Paul Oakley

Paul Oakley – Designer

Senior Art Editor for Guinness World Records, Art director for Carlton, Art Editor for Quercus, Senior Designer for DK. 28 years experience.


Beautifully crafted cover concepts and spread designs for presentations, print or digital through to the page layout of illustrated books and the delivery of files fit for print or digital. I can assist you in achieving your goals by listening carefully, building relationships and working when required in collaboration with my scalable network of talent who are experts in their fields.

My design work for publishers spans classic novels, illustrated reference, popular science, health and beauty, sport, natural history, art, pop culture, history, gaming, further education, cookery and children's books.

Some of my high-profile work includes the book of Guinness World Records, BBC David Attenborough Africa: eye to eye with the unknown and The Complete Ironman Official Illustrated Guide. But I also love designing small indie publications.

Loaded with experience from my existing publishing clients, I can steer a project through the complexities that designing a book can often present.

On the graphic illustration front, I produce instructional illustration, infographics, diagramatic illustration, maps and have a bit of a thing for geometric portraits.
Art Children’s Non-Fiction Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits Education & Reference Health & Wellbeing Sports & Outdoors
Gaming & LitRPG
  • D&AD Design and Art Directors Yellow Pencil Award
  • Bachelor of Art, BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Diploma General Art and Design

Work experience


Sep, 2015 — Present

Producing a broad range of publishing products that include illustrated fiction and non-fiction children’s titles, illustrated reference for popular culture, science, history, craft and lifestyle. Publishers that I have engaged freelance work with Anness Publishing, Arcturus Publishing, Atlantic books, Aurum Press, Crabtree Publishing, Eddison Sadd Editions​, Ivy Press, Rosen Publishing, Quintessence publishing.

Guinness World Records

Sep, 2014 — Sep, 2015 (about 1 year)

At Guinness World Records, I was responsible for the management of all the external and internal communications for the creative in-house design department, holding regular one-to-one meetings on their progress. I carried out the commissioning of complex illustrations and photography that was required for the Guinness World Records book. I held regular consultation meetings with the global media department and production department, reviewing best practices for their publications.

Quercus Publishing

Mar, 2008 — Aug, 2014 (over 6 years)

Working with the Art Director, I was responsible for the design management of illustrated non-fiction titles and ‘book plus’ packages. My responsibilities included briefing and managing projects for designers and picture researchers. My role necessitated the commissioning of photography and illustration. I provided support for front-end design of the company website and book ‘micro sites’.

Oakley Design Associates

Jul, 2000 — Mar, 2008 (over 7 years)

I provided full design and project management services. This included delivering presentations, production of artwork and the management of print. Commissioning of copywriters, photographers, illustrators. I have assembled and managed external teams of creatives for large scope projects. Clients included: Cunningham Lindsey loss adjusters, Quarto Publishing and WestCo Construction.

Carlton Books

Jul, 1992 — Jul, 2000 (about 8 years)

I was engaged in the design and production of book covers, spreads, interactive packs, paper engineering and related promotional material. I was responsible for managing design staff, both permanent and freelance. My other duties included construction and management of budgets, art direction of photography, model casting and prop sourcing.

Dorling Kindersley

Aug, 1990 — Jul, 1992 (almost 2 years)

Working in conjunction with the Design Director and Sales and Marketing team, I was responsible for producing designs for books covers, catalogues, point of sale and posters.​

Swallow Books

Jul, 1989 — Aug, 1990 (about 1 year)

Producing illustrated books for the publishers, following designs through from concept to finished artwork, also designing promotional material and catalogues.


