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Episode
67

Being a More Confident Designer

An interview with
Col Gray

Introduction

What does starting a design business, building a personal brand, and increasing your prices all have in common? Confidence.

In this weeks episode Ian interviews Col Gray, the founder of Dundee based graphic design studio Pixels Ink to discuss how confidence has played a pivotal role in developing his personal brand, and taking his design business to the next level.

An interview with Col Gray

Ian Paget: One thing I really like about what you do is that you’ve done a really good job of injecting your own personality into everything that you’re doing, so with Pixels Ink and I know the Rock Your Brand thing, I’ve seen it in a number of places. I think you’ve got a really unique brand, and I think it’s an extension of you. I think you’ve done a really great job of doing that. I find personal branding is one of those areas that designers really struggle with, so I’ve got a couple of questions around that topic. First thing, how did Pixels Ink start, and how did you go about developing that personal brand for yourself as part of that?

Col Grey: Okay. Pixels Ink as a name started in 2004-ish, I think. I was working for a company in the design department, and that company went into liquidation, and so I started to think about, well, what am I going to do if I can’t get a job. I might need to work for myself, so I needed to come up with a name for the company. At the time, and this is true, at the time the film Monsters, Inc. was out at the cinema. I’m a big animation fan. I did animation for my degree at university, and so I thought, “Oh, Pixels Inc., Pixels Incorporated. Then I thought, “Oh, no, Pixels Ink. I could change the C to a K, and that describes exactly what I do. I do website stuff and I do print stuff.

It didn’t come straight away. I had things like Pixel 8 with the number 8. That was a big thing back in the early 2000s, having a number 8 in there, and so I didn’t need to use it for a couple years. It was sort of 2000-and-, end of 2005 when I actually started freelancing, I suppose, setting up my own little studio of one, me, Pixels Ink, and just started trading off of that.

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