A new challenge

Posted: 29th May 2016

Pastures new

So, something exciting is happening. I'm off to work for the pretty excellent Shopify as their new content strategist. It's an amazing opportunity that I'm stoked for, and it means I get to head across the pond to Canada too.

Thanks to all my Distil clients and hopefully our paths will cross again. My love for words, messages and everything in between is sending me to Montreal. You can still stay in the loop thanks to my Medium posts, and via Twitter.

Thanks and give me a shout if you're ever in Montreal!

My Medium posts - Enjoy!

Posted: 6th Jan 2016

Medium love.

I've been using Medium for a good while now, it's cracking. I'm planning out and building my post bank up, hoping to add a post every week or so. Enjoy the collection and keep your eyes peeled for more.



New portfolio, New blog routine.

Posted: 13th Aug 2015

It has been a while...

Yep, it has indeed. There's no excuse other than the fact that I've been busy/a little lazy but with a new portfolio comes a new blog routine.

I'll be filling this very Distil blog with news, tips and everything in between but I'll also be creating a few posts a month on Medium. These posts will centre on a few grittier subjects such as content strategy and the creative industries in general. My first one will be published at the end of the month so keep your eyes peeled.

So I launched my new portfolio this week and it wasn't as easy as I thought to pick projects to feature. In the end I selected a mish mash of my favourites plus the briefs that challenged and delighted me. In the coming weeks I'll be putting together a few case studies for some of the projects that I just couldn't fit in, the first of which will be my project with Double Double

Well, that's it for now. Remember to follow me on Twitter (@distilco) for all manner of news and wordy stuffs.

What's happening.

Posted: 15th Jul 2013

Mixed bag.

All is busy on the Distil front. The last few months have been a whirlwind of projects big and small. Before the Distil Series kicks off, soon to be announced, here's a run down of what's been keeping me busy.

First things first, Mr UX has launched. This NYC-based user experience and product design agency are some the nicest chaps I've had the privilege of working with. I created their site copy, and it was a truly collaborative process.

They were refreshingly open to new ideas and suggestions, making copy creation a total pleasure. Paired with their unique style and awesome illustrations, my copy has found a most worthy home.

Along similar lines, I recently worked with Timothy Washington of Interrupt Software. Tim was looking to create copy for his site. Authoritative yet personable was the aim and I think we hit it bang on.

I recently worked with international fashion designer, Neri Karra, on the copy for her Neri Karra Talks site. Neri is a renowned fashion entrepreneur and is famed for her business prowess and creativity. Her NK Talks site, offers a power of programmes and seminars on achieving all you wish to in the world of fashion and business.

That's just a wee look at what's been happening. This month will see the launch of even more new projects, as well as the launch of the first ever Distil Series.

Keep 'em peeled.

The Distil series

Posted: 15th May 2013

My 5 day tutorial series

As you know, I've been guest blogging for the the ingenious folks at Gather Content. My recent post was on 'Content Strategy - Theory vs. Practice'.

My recent guest blogging endeavours have encouraged me to view my own expertise and knowledge differently. Constructing my experience into actionable, implementable chunks is a challenge in itself. It's no secret that I've had a pretty unique transition into copywriting, this often means I've developed my own way of doing things.

As projects go I get a pretty mixed bag. Along the way I've learnt, adapted and transformed my skills to reflect my own thinking and clients. This has finally spurred me to begin my series of copywriting tutorials. It has been on the back burner for a while now but as of next week I will post a 'How to' guide, spliced with my personal approach, every day.

I'll post a full 5 day timetable later on in the week so keep your eyes peeled. I hope to make my mini-series a monthly occurrence, showcasing a week long Distil Series centred around different topics or industry frameworks.

If you have any areas, skills or expertise you'd like to see featured, please do let me know. I want these mini-tutorials to be genuinely useful resources for freelancers, beginners and experts.


Posted: 6th May 2013

Launches, blogging and on the horizon...

So, I've been a little lazy on here but there's a heap of new announcements coming up soon so don't be too mad.

First off, I've been guest blogging for the pretty wonderful Gather Content, these guys are all about helping others create valuable content in any form. You can check out my first post here 'How to create web-ready content'. In other news, I have 2 pretty huge projects launching within the month. I can't say too much just yet but they've been a collaborative hoot to be part of and I can't wait to see them in their full glory. I've been lucky enough to have worked with a chunk of folk who value collaboration, and appreciate and action my concept ideas as much as my copywriting.

