Jim Williams

Graduated – 1982



After graduating Jim worked as a typographer in advertising, securing a job at Benton & Bowles Advertising. He then went on to work at Collett Dickenson Pearce under Len Cheeseman. He returned to general graphics working at The Chase for the first three and a half years of its history. Jim also enjoyed a long working relationship with The Creative Circle, London.

As well as teaching part-time at Staffordshire University, he is currently working closely with a small group of clients, including a letterpress greeting card company called Blush. In Spring 2012 Jim published ‘Type Matters’, a typography primer covering simple tips on typography published by Merrell Publishers.

The Disciples of Design Q&A

How and where did you secure your first job?
My first job was at Benton & Bowles Advertising with Maggie Lewis who, at the time, was considered one of London’s leading advertising typographers. I was very fortunate because I was offered the position four months before finishing my degree and, when I declined because I wanted to complete my degree, they agreed to hold the job open for me.

Do you think being a Preston student has benefited you?
Having a name like Preston behind me certainly helped in the first few years after graduating.

How has the industry changed over the years?
The core principles of an ‘idea’ and ‘craft’ haven’t changed, but the march of technology has altered how we go about it and has presented designers with new opportunities.

Where do you get your ideas from? Do you prefer collaboration or thinking alone?
I don’t mind where an idea comes from, if I come up with it great, if someone else I’m working with comes up with a good idea, that’s also great.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Working with people I like and respect.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve done in your career?
Designing a range of domestic tableware.

What do you look for in graduates and their portfolios?
Do they really care about what they do? Are they still keen to learn? Can you work with this person?

Any advice for students entering the industry?
Remain focused, enthusiastic and embrace typography – it can make the difference.


Type Matters - Jim Williams

2000 Annual - Creative Circle