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About Me

I am Nick (or Nicholas), a creative Cestrian with Essex roots and strong technical skills, a car enthusiast and fan of 007. I have been lucky enough to do some interesting work like report live from the Olympic Torch Relay in my home city of Chester, design successful websites, DJ in millionaire's mansions and even work for Walt Disney World in Florida. My most recent achievement was being allowed to marry my best mate Claire. She is a massive Hollyoaks fan so we also got married on set (cheers Lime Pictures). I enjoy designing websites / writing mind-numbing code (the 'proper' job as some parents would say) and talking on the radio / DJing just happens to be something else I do professionally.

I am a website designer using my website design expertise to help businesses across Greater Manchester and Cheshire including Knutsford one end and Bury the other. At night, I work as a DJ across Chester, Altrincham, Manchester, Leeds and beyond. I can also be heard in between being a broadcaster on Dee 106.3, XS Manchester, Yorkshire Coast Radio, Sun FM and BBC radio. If any of those services can help your business, please get in touch. If not, get YouTube open, sit back and watch some cat videos.

My name is mis-pronounced and spelt incorrectly on a regular basis so was it Nickar Kell you thought you were looking for or maybe Nick R Kell? You're probably in the right place as Arkell is not the most common of names and sometimes mistaken for other variations!

That said, I share my Arkell family name with a brewery. Arkell's brewery is a pretty successful business in Swindon and they make a few good ales but I have so far failed to find a link with them (I just want free beer ultimately). There is an antique dealer and a few other people called Nicholas Arkell and Nick Arkell, none of which I have personally met but I like to think they are good blokes.

...creative with strong technical skills

Website Development

View my website portfolio

How web technology can help your business

It is best to look at my portfolio to get a better picture of what I can do but the possibilities are endless. I have previously developed various websites and online applications for a wide range of industries:

The list goes on and one thing I will never say no straight away if you ask "can _____ be done"? Never say never! There is usually a way even if it involves a bit of improvisation so if you have been elsewhere and they said "no", try me.

My specific skills

If you are not technically-minded or feeling tired already, my advice would be to skip this paragraph. For anybody interested, my development experience lies mainly in HTML, CSS and jQuery / Javascript for frontend development. For the backend, I work mainly with MySQL and PHP. I have worked with various content management systems / CMS including Drupal, Wordpress and Magento. If your website just needs a bit of maintenance, maybe I can help.

Overview

Web development is so much more than a page that says a few words about your services. I really enjoy seeing people use the products I have developed, aiming to give end users the best experience and bring more customers to your business. A portfolio of websites can be seen below.

Do-It-Yourself and templates

Thinking of doing it yourself?

I always provide my clients with the means to easily update their website via a system that can be used by anybody with basic computer knowledge. However, there are a number of businesses now offering entire websites on a do-it-yourself basis. The problem is; there is no such thing as a free lunch!

If you are starting a business, look at the website as your shopfront except more important. A shop can be seen by a few thousand people walking past in the street. Your website however can be seen by millions potentially. For an investment that could only be the cost of one or two jobs depending what your industry is, why try to cut corners with your main online presence?

A lot of people go down the DIY route only to realise that it is actually a lot more work than they realised. Worse still, they get to a point where a particular feature is needed and that 'free' service suddenly starts costing them money.

As my Dad always said; buy cheap, buy twice! If you want the job done properly, I (and any other professional web designer / developer) will more than likely be able to work with your budget and build a site that works for your business.

Templates

I prefer not use pre-designed templates to build websites. Sometimes they do the job but more often than not, they either contain a lot of unnecessary code or worse still; do not have much-needed components for a particular website. Some companies use them a lot and they will argue that it allows them to provide customers with a website at an affordable price. I can do that without sacrificing your site's unique stance in a very crowded web!

...why try to cut corners with your main online presence?

Design

View portfolio

Art and design have been an interest since an early age and this led to me becoming qualified to degree level in a design-related degree at a well-respected university. More detailed information on specific qualifications is listed in my CV, available on request.

