David Billington

David Billington Photo

David Billington is one of the world's foremost newspaper and magazine designers with a high profile career spanning 30 years.
He has also successfully edited several newspapers and journals.

In 1997, after thirteen years as Art Director and Assistant Editor of the UK national Sunday Express, the paper he joined after working on the design and launch of the UK's Mail on Sunday, he set up Billington Design and David Billington Associates combining this with working as a director of The Liberty Publishing Co. Ltd and also Liberty Television.

Billington is retained as a consultant to several of the world's major newspaper and magazine groups.

He has worked extensively on newspapers and magazines in Europe, the Caribbean, USA, Australia, Turkey and he has redesigned five of the leading newspapers in Africa plus designing and launching the Kenyan Nairobi Star in July 2007.

Working through David Billington Associates he was contracted to produce 56 pages a week for Hello! magazine.

Because of his extensive experience and successes Billington is frequently invited as a judge at media awards events.

On the writing side he has worked as a regular theatre critic and restaurant reviewer for Hello magazine and also as a freelance motoring writer.

Past and present design consultancies include the Times Saturday package, Australia's Fairfax and ACP groups, The Times web newspaper Interface, UK's Associated Newspapers, CCN Group in the Caribbean, & the UK's Mirror Group newspapers.

His skills as a media lecturer have also taken him to various parts of the world as a teacher. In 2005 the BBC approached him to join a team of journalists in Africa to work on a journalistic training project aimed at raising standards on national and regional newspapers.

Redesigns and relaunches are his speciality. He was instrumental in the launch of Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, he designed the Sunday Express broadsheet into tabloid form and has redesigned over twenty other major newspapers and magazines.

"The most important thing to remember in a redesign or a relaunch is getting to know the readers, the editor, what a paper stands for and where it sits in the community. You can never walk into an office with a pre-prepared design. One of the failures of relaunched and redesigned newspapers is that many of them cater for entirely different markets, social groups and readers and yet look almost identical in approach. A newspaper in Rome should be totally different to one produced for Trinidad in the Caribbean.

The success or failure of a redesign or relaunch rests partly on correctly interpreting the publication board's brief and understanding the readership and social strata of the country or region and where the newspaper or magazine sits in that environment. This in turn is moulded into a visual concept. The Art Director and Editor's own preferences, influences and experience will play a major part but should never be the overriding factor. A good Editor never produces the publication for himself but must constantly have his readership in mind.

Whereas a redesign or relaunch should never be viewed purely as a tool for boosting circulation they do very often go hand in hand. In recent years several of our revamped newspapers have seen 20% circulation increases." *

David Billington


*Saturday Vision, Uganda 2007
*Daily Express, Trinidad & Tobago 2005