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An Interview with Nick Welsh of Mono Industries a Cambridge Graphic Designer – Tel: 01223 301777

Tell me more about monoindustries.com?

Mono Industries offers bespoke design solutions for print and the internet. I started the company back in 1994 when my job as a concert promoter came to an end. I’d originally trained as a graphic designer, so I went back to what I knew.

I had no real plans to start my own business though. I did little bits of work for people while I was applying for jobs. As I got busier and busier, the jobs I was applying for became fewer and fewer until in the end, I just stopped looking and decided to formalise the business.

Most of my days are spent designing user-friendly websites and content management systems for SMEs but I also do a lot of branding and print work. I guess it’s 70% online and 30% off.

How did you become a cambridge graphic designer?

I’d always enjoyed art at school and I had very good art teacher which really helped. He guided me towards going on to Art College after I left school where I studied everything from life drawing to photography from print making to graphics.

What was your biggest challenge getting into design?

Looking back on it now, my biggest challenge was probably myself. People like me didn’t start their own businesses. I had no formal business training, I learnt as I went along. Of course, it’s not until later on in life that you realise that most other people in business were in the exact same position.

I always assumed that other people knew more about running businesses than I did but slowly I came to realise that most business owners are either making it up as they go along or else they’re pretending that they’re on The Apprentice and coming on all ‘Sir Alan’. Just because you talk business speak, doesn’t mean you know about business.

What are the main things clients do that you wish they wouldn’t?

How long have you got? Change their mind, expect freebies all the time, say one thing when they mean something totally different…the list is fairly long.

The thing that really gets my goat is when clients think they can do it themselves. Having a copy of CS3 on your computer does not a designer make.

Where do you see growth in the design field?

I think that social media will become much more integrated into clients’ existing marketing strategies. Most don’t really see the value in blogging, Twitter, Flickr or even Facebook – they think it’s Geeksville, which of course it is – or at least was. All this stuff is becoming much more mainstream, if that’s the right word.

What do you do to improve the world?

I’d like to think that I improve the world by designing nice things…be that web sites, logos, graphics or whatever.

Oscar Wilde was once asked why he thought America was such a violent place. He said, “Because they have such ghastly wallpaper.” What he meant, I think, is that if people are surrounded by ugliness, then they too will become ugly. Not physically, but emotionally.

If I can design beautiful things that communicate to people in an effective way, then I’d be very happy with that.

What do you do that is green?

I never print anything out except invoices. Good quality desktop printers just drink ink plus I never need to buy expensive paper.

What is one thing about you that not many people know?

As a cambridge graphic designer I also run a Cambridge Club Night, UK called the Early Night Club. The idea is that it starts early and finishes early. It started out aimed at Mum’s & Dad’s who used to enjoy going clubbing but it’s open to anybody who just can’t, or doesn’t want to, stay out all night.

There are more details here – http://www.earlynightclub.com

What is on your iPod?

It’s all about Elbow at the moment. And the new Doves record of course. I’m really enjoying Camera Obscura too.

What’s your favorite book?

The one that’s by my bed.

What are your contact details
E-mail address:
[email protected]

Company web site:

Company blog:


Who would recommend you and why?

I hope that all my clients would recommend me (nervous laughter) because I do great work that’s on time and on budget but I guess you’d have to ask them.

I think some of the networking groups I’m involved with would recommend me – particularly CamCreative (http://camcreative.net) and Twig (http://twignet.wordpress.com)

Who would you recommend and why?

There’s probably too many people to mention here. I’ve worked with lots of great people and suppliers over the years. But to highlight a few:

Adrian Reith – Executive Business Coach
I’ve had business coaching with Adrian and it was fantastic. If you’re looking for a business coach, you really should get in touch with him by visiting his website at http://www.tandemcoaching.co.uk

Barrie Calver – Flash Developer
I’ve worked with Baz on a few projects now and he’s a really great Flash developer. He’s a bit handy with WordPress too which I’ve started to use a lot more during the last year or so. I don’t want to sound like a sad techie but he’s got Flash talking to WordPress which is really exciting.

Loci Interiors – Interior Designers
The other company I’d like to recommend is an interior design business called Loci Interiors. I’ve worked with Jonathan and Rivka from Loci on a number of different design projects and they’re just great. You can find them here – http://www.lociinteriors.co.uk

Rockmill Webspinners – Web Developers
I’ve worked with Patrick at Rockmill Webspinners for many years now. He builds most of the sites that I design.

Wave FX – Live Camera, Broadcast Quality Graphics & Video production
WaveFX create multimedia presentations plus video editing and filming for conferences, live events and corporate media. Jamie is a great editor. He edited a Super8 film of mine many years ago and now he lives opposite me which is great when clients send me old VHS cassettes that need turning into Flash files. A true gent.

Thank you Nick Welsh Cambridge Graphic Designer

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