Logos

A logo is an important element in any business as it represents the identitiy of a company and what they do. Potential customers can be very quick to judge so a bad logo could put them off before you have even said hello! It also gives people something easy to remember your company by. It also ensures that there is one consistent element across all of your branding both online and offline.

All logos I produce are the result of brainstorming with the customer and trying out lots of different ideas until we get it perfect. The final logo is always supplied in vector format which basically means you could print it as large as you like with no loss of quality.

Printed Products

I have designed printed materials such as business cards, flyers, posters, booklets, wedding stationery (invitations, placecards etc) and sensitive items like the order of service for funerals. My experience of working directly with printers ensures that everything is produced in high resolution format with the correct margins etc for a professional result.

Thinking outside of the box

I try not stay set in my ways. Having dabbled in all areas of design, I have tried out everything from 3D modelling (and printing in 3D) to painting on a canvas. Business-wise, my clients use me for 2D branding and literature, both on the web and in physical form. I am always trying out new ideas and methods so if you have an idea such as some fridge magnets in the shape of your logo or maybe some 3D-printed keyrings, give me a shout and I might be able to help.

Honest service

Some people want an entire rebrand for their company so everything from the logo through to the website. Others already have an established brand and want to refresh their online presence. I am always very honest about a company's current website, logo and other branding and would never encourage work to be done where it is not needed.

I can train you or your staff

Some people just want to work on their own projects with a bit of technical guidance and I can help with that too! If you are happy to spend the time learning, I am more than willing to offer my tutoring services. Just as an example, a previous client wanted to know how to edit photos for his e-commerce website. He was spending days on one photo but after a few hours of tuition, I helped him spend a few minutes or less on each one with one-to-one Adobe Photoshop lessons.

Websites, logos... even fridge magnets & 3D-printed keyrings!

Portfolio

Websites Graphic Design Consumer Product / 3D Design

I have selected a few of my personal favourites from past projects for various clients (some direct and others through agencies). If you do not see a site that tickles your fancy, bear in mind that a lot of my work is designed and built from scratch inline with a client's needs, personal taste and budget in mind. If you have seen other websites you like, I can always use them for inspiration when I build yours.

Website portfolio

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Cars And Coffee Cheshire

carsandcoffeecheshire.co.uk screenshot

Cars And Coffee is a meeting of car owners and enthusiasts held across 1000s of locations across the World. It all started in California and the idea has gradually spread across the UK. The well-managed Cars And Coffee meets are a safe and easy opportnity to see and hear a whole range of different cars. As an early supporter of the Chester-based event, I jumped at the opportunity to redesign their website.

The site contains a number of different pages to provide potential visitors with the information. There is a calendar of events with links to automatically add to Google / Apple calendars. The gallery is minimal but highly functional and adapts in size along with various other elements to work with all devices, including the swipe action on phones / tablets.

All of the above is built around a modern and advanced content management system. This allows the Cars And Coffee event organisers to login and perform tasks such as changing text, adding dates and uploading new galleries.


Welcome Home From Coke

welcomehomefromcoke.com screenshot

Dublin Airport teamed up with Coca-Cola to create a special promotion to give the airport's passengers a special welcome for Christmas 2017. Using large screens situated in the airport, people are shown a photo of their face (or friend / family member) with a welcoming message as they disembark their flight into Ireland.

My task in the project was to create a form that would allow people to upload a photo from any device and crop it easily into a square shape on both traditional computers and touchscreen devices. I also wanted parts like the capture of the flight date and time to be as simple and fast as possible, again being mobile-friendly. I completed the whole project within their chosen timeframe.

The result is a fast-loading form that does the job with minimal effort from the user and it has been used by hundreds of people to create a greeting for their loved ones at Christmas! I was tasked with converting the data captured to a format that could be used by the airport. Staff also wanted the facility to flter out any submissions that are not suitable for display on their screens so that was provided by myself too.

Coke Aer pod


Target Active Security Software

targetactivesecuritysoftware.com screenshot

Target Active Security Software is an enterprise risk protection software platform designed to reduce retailer losses in areas such as shoplifting and stock wastage. As an ongoing development project, the site is not only a marketing tool but also a support portal for existing customers.

