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Spotlight with designer Zack Reed

Spencer Hewson, March 16, 2021

Odds are you're not a professional multimedia designer, so how do designers see website design differently than you do? 

We sat down (over Zoom, of course!) with Zack Reed from Witch and the Wolf to learn more about his background as a multimedia designer and prominent Pagecloud Pro. Zack is the first interview in what will be an on-going blog series where we highlight successful Pageclouder’s, get to know their story and their experience with Pagecloud. Check out some of Zack’s fantastic work.

Zack, the goal of this blog post is to feature successful Pageclouder's like yourself. Can you tell us about yourself and your background?

Yeah, of course! I'm Zack, and I’m a multimedia designer. I'm based in Bristol [England]. I've lived in Bristol for nearly 10 years now. One of the reasons I moved here is because it's such a creative quarter of England, I've never seen anything like it. There's musicians, there’s designers, both visual and audio front to back. There's always something to do. There's always music or art to see. It's absolutely incredible. So I came to Bristol and started my brand, Witch and the Wolf, which I stamp all my work as.Being a multimedia designer, we don't just do websites, we also do logos, moving images, like animation movies, we do some photography, some audio work. And hopefully this year, I'm learning a little bit about interactivity. So more towards the app design side of things. That should be an exciting integration. As for Witch and the Wolf, we opened back in 2014. It was originally just a music and arts event. I wanted it to grow into a music bar, but then I ended up merging it with what I do design wise. And that's what it is today.

I've always wondered, where does the name Witch and the Wolf come from?

 So Witch and the Wolf, I'm a big fan of fantasy, love my fantasy fiction, and if I wasn't creating, designing stuff, I’d be writing, I love creative writing. And a witch and a wolf were often two protagonists in a lot of fantasy shorts that I wrote. It just kind of fit the profile really well, so that's why I've named my brand Witch and the Wolf.

 I love that. Where do you find your inspiration? Is it in one place or several? 

Several places, I'd say rather than just one. Part of the reason why the brand is named the way it is and the logo and the branding look the way they look is because it is heavily inspired by adventure. I'm a big sucker for exploring mountains and woods and trees and I love going on adventures. Canada is actually one of my favourite getaways. I really enjoyed going to Vancouver and then going north, and getting to visit Whistler. Letting yourself get lost in all that beautiful nature. So nature is a really heavy inspiration and a fuel that helps me create. I get inspiration from adventure and also music. I'm a musician. So I often find creating music and playing music is another inspiration to do stuff visually. Just listening to such a wide variety of music really helps define different genres of design. 

"Just experiment and have fun with it. That's the most important thing. There's no point in doing any of this if you're not having fun with the program. And I think you'd be mad to not have fun with Pagecloud."

When it comes to visual website design, what do you enjoy most, how does Pagecloud help you do that?

Before I was using Pagecloud, I was using Adobe Muse and every now and again a little bit of Dreamweaver, just to make some HTML snippets and see them come to life and then put them into Muse. And then when Adobe mentioned that they weren't going to support [Muse] anymore, that was a real shot in the face for me because they just announced it so suddenly. There was just under a year before they stopped the support so it was better to find something new quickly. I found Pagecloud just reading through the internet. And what I loved about and still do love about Pagecloud is that it's so intuitive that a beginner can use it and then an advanced user can use it. And it just offers complete customizability to really get everything the way you want things to look. And that's the beauty of Pagecloud, you can make things look exactly how you want it to rather than other web designing platforms telling you where you have to put things because this is the way it is. Pagecloud just gives you complete freedom to do what you want to do, which is good for me because I'm quite a control freak. 

What is the greatest design challenge you face today?

I think one of my biggest challenges, which has also become one of my greatest websites, is a site I built for my client, Ben. He’s based in Northern Ireland, he’s a personal trainer, and the website is Athletic Muscle Blueprints, AMB for short.[This site was challenging] because we were bringing in ecommerce, which I've wanted to do for a while. AMB is also a challenge because it is one of the busiest websites that I've launched. When we launched it, we got over 200 views in a matter of days without even announcing it. It was pretty crazy!AMB does remain a challenge, because it's definitely one of my sites with the heaviest traffic. Making sure that it looks great to all these viewers all over the world is a challenge in its own right. Making sure that the copy, the text, the images, the way that the website portrays, the way things animate are all something that a wide audience can be comfortable viewing. Speaking of ecommerce That's another thing I really love about Pagecloud, it works with everything. All the integrations are fantastic. 

We take a lot of pride in being able to easily integrate all sorts of apps and services! So Zack, you've been a Pagecloud Pro since 2019, correct? 

Yes, yeah. 2019. 

Any advice for someone just getting started as a  Pagecloud Pro?

Oh, toughie. When I first started, I had a really, really lovely zoom call with the Pagecloud team. And it was such a fantastic phone call, because it was just really informative. And all of my questions got answered…. What I'd recommend, if you want to join the Pro program is just to take advice and check out the other Pros on the Pro directory, and see how they're doing it. I wouldn't say base your work on what they're doing. Because every designer is their own worst critic. But I would really use inspiration of what the other Pros are doing, particularly ones at the top of the list and seeing how they are succeeding and see if you can use that to inspire or amend your processes.

For someone just starting out with Pagecloud who doesn't have the design background that you have, do you have any advice for them?

Come and talk to me, I build nice websites!

Hahaha that’s perfect!

Also the support in Pagecloud is fantastic. The fact that it's live chat, and that you can chat to a real human rather than a bot. I've never ever experienced a problem in Pagecloud where the problem wasn't solved, thanks to you guys. And I know I'm very annoying. And I often get a lot like, can I do this? Can I do that? Can I do this? I guess that's the other thing. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Because your support team is always on hand to answer them. And just experiment and have fun with it. That's the most important thing. There's no point in doing any of this if you're not having fun with the program. And I think you'd be mad to not have fun with Pagecloud.

I'm really happy to hear that those are your views on things! Thank you for making the time for this call and to be our first feature interview. Was there anything else you wanted to share?

I would say because I've built quite a different variety of websites for different clients, if anybody ever needs any help or wants inspiration, then I would invite them to Witch and the Wolf and see what I can do. 

Check out Witch And The Wolf on the Pagecloud Pro directory

It was a pleasure getting to talk to Zack about his design background and his Pagecloud website builder experience. His ability to draw inspiration from music and adventure, his willingness to ask questions and his focus on enjoying the process all make him an incredibly talented multimedia designer but they also make him relatable. We might not all think like multimedia designers but we can all enjoy the creative freedom that comes with designing on Pagecloud

What do you want to learn from our future spotlight features? Send us your questions on Twitter, Instagram or reply in the comments! 

Written by

Spencer Hewson

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