Plans for my ebook and newsletter are coming on nicely. There's some amazing resources out there that are invaluable to writers and creatives. The bar is set pretty high so I want to take my time at the planning and research stages. There's nothing worse than having your inbox clogged up with a heap of newsletters that you have no interest in reading. I want to develop my own newsletter structure and format that works for my content.

Lastly, I've had some wonderful feedback from my work with MYB Textiles. I recently condensed 100 years of history and technique into an 8 page brochure, ooft, but the final product is a belter. It was beautifully designed by Graphical House, and I'll be posting some photos of the final product in the next few days.


New space, new projects.

Posted: 11th Apr 2013

Company for a lonely copywriter...

I have moved. Last week I took up residence at the Papertank office in Southblock, Glasgow. Got myself a nice wee desk space among some design/development pals of mine and it's nice to have some chat.

I've always loved working for myself and had little trouble concentrating. My clients are scattered all over the shop so working from home always made sense, late nights, different time zones and all that, but I did miss having someone to talk through ideas with. Not just in a copywriting sense but in a creative context.

So much of my work is the idea. Working in isolation definitely generates a different process and outlook, sometimes good and sometimes not. Having the option of a sounding board is a welcome change.

In other news, I've got a pretty mixed bag of projects on at the moment. I'm chuffed at the level of collaboration each have, with clients appreciating the importance that the voice and language of a brand plays. I'm hoping to create a series of blogs around collaboration, and its differing types and processes.

For now, back to work....

Research & Reflect

Posted: 19th Mar 2013

Be a mini-expert

I love researching. I'm sure it stems from my love of organising and planning, but going from knowing very little to writing about it with confidence is empowering.

A certain David Ogilvy often preached about the importance of thorough research, especially before putting pen to paper. Obviously he was bang on, but I still enjoy comparing my before and after research ideas.

For a recent project, I visited the pretty amazing MYB Textiles. This place was insane. Beautiful and full of character, I got more of a feel for the place and its history from walking up the corridor than I could ever have got from any book.

It got me thinking about how I research and how the results are reflected in my writing. Not all projects call for such a fun, interesting trip.

When I research there are a few things I need my studies to address. Tone, target audience, SEO and such, are all the obvious factors of consistent copy. I look for my research to spearhead ideas.

The idea of becoming a mini-expert establishes a more focused goal. As an experienced copywriter, I almost subconsciously take on the essential information I need to construct the copy as I read, but it's the aim of specialising in the subject that keeps my research driven.

It's often in the depths of the seemingly unimportant that a real idea forms. That slightly obscure angle, that gives you a new perspective and that brings everything together.

Not all projects enable you to spend hours and hours researching every facet of a product or company, and not all projects need that, but I find the more restricted I am in my research, the more one dimensional my ideas are.

Science Inc Launch

Posted: 19th Feb 2013

'Solving real problems'.

Another good month for launches, and here's another one to add to the Distil list - Science Inc.

Working with the Santa Monica based tech/digital 'incubator' was a real pleasure. Not only are Science an abundance of experts and creatives, but they approach each of their projects with a very unique mindset and ethos, especially for a company of their stature.

Science wanted to talk differently about what they did. They didn't want to be tech-heavy or unapproachable. For a company consisting of former Myspace innovators and renowned experts, it was imperative that Science and its key message was about real people and their lives.

So many of these types of companies are riddled in data chat and jargon, rarely outlining the human aspect of their work. Science are focused on solving the real problems of everyday people, by financing, supporting and developing businesses concerned with improving the lives of people.

An approachable, conversational tone was created to discuss the relevance and context of each business and the human issue at the core.

Truenorth Launch

Posted: 8th Feb 2013

Icelandic Copy

I'm most proud indeed to announce the launch of my latest copy project Truenorth, designed by Berg and developed by LiamR.

These Icelandic chaps know everything there is to know about media, TV and film production, line producing movies such as Prometheus, Die Another Day and the new Thor sequel. Beautiful images of the stunning Icelandic landscape fill the site. With such strong visuals, my copy needed to quietly narrate the story of Truenorth and their work to date.

Professional, sharp and confident, the tone reflected the company's approach to working with some of the world's most renowned creatives, directors and photographers.

Powerful stills and an impressive portfolio speak for themselves, the copy is there to assist and direct the visitor's journey. Being able to see a project as a whole, and analyse the role of each feature and aspect, allowed me to produce the words that would strike the right balance and successfully underpin the brand identity. Good copy always knows its place.

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