Hello. If you’ve been hunting high and low, across every page of the internet, for Vaughan Simons – web editor, copywriter and content producer with eighteen years’ experience, web designer for six years, online writer since whenever I first got my hands on the internet, occasional noted cynic, adopted Londoner and one who spends far too much time on the net whilst avoiding daylight and socialising – then congratulations, you’ve found him. Those descriptions all fit me down to the last detail. If, however, you’re seeking a different Vaughan Simons, please consult your preferred search engine.
In truth, I don’t need a personal domain. Very few people really need a personal domain. But if I didn’t have one, I’d either lie awake at night worrying that it might be purchased by someone else and used for nefarious purposes, or that the lack of a website with my name boldly attached to it would invalidate my existence as a person who has worked online since 1998. So here we are.
I’m currently one of those foolhardy freelance types, offering my web content and web design services under the name Pilcrow + Pixel (did you see what I did there?). Please note that I don't call myself an 'entrepreneur' or, even worse, a 'solopreneur'. I’m not a 'webpreneur' either. Awful terms, each and every one of them.
I produce beautiful yet always user-friendly websites. The designs aim for elegant minimalism while not being overly zealous about it, because there are simply too many visually pleasing colour combinations and font pairings to admire, and because clients usually aren’t obsessive minimalists like designers. Meanwhile, the content contains closely-edited text that dots every 'i', crosses every 't', and isn’t afraid to use Oxford commas and semi-colons.
Do you just want the simple facts? This is my curriculum vitae.
I joined the BBC in 1998 and spent fourteen and a half years there, before taking voluntary redundancy in 2012. Throughout my time at the corporation I worked in 'new media' (that’s what we rather quaintly called it back then) and as a web producer/editor on a variety of projects. I gained excellent skills in both writing and sub-editing online content for a wide range of audiences, frequently contributed to major technical and design builds, had hands-on experience with a number of different content management systems, acquired a thorough knowledge of HTML, CSS, image production, audio/video encoding and embedding. and from 2006 I actively engaged with the increasingly important role of social networks.
From December 2012 through to October 2013 I worked on a fixed-term contract as the Web Editor and Digital Co-ordinator for the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign, a nationwide coalition of over 200 charities and NGOs urging the UK Government to take decisive action to end world hunger as part of its presidency of the G8.
I'm ashamed to confess that the image gracing the top of this page does not show my actual desk. It's merely a stock photograph offering a highly idealised view of what a web professional's immediate surroundings are supposed to resemble.
Sadly, my humble desk doesn't look anything like that. It's a cheap 2002 model from IKEA with one wobbly leg and a scuffed, stained surface that has seen far better days. It's true that I do own an Apple laptop - the web designer's tool of choice - but I don't have a sleek pen or a leather-bound notebook, and I drink my coffee white. Oh, and everything is usually covered in a layer of dust.
Sorry. Please don't feel too cheated. The rest of me is genuine. Mostly.