We’re proud to announce the appointment of Phil Millward as our new Head of Design. An extremely talented web designer, brand expert and illustrator, Phil has been with us at Parallax for almost three years. In that time, he’s worked on some of our most prestigious projects, lending his skills to the likes of cap hpi, Leeds Golf Centre and our award-winning interactive quiz game, Topple Trump.
Reflecting on his career in design, Phil describes how it all began. “2017 marks my tenth year as a ‘graphic designer’, though I guess that sounds a bit old school now,” he said. “Design roles are categorised a little more specifically these days – brand designer, illustrator, UI or UX designer. I’ve dabbled in all those areas, but back when I was starting out things were a fair bit simpler.”
During Phil’s formative years, the digital side of design was only just beginning to take off. “I picked up my first skills doing general branding and print material. It gave me a solid start in terms of things like layout and print setup. Over the years, the design industry quickly moved from desktop sites to mobile, to suddenly everyone wanting an app, and then along came responsive. It’s been fascinating to watch the technology change. I’ve really enjoyed adapting and evolving with the times.”
He admits there have been lows as well as highs. “My very first design job was at a really small start up agency called Cefar on the outskirts of Leeds. It grew over the years and I found myself getting a bit too comfortable – I ended up staying for six years. Social media was fast becoming a window on the world, and I could suddenly see what other agencies were up to. I started getting itchy feet – I really wanted to be a part of it all. I realised my career could only flourish if I took a leap.”
From there, Phil moved on to twentysix – switching a small agency for a much larger one – before landing a design job at Parallax. “I like to network. I built a lot of great new relationships over those years and my confidence grew. By the time I settled at Parallax I was producing work I was really proud of.”
I feel like I’ve really found a home at Parallax. I’ve never worked with such a diverse bunch of creatives, developers and marketers before.
For Phil, design is always about moving forwards, setting yourself goals and keeping motivated. As well as his advancement to head of department, he was recently appointed as a judge on the illustrious CSS Design Awards panel, using his experience to adjudicate some of the best designs on the web.
“I feel like I’ve really found a home at Parallax. I’d never worked with such a diverse bunch of creatives, developers and marketers before. There’s a brilliant mindset – everyone is on the same level. I think it’s a combination of youth, drive and passion that helped the company get where it is today, and I feel really fortunate to be in this position as we move onto the next stage of the journey.”
The feeling is very much mutual. Parallax Director Andy Fitch said: “Phil has already grown so naturally into his new role – we knew immediately we’d made a great decision asking him to lead the team. One of his best attributes is that he doesn’t repeat mistakes, and when you’ve been around as long as he has, that means almost flawless work every time, which is a dream.”
Phil is excited about the future. “There are so many new design tools popping up – it means we’re not all tied down to Adobe’s design monopoly. InVision are really upping their game, bridging the gap between designer and developer. From what I’ve seen of InVision Studio, I can’t wait to get my hands on it – as they say, what a time to be alive!”