About

I am a designer who also likes to code.

I can't substantiate this but I believe the somewhat unusual mixture of designer and developer has something to do with playing with a lot of Lego when I was a child. Also trainsets.

My work centres around arts organisations and people who give two hoots about what they're doing in life, not just for themselves but for others and maybe even the planet.

The projects I take on are varied, and some are self-initiated. I value smallness, honesty, collaboration, focus, humour and humility. I work solo, in the company of others and have a few choice friends to call on in the event there's something I can't do on my lonesome, although this is rarely the case as I'm what you might call a "control freak".

I've worked with a whole range of people. From one-woman-bands to multi-national, trillion dollar corporations... haha. I'm joking. Take a look at this list of some of the wonderful organisations I've worked with in case you're worried I spend most of my time sitting around updating my own website.

Stay small, stay low impact while making big waves in the right places. Make great work with great people of purpose.

Ethos

For most level-headed people the world is a strange place at the moment. Wherever you look the shit seems to be hitting the fan. As a mostly level-headed person I see this stuff and get a little overwhelmed. Maybe you do too. As a designer I see this stuff and wonder what I can do to affect some change. I don’t want to be part of the many problems we face. I want to be part of the creative fixes we dream up together.

Marketing is a word I’m a little wary of, but as we’re being honest I think it’s fair to say design and marketing are definitely bedfellows. When I help define a brand, build a website or design a logo I’m helping a client market their product or idea.

So marketing is a large part of where my creative energies go. I want those precious energies being used to encourage people to make the right choices, support good causes and listen to their passions, rather than encouraging people to buy crappy products or shady ideas.

I like to work with people of purpose. Purpose is a tad nebulous so let’s define it with some other words: artfulness, creativity, altruism, honesty, playfulness/seriousness, reflection, tradition/innovation, expression. These are purposes I can get behind, purposes I want to design for. The people who share any or all of those purposes are people for whom I want to engage my skillset.

I have been doing this for almost 10 years. I’ve loved every minute of it. In those 10 years the world has changed. Big time. Suddenly a lot of issues seem pretty urgent. Who knows what the next 10 big ones will look like but I know that what I’ve written above will hold fast forever.

I hope that all this informs the work I take on, the work people give me and the collaborations I embark upon. Get in contact if you think we can work together. On anything. My skillset is broad, the world is wide and there is some great design to be had!

Other projects

Fast and Steady is the home for all my custom lettering.

I write an occasional email newsletter called Old Gold focused on design and music with a little oddball thrown in for good measure.

I studied art at university in Virginia, and printmaking here in Bristol. I cofounded Snap, a printmaking cooperative, shop and gallery. Bits of current art making practice can be found at davidabbott.co as well as over on Instagram at @smallworks

I love typography, poetry, the countryside and folk songs and sometimes write about these things over on my blog Signal & Noise.

And finally, Document is a personal project mapping internal landscapes through photographs.

The Planet

We have big challenges ahead as a species that have made me think a lot lately about Purpose. Yes that's an uppercase P. I'll say it now, I'm going to be turning work away if it doesn't feel Purposeful and I'm going to be chasing other work that does. It also feels important to stay open-minded about what all this turmoil means, and focused on optimistic approaches to solving some of our big problems. Like everything, this has everything to do with design. If you have any thoughts on the subject, drop me a line.