Catching up with Buttercrumble


IPSE’s Tom Hayward spoke to Abigail & Chloe Baldwin, creative directors of Buttercrumble; Leeds-based design duo and finalists in IPSE’s Aspire Freelancer of the Year Awards.

Can you tell us a bit about you and your business, Buttercrumble?

Buttercrumble is a creative design collective, producing fun and friendly illustrations and graphic design with an ethos of making others smile. We formed in 2012 having initially shared our work online. We discovered that there was a market for cheerful visuals so we teamed up to develop Buttercrumble and since then we’ve worked on a range of projects for clients including the Royal Armouries and Kid O Toys.  

Why did you first decide to go freelance?

We decided to go freelance because we couldn’t find traditional employment which suited the visual style we wanted to create. There are a limited number of design agencies who provide fun graphic design combined with illustration. We decided to set up on our own and fill that gap in the market. It suits our business model because we offer a holistic approach to design and each project is delivered with a personal touch.

Why did you decide to enter the Freelancer of the Year Awards 2017?

Entering the Freelancer of the Year Awards gave us the opportunity to reflect on our achievements over the past few years. Freelancing is challenging and sometimes isolating, so it’s important to take the time to evaluate how far you’ve come and celebrate that. It was wonderful to do this with the rest of the talented freelancer community.    

How has being a finalist for the Aspire Award helped your career?

We were honoured to be a finalist for the Aspire Award. It has boosted our confidence and has helped our network grow. Confidence is important whilst freelancing because it allows you to believe in the value you bring to other people’s lives through the service you provide. We know we can continue to grow and flourish whilst learning from any challenges.   

Can you tell me about some of the most exciting projects you have worked on?

One of the most exciting projects we worked on was with Leeds Dock and The Royal Armouries. Earlier this year, we designed a giant 20m2 Snakes & Ladders board. It was printed onto vinyl and displayed on the plaza outside The Royal Armouries. We’re pleased to share that it is still being enjoyed by everyone who visits! 

What would you regard as your biggest achievement?

Our biggest achievement was having the courage to leave behind stable employment in order to take on a fulltime freelance lifestyle. It’s been one of the best decisions we’ve made - every day we feel that as Buttercrumble progresses, we do too.   

What advice would you give to someone considering going freelance?

If you’re considering going freelance, create a financial plan first. It sounds like a boring task, but it’s vital. Money is essential to running a business and paying your bills! By creating a plan, you can see what funds you’ll need and how much you need to start freelancing. If you set goals each month, you can stay on track and sustain your business.  

What does the future hold for Buttercrumble?               

We are currently working on a few branding and packaging projects for inspiring businesses we love. It’s so important to work with people you admire because you enjoy the work you create so much more! We have also been developing workshops to share our branding knowledge in order to help other freelancers at the beginning of their journey. We’ll continue to provide people with the information and visual assets they need to succeed.

Meet the author

Tom Hayward

Senior Press & PR Officer