This particular site is another example the larger businesses I have worked with. Being an approved supplier of Gratte Brothers Group was a requirement when I took on this project. They are one of the UK’s leading independent building services companies with a turnover in excess of £100,000,000 per annum.


Optical portal

Optical Portal screenshot

Some companies have used my skills as a developer to build systems that are not necessarily available to the public but still use web browser technology. Those systems are generally known as 'hosted databases'.

A company who visit retirement homes to test residents' eyesight wanted a simple way of doing the following:

  • Recording test results in the correct industry-standard format
  • A facility to print daily / monthly reports in the office
  • Add / remove spectacles to the database for use with the eye tests

In addition to the above, they also wanted it integrated with a login setup for carehomes. They are able to visit the system from anywhere in the World with it being web-based, login and then do the following:

  • View an individual test record for a patient complete with graphics to show the eyetest charts etc.
  • View a list of tests done in one particular visit
  • Print a poster to inform all residents of a visit from the optician
  • Do the same as above but in letter format for each individual patient
  • Learn more about staff training provided by the visiting opticians

Accrington Arndale

arndaleaccrington.co.uk screenshot

Accrington Arndale are a shopping centre in Lancashire with a range of different businesses all under one roof. Their website is a directory of all the shops and other businesses based inside, each with their own user account to add special offers, jobs and more. The content management system also allows the shopping centre to easily promote events and advertise other promotions on the front page.


North West Celebrations

northwestcelebrations.co.uk screenshot

Some companies want a basic website that displays their product using a minimal style. North West Celebrations are a company who supply various goods for weddings and other ocassions. Their website uses clean, defined sections to promote their services with plenty of photos. It also is mobile and tablet friendly of course!

2D (graphic / photoshop) portfolio

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The tiles below show a few examples of my previous graphic design projects including posters, flyers, logos and photoshop editing. Please click on one to see the full image.

Product design portfolio

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The tiles below show a few examples of my consumer product design sketches, renderings and models along with some technical drawing. Please click on one to see the full image.

Websites designed and built from scratch

DJ

As a DJ, I can bring a fresh approach to your event. Having entertained at both private parties and for the public, my carefully selected mix of music will suit the venue and the occasion. Sticking with the name 'Nick Arkell' because I could never think of a cool DJ name, I have enjoyed a wide range of gigs for some very interesting clients.

Who do I work for?

I currently do a lot of my DJ work for Stonegate Pubs, a company who operate over 660 pubs and bars across the country so my gigs with them have taken me to Yates's in a big town one week and a little pub on the corner in the next.

Book on HeadlinerWith my own mobile disco setup, I can bring a fresh approach to your wedding / birthday / anniversary and any other party or event, mixing music together so it flows properly and only using the mic when absolutely necessary (such as announcing the buffet is ready). I can taylor everything to your specific needs:

Some of my other previous clients:

Please get in touch for a fast and free quote.

...bring a fresh approach to your party or event

Broadcaster and voiceovers

I am an experienced broadcaster and currently a familar voice in North England (across Cheshire, Lancashire, Humberside, Yorkshire, Manchester and Cumbria) on Chester's Dee 106.3, Yorkshire Coast Radio, BBC Radio Lancashire, XS Manchester, Minster FM, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Humberside, Lakeland Radio and others.

My work in radio stems from being at university and thinking back to the old days of 'Neighbours' when Toady used to be in student radio. I wanted something to help meet people and build a bit of confidence and ended up running the station in the end!

I have previously provided voiceover services, most recently to a company who supply celebrity showbiz news videos to websites like MSN entertainment etc. It was certainly an interesting gig with some of the names that had to be pronounced correctly. I can provide quick turnaround with voiceover work as I have recording facilities nearby at most times of the day.

If you are interested in hearing voice demos, please send a message through my contact form for a fast response.

I am an experienced broadcaster and can provide a quick turnaround with voiceover work

The Great British Car Show

I made a short documentary a few years ago (2014) to dip my toes in the world of film-making. My aim was to give people an insight into the world of car shows across the UK and it even includes a few words from a formula one legend!

Contact Nick Arkell

What does 2 & 2 add up to?
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