Emma Clayton

Freelance Graphic Designer & Art Director

Mid Level
London, United Kingdom
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About me

I’m an experienced graphic designer and art director with 20 years of experience in the publishing industry - more than 10 of these years were spent working for Quarto Publishing in their co-edition illustrated adult book imprint, most recently as their senior art editor. I therefore possess an in-depth understanding of the publishing industry. On a daily basis I design books across a wide range of subject matters (arts & crafts, reference, health & beauty, MBS, food & drink, design & photography, children etc.) for a variety of different clients (including Bloomsbury, Thames & Hudson, Octopus, Abrams, White Lion Press and The Botanical Gardens Kew). Working closely with art directors and deputising for them in their absence, I have managed interns, junior designers and photographers together with freelancers. Passionate about design and typography, I have always worked hard to produce high-quality and innovative commercial design concepts that have contributed to Quarto Adults’ successful list. I am known for taking a hands-on approach to all aspects of my assigned projects from initial conception through to finalised layouts, demonstrating my proficiency in InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. I am very experienced in art direction – including establishing the visual style, sourcing locations/props/backgrounds/models, styling products, and taking responsibility for all aspects of the photography shoots. I am also adept in both schedule and cost management, so I am accustomed to juggling numerous projects simultaneously and working within tight schedules to always deliver designs of the highest standard on time and within budget. I'm a very reliable and collaborative team-player with proven communication skills. I am highly organised with a strong work ethic highlighted by a constant desire to always do my best. I possess strong leadership skills - from being able to make decisions quickly under pressure and successful conflict resolution, to building and maintaining a strong and collaborative team of individuals all working to achieve the same goal.

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  • Indesign
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Abobe Illustrator
  • Graphic Design
  • Page Layout
  • Project Management
  • Commissioning
  • Art Direction
  • Pre Production
  • Picture Research

Companies I’ve worked with

  • F


    • I

      IPC Media

      • E

        EMAP Publishing Ltd

        • Q

          Quarto Publishing

          Work history


          Freelance Graphic Designer & Art Director


          Dec 2019
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Freelance
          • I'm currently working as a freelance graphic designer and art director, designing both adult and children's books and magazines for a variety of different clients across a range of subjects. I also design brochures, newsletters, catalogues and other print materials. In many cases I not only create high-quality layouts, but I also handle pre-production and create print-ready files. In addition, I'm an experienced project manager who commissions illustrators/photographers/designers, conducts picture research and organises and directs photo shoots (including planning the visual style, sourcing locations/props/backgrounds/models and styling products etc). Highly experienced, reliable and fast, I am available to hire for any print design projects you may have.


          Senior Art Editor

          Quarto Publishing

          Sep 2012 - Dec 2019
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Full Time
          • • Supported the art director, deputising for them in their absence. • People management: interns, junior designers and photographers together with freelance designers, illustrators and picture researchers. • Project management. • Proficiency in InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. • Responsible for sourcing, commissioning, briefing and managing teams of designers, illustrators, photographers and picture researchers to deliver illustrated books on time and within budget. This requires checking and critiquing people’s work, ensuring that all documents are set up to the correct technical specifications and being actively involved in the decision-making process to determine each title’s final look while ensuring it adheres to commercial strategy. • Product styling. Art directed photo shoots (including determining composition and shot styles), organised locations, backgrounds, props, models and makeup/hair stylists. • Managing client expectations and problem-solving. • Budget management (including raising contracts and handling invoices), meeting deadlines and multi-tasking. • Developed projects from initial concept to final design, ensuring that the clients’ requests are accommodated. • Greenlight Superuser for my department, creating sales material, and managing reprints and backlist titles. • Generated and developed ideas for new titles. • Worked collaboratively with both the commissioning editors and art team to develop innovative and dynamic designs across both new presentations and live titles (generating thumbnails and providing rough layouts as required). • Identified, costed and organised all necessary repro work at the earliest opportunity to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with the schedule. • Demonstrated a strong attention to detail, I arranged and carefully checked colour proofs, plotters and F&Gs, and ensured all necessary design corrections were implemented. I liaised with the client to ensure they received their advance proofs for approval and that all their requested changes were made. • Digital work-flow management including pre-flighting, and creating print-ready PDFs, EPUBs and translation files etc. Archived completed titles within the agreed time period. • Solid background in co-edition publishing. • Proven experience of working with 4-colour printing. • Delivered backlist and reprint materials. This involved checking the file and image status of the requires titles, converting files and ensuring that any revisions to layouts, images and/or text were carried forward to new editions. • Worked closely with foreign sales and marketing to accommodate co-printing and the provision of any assets they required.


          Freelance graphic designer and project manager


          Jul 2010 - Sep 2012
          • Cologne, Germany
          • Full Time
          • I designed a variety of illustrated book for Quarto Publishing Plc. I also designed brochures for Southern Game Photographic Safaris and created bespoke items such as newsletters, magazines, invitations and business cards for individual clients.


          Sep 2007 - Jul 2010
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Full Time
          • • Responsible for the design and visual content of approximately 30 coedition titles, which often involved managing up to eight titles at any one time. • Involved in every aspect of each book’s production, from devising initial visual concepts to signing off plotters. • Commissioned illustrators, photographers, designers and models. • Organised and directed photo shoots, including all project styling. • Managed the art budget for each of my assigned titles. • Conducted CTP pre-checks. • Picture research and photo editing. • Proactive role in the fortnightly schedule meetings. • Marked-up all printouts for repro and checked all colour proofs, digital proofs, final PDFs, plotters and F&Gs for my allocated titles. • Completed pre-flight checks plus prepared and packaged all files for repro. Liaised directly with both the repro houses and printers.


          Art Editor

          IPC Media

          Sep 2006 - Sep 2007
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Full Time


          Senior Designer

          IPC Media

          Jun 2003 - Sep 2006
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Full Time



          IPC Media

          Jun 2000 - Jun 2003
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Full Time


          Work placement

          EMAP Publishing Ltd

          Jun 1999 - Jun 1999
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Internship
          • Work placement at Empire magazine.



          Legal Practice Course

          The College of Law

          Oct 2008 - Jun 2010
          • London, United Kingdom


          Graduate Diploma in Law

          London South Bank University

          Oct 2006 - Jun 2008
          • London, United Kingdom


          BA (Hons) Journalism, 1:1

          University of The Arts London (UAL)

          Oct 1997 - Jun 2000
          • Farnham, United Kingdom


          A Levels

          Selby College

          Sep 1995 - Jun 1997
          • Selby, United Kingdom
          • A-Levels in English Language, Biology and Geography.


          Sep 1990 - Jun 1995
          • Snaith, Goole DN14, UK
          • 11 GCSEs (grades A-C).



          • Awarded following my completion of the Common Military Syllabus at Pirbright Army Training Regiment in 2003 as a member of the Territorial Army.