A Quick Hello
As this is my first post it was only right to introduce myself. I thought rather than me just rambling on, I’d get 10 interview questions and answer those.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Matt, a brand consultant and graphic designer from Dartford, based in Swanley. When not at the office, you’ll find me either in the gym, outside topping up the old vitamin D, or shoving another protein cookie in my face.
I’m quite a big bloke. 6ft4, around 20 stone, and as my uncle regularly reminds me, look like I’m carrying a melon under each arm.
I am definitely an introvert, and don’t find talking about myself that easy, which bodes well for this.
I’m also not as intimidating as people think, so you are allowed to say hello.
How did you become a Brand Consultant?
I’d always had an interest in graphic design - when I was younger, I used to redesign the logos of well-known brands that I thought weren’t up to scratch, just to amuse myself. I seriously needed to get out more.
At my secondary school my Dad taught Maths, and had a very well-known reputation, so from day one I was known as “Mr Hall’s son”, “Mr Hall Jr” or just “Chris. Wanting to be known as my own person and establish my own “brand”, my best mate and I organised a number of events in the school, the biggest of which was our version of the charts – each teaching department recorded a CD with staff singing and performing, that were then sold to raise money for the school charity, as well as go towards an overall sales total to see which department would win the "StaffCharts Challenge".
Straight from secondary school, I started as a freelance graphic designer back in 2012. I always wanted to move into the brand side of things, so spent time gradually learning about brand strategy and how that marries with design. I realised that I was doing some of the things already completely by chance, so continued to refine what I was doing, and bring my knowledge to where it needed to be.
Strength fitness has always been a passion, and I needed to find a niche – branding and fitness have very similar approaches - so combined the two to create the Brand-Fitness™ methodology Voltaine uses.
What is your role as a Brand Consultant?
To advise and devise the best way to grow a brand, based on it’s individual goals and strengths through designing and strategizing; to be there as a supportive ear for my clients; and be a sounding board for daft ideas.
Who inspires you?
(I did a Instagram post on this a while ago, which is here https://www.instagram.com/p/CXBRUIZIwsU/)
There are a number, but I’ll pick my top three.
First is Florian Wieder, a German production designer. I have nothing but admiration for his talent. He has pretty much led the way in TV and live event production design for years, no one comes close. If you’ve seen X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, The Emmys, you’ll have seen his work, and he pretty much reinvented Eurovision staging.
Second, Extreme E driver Catie Munnings. Amazingly talented, determined, pioneering, passionate, constantly pushing and evolving, funny, daring … I could go on.
And third, is my mate Josh - one of the few people to make me look small.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Strength training, supporting both "Strongman" and "Strongwoman", cooking, eating, cycling, walking, theatre, dance, music, quizzing, a bit of history, motoring, architecture, a good laugh. Not much.
What is your proudest achievement?
I do pinch myself when I look through the clients I’ve been lucky enough to work with, it’s not a bad list. And most of them have stuck with me through the years, which is encouraging.
I was also in the audience for an episode of Top Gear and Qi, which I think we can agree tops it all.
What motivates you?
Knowing that I’ve done my best for each project – hopefully you get your money’s worth with me.
I’m not motivated by awards, or fame, or adoration, so you won’t find me starting up any podcasts or YouTube channels. I put my energy into partnering with each client and making sure that everyone involved is enjoying what we do.
What are your strengths?
Professionally, I think I’m alright at problem solving.
I’m also quite persistent – don’t give up easily. If I think something is right or wrong, it takes a lot for me to budge.
Physically, I’m not bad at a sled pull-push.
What are your weaknesses?
Marketing and business cards.
Marketing bores the arse off me, and I’ll happily admit I’m rubbish at it. And yes, there is a difference - branding and marketing aren’t the same!
Business cards, no idea why, but the creative juices always seem to trickle out when they come along.
Oh, and also deadlift.
I think it was Aristotle who once said “sitting down all day does not a good deadlift make”. Or maybe it was Stephen Fry. Anyway, I’m clearly not built for them. Rack Pulls yes, deadlifts, not so much.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Big bloke with a beard.