About me

About me

Creatopia is the base for Martin Lowe, a freelance graphic and web designer operating in and around the Leeds area. I offer a low cost, high quality graphic and web design solution aimed at the small business owner and sole trader

I can give you the benefit of my training as a graphic designer and as a printer to help you solve your graphical needs. Whatever you require whether it is a logo or a business card, a brochure or 96-sheet billboard, web presence or online store, product technical illustration or instructional user guide I have over fifteen years experience of working for companies - both large and small, agencies and as a freelancer.

If you are a sole-trader, run a small business, a medium-sized or even large company contact me for a no-obligation chat on how I can help you cut marketing costs and raise your company or brand's awareness.

I am available for short or long term freelance contracts but, if you feel my skills would be suited to you in a full-time capacity, contact me and we can discuss the role you have available.

Why choose a freelancer over an established design agency?

Value, service and flexibility.
A freelancer will give far better value for money than a high street design agency. Freelancers typically works from home. As such they have a small overhead and are able to offer lower quotes on all jobs.
Having the project manager and the designer as one person ensures you get the best communication and, ultimately, the product you want.
Working from home offers more than just the ability to offer lower prices: Imagine you have a short deadline on a project - maybe your preferred agency has let you down or you have been informed of some last minute specification changes - It's Friday afternoon and the printers need the artwork for Monday morning to stand any hope of getting it printed in time for your needs. Most agencies will politely tell you they cannot help. Some may say they can do it and charge you an astronomical amount.
I could help. In the above scenario I may charge a small premium for an express job - after all I would be losing my weekend - but I have the flexibility to give you the service you need at a price you can afford.

Is a freelancer right for you?

If you run a small business a freelancer could be exactly what you need.
I can help with Corporate Identity - Company logo, fonts etc; Websites - from single-page web presence to on-line store; Artwork - advertising artwork, printing liaison, posters, business cards, brochures and more.

If you are part of a larger company I can still be of help whether as part of a scenario like the example above or as something more permanent. Contact me for more information.

I am based in Leeds but this is no limitation to the service I can provide wherever you are in the country. I have clients as far apart as central Scotland and London. Most communication can be done via email and the telephone. With many people now using Blackberries or other email enabled mobile devices decisions can be discussed quickly - even out of office hours.
For large jobs outside of the Leeds area I can meet in person if needed however most of the time it is not necessary.

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Technical illustration

Technical Illustration

If your company produces a product which requires any amount of assembly, whether it be by internal staff or by the end user, it is important to have clear instructions on how this should be done correctly.

I have created documentation to ensure the correct assembly of high-end rack-mounted servers by internal staff, guides for nurses in the use of medical equipment in critical care and instructions for the assembly of flat-pack furniture by end-users.
I am used to - and happy with - working with prototypes and under Non-Disclosure Agreements.

I love creating technical instructional drawings and the work that is involved prior to actually drawing.
Whether the final piece is a guide on how to use a product or how to assemble it I enjoy the act of transferring technical information into easy-to-understand illustrations.

The examples below are from projects worked on while employed by BlueArc, Intersurgical and a small local design agency (Titus catalogue) along with a freelance contract for Mamas & Papas.

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Print design

Print design

Print design incorporates anything which requires ink to be laid on a substrate whether it is a business card or a large billboard.

Alongside my graphic design qualifications and experience I am also trained to set up and run a printing press which makes me more than capable of dealing with any print work you may have.

In order to provide a price guide or a quotation please contact me via the Contacts form below with some details of your requirements.

Prices will depend on many variables; typically the number and size of pages, the substrate (paper, card etc), the number of colours required and the quantity. I will discuss the job with the you and propose the best ways to achieve your needs. I may be able to discuss ways of making your print work even more cost-effective.

The examples below are from projects worked on while employed by BlueArc and Intersurgical along with freelance contracts for LEGO and Leeds Trinity & All Saints College and private contracts through creatopia (CBP Training, Besbrode Pianos, Sara Weyland, Beemech and Lysis Financial).

