The Creators Behind the UK’s Most Inspiring Graphic Design

You know that feeling when you see an ad, logo, or poster that just sticks with you? The colors, layout, and overall visual impact immediately grab your attention and leave a lasting impression. Some of the most memorable and inspired graphic design work comes out of the UK. In this article, we’re going to introduce you to five of the top graphic designers across the pond who are creating eye-catching work that spans branding, illustration, packaging, and more. Get ready to be wowed and find new sources of design inspiration from the creative minds shaping the visual culture in the UK today. Whether it’s for a global brand or a local pub, these designers demonstrate the power of good graphic design.
The UK’s Top Graphic Design Agencies
The UK is home to some of the world’s most innovative Graphic Design agencies. These creative companies are behind many of the visual identities of popular global and local brands.
One standout is Wolff Olins, founded in London in 1965. They’re responsible for brand designs like Apple Music, Grubhub, and the London 2012 Olympics. Wolff Olins focuses on creating impactful brand experiences that shape culture.
Another leading agency is Design Bridge, with offices in London, New York, and Singapore. For over 40 years, they’ve built brands like Johnnie Walker, GSK, and Waitrose. They specialize in crafted, purposeful designs that connect brands to people’s lives.
Founded in 1990, Moving Brands is an independent, employee-owned agency creating transformative work for clients like Netflix, Ford, and Adidas. Their team of designers, technologists, and strategists take a holistic approach to brand building in the digital age.
If you’re looking for bold, boundary-pushing graphic design, check out Here Design. They’ve worked with brands like the V&A, BBC, and The Economist. Here Design is all about big ideas, customized typography, and designs that stop you in your tracks.
Some other innovative agencies to watch include Made Thought, known for sustainability-focused brands, and Studio Sutherland, who bring brands to life through storytelling and vibrant visuals.
The UK graphic design scene is thriving, with many world-class agencies and up-and-coming boutique studios. No matter what style or specialization you’re looking for, you’ll find highly-skilled designers creating impactful work in the UK.
Meet the Designers: 5 of the Best Graphic Designers in the UK
The UK has some of the most innovative graphic designers in the world. Here are five of the best working today:
Alan Kitching
Alan Kitching is a typographer and graphic designer known for his expressive and painterly style. Kitching is passionate about the creative possibilities of letterpress printing and has spent over 50 years honing his craft. His designs are vibrant, textural, and bursting with energy.
Anthony Burrill
Anthony Burrill is a graphic artist and printmaker known for his persuasive and up-lifting style. His designs feature bold sans serif type and strong messages. Burrill’s work aims to motivate and inspire. His prints have become popular worldwide and appear everywhere from art galleries to IKEA.
Margaret Calvert
Margaret Calvert is a Graphic Designer renowned for her iconic road signage system. Along with Jock Kinneir, Calvert designed the typeface and pictograms for road signs used throughout the UK. Their system is admired worldwide for its simplicity, legibility, and timeless quality. Calvert’s work has had an enormous influence on graphic design.
Morag Myerscough
Morag Myerscough is an artist and designer known for her colorful and layered street art. Her joyful murals and installations aim to engage communities and brighten public spaces. Myerscough embraces a DIY punk aesthetic and an optimistic spirit. Her vibrant and monumental works have transformed cities around the UK.
Peter Saville
Peter Saville is a graphic designer renowned for his record sleeve designs for Factory Records in the 1970s and 80s. Saville’s designs captured the energy of the post-punk era and defined an aesthetic of the time. His striking and often enigmatic work for Joy Division, New Order, and other bands has ensured his status as an icon of graphic design. Saville continues to push the boundaries of design in his work for fashion houses and art galleries.
Inspiring Projects: A Showcase of Award-Winning Graphic Design
The UK has some of the most awarded and internationally recognized graphic designers in the world. Their innovative and thought-provoking projects showcase the power of visual communication.
The Design Museum
The Design Museum in London holds an annual Designs of the Year award recognizing groundbreaking work in architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product and transport design. Winning graphic design projects are always inspiring, like the 2019 winner “A Day at the Park” by Marina Willer, a colorful set of stamps depicting an imaginary day in the life of characters enjoying a park.
D&AD Awards
D&AD stands for Design and Art Direction, representing global creative, design and advertising communities. Their annual awards honor the finest work in fields like graphic design, illustration and typography. One of their most prestigious awards is the Black Pencil, given to projects demonstrating truly outstanding creativity. Recent Black Pencil winners include “The Uncensored Library” by Blockworks, an open-world map in Minecraft representing censored journalism from around the world.
