Showcase & Discover Creative Work

Jonathan Williams

Freelance Graphic Designer / Illustrator

Aberdeen, United Kingdom
+44(0)1651 891876
Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1993, I've been working as a designer, illustrator and art director. In partnership with other creatives I seek to inform, entertain and challenge using words and pictures: producing lively colorful children's books; illustrating newspapers and magazines; helping to build global brands such as Virgin, Orange and Benetton. Whatever the client or medium, my aim is to grab your attention and spark your imagination!
United Kingdom
Mar 2000Present
Freelance 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, TimeWarner, Viacom, Sony, BBC, Benetton, Unilever, Virgin, Orange, RBS, Daimler, Land Rover, Ecolab, Scottish Power, InBev and Diageo.

One of my key clients has been Pearson Education. 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. 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.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Jun 2013Mar 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 tenders, new business presentations, HSEQ reports, signage, livery, interiors, exhibitions, stationery and magazines.

Working as part of an energy support services company has given me a broad understanding of Aberdeen'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 skills, as I continually managed multiple projects. 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, United Kingdom
Mar 1999Mar 2000
Pearson Education 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 joined Pearson (then Harcourt) to work with with US educational publisher Rigby. As part of an editorial team I designed and art-directed a new series of big books and activity sheets for shared reading in literacy hour. Collaborating with editors and designers I planned the content and layout of titles; selected and commissioned illustrators and photographers; controlled costs and schedules; and ensured each book was 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, United Kingdom
Mar 1997Mar 1999
Graphic Designer
Lion Publishing (now merged with Angus Hudson) is an independent publisher, selling books in more than 200 languages across the world. As part of a medium-sized publishing team I designed for a range of titles - from illustrated picture books and novels to non-fiction and reference.

In collaboration with a team of editors and designers, I planned and implemented a range of titles 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 for catalogues, packaging, exhibition stands, point-of-sale and other marketing materials.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Sep 1995Mar 1997
Book Designer
InterVarsity Press is a small independent publisher which publishes / distributes more than a million books each year to over 150 countries, in more than 80 different languages. As the only designer I designed, illustrated and typeset a range of academic titles.

Book interiors were still being typeset by out-of-house suppliers, so I learned how to skim a manuscript quickly - identifying any special features that required a particular style - then specify the design for a typesetter. I acquired a knowledge of publishing conventions such as binding methods, extents, page sizes and proofreading markup.

Cover design allowed a much greater degree of creativity. This was my first experience of taking books to print using computer programmes such as Quark Express, Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Freehand. Cover design combined digital media skills with traditional drawing, painting and printmaking. I learned how to prepare artwork for press and how to give instruction for different print processes.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Jan 1993Aug 1995
Based in central Edinburgh, I created artwork for books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, calendars, posters, packaging and t-shirts. My client list included the Bank of Scotland, Standard Life, News International, NWS Bank, Gleneagles’ Hotel, Arran Provisions, The Scotsman, The Big Issue and CA Magazine.

As a recent graduate I learned how to listen to clients and understand their needs. Working to a given brief often within tight deadlines, I developed the ability to communicate ideas, sensations, facts, feelings and emotions in a style that reached a target audience.

I learned 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.
United Kingdom
Feb 2013Present
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
The BEng (Hons) is a general engineering degree course that explores the fundamentals of this creative and analytical subject. It covers the range of techniques, concepts and knowledge required by professional engineers – from materials and mechanics to design and modelling.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Sep 1991Dec 1992
Master of Design 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.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Sep 1988Jun 1991
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Design
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.
Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Sep 1987Jul 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.
Innovation in Print (Merit)
Bronze Award for Advertising
English (Native)
Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, Adobe Photoshop, Art Direction, Branding, Design For Print, Illustration, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Word, Web Design