Click thumbnail for larger image.



Click here for more information about printing including basic terminology, plates, inks and a more detailed commentary on associated costs.

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Web design

Web design

A decent web site is a must for any company these days.

I offer web sites ranging from a single page presence to several-hundred page information portals and eCommerce sites.

My private sites are often showcases of design and web technology with scant regard for bandwidth or page-load times.
Commercial sites made for clients are usually clean, fast loading, designed to achieve good search engine results and conforming to WC3 standards wherever possible.

I usually offer the following options:
- Static site with HTML pages updated by the client (updates by me available at a cost)
- Static site with some data taken from a database (manually updated)
- Dynamic site with HTML pages created from a database (with administrator log in and control panels)

All sites are built bespoke according to client requirements. Pricing varies accordingly but starts from just £250 for a basic site.
Contact me with your requirements.

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Identity design

Identity design

Corporate Identity gives a company a recognisable branding allowing people to know in an instant who you are.
It is often assumed that a Corporate Identity just means a company logo, but it is very much more than this.

There is the logo to design but then there are also fonts and colours to consider creating an overall style making any literature from your company easily recognisable.

I can create everything from a logo right up to a full corporate identity with a style guide. I can also do a rebranding if you feel your current company style is lacking in a certain something or needs modernising.

Prices will obviously vary depending on what is needed. The chances are you will not need a style guide as these are generally used by larger companies who plan on farming out design work to various agencies but the option is there if you require it. I will work closely with you to discuss the image you are seeking; then provide outline design ideas for your consideration. Potential ideas are then refined down to the final product.

The examples below are corporate identities designed by myself. Included is an early-stage set of logo ideas for Wonder Water and a late-stage set for CBP Training. Also included is an image of the Wonder Water logo sign-written on the clients van.

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Other work

Other work

There are many disciplines a graphic designer will encounter in their professional life. Some projects require skills outside of the above lists. This is often not a problem.

As I am based in Leeds anything that requires location work (such as photographing a building) will normally need to be in Yorkshire. For larger projects I am prepared to travel further. Please contact me with any queries.
The majority of print, web and illustration work can be carried out for clients at any geographical location thanks to email and the internet.

I can provide high quality photography of products, people or property. In rare instances some larger projects may need to be referred to a professional photographer with more equipment, as agreed with the client.

Under certain circumstances I will undertake a Flash-based website or application. Please enquire if you require such an item.

I have designed many advertisements for newspapers, magazines, other periodicals. I am familliar with how these companies work and can supply the artwork that they require. Do note that deadline dates for advertising can be tight so prompt responses from the client are as important as my quick turnaround.

As a creative it is often nice to just do things for your own pleasure without fear of deadlines or external input.
Sometimes these things are as part of a learning experience - achieving new skills or familiarising yourself with a new piece of software - sometimes for a private project and sometimes just for the sheer fun of it.
Below are some pieces done for personal pleasure and not part of any paid work.

Click thumbnail for larger image.

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Contact

Contact me

Contact me to discuss your requirements or for a no-obligation job costing.
You can get in touch either by phone during normal business hours or at anytime via the contact form below.

0113 815 1512








- Print design (brochure, catalogue, flier etc) - Web presence - Creation or update of company style or ID - Other (specify in Details box)

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TESTIMONIALS

Before choosing someone to work for you you want to be sure they can do the job. You also want to know that working with them will be a smooth process. Below is some example feedback we have had from clients.


"As a professional designer myself I had plenty of preconceived ideas for the design work I'd commissioned (logo, website and printed flyer). Martin was always able to come back with something much, much better, while still incorporating the essential requirements of the challenging brief.
Martin has been personable and professional throughout, often taking extra time and effort to 'educate the client' in the art of promotional media. I strongly recommend putting your trust in Creatopia - I will certainly be doing so again."


Dr Ian J Graham - Lead developer EvoShape, Loughborough University

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Leeds graphic design agency, print design, web design, logos, corporate design, technical illustration, technical documentation, artwork, low cost, bargain, freelance