Jonathan Williams

Jonathan Williams – Designer

Award-winning creative with 29 years experience illustrating, designing and art directing books, catalogues and point-of-sale.


Award-winning creative with 3 years experience illustrating, designing and art directing books for Penguin, Simon and Schuster, Faber, Bloomsbury, Random House, Macmillan, BBC and many more. I've illustrated novels, biographies, short stories and columns from Fay Weldon, Bamber Gascoigne, Irvine Welsh, Alexander McCall Smith, Hugo Rifkind, Ian McGuire, Robert Crawford, Neil McCormick, Sarah Perry, Kate Clanchy, Maile Meloy and Daniel Kehlmann. Employed in-house for 10 years, I'm used to working with a team, directing photographers on location, drawing out the best from illustrators and working closely with print / production suppliers to produce quality solutions. From print to pixels, my aim is to grab your attention and spark your imagination!

African American Fiction Cultural & Ethnic Historical Fiction
Education & Reference Philosophy Political Science & Current Affairs Religion & Spirituality
  • Creativepool Best of Illustration 'People's Choice' Award 2016
  • The One Show Award for Innovation in Print 2014
  • HOW International Design Award 2009
  • AOI 'Images' Bronze Award for Advertising 2006
  • GRAMIA (Grocery Advertising and Marketing Industry Award) 2006
  • MDes (Illustration)
  • BA(Hons) Design (Illustration and Photography)
  • Member of the Association of Illustrators

Work experience


Jan, 1993 — Present

Illustrating, designing and art directing books, catalogues and point-of-sale for a variety of clients including Penguin, Simon and Schuster, Faber, Bloomsbury, Random House, BBC and many more. 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 numeracy scheme devised for primary schools. The project required about 160 separate elements, each with its own unique design.

Reach plc

Oct, 2022 — Present

Designing content for the social accounts of Reach's national brands - Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Express and OK! Magazine


Aug, 2021 — Jul, 2022 (11 months)

Robert Gordon University

Aug, 2018 — Aug, 2021 (about 3 years)

Providing design and print services to academic, administrative and support departments, school members, staff-affiliated organisations, students and commercial enterprises. Combining traditional studio skills with digital desktop technology, I deliver projects from initial brief to creative ideas, digital and hardcopy proofs to the finished product.

ASCO Group

Jun, 2013 — Apr, 2015 (almost 2 years)

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 multiple touchpoints including websites, social media, tenders, new business presentations, HSEQ reports, interactive toolkits, signage, livery, interiors, exhibitions, stationery and magazines.


Mar, 1999 — Sep, 2000 (over 1 year)

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.

Lion Hudson

Mar, 1997 — Mar, 1999 (about 2 years)

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.

InterVarsity Press

Sep, 1995 — Mar, 1997 (over 1 year)

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.

Jonathan has 3 reviews





Javier G.

Javier G.

Jun, 2021

Professional rapport, professional results.
Jonathan W.
Thank you Javier, I enjoyed working on this. It was fascinating to discover more about the lives and writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels whilst illustrating the cover.
greg A.

greg A.

Apr, 2021

It was great to work with Jonathan. I must say, there are a lot of book cover artists who are creative, but they are not real artists, They're really good at image manipulation in photoshop etc, but they can't draw. That's not Jonathan. Jonathan is an artist. A real artist. The timezone differences made communication a bit slower than I'd have wanted, but that's more to do with the tim...
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Jonathan W.
Thanks Greg, I've enjoyed working with you and appreciate your positivity. Let me know if you'd like 3D mockups of the cover, social media assets or help with press-ready artwork. That's included i...
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Mary F.

Mary F.

Feb, 2018

It was a pleasure working with Jonathan. His illustration skills are outstanding. His communication is friendly, prompt and complete. When I had to cancel the project unexpectedly, he was accommodating and understanding. A positive experience throughout. Thanks, Jonathan!
Jonathan W.
Thanks Mary, it was a pleasure to work with you!