Marc Riley

Art Director, Designer, Creative Consultant

  • LocationLondon, United Kingdom


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About me


Over 25 years experience in graphic design, visual media and creative leadership – and I still love what I do. 18 years at Art Director level with previous posts including Studio Head at Wellcome Trust and Mellon Group, plus a plethora of senior freelance positions. I love brands and I love to chat, so do drop me line.



  • Advertising
  • Art Direction
  • Design
  • Illustrator
  • Indesign
  • Office
  • Photoshop
  • Digital Design
  • Team Management
  • User Expericence Design
  • Creative Dirction
  • User Interace Design
  • Presenation
  • Negotation
  • Client Creative Services

Work history


Designer, Art Director and Creative Consultant

Marc Riley

Jun 2016


Art Director & Studio Head

42 Square

Apr 2007 - Jun 2016
  • In May 2007 I founded my own consultancy, ideasandcoffee ltd. By 2009 the business needed to grow and I started a joint venture called 42 Square with my business associates Square Studio. The aim was to transition clients from both sides to the new brand. From here I continued to direct all work, albeit for a greatly increased roster of clients, providing much of the driving force for the business. Eight years on and we have amassed an impressive list of clients, being key creative partners for Millennium Hotels Plc, University College London, Notting Hill Housing and The Clancy Group, to name but a few. Visual creativity has been at the heart of everything we do and an increased range of delivery mediums requires me to lead and direct creative for everything from UI and UX through to branding, advertising and printed collateral. As with previous roles I have found myself becoming the voice of the studio, with diverse responsibilities; from shaping the stuido output and motivating a team, through to advising clients, presenting work, writing proposals, looking at trends and pushing everything forward.


Art Director & Studio Head


Mar 2001 - Apr 2007
  • Mellon Global Investments was the distribution and marketing business set up by financial services giant Mellon to deal with all ex-US sales and marketing activity. A major component of the business was an integrated design studio, of which I was head. Mellon operated a multi-brand approach, which allowed each of its business strands to have its own voice. In reality this meant my studio acted as an internal agency for 16 subsidiary brands, which offered a multitude of creative services for the financial services arena. In terms of work we acted as brand guardian and provided visual solutions for everything from advertising and literature through to branded experiences and online media. Running a team of 6 permanent staff plus the same again in freelancers, across numerous design disciplines, this was an intense role which required an entrepreneurial attitude. My department’s input was considered a key contributor to the organisation’s success and it was here that I truly learned how design strategy impacts upon a global business.


Art Director

Berryman Ball Ltd

Nov 2000 - Mar 2001
  • 6 month freelance position, working on literature and B2B/B2C campaigns for BA, Vodaphone, MS Society and Mothercare. Berryman Ball was an integrated communications agency with a broad selection of corporate and retail based accounts with a highly creative approach to communication design. My position as a senior creative offered great freedom working on a selection of projects ranging from brand development, above the line advertising and style forecasting for a range of blue chip brands. Great people, great work and a great interim contract.


Art Director & Studio Head

Wellcome Trust

Mar 1997 - Nov 2000
  • The Wellcome Trust is one of the world’s largest non-profit organisations, communicating its work and areas of interest to a huge audience via a variety of media disciplines. This was achieved predominantly by an in-house communications division, which included a large design and production team. As head of this team my responsibilities were enormous, making the final decision on all visual communication. This provided a great opportunity to develop and lead a dynamic and dedicated team (up to 15 people) working across a variety of disciplines ranging from identity and printed literature through to brand positioning, exhibitions and advertising. Starting as a freelancer, I accepted a permanent role as senior designer to assist with the running of the studio and within a year was promoted to Head of Design. This was a highly creative role which required me to intersect with all areas of the Wellcome Trust’s funding initiatives.


Freelance Designer


Jul 1994 - Mar 1997
  • Employed solidly for the entire duration with a large portion being spent at branding and FMCG specialist, Coley Porter Bell (CPB). Initially drafted-in to work on a project for Shell then moved onto a European hypermarket re-brand. I was also trusted to work on Golden Wonder, Fosters and BT. A fantastic place to work, when the agency was 100% design-led and where I learned how brands really work. Other companies worked for in this time included EMS, Cafe Productions, Nimir Petroleum, TWA and the Wellcome Trust.


Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Southways Ltd

Apr 1990 - Jul 1994
  • Great position in a small but thriving consultancy, this is where I learned my craft: starting as a junior, moving through to middle-weight and eventually senior designer. Southways was one of those great little studios whose size belied its amazing client base and top quality work. Servicing predominately the energy industry we produced business collateral and reporting for British Gas, Shell, Amerada Hess and Toyota. Most of which had their own internal studios and required long periods of working on-site with the client to deliver projects. Excellent typographic and layout skills were required, combined with a flair for drawing info- graphics and a keen eye for detail. The owners saw little value in employing account managers which meant I had extensive client contact. In 1991 we purchased our first Apple Macintosh and became early adopters of digital design.


Layout Artist

IT Matters

May 1988 - Apr 1990
  • Pre-Mac and 100% on the board, this was my first job in the graphic arts industry. IT Matters was an EMAP owned production company with studios located in London and the South East – basically wherever the publishers had major titles. My job here was to help produce the artwork for a range of consumer magazines and local news titles. Spreads for Motor Cycle News and Melody Maker sat along-side pages from the Mid Sussex Times, as the world slowly switched on to the possibilities of digital design. A buzzing studio environment and great place to start your career.



Graphic Design

Central Sussex College

Aug 1988 - Jun 1991
  • HND