john grain

Creative Director

Camerino, Italy

Work Experience


Creative Director

I work from home in Italy, or in-house when necessary, in the role of project art director/editor. I tackle the supervision of whole projects from their conception through to final digital output; the control of schedules and budgets; direct liaison with management, authors and editors, and the commissioning of designers, illustrators and photographers or any stage in-between depending on the requirements of the project and client.

All my work apart from preliminary paper and pencil roughs is processed on the AppleMac using many programs including InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat, Illustrator and Wordpress.

My own photography is used by clients within the projects I work on when appropriate, as well as being used in it’s own right.

Clients and work undertaken in this period have included

Amalgam (Corporate Identity, Advertising, Brochure design, Website design)
Bloomsbury Publishers (Book design)
Bridgewater Book Company (Book design)
Castrol (Corporate book design)
De Agostini Editions (UK) (Book design)
De Agostini (Milan, Italy) (Design management consultancy)
Dorling Kindersley (Book design)
Duncan Baird Publishers (Book design)
Frances Lincoln Publishers (Book design)
Ilex Press (Book design)
Imogen Heap (Photography)
International Diabetes Federation (Publicity & Poster design)
Ivy Press (Book design)
Marshall Editions (Book design)
Merrell Publishers (Book design)
Mitchell Beazley (Book design and Catalogue design)
Octopus Publishing (Book design)
Quarto Publishing (Book design and Photography)
Ryland Peters & Small (Book design)
World Health Organisation (Publicity & Poster design)
January 1994 - December 2013 Italy

Mitchell Beazley

Art Director*/Senior Art Editor

Work involved managing the design requirements of the ‘Special Interest’ list of the illustrated publishing division, acting as assistant to the Art Director of the whole division. This required the planning of schedules and budgets, liaison with sales, marketing and production departments, and working closely with editorial staff. Commissioning of freelance designers, illustrators and photographers was also part of my responsibility as well as supervising the work and welfare of junior members of the design staff. As well as the production of books, the work also involved preparing presentations and the design of publicity material.

*At the end of this period I briefly took over informally as Art Director of the Mitchell Beazley list and I was also offered the post of Art Director at Marshall Editions. I declined both posts having already decided to move abroad and go back to being freelance.
July 1992 - January 1994 London, United Kingdom

Mitchell Beazley

Art Editor

Responsibilities very much as above but with less authority and more referral on a day to day basis with my art director. During this period I was responsible for the redesigning/rebranding of the entire best-selling Miller’s range of books including the crucial Miller’s Antiques Price Guides.

This was a major success resulting in more sales, defeated intense competition at the time, remains strong and is still being used some twenty plus years later.
January 1992 - June 1992 London, United Kingdom


Graphic Designer and Book Designer

Working from home, primarily on total book packages, from styling to final film. Also working closely with publishers on preparing presentations for their sales teams especially for the Frankfurt Book Fairs. I was also responsible for designing and taking into production, complete product catalogues and much sales and marketing material for a number of different publishers. Much of this work involved commissioning illustrators and photographers and working to tight deadlines and budgets.

Publishing clients included

Bell & Hyman
Bridgewater Associates
Cassell Publishers
Dorling Kindersley
Harper & Row
Hodder & Stoughton
Holt Saunders
Marshall Editions
Mitchell Beazley
Quarto Publishing
Royal College of Art
Thomas Nelson
Unwin Hyman
Victor Gollancz
January 1982 - December 1991 United Kingdom

Bridgewater & Grain

Partner in Graphic Design Studio

Commercial graphic design and Book Design
1977 - 1982 Brighton, United Kingdom

The Peter Maisey Company

Retainer. In house designer at advertising agency in Covent Garden, London

Advertising campaigns, Brochures, Posters
1976 - 1977 London, United Kingdom

Lewis McMinn

Retainer. In house designer at public relations agency in City of London

Brochures, Reports and Accounts, Corporate Publicity
1976 - 1977 London, United Kingdom

Interstore Ltd

In house head graphic designer at high quality furniture and lighting designers, manufacturers and Importers. Covent Garden, London

Brochures, Corporate Identity, Packaging Design
1974 - 1975 London, United Kingdom


University Of Brighton

Bachelor of Arts (Graphic Design)

1971 - 1974 Brighton, United Kingdom

Central Saint Martins College Of Art And Design

Foundation Course

1970 - 1971 London, United Kingdom

Brighton, Hove And Sussex Grammar School

9 ‘O’ levels, 3 ‘A’ levels

9 ‘O’ levels, 3 ‘A’ levels
1963 - 1970 Brighton, United Kingdom


English (Native),
Italian (Beginner),


Affinity Photo, Art Direction, CSS, GREENLIGHT, HTML, Illustrator, Indesign, Photo Manipulation, Photography, Photoshop, WordPress,