Design education: Blackpool College of Art and Design 1973-76. The three year course at Blackpool taught an extensive syllabus that introduced the student to the various disciplines of graphic design: grid layout and typography, photography, illustration, 3D design and perspective drawing. In the final year a choice was available to extend the syllabus into exhibition design or illustration. The course also featured life drawing in the first year - which could be optionally extended. My option then was the life drawing classes and throughout the three year course I refined my skills as an illustrator. This resulted in my first professional commission in the second year of the course: ‘Locomotion one’ and later a schools educational poster ‘From Waste to Water’.

Additionally: silk screen printing and hot metal typesetting - introducing students to letterpress. Visiting lecturers provided real world creative sessions - ‘agency style’ - these resulted in a series of short creative challenges to produce multiple layout concepts for the particular brief on the day - this was usually an promotional campaign and my ecological design on pollution resulted in the ‘Rock strata 2175’ poster. We usually referred to these sessions as a ‘creative brainstorming’ - each student producing up to 100 ‘thumbnail concepts’ per campaign in an afternoon.

Above: a selection from my final portfolio in the summer of 1976 - as well as projects throughout the course. ‘Locomotion One’ (top left) was my first freelance commission whilst at college (circa 1975). Final 1976 qualifications - Inclusive of submission for assessment by the SIAD (society of industrial artists and designers) to achieve my diploma membership. City and guilds design for print and finally: the submission of design and layout for membership of into STD (society of typographic designers).

Above. Drawing, throughout the course and essential for a career in illustration. Being able to draw helped me immensely in my later career working the the film industry - especially the title sequences for ‘Wilde’ and ‘Shadow of the Vampire’. Essential also for layout presentation when ‘thumbnail concepts’ and ‘layout visualisation’ was all produced by hand on layout paper before proceeding to camera-ready artwork for reprographics and print.

Above. Visualisation by hand for my submitted work to qualify for the STD and City & Guilds certification. A technique acquired during the three year course involving paint, pen, ink, Letraset and cow gum.

Above: at the end of three years. Diploma membership into the SIAD achieved by assessment and oral interview by the SIAD Assessor. City and Guilds design for print. Associate Membership into the STD. Diploma in Graphic Design from Blackpool college of art ad design.


Career overview from 1976 - 2021

John goodinson 1980 ELE1976 - 1980 ELE Ltd. Hemel Hempstead, Herts. ELE produced materials testing equipment for the civil engineering industry. I was an ‘in-house’ graphic designer working within the publications department.

This involved designing and illustrating technical manuals, exhibition graphics and company sales publications. Predominantly working with the technical design department, laboratory technicians and senior development engineers to produce instruction manuals. ELE exhibition stands were also part of the work in this busy engineering company. In this period I was also working as a freelance cartoonist and produced Illustrations for a careers booklet for the HMSO / Civil Service, as well as my own self promotional ‘SF’ calendar for 1980.

Above: 1976/80. Examples of technical illustration at ELE. Freelance Cartoonist (HMSO / Civil Service). In 1979 I designed and produced my own ‘SF 1980’ calendar to promote my skills as a freelance illustrator (below).


1980 - 1982. Art director, Sackville design, London. Responsible for the BLUE SKY holidays account. Brochure design for summer / winter sun publications. Press advertising in liaison with Saatchi & Saatchi. Location cover shoots in Spain and location photography in Athens. Promoted to company director in the second year.

The layout and design of the blue Sky brochures was intense - so much so that as art director I had my own dedicated design and production assistants as well as access to additional creative staff (including in house illustrator and artworkers). The company also had in-house typesetting for emergency revisions (all the main typesetting was outsourced direct by the client to Zeta - based in south London) and finally a dedicated artwork studio.

During the design and production process continual liaison with the client’s management, Zeta typesetting and my creative team ensured everyone was briefed on the very fast paced scheduling to ensure that each 32 page section was finalised and handed over to the reprographics house on time. Wet proofing, chromalin and ozalid monochrome paper proofs (produced from the paginated film before platemaking) then proceeded to on-press print passes where both myself and client would 'sign-off' the front cover and 32 page sections.

