At first, I started designing logos and websites for friends and family, which is a great way to start and learn your trade. Additionally, they're much more forgiving while you take your first baby steps. Luckily they were thrilled with the results, and more often than not, they would recommend me to other people. Over time and with some work under my belt, the network of contacts started to expand, as did my yearning to leave local government to work for myself.

On May 7, 2016, my hero, role model, inspiration and guiding light, my dad, passed away. To say I was broken inside would be somewhat of an understatement. My dad was everything to me, and to see my mom in absolute pieces was almost more than I could bear. It's not in my nature to be negative or backward-looking, so with his memory and his drive spurring me on, I took the leap I needed.

In October of 2018, I resigned from a relatively well paid and secured local government role. It was then that I started Matt Lowe Design from scratch with minimal financial backing, and a customer base formed solely on loyalty and the quality of my past work. I must say, it's been an absolute life-changer. Things are, of course, still at a very early stage, and with the current climate, they could go either way, but so far so good.

A real source of help, support, and guidance has come from Wix and the Wix Facebook community group. Scattered around all parts of the globe, they so often come together to help and inspire me. To join forces on projects or offer leads to potential work, and this has been a great help. I want to thank the people that I've had the pleasure of working with and shine a light on their friendship and support. They always comment on how amazing they think my work is, and I honestly can't express how grateful I am for this. I've always been a level headed kind of guy, so I don't ever look at my work like others do. Although I think my logos and websites are 'ok,' they're certainly not the best out there, and there is always scope for improvement, but that's what we're here for, right? To keep pushing, keep learning, and keep getting better at what we do. With the help of Wix and the Wix community, I've been able to do that.

I suppose I'm known more for my branding and logos than anything else. Maybe because my websites are terrible? I can't say, but if you stick with me for a few more minutes, I can show you a small selection of the work I've done so far for other people in the Wix Community and say thank you once again for their support.

Code Queen Logo

Nayeli Gomez asked for my assistance in creating a logo for her brand, Code Queen. This was more of a collaboration as she approached me with the ‘Power Button’ idea, which simply needed to be polished for the final design.

Wix Community Logo

Brett Haralson of Wix, reached out and asked me to create a logo for the wider Wix community members. I thought it best for it to pay homage to the current Wix logo without trying to replace it and converted the dot on the 'i' to a speech mark. After all, it's a space where people essentially come together and talk.

Wixcon Nola 19 Logo

Using the logo above as a basis for the design, I wanted to add a small graphic that could be adapted for every event showing the location and the year in which it takes place. The colour scheme can be updated and changed for each event that takes place without disturbing the overall brand.

Wix DesignHer Logo

A source of inspiration for female entrepreneurs looking to get started on web design using Wix. We went through various iterations of this logo before we settled on the final design. I did receive a few comments regarding this design as it’s very close to the Wix branding. When a logo shares part of its name with another recognized organization, you’re always going to get questions. Like all of my logos, this one was created from scratch with a clean template and I think the differences in design speak for themselves.

Rock Lodges Branson Logo

Logos are often really tough to perfect. Often, you’re speaking to someone who has quite a fixed idea of what they want, but that wasn’t the case with the Rock Lodges logo. The client had absolutely no idea what she wanted, but she did send over images of her location. I was really taken aback by its beauty and I knew that I had to work this into the logo without it being overcomplicated or fussy.

Elite Realty Logo

The first of my logos for the incredible Debby Girvan at Flair Communications. Elite Realty asked for something clean and modern which meant I could create my favorite style of logo. In the creation process, I integrated a cheeky little nod to the Realtor industry that not everyone would instantly see or recognize (the door and the door handle between the initials). The customer loved my take on their brief and my first project for Debby was a success.

Hosea Legal Logo

The client didn't really know what she wanted in terms of a logo or brand image, all she knew was that she wanted something legal looking without it being old, stuffy, overused and generic like the scales of justice. After a few days of brainstorming, I presented the idea to the client who took an immediate liking to it.

Loggedin Logo

This was a rebranding project for a company that was going from ‘Shooger’ to ‘LoggedIn’. They gave me a completely clean slate to create something that was very simple, but with a hidden message that applied to the business. We went through what seemed to be hundreds of ideas for this one but I think the final look is just right.

Thank you for staying with me as I shared my journey. I sincerely hope that you, your families, and friends are staying safe during these tough times. Let's come out of the COVID-19 Pandemic healthier, bigger, better, stronger, and more appreciative of the things that we occasionally take for granted. I hope you've enjoyed the work I've created for the Wix family to date. To everyone who has supported me, I hope we can work together again in the near future.

By learning lessons, being positive, and being there for each other right now and well into the future, we can all become better human beings.

Take care, and stay safe.

Matt Lowe

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