Branding expert and graphic artist Dave Kirkwood completed a graphic design degree at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), before going on to set up the Dave Kirkwood Studio, using his expertise in design, brand engagement and graphic art to help clients achieve their branding and design goals. A regular speaker at seminars held by UCLan’s business support facility, the MORE programme, Dave provides support and guidance to those starting out in business.
When Dave, from Whitehaven, was studying a foundation course in art at the University of Cumbria, he began the process of applying for several London universities to pursue a qualification in art.
It was when he was working on a project about the First World War that he spoke to the lecturers at UCLan for research purposes, and discovered the University’s graphic design course. Thoroughly impressed, Dave put a stop to his original plans in the capital, enrolled at UCLan and embarked on the course, which he describes as ‘four wonderful years’.
After graduating with a degree in graphic design, Dave worked as a designer in London at Peter Leonard Associates and Cartlidge Levene, as a lecturer in graphic design and typography, before working for and eventually running the Manchester based design agency, Walsh Simmons.
Dave now runs his own international company, Dave Kirkwood Studio, specialising as a brand engagement strategist and working with entrepreneurs, creative professionals, SMEs and corporate brands, helping them develop brands and launch strategies. He’s worked for major clients including Kelloggs, Laura Ashley, Sainsbury’s, W H Smith and Virgin.
When he’s not working on international projects, Dave can often be found creating innovative ways of raising money for charity. In 2012 he established a graphic online novel, 3hundredand65, which was created in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust, with one part of the story created by an individual Twitter user each day. He’s also set up the 1 Minute Memory in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, aiming to raise £100,000 by setting up a process in which people do a one minute sketch and donate the equivalent in pounds to the charity.
The MORE Programme
While working as a consultant for Creative Lancashire, Dave’s attention was drawn to the MORE Programme, one of UCLan’s business support facilities which provides a combination of advice, guidance, business support and facilities to help the growth of creative, digital and media sector companies in the North West of England. He was soon on board, sharing his expertise and knowledge of branding, to help small businesses realise their potential through effective strategies, as well as guidance to students pursuing a creative career path, just as he once did.
Dave regularly shares his expertise at business seminars and workshops delivered at UCLan, which cover key topics for starting in business, providing information and guidance on skills and practices required, such as ‘how to freelance’, offering advice to those considering the freelance career path.