Jonathan Williams

Design & Art Direction

General info
+44 (0)1224 774265 office
+44 (0)7867 526477 mobile
Design & Art Direction
United Kingdom
I'm an award-winning creative with 29 years experience in design, art direction and illustration, including key projects for market leader Pearson. My work has appeared in publications, books and retail outlets worldwide, helping to build familiar brands such as Virgin, Orange, Diageo, Unilever and Benetton.
United Kingdom
Mar 2000 - Present
Graphic Designer / Illustrator
Since 2000 I've been illustrating, designing and art directing books, magazines, brochures, posters and websites for a variety of clients including Paramount, AT&T, Viacom, Sony, BBC, Benetton, Unilever, Virgin, Orange, RBS, Daimler, Land Rover, Ecolab, Scottish Power, AB InBev and Diageo.

One of my key clients has been Pearson. Throughout 2004-5 I worked with illustrator Per José Karlen, creating an identity for Abacus Evolve, a Maths scheme devised for primary schools. The project required about 160 separate elements, each with its own unique design.

My work has featured in American Illustration, Graphik, Creativematch, Design Week, Advanced Photoshop and the AOI Images. In 2006 my images for Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Suite received a Bronze Award from the Association of Illustrators and my recruitment ads for Ecolab were recognised with a GRAMIA (Grocery Advertising & Marketing Industry Award).

In 2008 I illustrated The Rock Bible, which was awarded an editorial merit in the HOW International design awards; and in 2013 I created a set of illustrations for Jell-O Jigglevision, an interactive campaign which won a merit for Innovation in Print. My work has also been shortlisted twice for the prestigious V&A Illustration Awards.
Aug 2021 - Jul 2022
Graphic Design Lead
• Leading on creative direction and ensuring adherence to Petrofac’s brand across all materials in support of global marketing, communications and business development activities.
• Providing a dedicated and centralised approach to graphic design for all internal and external creative development, collateral and campaign material, including work in support of business acquisition and retention.
• Providing support to ensure quality and consistency in Petrofac’s visual identity across all touchpoints (whether created in-house or by third parties). Ensuring the Petrofac brand is memorable and distinctive.
Aug 2018 - Aug 2021
Graphic Designer / Photographer
• Creating and implementing a new visual identity (November 2019)
• 2021 /22 Undergraduate Prospectuses, 2021 International Prospectus, 2018 Postgraduate Prospectus,
• Designing a re-skin for RGU's website
• Out-of-house campaigns for Union Square (digital 6 sheets and lift doors)
Aberdeen, UK
Jun 2013 - Mar 2015
Group Graphic Designer
In June 2013 I was recruited to implement a new brand identity for ASCO, an international energy support services business based in Aberdeen. In partnership with the Leith agency I produced a 50 page Brand Starter Kit, then helped to roll out the new identity across all touchpoints including websites, social media, tenders, new business presentations, HSEQ reports, interactive toolkits, signage, livery, interiors, exhibitions, stationery and magazines.

Working for ASCO has given me a broad understanding of UK's role in the international energy market. Preparing presentations and bid documents for operators across the globe, I gained a working knowledge of key operators as well as the supply chain that underpins the sector.

Implementing a new brand for ASCO strengthened my organisational and creative skills, as I managed multiple projects and (where appropriate) suggested alternative solutions to old ways of working. Part of a close-knit Comms team, I learned to work collaboratively and respond proactively to new business opportunities, ensuring consistently branded communication. I developed my knowledge of MS Office, producing a range of collateral for digital and print outputs.
Oxford, UK
Mar 1999 - Feb 2000
Graphic Designer
Pearson is the world's leading educational publisher. Across a wide spectrum of subjects, including business, technology, sciences, law and humanities, their books and resources help students to learn, teachers to teach and professionals to develop throughout their careers.

In 1999 I was recruited by Pearson to work with US educational publisher Rigby. As part of an editorial team I helped to design and art-direct a new series of big books and activity sheets for shared reading in literacy hour. I planned the content and layout of titles; selected and commissioned illustrators and photographers; controlled costs and schedules; and ensured books were delivered on time and within budget.

I was privileged to work with some of the UK's most talented artists including Jan Pienkowski, Tony Ross and Nick Sharratt. I learned how to direct photographers on location and how to draw out the best from each illustrator. I developed an ability to think critically whilst retaining a sense of playfulness, essential qualities for a children's book designer.
Oxford, UK
Mar 1997 - Mar 1999
Lion Hudson is an independent publisher, selling books in more than 200 languages across the world. As part of a publishing team I planned and implemented a range of titles (including illustrated picture books, novels, non-fiction and reference) from initial layout, choice of paper stock / print process and commissioning of artwork through to finished design and pre-press preparation including foreign language editions. I worked closely with illustrators and photographers, managing briefs and ensuring projects were delivered on time and within budget.

Designing for a spectrum of ages stretched my ability to communicate visually with specific target audiences. I learned to lay out pages using Quark Express tags and templates, as well as manipulating type and images using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I also designed a range of sales materials, including catalogues, packaging, exhibition stands and point-of-sale.
Leicester, UK
Sep 1995 - Mar 1997
Graphic Designer
InterVarsity Press is a small independent press which publishes and distributes more than a million books each year in over 150 countries, in more than 80 different languages.

Whilst at IVP I designed, illustrated and typeset a range of academic titles. I learned how to skim a manuscript quickly - identifying any special features that required a particular style - then specify the design for typesetting. I acquired a knowledge of publishing conventions such as binding methods, extents, page sizes and proofreading markup.

Cover design combined traditional drawing, painting and printmaking with QuarkXpress, Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Freehand. I learned how to prepare artwork for press and how to commission print.
Jan 1993 - Aug 1995
Based in Edinburgh, I created artwork for books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, calendars, posters, packaging and t-shirts. My client list included Lloyds TSB, Capital Bank, Standard Life, News UK, Diageo, Arran Fine Foods, Johnston Press, The Big Issue and CA Magazine.

As a recent graduate I learned how to work to a given brief within tight deadlines, listen to clients and understand their needs. I developed the ability to communicate ideas, sensations, facts and emotions in a style that reaches a target audience; how to search for inspiration; how to brainstorm for ideas and express them with originality and confidence for discussion and approval; how to refine ideas through consultation; and how to introduce new ideas when appropriate.

Using traditional media - pencils, markers and paint - I continued to develop my practical skills of descriptive drawing, painting, mark-making and composition. As a freelance I learned the basics of running a small business: negotiating fees and deadlines; preparing invoices and tax returns; seeking new sources of work; building a strong portfolio and approaching potential clients.
Milton Keynes
Feb 2013 - Present
BEng (Hons) Engineering
The BEng (Hons) is a general degree course exploring the fundamentals of engineering. It covers the range of techniques, concepts and knowledge required by professional engineers – from materials and mechanics to design and modelling.
Edinburgh, UK
Oct 1992 - Dec 1993
MDes Illustration
The Masters Illustration course requires students to produce a body of practical and written work on an agreed, self-initiated topic. It is a unique opportunity for independent and focused study.
Oct 1988 - Jul 1991
BA (Hons) Illustration
The BA (Hons) Illustration course teaches the language of drawing and image-making from a broad methodology that includes observation, perception and literary interpretation. Students are encouraged to explore different ways of visualising ideas and texts.
Wirral, UK
Sep 1987 - Jul 1988
Foundation Studies in Art and Design
Foundation Studies in Art and Design enable students to learn through discovery and exploration; projects, lectures and study visits provide a transitional experience in Art, Design and Communication, preparing students for a place in higher education.