CV / Resume

Alex Cowles
UX orientated designer, music producer & professional pie-fingerer*.

Experience

East Creative July 2013 - Present

  • After relocating to Latvia, I founded “East” and started solving design and brand identity related problems for clients all over the world.
  • Rebranded YourGP private medical practice in Edinburgh, increasing online enquiries and appointment numbers. That rebrand was the first crucial step towards their current expansion to other cities in Scotland.
  • Created the Native Talent brand and helped them launch it alongside their existing recruitment organisation.

QueryClick October 2010 - July 2013

  • Head hunted to be QueryClick's first Creative Director.
  • Rebranded the entire company, including everything from folder structure and internal documentation, to websites, stationary and even office decor and signage.
  • Proudly became brand ambassador as the small search marketing company grew from 6 people in a shady back-office, to a 20-strong team in a prime location with multinational SEO clients. Consistent branding played an integral part in this growth, making the company attractive and effective for potential clients as well as employees.
  • Also provided design as a service for QueryClick's clients and worked with companies like Ryanair, Hunter, Allsaints and Aggreko.

Line Digital April 2006 - October 2010

  • Fuelled by a desire to learn and improve I went from junior to senior designer in just 3 years.
  • Managed IKEA's email marketing in Scotland, with regular emails to lists of 50,000 recipients, and received a DADI Awards commendation for my work in 2009.
  • Worked as part of a 3-strong team with Running Productions, LG and 20th Century Fox on a "Mission 1212" site linked to the 2008 film The Day The Earth Stood Still. The site and work received a BAFTA Scotland New Talent award.
  • Won both a BIMA and a DADI Best Use Of Visual Design award in 2010 as part of a 3-strong team working on the Digital Podge website.
  • Seconded to Tesco Bank for a month to manage their internal staff website design and updates.
  • Worked on complex catalogue and ticketing sites for Edinburgh International Film Festival, Fringe Festival and Book Festival.
  • Worked regularly with BBC International on countless marketing materials for Top Gear Magazine.
  • Worked on a number of large financial websites for AEGON, Scottish Life and Standard Life.

Other Design Related Projects & Achievements

  • Wrote and presented a 45 minute talk on the future of email marketing for Refresh Talks in Edinburgh.
  • Designed interface components for a Reaktor software synthesizer called Bassic.
  • Took a key role in the design of the USA-wide “Film Your Issue” campaign back in 2006.
  • Won a number of web-based awards for the design of my own portfolio site in 2007.
  • Attended the last ever Brooklyn Beta coference in 2004.
  • Attended the TEDx Riga conference in Riga, 2015.
  • Created both Plain Simple SEO and Fucking SEO Tips sites to encourage awareness and teach the basics of SEO.

Music Related Projects & Achievements

  • Under the alias DFRNT (discography), I produced 4 albums, over 20 EPs and almost 20 remixes as well as appearing on Nick Warren's Rennaisance Masters compilation.
  • Had international press coverage, and national radio airplay for many of my releases as DFRNT, including a track on Sasha's BBC6 Music mix, support from Mary Anne Hobbs, Annie Mac and both BBC and local radio in the UK, Italy, Czech Republic, Denmark and many more places.
  • As DFRNT, I was also able to DJ and perform all over the world. From the USA and Puerto Rico to Europe and the UK.
  • I produce and distribute a regular podcast called Insight. For a short period, I also presented the podcast live on FM Radio here in Latvia.
  • Launched successful subscription-based record label Cut, which currently delivers a new release every month to members.
  • Launched a small electronic record label Brightest Dark Place releasing vinyl and digital EPs.
  • Launched a course platform and blog called How To Self Release to help people self-release their own music and run their own record label.
  • Created How To Send Me Music in response to a decline in the quality of communication from new producers and promo companies. The site is now referenced by many labels as an authority on best practice for sending demo materials.
  • I enjoy updating the Music Descriptions Tumblr with many of the daft musical descriptions that I get every day.
  • I also created the Sitting Ovation blog to post occasional articles about the narrative within music discovery.
  • Ran a couple of successful club nights in Riga, Latvia, booking international artists, arranging everything from visuals and promotion, to logistics, set times, accommodation and travel.

Education

BA(Hons) - Computer Arts University of Abertay, Dundee

Although admittedly not design-led, I did learn a huge range of skills on the course, from traditional life drawing and photography to 3D modeling and animation in 3D Studio Max, HTML coding, Flash animation, Photoshop and even audio production methods.

My final year paper was on the notion that a picture can tell a thousand stories. I explored the history of non text-based, visual storytelling from cave paintings, to modern day advertising, including reading on the rhetoric of the image and how we perceive visual information from images.

* The phrase to “have one's finger in many pies” suggests an involvement in a multitude of different things.
I have appropriated this as something of a tagline!