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Peter Dawson

Peter Dawson - Designer

London, United Kingdom

I'm co-founder and Creative Director of Grade Design, one of the UK's leading book design studios.


I have over 20 years’ experience within the design industry graduating from Kingston University in 1992 with a first class Honours degree in Graphic Design. Having worked as a designer and then creative director at a number of design consultancies, I went on to co-found Grade in 2000. I have worked for a diverse and extensive range of clients over the years from the Barbican to Walt Disney and now specialise in print and publishing design, branding and typography.

The main focus of my work is illustrated book design for trade publishers and private commissions. A selection of current clients include the Barbican, Bloomsbury, British Museum, Historic Royal Palaces, National Portrait Gallery, Prestel, Royal Collection, Tate and Thames and Hudson.

Having designed a large number of best-selling and award-winning illustrated book titles over the years, awards for my work have included British DAD annual inclusion, ‘Best Jacket’ and ‘Best Book Series’ in the British Book Design and Production Awards, several ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers) 'Certificates of Excellence' and a prestigious 'Premiere' award in their most recent typographic awards.

I am a Fellow, and a former Chair and board member, of the ISTD and have been a visiting typography and design lecturer at a number of universities in the UK and overseas.

In 2012 I co-authored the book, Graphic Design Rules (Frances Lincoln) and wrote The Field Guide to Typography (Thames and Hudson), published in 2013.

Architecture Art Cooking & Food Wine & Spirits Design Earth & Space & Environmental Sciences Entertainment History Home & Garden Music Photography


  • BA (Hons) Graphic Design


  • 2016 - WINNER, Drinks Book of the Year, André Simon Awards
  • 2015 - FINALIST, Photographic Book, British Book Design & Production Awards
  • 2015 - 2nd PRIZE, Book: People, International Photographic Awards
  • 2015 - FINALIST, The Alice Award
  • 2014 - PREMIER AWARD, ISTD* Typographic Awards (books)
  • 2014 - WINNER, Trade Illustrated, British Book Design & Production Awards
  • 2014 - WINNER, Deutsches Architekturmuseum Architectural Book Award
  • 2014 - WINNER, Cookbook of the Year, James Beard Awards
  • 2013 - FINALIST, Best British Book, British Book Design & Production Awards
  • 2012 - FINALIST, Trade Illustrated, British Book Design & Production Awards
  • 2011 - WINNER, ISTD Typographic Awards, Certificate of Excellence (books)
  • 2011 - WINNER, Food Book of the Year, André Simon Awards
  • 2010 - WINNER, Cover of The Year, British Book Design & Production Awards
  • 2009 - WINNER, ISTD Typographic Awards, Certificate of Excellence (editorial)
  • 2005 - WINNER, Best Series Identity, British Book Design Awards
  • 2004 - WINNER, Glenfiddich Awards
  • 2004 - WINNER, McNaughton Review (print excellence)
  • 2003 - WINNER, Wine Book of the Year, Prix du Lanson Awards
  • 2003 - WINNER, Wine Book of the Year, Veuve Clicquot Awards (US)
  • 2003 - FINALIST, Glenfiddich Awards
  • 2002 - WINNER, Drink Book of the Year, André Simon Awards
  • 2000 - FINALIST, Donside Millennium Awards
  • 1996 - WINNER, Gold Award, Federal Tait Awards
  • 1996 - WINNER, Design Category, Federal Tait Awards
  • 1996 - HIGHLY COMMENDED, Federal Tait Awards
  • 1995 - FINALIST, Design Week Awards
  • 1994 - ENTRANT, D&AD Awards Annual
  • 1994 - FINALIST, Chartered Society of Designers Awards
  • 1993 - FINALIST, London International Advertising Awards

Work experience

Graphic Designer / Creative Director

August, 2000 – Present (almost 18 years)

Co-founder and Creative Director for award-wining design studio Grade Design Consultants Ltd.

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