We put 5 questions to Alex Thomas from Alex Thomas Design
Tell us a bit about your business – how did it get started, how long have you been involved?
I’ve been a graphic designer for over 20 years, but I’ve been working for myself for about 5 years now. I started my career working in consumer magazine publishing for Future Publishing in Bath. I worked on a number of their IT and computing magazines, but mainly on MacFormat magazine, which I loved as I am a huge Apple geek!
After leaving Future, I moved into marketing and corporate design, working for an IT company called IPL and a homewares company called Cox & Cox, creating their marketing materials in print and digital as well as working on their websites. I went freelance in 2013, and continued working for a number of my previous employers in a freelance capacity, as well as for a variety of other clients all over the UK.
What are your favourite (and least favourite) parts of running your business?
I love the variety of work I get to do. One minute I can be making a white paper for an IT client, the next I’m creating a website for a wedding venue, then in the afternoon I’m doing a quarterly review for a solicitors. I also love the fact that my commute is only a few minutes as I work at home. I also love the flexibility of my job as it means I can spend time with my young family and balance that with work. The most challenging part of the job is finding new work. Freelance can be a real feast or famine profession, and so it’s important to keep momentum going to avoid those quiet spells from going on for too long!
What are your aims and goals for the business in the next 12 months and what are you looking forward to achieving most?
My main goals for this year are to gain more clients in Devon. We only moved here in Easter 2018 and so I am keen to get more local business, which is why I helped set up this group!
What is it about Okehampton and the surrounding area that makes it so ideally suited for you and your business?
My family and I moved here to be near relatives, which is the most important thing for us. My work is quite flexible, as I can work almost anywhere and so it is all about living in an area which creates the best work/life balance, which Okehampton definitely does. I also grew up in a smaller town like Okehampton and so I prefer it to living in a huge bustling city!
Tell us one thing about your business that will surprise people or that you think they wouldn’t otherwise know about it?
As well as my graphic design business, I also run a website about self published and independent comics called Pipedream Comics. I self-publish my own magazine called The Pull List, which features articles from the website in print form, and I sell these at comic conventions around the UK.
You can find out more about Alex’s work at www.alexthomasdesign.co.uk