Designer Matt Wildbore Offers Advice on Freelancing in 2018

Photo Credit - © Leo Francis

Co-working member Matt Wildbore is a freelance designer at Mattix Design, specialising in bespoke applications and websites.

Providing a full design package, including branding, print work, web and digital, he works closely with customers to craft branding and a visual identity. Everything he designs is completely unique to his clients. He is keen to break the mould with traditional businesses in order to make them stand out in their industry.

In 2017, he was a Hull City of Culture designer and produced a large number of digital advertisements and printed guides for events taking place across the year.

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We caught up with him to find out what he’s got planned for 2018.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?

Each of my products, whether it’s branding, web or UI are created from scratch, completely tailored to each client.

I like to go against the grain to what you’d usually expect to see from a particular industry. 

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What inspired you to set up Mattix Design?

I worked at design agencies for a few years before starting Mattix Design, but always felt restricted in what I could achieve creatively.

I believe I can offer clients a friendlier, more transparent and creative service by managing the processes myself. By doing this, I am able to gain a much deeper understanding of their business and their goals, which allows me to provide a far more creative and valuable service.

What advice would you give to someone just starting their own business, whether it’s in design or another industry?

You need to be prepared to work hard and learn a lot.

You have to be the designer, the account manager, the business development manager, the salesman, the marketing manager and the quality assurer, all whilst trying to get new work and designing quality products for existing clients. It’s a lot to take on. So, be prepared for that.

I would say be sure to manage your clients’ expectations and maintain great communication throughout any project you ever undertake. Even if it’s just to let the client know you’ve seen their email and will get back to them. It shows that you’re there for them, you’re on the ball and you’ll take action.

For designers specifically, I would say to have a great portfolio to hand. Find your niche and your style and stand out from the crowd. Take pride in your work and clients will refer you for doing a great job. Think of the bigger picture in terms of your customers’ businesses - you’re not just creating pretty pictures, the design needs to be functional and achieve results for your client.

Great advice! You were one of the incredible designers behind Hull 2017. What exciting things do you have planned for 2018?

Since winning the tender in January of last year, Hull 2017 has given me a fantastic platform in my first year of business to allow me to grow. I feel very fortunate to have been chosen to work with the City of Culture team during one of the city’s most historic years.

This year, I have a couple of large projects coming up, some of which are collaborating with C4DI companies and members. I’m also looking forward to continuing working with my current clients, many of whom I took on at the end of last year.

You can find out more about Matt's incredible work on the Mattix Design website.