Get to know: Ollie

Ollie's Photo by Ollie Jackson

Hey, I’m Ollie, the newest addition to the Club team. I work across both design and development.

I have lived in Manchester my whole life and Altrincham is my home - so the commute into the Club office is a familiar one.

My journey into design isn’t a typical one. A few years ago you would have found me at Salford University, trying and failing to master the art of shorthand, as part of my Journalism degree. Around the same time, I was also keen to start blogging and this led me to discover Weebly - a simple website builder that even a fledging like me could use to create my own little corner of the internet.

As I became more familiar with Weebly, I quickly found myself wanting to delve deeper - I wanted to know what was possible beyond the brilliant, but limited drag-and-drop editor. And so I began tinkering with the source code of my site. And that is the best way I learn, by diving in. It also appeals to my desire to problem-solve. To find a solution.

Weebly had its limitations and the the choice of designs were restricted. So I took those limitations and turned them into an opportunity. I wanted to create a third-party provider of new, bespoke templates. And so that’s what I did. Taking what I had learned about design and development, I set about building new templates - I created a dozen or so in all. I built a marketing website and began engaging with the community, explaining to them that I would soon be selling new templates. The demand was there, I knew there was a market for what I was selling. And so I made the templates available to download at a one-off cost of $32. I made a handful of sales on my first day. And another handful the next day. And another handful the day after that. Suddenly, what started out as me having no prior knowledge of design or development, turned into the running of a small online business. The success of the business and my uncertainty over a career in journalism, meant I left university after the first year. It remains one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I ran the online business for nearly three years, achieving a steady stream of customers throughout and even signing a licensing agreement with a US company. Having a Skype call with an American VP from my bedroom at my parents house remains one of the more surreal moments in my life.

Since then and before joining Club, I worked as an interface designer for a software company and spent time as a contractor building websites.

My designs can be characterised by a minimal aesthetic with a focus on good typography. And that’s what you’ll find in my work here at Club. I’ll be working closely with clients and adopting a ‘less is more’ approach to design. So regardless of whether you’re looking to better meet the needs of your business or are just starting out with a new venture, I’ll always look to deliver a design solution that is practical, frictionless and elegant. I like asking myself 'why?' - it holds me accountable to my own design decisions and results in an end-product that is free from distractions.

Outside of work, football is my go-to for enjoyment. Though I say enjoyment, following Manchester United of late has been anything but! And if I’m not in despair watching football, you’ll probably find me at Altrincham market, stood waiting patiently to be served one of the best pies in the country.

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