Theo Bonham Carter

Hi, I'm Theo.

I’m a digital creative director with ten years’ experience helping brands - across products, services and campaigns. I’m a T-shaped combination of designer, UX, coder, copywriter and illustrator but at the centre of everything I do is a commitment to two things: people and purpose. My focus on people results in engaging, tactile interface and creative work which people seem to like and return to. My dedication to purpose means that my work addresses real problems and adds tangible business value.

Happiest leading a small team, I’m collaborative, empathic, articulate, practical and hands on. I’m also obsessed with pop up books. Degree in 3D design.

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I have worked on projects of all shapes and sizes with Diageo, Nokia, Shell, Bupa, BBC, LOWE and Partners, Transport for London, Saatchi and Saatchi, Virgin Holidays, Inghams Travel, Sony, William Grant & Sons, Distell, Icelandair, Fox Sports Asia, Nestlé, Blink Productions, IMG Media, Association of Accounting Technicians, The Department of Constitutional Affairs, Defra, Department for Education and Skills, The Law Commission.


Creative Director, North Plains

  • Creative direction and leadership across all departments and geographies
  • Global marketing campaigns. Attributable wins in 2014 include SAB Miller and Pernod Ricard
  • Directing UI/UX on two (of four) product lines
  • Service design to ensure customer interactions are both efficient and reinforce our brand
  • Product identity and visual development linking four independent products together as a family
  • Designer briefing, recruitment, mentoring, appraisals and career development
  • Managing design workloads across client and internal projects
  • Pitching internal creative to executive management team and investors
  • Maintaining relationships with existing customers

Clients include Emirates, Diageo, Microsoft, Unilever.

January 2013 — Present

Creative Director, VYRE

Note: VYRE was acquired by North Plains in December 2012.

  • Led UI and UX work on flagship brand asset management solution
  • Identity and marketing / promotional material for all company products
  • Complete overhaul of company website. Relaunched site nominated for two CSS design awards
  • Designed digital asset management tool for Shell Global Marketing. Adopted by 2,000 people in first 6 weeks, with 16,000 regular active users
  • Oversaw redesign of Diageo SmartBrand
  • Created The Brand Quiz website and sequel (500,000 visits and counting)
  • Co-launched an innovation competition open to all staff (ran for three years)
  • Involvement in pre-sales process: tailoring demos visually and structurally for prospects
  • Represented the company at events and shows

Clients include Shell, BBC, Nestlé, Bupa, Fox Sports Asia, Inghams Travel, William Grant & Sons, Distell.

September 2010 – January 2013

Head of Design, VYRE

  • Expansion of Diageo SmartLibrary into SmartBrand; adding project management, approvals and artwork templating functions for 15,000+ staff and agencies. Shortlisted for a British Computer Society Award
  • Design of Nokia Brand Book (incorporating brand asset library, guidelines, best practice executions, support workflow and staff directory)
  • Design of Guinness 250 Anniversary website for JKR and Saatchi and Saatchi

Clients include Nokia, Diageo, Guinness, Virgin Holidays.

October 2008 – September 2010

Design and Implementation, VYRE

  • UI and UX of SmartLibrary, a library containing 70,000+ Diageo brand assets
  • Rebuilt corporate website for the Association of Accounting Technicians

Clients include LOWE and Partners, IMG Media, Association of Accounting Technicians, Sony.

October 2005 – October 2008

Private Contracting

  • Redesigned a large intranet for London Underground (TfL)
  • Department of Constitutional Affairs: designed and developed public website and intranet
  • DEFRA: designed and developed public websites, including BSE crisis microsite
  • DFES: assisted on design of website for school teachers to buy electronic learning material online

Due to the nature of engagements the work had to comply with strict accessibility standards.

January 2002 – October 2005

Print Specialist

Preparing customer records for print, as part of the Financial Services Authority pensions review.

July 1999 – October 2001

Notable Projects

The Brand Quiz

How strongly do you associate colour and imagery with the world’s biggest and best brands? Briefed with raising awareness of Brand Asset Management (BAM, then a new term) to a wider marketing audience, I took one of the fundamental axioms of BAM: that brand recognition is boosted by consistent application of assets and guidelines, and put it to the test. Featured and shared by many industry and mainstream websites and thousands of Facebook and Twitter posts, it immediately raised the profile of the company worldwide.

Diageo SmartBrand

I was the sole UX/UI designer for a global, online creative workflow and brand asset library system accessed by over 15,000 staff and agencies. It was short listed for a British Computer Society Award in 2008.

Nokia Brand Book

My pitch of a more social brand asset and guideline hub was instrumental in winning this big name client for the business. On the strength of it I was asked to be the sole designer of the Brand Book (containing assets, guidelines, brand support, directory) for a very design focussed client.

"The new site successfully supports the whole internal and external marketing community by presenting brand knowledge in a format that fully engages users, inviting all users to participate in social networking and creating an environment where best practice executions can be showcased"

– Project Manager, Nokia

Things I love

In my spare time love writing and drawing and being creative away from a mouse and monitor. Some of these words and illustrations have appeared in print alongside those of Jan Pienkowski, David Downton and Anna Piaggi; featured in the Guardian, and on the BBC.

A few other things: I love the internet. I love animals. I love turning my silly ideas into real things. I love going to new places and eating strange food (highlights so far include barbecue rat (game/chicken), deep fried tarantula (oily prawn), sautéed bees (wooly fish)). I love Lego, going skateboarding, eating dim sum, endlessly looping animated gifs, going on roller coasters, and opening faulty KitKats that consist purely of solid chocolate. I love collage. I love seeing things go wrong on live TV.

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