John Coyle 1974 - 2013

John Coyle was a much loved and respected member of the team at Toolstop and worked as our chief graphic designer from December 2008 until his sudden and tragic death on 15th February 2013.
John will be remembered as a quiet, humorous and clever guy who contributed hugely to Toolstops success.

This montage of Johns work is meant as a tribute but also reminds us of the fantastic talent he had.

One of the first jobs we asked John to do was to design a Christmas Card to send out to our website subscibers and this is what he came up with:
Xmas Card
The following year we exhibited our tools at the Outdoor and Caravan Show in Glasgow and John designed this "Guess How Many Tools" competition for everyone who visited our stand, we particularly liked Miss Disco Pants - can you guess how many are in there?
Caravan Show
It was Neils birthday and he got a cake with a guy on it which was supposed to look like himself, however it looked more like John
Neil was interviewed over the phone for DIY Week Magazine and was asked to provide a photograph. John transformed him from Mr Bald to Mr. Hair
Neil Hair
Another christmas idea we had was to have another "Guess How Many Tools" competition.  John designed a great image with 37 tools in it.  Our favourite is Rudolphs nose being lit by the Bosch laser
Xmas Quiz
John was responsible for 2 characters who regularly pop up on our blog.  First was Mr. Toolstop, a tradesman who was always after a bargain
Mr Toolstop
and then there was The Power Tool Spy who would exclusively uncover new power tools
Power Tool Spy
The Toolstop Highland Games were in 2010 and John designed this, incorporating the spirit of the games with some tools
Highland Games
Wayne Rooney was the brunt of many a Toolstop Joke and when we proclaimed that grinders were better than Rooney because.... John provided the artwork
Toolstop took our first foray into the world of printed catalogues and John designed the cover something like this
One of Johns concepts was "the man with the arms" holding numerous tools which can be seen above as well as below in our billboard
John liked to make fun of his work colleagues, particularly Neil and Mark. He was always looking for ways to "photoshop" them, like when he transformed them into Subbuteo men
Fantasy football
And an annual event was for John to use photoshop to stage the awarding of the Toolstop Power Tool Oscar, see how he annoyed Mark by making him "fat" and Neil "skinny"
This is just a small selection of some of the excellent work produced by John. What are your memories of John and his work at Toolstop? Let us know in the comments below.


postable_mark on Fri, 01 Mar 2013 08:32:15 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I miss Big John every day that I'm in the Toolstop office. Neil's right, he was quiet, but he was a big presence and I still ask myself "what would Big John think about this?" whenever I try something new on the blog or on Toolstop's YouTube channel; his feedback was always measured but direct. Sometimes he was right, other times he was wrong, but the banter that went back and forth was always funny.

One of my favourite creations of John's is the picture of the fat me from 2 years ago while Neil's head has been photoshopped onto some skinny dude's body. I genuinely thought this was a joke, until I realised it was the "official" photo to mark Ridgid's power tool of the year win! I was raging but laughing at the same time. He was such a chancer when he wanted to be...

Another thing I'll always remember about the Big John experience was the Toolstop Podcast. We'd regularly ask John to participate in it, but he'd always turn us down, preferring to keep a low profile. Eventually we created an alter-ego for him on the podcast, and for a while Neil would ask, "so, what's Big John up to this weekend?", at which point I'd weave an elaborate story of his alleged exploits.

After each week's recording session Neil and I would head back into the Hub (the office where the web team works), and Neil would say "ooof, you're in for a treat this week, John", a reference to that fact we suspected John was the podcast's one and only listener...he probably was.

It's a shame that quite often it's only after a person is no longer with us that we take stock and evaluate their impact on our life, and in Toolstop's case, on its business.

However, there's no doubt that while John was a big, quiet, friendly, humourous presence in the Hub, he was a massive presence online, reflected in the graphics, images and ideas he created for Toolstop.

Big John, you were a gem and you're missed. Thanks for all the laughs and it really wasn't me who took your USB cable...

Jayne Cunningham on Thu, 28 Feb 2013 09:10:01 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

awww no. REALLY sad to hear this! Big Hugs xx

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