I started my career in London with Peter Leonard Associates and Cartlidge Levene / http://cartlidgelevene.co.uk. When the family moved back up North (Manchester) I freelanced, mainly designing album covers, fashion marketing material and collateral for dance companies and musicians. It was at this time that I got my Post Grad in adult education and taught graphic design and typography whilst still very much working at the design coal face.

Seven years later, with the internet beginning to take off, I turned to running a design and marketing agency in the city centre. We grew to over fifty, working on household brand names, start-ups and The Commonwealth Games. I was creative lead on Laterooms which Steve Walsh started from an idea on a scrap of paper. We developed serial successes in supporting ideas as they developed in to multi million pound businesses.

In 2008, wanting to work more at ‘C’ level developing brand ideas and to pursue my own projects, I went back to freelancing setting up Dave Kirkwood Studio. Alongside my design practice I am developing innovative ways to understand brand process, creative thinking, collaboration and the power of good design in the live business environment. I travel extensively delivering workshops and active brand sessions. I have a busy speaking and lecture calendar. I work with Universities, local authorities, global enterprises, SME and sole traders.

In 2012-13 I took two years out to create 365 the first graphic novel crowd-written on Twitter and The Mob an A3 drawing comprising more than 2,500 people from Twitter for Teenage Cancer Trust. The projects went viral and appeared on several news channels and was celebrated in The Lancet Oncology issue. Together we raised over £40,000.

Over the last eleven years I have worked closely with a variety of clients on retainers helping them to launch and grow. Most recently Applearn/ADOPT who are now a globally recognised tech business delivering adoption inside some of the world’s leading software. Before that I helped Nationwide Cycling Academy and Urban Cycle Centre, both not-for-profit companies. They make cycling accessible to all by recycling pre-loved bikes and running events and courses for riders of all ages and abilities. They are pioneering tech and training for children with disabilities. Printed Space who work out of a unit in Morecambe and are now an international supplier of creative wallpapers and flooring solutions. The Revolution Series of cycling events, The Elterwater Merz Barn, Tony Walsh poet, Mark Murphy, Paul Fosbury, serial entrepreneurs John Cavill and Steve Walsh are all friends who I have supported with design and websites, book jackets, posters, magazine template designs, marketing advice, content and art direction and anything else they have needed over the years.

Booking consultancy, workshops, lectures, talks, live brand sessions.
For talks drop me an >email with your requirements, dates and size of audience.

Workshops, consultancy and live brand sessions are arranged around your needs. Most sessions start with a single day (allow for some preparation time) and further sessions booked if required after the initial session. Send me an >email with your details including dates and who will be involved.

Commissioning design.
I like to keep my design input short, dynamic and impactful so I mostly provide brand identity design, design ideas and art direction. I don’t follow through, long-term, with marketing materials and etc. I can refer you on to designers, web developers and artworkers should you need them. I will work on book jackets, one off posters and album/singles cover design and artwork. It’s always worth asking and if it’s the right job for me I’ll put 100% in to it.
Send me an >email with a brief description of the job and I’ll get back to you.

A little footnote about my device: it comprises of the ‘D’ ‘J’ ‘K’ from my name joined in the same way I sign my paintings. It jokingly refers to a calling bird’s head and relates to both a life-long fascination with birds and my on-going personal projects; THE GHYLL and CROW, a response to Ted Hughe’s masterpiece.