Firstly I would like to thank Scott Pearce at Datum in Hatfield, for putting the site together and tirelessly cataloguing & scanning all my work way back to the seventies. To see just what these great guys are capable of in cross-media production visit www.datumcp.com.
The Great Raymondo, for producing the amusing and very spiffing illustrations for the album covers on the coverflow, at the start of each decade. Gaze in awe at his Mac wizardry at www.mondo-csl.com
Thanks to all the people I have had teach and encourage and employ me since I was at school. You have all played a very important part in making me what I am today.
- My inspirational English Teacher, Paul Copley, who is now a successful and famous actor. I learned the joy of expressive and creative writing from him
- Tony Gregory, who helped me get my first job in the business. A charming raconteur, expert business generator, and brilliant goalkeeper in his day
- John Sims, who taught me most of the core skills I still use to this day. A brilliant designer and art director with the same funny bone as me.
- George Smith, who wrote from the heart and very inventively, even about the most boring subjects in the world. He showed me how to develop insights, craft copy and do your homework.
- Keith Bantick and Colin Hall, who shaped me and challenged me and sharpened my conceptual skills. Keith was the toughest task master I have ever had, but I learned to be strong and how to protect an idea with integrity and conviction, thanks to him.
- Terry Grafton, who is still my very closest friend after more than 30 years. He helped me understand what life was all about, gave me a big opportunity early in my career and set the best example to me of how to treat others. A great creative thinker and mentor.
- Kevin Twittey and Roger Hyslop, who are jointly responsible for employing me for over a quarter of a century, as we grew one of the finest agencies the marketing communications industry has ever seen. They wet-nursed me, put up with me as an angry young man and helped me mature. I will always be indebted to them for giving me the inspiration, the environment, the client list and the freedom to produce practically all the best work I have ever done. Courageous creatives can only dare to go where others fear to tread if they wear belief and trust as their armour and if they can soar to greater heights on the wings of encouragement. These guys raised me up.
- Debbie Simmons, one of the most dynamic business women I have ever met. She took me to places I’d never been before, and gave me a fresh perspective when I came out into the light after 26 years in one company. Small is beautiful. Simple is king. We came at problems from diametrically opposite directions, which was exciting and fresh and has made me always look for other ways to tackle things whenever I think I am getting formulaic.
- My darling wife Sally, who has stuck by me through thick and thick and thick. There never was any thin. And we continue to ride the waves of a stormy, sometimes frightening sea and scream out our defiance and determination that nothing will ever come between us. No illness or heartache or problem can reach us now. We are on the crest. Now I know what love you forever really means.
- Thanks also to all the other agencies I have worked with, mainly inter-agency teams, who have often collaborated in helping me produce tactical TV, posters or press ads to support the promotion, but often using all the equity from the theme ads. Any TV ads shown on this site that are not promotional, I did not create. They are purely contextual, to demonstrate the follow-through of my below the line the line creative direction, and how it harnesses the power and spend of the broadcast media. I am sorry for not crediting the ad agencies but I have no details for these films.
- My son Gregory Claridge, who is a great sound designer, engineer and composer – thanks for all the editing and recording jobs you have done for me that helped win so many pitches.
All the creatives I have met and worked with, especially…
- Alberto Perrotta, for his calm creativity, loyalty, and infectious good humour.
- Andy Stanton, for helping me through the creative hard yards with my integrity intact.
- Suki Kainth the formidable, for believing and encouraging me.
- Dom Walsh, Mac wizard, for his tacit, no-nonsense support with no strings attached.
- Nick Tibbott, for helping me keep my sometimes outrageous creative promises with visuals that turned them into reality.
- David Finch, aka Dafinchi, for his creative wisdom, gallery tours, friendship and a sense of perspective (in life and art).
- John Mountain, for showing me how art direction should be done properly, and his blind faith in Norwich FC.
There must be many hundreds of you, and there are lots I have kept in touch with, who are now in senior positions at great companies, or who have started their own business. A Creative Director is only ever as good as the creative team he has around him. If he can learn how to use all the skills he is surrounded by effectively, he can achieve so much more than one man alone is capable of. So not for me, the ivory tower, the loneliness of the hopeful genius or the solitariness imposed by ego. I work best when I am standing on the shoulders of giants – the view from up there is breath-taking.
My portfolio is full of work that I have conceived and directed, in my role as a Creative Director, but almost all of it, especially in recent years, has been developed and executed expertly somewhere along the way by a really good, and often great, creative person, or indeed, many great creative people. Art directors, typographers, visualisers, lettering artists, illustrators, copywriters, designers, modelmakers, editors, producers, photographers, retouchers, writers, artworkers, knitters, glass engravers, painters, cake icers, sound engineers, origami artists, set builders, voiceover artistes, stylists, lion tamers….
You all make me look good!
Without you I am nothing. So to all those creatives who see their work in this portfolio, thank you for helping me shape and give birth to the ideas and for adding all your skills to it so that it grows and improves at every step, into a thing of beauty. I have tried to credit people where I could remember who was working with me, but I am sure there are some things for which it is hard to say who exactly has done the work, or which have got lost in the mists of time. If anyone would like to jog my memory, I will be happy to credit whoever it was.
Suffice to say that I am most grateful to you all and I am so enjoying working with many of you again, now that I am freelance!