About Me

Matthew BowdenWhat I’m up to today

I work at PruHealth, heading up their Design team, looking after all print and web media. Recently working with Jessica Ennis-Hill, Jonny Wilkinson and Seb Coe on our Vitality Ambassador campaigns.

I’m loving my Dad’s 38 year old Pentax MX, bought to take photos of me as a baby. After a 10 year love affair with digital, I’m excited again to be taking photos – this time with film.

 

What I’ve been up to …

2006

I moved back to the United Kingdom, where I started working with the team at PruHealth, managing their digital design projects.

2005

I earned the position of Creative Director at Discovery.co.za, heading up their graphics team and looking after their local and international websites:

I made use of CSS and XHTML, employing design standards as laid out by the W3C to ensure easy access for our visitors, members and potential customers. I also work closely with the marketing agencies representing each website in order to ensure that our websites are effective sales and business tools.

2004

Digitally Refreshing was born!

Working from home I began contracting to customers with many different requirements. From print design to digital solutions to photography.

My part-time contract deal with Discovery Health turned into a full-time contract and soon after I was offered full-time employment.

2003

I resigned from from THOS.

I wanted to break out on my own and walk the Web as a web consultant/designer/journalist/photographer. Tall order? I thought so at the time – but hey what’s life without challenges?

As it turns out I worked for THOS on a contractual basis whilst pursuing my dreams.

Shortly after, I landed a great contract deal with Discovery Health, working within their Web development department, DiscoveryWorld. I was employed for my experience in web design, usability and Flash development.

During this period I took up digital photography as a hobby. As my experience grew, drawn from Stock Exchange (SXC), I was able to sell my images online through iStockphoto. Here is my personal gallery.

2002

I started reviewing web sites on a national radio station called SAfm! I used get nervous every Thursday before I recorded! If you’re from SA, then tune into SAfm (104-107fm) every Friday at around 20:30 – you’ll hear me talking about some of the great sites on the Web!

2001

As well as Creative Director at THOS, I began writing for the technology section within the Citizen, a nationwide South African newspaper. I provided editorial, site reviews, product reviews and any other Internet related editorial.

2000

After a brief trip back home (I had to see the homeland and the folks) I took up the mantle of Creative Director and managed 2 other designers!

I also redesigned my site again, this time experimenting with PHP and dynamically generated pages.

In the same year THOS became part of another huge IT company where we continued designing great sites such as:

1999

I was well on my way to becoming a senior web designer and beginning my first foray into real programming by writing javaScript.

By now I had designed many sites for THOS and was very proud of the fact that I had mastered Photoshop and a basic HTML editor on a Silicon Graphics machine!

I also started writing website reviews for an on-line publication called Around The Web (ATW). This was a great experience which provoked mixed responses, from the people who read my reviews to the designers who had created them!

Later on in ’99 I was promoted to Editor of ATW! Very proud with myself I continued to write site reviews and provide the editorial content for the publication!

1998

I graduated from Coventry University with a B.Sc (Hons) in Industrial Product Design and decided I wanted to see the world. Around about the same time I learnt that an old friend needed a web designer in a company that he and his brother had started up a few years earlier. The only thing was, of course – their company, THOS, was based in South Africa!

That was enough, I was off. Exploring the southern hemisphere was going to be the most exciting time of my life. I quit my job, broke off relationships and said goodbye to my family.

THOS, the company I moved countries for, employed me as a junior web designer and I, not knowing much about design on the web, began to learn!

I decided to build a site to show my family what I was up to. It was basic, but I was learning and I was having fun tinkering around in my own web space.

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