Thinking back - compared with desktop publishing and our instant workflow today - how all this was achieved is astounding. Everything in 1980 was created by hand (excluding typesetting). Each page layout was ‘pen and ink' on layout and tracing paper for the client to approve before artwork production could even proceed. As typesetting arrived it was pasted up with cow gum on a pre-printed artboard (with a pre-printed blue grid guide) on drawing boards for each double page spread. All colour text and graphics were specified as well as photographs (scaled in by hand) and ’marked up’ on a tracing paper overlay for CMYK colours. Any 21st century graphic designer today - faced with that workflow from 1980 would not be able to function - let alone produce an accurate copy mark up for typesetting or specify a CMYK prep for a 200 page A4 publication.

1982-1987. Design partnership ‘Hieroglyphics’ London. Working in film post production and print.

Hieroglyphics was my first creative partnership with fellow graphic artist and designer: Henry Cotton. Set up as a limited company and situated initially in small rented studio space off Dean, then Bateman street. Finally in 1984 we both moved to the Hat factory in Hollen Street, W1. Our studio had a darkroom with a PMT process camera. This provided us with an in-house artwork facility that was essential for camera-ready artwork. In 1984 we expanded - with additional production artist Heather Dankworth. We also employed ‘when needed’ many of the many independent graphic designers that freelanced at the time.

Between 1982 - 85 Hieroglyphics worked on feature length main title sequences (i.e: Clockwise) as well as producing final artwork end frames for a multitude of TV commercials. These ‘end frames’ for commercials were created on (Film) Rostrum, Aerial image or Optical printers - before telecine and commercial broadcast. Once again all creative visualisation, story boarding and artwork production was by always by hand. In 1984 we both worked on a visual effects sequence for the feature film: THE KEEP. This was to ‘rotoscope’ a ‘falling man’ and remove the background.

The footage - filmed with an anamorphic lens made the task difficult. Hiring an aerial image camera we drew over 900 frames on ‘pegbar’ punched paper. Then using this tracing we drew onto animation cell using a technical pen - then inline fill with animation paint. In order to meet the deadline I worked nightshifts and slept by the aerial image camera until the morning. Talk about a stiff back!

Above: Title sequences and animated screens from my partnership between 1982-86.

Heirogylphics was purchased in 1986 and expanded into a (custom designed studio space) In Southwark, London. I left the company in 1987. Partner and company director.


1987 - 1996. Freelance graphic designer, Company and freelance art director

John goodinson graphic designer 1980sFilm industry title sequences. Sales promotion and advertising print productions. Corporate identity for Knoydart peninsula sporting estate. Company identity design for the British Film Commission working with Sir Sidney Samuelson. In 1994 I met director MIke Figgis who commissioned me to design the title sequence for the feature film: 'Leaving Las Vegas'

Between 1987-90 I was sharing studio space with graphic designer Steven Heardman  - an old colleague from art school who had leased a studio in Bourlet Close, London. Sharing this space was a graphic designer partnership (Costello Woodcock-Jones) working exclusively in broadcast graphics for commercial television. At this time I was designing 35mm slide presentation graphics that was the ‘multimedia’ of the day - as well as feature film titles and general graphic design. Photograph of John Goodinson © Steven Heardman (Circa 1987/9).

Above: Knoydart Sporting Estate. This project involved visiting Knoydart to photograph the location and appreciate the unique character of the landscape. Illustrator Linda Costello produced the water colour cover illustration and Heather Dankworth wrote the copy within the A4 folder introducing visitors to the facilities. Leaving las Vegas was my first (of two) feature title sequence commissioned by director Mike Figgis. A complex optical effects main title with an especially designed font. See 'Working In Film' (top menu) for an overview.

