Turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes
50 years of shape-shifting made David Bowie well-qualified to comment on change. But there’s personal change and then there’s the other kind, seismic and impersonal—the sort of radical shift that deals deep despair and rampant opportunity with apparent abandon…
Did anyone actually see the internet coming..? BOOM! Suddenly we’re all talking to each other, joining up dots, learning how to fix fridges and pigging out on ‘big data’…
And it just gets bigger, and louder, and faster… and it’s changing everything.
Politics, technology, career paths, the whole damn world of work is morphing into something else right before our eyes. It’s scary shit and bad news for many folk dependent on the established employment norms, but it’s also an opportunity for anyone with half a creative bone in their body…
I’m Tony Eddicott, I came out of Bermondsey in South London and I help creative professionals plug in to the future.
Back in the day Bermondsey was a hive of industry. Known as London’s Larder multiple trades grew off the back of the docks where my grandfather stirred it up as a union rep.
My old man was another of its vital components, cooper by trade he made and repaired whisky and rum barrels under the arches on Druid Street.
Dad was paid by the cask. It was hard, physical graft, he’d come home with holes in his hands.
Dad started as an apprentice aged 15. He was good, one of the best woodworkers at his firm but one day came unexpected bad news: the company had folded, he was out the door.
The industry had evolved: wooden hand crafted barrels had been superseded by mass manufactured steel.
The system spat him out.
He enjoyed working his craft but it wasn’t true love. That would be us, his family, and his primary aim beyond providing warmth and shelter was a roast on Sunday and a fortnight by the sea in August.
He wanted more than basic survival so he set about finding a new trade that gave us that and at the age of forty-something went from woodworking artisan to computer operator.
A bit of a leap.
Even as a kid I got the enormity of it. He had to put himself out there, into a whole different job market, learn a completely new skill set, and do it all wearing an actual tie.
It wasn’t so common in those days but a move like that is now becoming standard.
Tech has always changed and industries have always disappeared, and this is a market-driven economy which means that, actually…
you were always dispensable.
But what’s different now is the speed of change.
These are accelerating times.
The idea of a ‘job for life’ is a distant memory as I found out myself in 2011 when ‘cost-cutting’ presented as ‘restructuring’ forced me into freelancing. Luckily I was armed to the teeth with a skill set that made the transition smooth. Others are not so lucky.
Change may well bring a new kind of kinder politics, but in the meantime many of us, increasingly, have decisions to make…
Maybe it’s enforced change or perhaps it’s a voluntary leap of faith… Either way you’ll likely find yourself wanting some kind of engagement with an expanding digital landscape, which is where I come in…
What I do
I fuse modern technology with design and strategy to help creative professionals interface with the world. That interface may be a website, or it may be a brand identity, or it could be a series of images disseminated through social media channels. It normally involves one or a combination of the following…
Web design & theme customisation
Website redesign / Visual identity consultation / [Child] theme customisation / Logo design / Site graphics / Specialist art-working / Social media graphics
Brand identity design & web strategy
Strategy consultation / Value proposition design / Brand attributes development / Persona development / Website optimisation / Branded site graphics
What I really do
I’m happy in my work. I could even declare myself a ‘passionate designer’ and throw up a cutesy mission statement about my undying love for the web, design, creativity and other creatives.
But however much I dress it up I’m betting you don’t really give much of a crap about HTML, CSS, WordPress, font foundries, colour theory… and the rest.
And you’d be right.
Don’t get me wrong I bleed that stuff, it’s my bread and butter, it puts food on my table and a smile in my mind. I’ve been known to spend my Friday nights font combining… for fun.
But here’s the thing: no one actually gives a flying fuck about my font combining.
To most non-designers, that’ll be most people, they’re just details and as important as it is to get the details right, it’s the bigger picture that’s truly compelling…
which is this:
- Our world is changing. Technology is evolving at unbelievable speeds and jobs are being hoovered up by industrial transformation and cheap out-sourcing. Change has always happened and now it’s in our face, happening real-time, but when systems collapse opportunities appear in the gaps. Today you’re more able to discover and pursue your passion, and make it work for you, than ever before…
- Your network is your support system. Accelerated change breeds confusion and fear but also inspires partnerships. As mutuality increases, by necessity, networks increase in size and reach. The connected web, and evolving blockchain technologies may be creating the foundations of what is to come—a post-industrial society, unfolding before of our eyes.
- Your unique,’weird’ difference is your point of connection. Long established boundaries between ideas, careers, cultures and technologies are shifting. Things no longer live comfortably inside their old boxes… identity itself is up for grabs and ‘deviancy’ is becoming the new normal. So if you get that creativity is about defining difference and making unique connections this is the precise time to be doing that.