Follow my passion: Design

8th December 2016

Article written by:


Richard Baker, the founder of BakerWilcox shares his personal journey as a graphic and web designer, and how he has helped iContract to establish its concept and branding.

When it dawned on me that I probably wasn’t going to join the SAS or MI5 all I wanted to be was a designer. I wanted to design things that people see, use, touch and are influenced by.

I was one of the lucky ones – In an intensely competitive industry I was picked up by a design agency in the City following my degree show and I worked with them for 3 years gaining valuable experience across the creative spectrum.

It was day two of this position that I came to the conclusion that working for somebody else wasn’t really my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, creative agencies, compared to many industries are fun places to work, my colleagues were fantastic and the projects I was working on were exciting. But something was missing. I wanted to strive out on my own.

At 23 I was young enough to take a risk and I wanted to try and build something for the future. The graphic design industry is full of contractors working on day rates, those who don’t want to be tied to one position and who want the flexibility that being their own boss can offer.

I wanted this too. I wanted to be in control of the work that I did, the clients whom I worked for and ultimately the creative director of the designs which I output. I wanted to establish my own agency.

But what about job security? I didn’t believe for a second that there would be any more security in working for a large company as a full time employee or running my own enterprise – I could be made redundant tomorrow right? In fact, in my case, if I could build up a portfolio of clients who would provide my agency with regular work – I wouldn’t have all my eggs in one basket and would be in a better position should one of them fall away. Nearly 14 years later and we are still here.

Starting out on your own isn’t for everyone, but contracting provides a path for people like myself who dream of being their own boss, the flexibility and empowerment that this brings – those who embrace the entrepreneurial spirit. I loved that iContract was making this process easier for people, that is the core function of the platform and one of the reasons why I wanted to be involved.

iContract approached us right at the beginning, when the concept of the business was still in its infancy. We would meet and discuss branding requirements and the detailed functionality behind the online platform. Slowly pieces began to fall into place and as we worked through designs and collaborated with the iContract team the platform really started to take shape.

We have worked with many start-ups over the years to help them brand and launch a product into the market. Every single one carries it’s own unique set of challenges but iContract stands out from the crowd, not least because of the sheer scale of the product – this is going to be a really functional tool to help both contractors and recruiters from day 1.

Behind the unique concept lies the determination and experience of the management team. Of course they are all contractors themselves so they understand the market and the audience but more than that is their focussed passion and endless drive. This in my opinion and having worked with many is what sets successful start-ups and unsuccessful start-ups apart.

Legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser was asked to describe what he does all day and he replied “I move things around until they look good”

BakerWilcox have been moving things around for iContract since 2013 meticulously planning user journeys and creating features which are wholly unique. We work on how to best represent these visually in line with the brand guidelines through detailed prototypes which have been refined and filtered into a final iteration which is ready for launch. We are incredibly proud of the result.

iContract is created for contractors by contractor, come and join us!