Graphic designer Ally Taylor with her husband Clint, a powerlifter.

(In case it wasn’t obvious – I’m the one on the right!)

 

Hi! I’m Ally, a Blue Mountains-based freelance graphic and web designer.

I’ve been living in the Blue Mountains (west of Sydney, NSW, Australia) all my life and now live with my husband and two very large, rowdy snow dogs. Working freelance means I can work from home and be around my fur-family more often, and also get more done – no commute to eat into my design time. I’m an email-before-phone kind of girl (but always happy to meet up for coffee!) and the kind of person who uses way too many exclamation marks and emojis, but I’m easygoing and pride myself on being efficient and flexible.

I’ve always been interested in computers, from the MS-DOS and floppy disk days. When I was 11, I went with my mother to an HTML course at Nepean Community College, and I was immediately hooked. I started coding little pages and making mini ‘sites’. When social networks like Piczo and MySpace came along, I’d get right into the advanced settings and create my own layouts and themes.

In years 11 and 12 at Springwood High School I studied Information Processes and Technology and Business Studies, and they ended up being my best subjects in the HSC (91 and 90 respectively). During my gap year my mother Jennifer offered me a one-year position at Mosher’s Business Support – and we worked so well together that I never really left!

After 2010 the concept of IndieMosh was born – a service providing Australians with step-by-step help to publish their books and a model for making the most of the American tax laws – and since then we’ve been meeting wonderful Australian authors all around the country and helping them get their masterpieces published. Our other services through Mosher’s became less of a focus, and at the end of 2015 it became clear that as we worked with our authors almost entirely online, having an office space wasn’t really necessary.

So began my freelance journey! Thanks to some amazing clients joining on with Mosher’s, I had plenty of web and graphic work and people I still wanted to work with, so rather than send them elsewhere, I set up as a sole trader for the beginning of 2016. I’ve really enjoyed my brief time so far as a freelance graphic and web designer and I’m constantly learning and developing my business and skills.

I am:

  • based in the Blue Mountains, outside Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • a millennial (and a really typical one, as much as I try to fight it!)
  • not overly formal in my comms – you might find me to be casual and conversational. Whether that’s a “pro” or a “con” is up to you.
  • an emailer – I’m often hard to catch on the phone as I’m in a meeting, working to a deadline or walking my dogs. That being said, I’m always happy to schedule a call in advance.
  • flexible/agile in my work scheduling – I’ve chosen to sacrifice detailed proposals and formal quote documents in favour of quick turnaround and flexible feedback rounds. My established clients often find they can get something same-day if they get in early enough.

I have:

  • a Diploma of Interactive Digital Media
  • a Certificate III in Commercial Arts (Graphic Design)
  • a Certificate III in Business Administration
  • a wide range of clients from other freelancers right up to large corporations. I work in exactly the same way for all of them – the only time you’ll get special treatment is if you run a koala sanctuary.
  • access to a meeting space in Hazelbrook if face-to-face is more your thing.
  • an ABN, of course, but I’m not registered for GST.
  • two big idiotic snow dogs that you’ll definitely hear about at least once if I work for you. I genuinely can’t shut up about them. Apologies in advance!

Below are the services I offer currently, but if there’s something a bit different that you want to try or you’re not sure if I’ll be able to help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

My rate is $80/hr, AUD for graphic design and $85/hr for web design. Please note I am not registered for GST.

If you are a not-for-profit organisation, or you work with animals (especially if you work with koalas), please contact me to negotiate a community rate.

The basics:

Print media

All your standard print items: business cards, flyers, banners, expo items, etc.

Digital media

Social media images, GIFs, MailChimp newsletter setup, website assets, PDF layout

Web services

Web design and build, troubleshooting and modifying existing WordPress websites, domain name and hosting registration and management

Services for authors

Standard and children’s book layout, cover design, social media images. I’m proud to work with IndieMosh Self Publishing to help Australian authors self-publish their books.

 

An example of an annual report design

What I love doing:

Usable templates

As gorgeous as an InDesign template is, how many sole traders or small businesses have the time to purchase and learn specialist software just for one newsletter or flyer? I can help create templates for you in programs like Microsoft Word, Publisher and PowerPoint to keep your company’s communications consistent and on-brand. Especially useful for small businesses and sole traders who manage their own comms.

Annual Reports

One of my favourite jobs is laying out annual reports – put your best foot forward with your stakeholders and showcase your successes in a document that’s clean, engaging and on-brand.

E-Newsletters

MailChimp and other newsletter software are an amazing and affordable way to reach your customers. I love setting up newsletter templates that you can use over and over again, or even helping you set up each individual campaign.

Photoshop work

Does your book cover need a castle on a cliff with a boat in the foreground? Done. Do you have an old image of your grandparents that needs restoring? I can help. I can even pop Santa into a picture of your lounge room …

Simple websites

If your website needs all the bells and whistles, then I’m not your girl, but if you don’t want to pay through the roof for something clean, simple, and live within a reasonable timeframe, that’s where our friendship begins. I love creating small starter websites with big potential for scalability.

Want to DIY your website updates? Fantastic! I build in WordPress and can create custom tutorials walking you through how to update your own site once it’s live.

I’ve recently joined forces with a fantastic Melbourne wholesaler and can also help out with affordable hosting and domain names.

What I don’t do:

  • Branding and logos. I’m fascinated by both, but awful at them. I thoroughly recommend ZEUG for this service – Cindy’s branding work is gorgeous.
  • Very complex websites. If you’re building the next Facebook or you need a custom system developed, I’m probably not your girl. I’m always happy to collaborate with a web developer for more complicated site setups.

Ready to talk about your design needs?