In 1991 as the recession in the UK began to bite I gave up my studio and from then on worked form home - only working in London ‘on-call’ as a freelance art director when an agency required. Between 1992 - 1995 I experienced periods of unemployment. I used this time to acquire new skills in desktop publishing - training for a City and Guilds in Desktop Publishing at Farnborough technical college in 1994.


1996 - 2000. Senior graphic designer at Cine image film Opticals, London.

Designing feature film title sequences. Setting up digital vfx suite with Apple Macintosh workstations. Developed Interactive CD ROM multimedia. By the late 1990’s thanks to my training in desktop publishing I was now able to work in my own industry once again. For those who did not ‘up-skill’ in desktop publishing the choice to either to leave graphic design for good - or to ‘work on’ as a specialist creative, or agency art director where such skills were not as yet dominant.

2000 - 2009. Freelance graphic designer.

Working predominantly in print publication for the General Medical Council. Web design (html based, then proceeding to Joomla CMS in 2009). I now worked from home with my Apple Mac G4 computer, A3 Inkjet proofer and Quark, illustrator, Photoshop and after effects software. This enabled total creative freedom.

By 2004 the advent of fast internet connection provided the option of working online and to deliver projects via file transfer to an agencies ‘cloud drive’. I also took the time to study graphic software with the help of manuals and online technical forums to gain a better understanding of their capabilities and limitations.

Below: A selection of work commissioned by The General Medical Council. Inclusive of: print publications, registration certification, booklets and exhibition graphics.

Below: Architectural visualization for a private commission. 3D illustration for the General Medical Council print publication on the Future of Medicine.

Below: Webmaster for 'involved events' circa 2006/7. Multimedia CD ROM presentation for Film Creative. 3D exhibition stand visualisation. Digital Map for a television series.

: A selection of work commissioned
from a variety of clients. Inclusive of company re-branding for Voice and Data and artist Andrew Dandridge. In the USA (Florida) web re-branding for involved events. Animation for Easyjet (working practice guidlines). Living with the Moon (lifestyle) - web design and print publications.

CUNARD QE2 Employee calendar. Tesco / Carter Litho Calendar. General print and media publications. Animation for interactive CD ROM for Film Creative Ltd. Logo design for financial and logistics companies.

2009 - 2015. Online web business.

Documentary film producer/writer/director. Web (html / Joomla) designer. Created 'Texturemaat' an on-line business selling digital products for 3D artists using Maxon’s C4D software. Set up online workshop for the promotion of classical Greek architecture. Wrote and directed 8 minute short ‘NIKE IS NOW’ online mini documentary. Created 3D architectural models for publication in the USA. In 2012 I worked on the ‘In-the-rings-with-Ali’ exhibition (below) at the time of the London Olympics, Including website design, promotional print media, posters and marketing campaigns.

Above: Selected projects from 2009/15. Below: 'html web design' from the period before my transition to Joomla CMS.

2016 - 2021. Freelance graphic design.

3D reconstruction of classical antiquity: - 'anasynthesis' online archaeological project with an international team. See 'CLASSICS' menu for a full overview of this extensive project. Promotional poster and booklet for photographer Christina Jansen. Logo and media for Holly Edwards inclusive of CD Album design. Video presentation for 'BETRAYAL' an account of the 1917 revolution.

Below: Reconstructing classic antiquity. A series of projects published online and continuing with new projects liaising with professor's of archaeology worldwide. See 'CLASSICS' menu for an overview and links.

john goodinson

Celebrating a career spanning 45 years. John Goodinson: Graphic designer, illustrator, agency art director and company director. Initially working as a print designer, then art director before forming a design partnership based in Soho, London in the early 1980s providing the UK film industry with creative title sequences.

The last two decades have been employed as a freelance graphic designer working as a multi-disciplined creative in web, print, animation, illustration, packaging and finally in 2011 as project leader for ‘Anasynthesis’ the online project that publishes articles and 3D reconstructions of classical Greek sanctuaries, the Athenian acropolis, Delphi, Eleusis and Pergamon. All under the aegis of archaeologists.