Guinness World Records 2016

Guinness World Records

The world's best-selling annual is back and bursting with thousands of amazing new records, never-before-seen images and mind-boggling trivia. And as always, we have a few more surprises in store for you...As well as all your favorite records for talented pets... read more
An extraordinary companion guide to the next landmark natural history documentary series from the BBC, aiming to reshape the way we think about each region of Africa by revealing never-before-seen impressions of the continentSir David Attenborough CBE and the ... read more
This is the ultimate official celebration of the world’s toughest, most revered endurance event: IRONMAN. For more than 40 years IRONMAN has been, arguably, the toughest athletic competition on the planet, presenting participants with an almost impossible phys... read more
Rare book

Becky Johnson

With a fabulous range of fondue recipes, mouth-watering foods for dipping and a whole host of practical tips and techniques, this is the perfect guide to this fun way of entertaining and eating.
Want good food but no time to shop - delectably simple recipes with hardly any ingredients.
Who says baking has to be hard work? In No-Bake Baking, Sharon Hearne-Smith shows how to create over 100 impressive sweet treats with absolutely no need for conventional baking. These easy recipes can be magicked up in your fridge, freezer, microwave or blende... read more
Looks at recent advances in space technology, how they have led to greater achievements and understanding in the field, and how everyone has benefited from technology developed for space.
Yeast can burp? Plants can solve mazes? Readers wont believe the amazing results of these fantastic experiments! This book introduces readers to the science behind plants and other living things through fun hands-on activities. Simple language explains complex... read more
There's more than what meets the eye in these puzzling pictures. Readers will pour over the pages of this immersive book of image-based riddles. Even reluctant readers will love engaging with these mysterious visual conundrums. Each puzzle features charming il... read more
Long before people roamed this earth, it was home to dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. This exciting book challenges readers to search for and count a variety of ancient animals. Each puzzle provides insight about the different habitats dinosaurs live... read more
Pets and farm animals are fun, familiar subjects for beginner drawing projects. Young readers follow clear text instructions and corresponding pictures as they create their own cute and colorful artwork. These step-by-step instructions allow readers of all ski... read more
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) is recognized as one of the foremost painters of the Dutch Golden Age. This period witnessed an explosion of artistic activity in which an unprecedented number of painters depicted an increasingly diverse range of subjects. Vermeer... read more
To many, medieval castles are the essence of Britain and Ireland's fascinating past. Immersed in history and centuries old, each one tells a story of Kings, Queens and feuding lords; war and bloody conflict; treason, revenge and murder. In Castles of Britain a... read more
The bestselling video games annual is back! Bursting with mind-blowing records and tantalizing trivia, the Guinness World Records 2016: Gamer's Edition is a must-have for any gaming fan. Whether you're all about the latest first-person shooter, an app aficiona... read more
Tragic pasts, secret identities, compelling personalities the best character designs are built on these essential factors! This ultimate guide shows readers how to create costumes that reflect their characters powers, how to design a team of characters with in... read more
A superbly illustrated guide to the mysteries of myth, legend, and—gulp!—real life.
In The Story of Medicine, esteemed medical historian and author Mary Dobson charts the ways in which we have fought with disease and injury over several millennia – from the ‘humors’ of Hippocrates to Edward Jenner and the eradication of smallpox; from Florenc... read more
An outstanding visual directory of 350 of the world's most significant small arms, from the earliest hand- held guns, through the iconic makes and models that changed the course of history
Theres no need to head to Africa for a safari. Readers can grab a few sheets of paper and this book to create many of the animals one would see through the ancient art of origami! A brief introduction allows those new to paper folding to learn the terms and fo... read more
Human history--from the empires of the ancient world to the superpowers of the 21st century--has been inextricably shaped by conflict and the weapons that have been used to wage it. The technologies that have produced advanced civilizations have also been harn... read more
Simple and accessible, Science in Seconds is a comprehensive, entertaining introduction to 200 key scientific ideas. Each concept is clearly realized with a helpful visual and a concise explanation. The concepts included span all of the key scientific discipli... read more
Speeches that Changed the World

Simon Sebag Montefiore

Speeches that Changed the World presents over 50 momentous and thought-provoking speeches from throughout history. Complete with a brief biography of each speaker, and telling the story of why each oration was significant and what happened as a result, this is... read more
Inspiring urban explorers and armchair travellers alike to consider a new way of understanding the world we live in, this unique atlas shows you the modern world from surprising new vantage points. Hidden lairs beneath layers of rock, forgotten cities rising o... read more
From detailed portraits of the icons of the sport, to statistical breakdowns of the greatest road races and potted histories of its most enduring records, this collection of superbly entertaining infographics includes everything you need to know about professi... read more

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