Creative Review
Creative Review is a leading design and visual culture magazine. Their annual awards celebrate excellence in commercial creativity and graphic design in the UK and internationally. Winning projects from recent years include the playful “Honey & Bunny” rebrand for Fortnum & Mason by Design Bridge, and the poignant “War Child” campaign by Ogilvy highlighting the impact of war on children.
With inspiring projects recognized around the world, the UK’s graphic design scene continues to push creative boundaries and shape visual culture. Awards that honor groundbreaking work provide motivation for designers to keep innovating, while showcasing the power of design to positively impact society.
Graphic Design Trends Sweeping the UK
Graphic design in the UK is an ever-evolving field. New trends seem to emerge every year, influenced by pop culture, current events, and new technologies. Here are a few of the graphic design trends making waves across the UK in 2021:
Vintage Revival
There has been a resurgence of interest in retro and vintage design styles recently. Mid-century modern styles from the 1950s and ‘60s as well as Art Deco from the 1920s and ‘30s have been popular. Designers are using vintage fonts, color palettes, and layouts but with a modern twist. This blend of old and new creates a sense of nostalgia while still feeling fresh and contemporary.
Maximalism
After years dominated by minimalism, maximalism is making a bold comeback. Maximalist Graphic Design is all about abundance, opulence and sensory overload. It features clashing colors, loud patterns, hand-drawn illustrations, and a hodgepodge of typography, photography, and textures. While potentially jarring, maximalism is playful, rebellious and oozes creativity. It’s a perfect antidote for uninspiring minimalism.
Sustainable Design
There is a growing emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility in graphic design. Designers are using eco-friendly materials and processes, and client work focuses on causes like environmentalism, social justice, and community-building. Reclaimed and recycled papers, plant-based inks, and handmade elements are popular. Sustainable graphic design is all about creating with integrity and purpose.
Typography
Typography continues to be central in graphic design. Classic serif and sans serif fonts are still widely used but designers are also experimenting with display fonts, handwritten scripts, and funky retro typefaces. Custom typefaces, typography as illustration, and interactive typography for digital media are also growing areas of interest. Typography has the power to make or break a design, so its creative use is key.
Staying on top of graphic design trends will ensure your work remains innovative, stylish and culturally relevant. But don’t forget that the most impactful design comes from passion and purpose, not just following the latest fads.
Resources for Aspiring Graphic Designers
As an aspiring graphic designer in the UK, you have so many resources at your fingertips to help develop your skills and start your career.
Online Courses
There are many free or low-cost online courses available to teach you the basics of graphic design. Check out Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare for courses on topics like typography, color theory, branding, and more. These interactive courses allow you to learn at your own pace and get guidance from industry experts.
Design Blogs & Podcasts
Some of the best ways to stay up-to-date with trends in the UK design scene are through blogs and podcasts. A few recommendations would be The Design Kids, It’s Nice That, and The Dots. These platforms showcase new work from top agencies and studios, interview influential designers, and discuss the latest tools and technologies. Listening to experienced designers share their insights and stories is incredibly valuable.
Networking
Getting involved in the design community is key. Look for local chapters of organizations like the Chartered Society of Designers or D&AD. Attend their events to start building your professional network. Strike up conversations, ask questions, exchange business cards, and connect with people on LinkedIn. You never know what opportunities may arise from making new connections in the industry.
Internships
Gaining real-world experience through an internship at a design studio or agency is one of the best ways for new designers to break into the field. Do research on studios you admire, reach out to express your interest in interning for them, and be prepared to share your portfolio. An internship allows you to learn the ropes, get mentorship, build your resume, and possibly land a full-time job.
With drive and perseverance, these resources can help set you on the path to becoming a graphic designer. But remember, continuous learning and improving your craft is a lifelong endeavor. Stay passionate and keep pushing yourself outside your creative comfort zone.
So there you have it, a glimpse into the creative minds behind some of the UK’s most iconic graphic design work. Talent, passion, and a keen eye for what makes an impact are just a few of the qualities that have propelled these designers to the top of their field. Their innovative and thought-provoking designs have not only shaped popular culture but pushed the boundaries of what visual communication can achieve.
The next time you see one of their designs flash across your screen or catch your eye in the city streets, take a moment to appreciate the artistry and skill that went into crafting it. While technology and tools will continue to evolve, the human creative spirit at the heart of design endures. The future of graphic design in the UK looks very bright indeed with visionaries like these leading the way.

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