James Bates

Creative Director

James is one of those rare creative directors who remains heavily involved with clients on a day-to-day basis. He brings a freshness and clarity of vision to everything Clearleft designs.

James has been designing in the digital realm since the early days of Flash sites and CD-ROMs. He has been focussed on ‘real websites’ for over a decade, and amassed vast experience as a much-in-demand freelancer working with big-name clients including Samsung, the Financial Times and Laura Ashley.

At Clearleft, James guides the vision for all our design work, not from a distance but by getting stuck in. On any given day, James could be helping a client to figure out the strategy for their new product, working up UI designs in Fireworks, facilitating workshops, or sketching with the client. At Clearleft, James has designed for Channel 4, Stuff.tv, Family Investments, Amnesty, BFI, Gumtree and Scholastic to name a few.

Responsive art direction

As a traditionally-trained creative, James brings years of experience in sketching, typography, grids, branding and art direction. The real magic James provides is getting to the heart of what clients require from their design, and using his skills to craft the comprehensive and responsive design systems required in today’s world.

Away from the office

James is a self-confessed petrolhead. He loves motorsport and whenever possible can be found hurtling around a track day on four wheels. He organises Geek GoKarting, a semi-regular karting competition for web design agencies. James also dabbles in a spot of snowboarding and bakes a mean sour dough.

Latest thinking

  • 100 days reflections 29th May 2015

    A couple of months ago at Clearleft we embarked a collective personal-project called 100 days. I wrote about it here, but it's now been going for 68 days and we've amassed nearly 600 posts on our tumblog. Despite losing quite a few collegues along the way there's a few of the team still going strong.


Recent work

  • Evo Magazine

    Following on from our success with The Week, Dennis Publishing asked us to help set the strategy for their performance-motoring title EVO. A dream gig for some of the petrolheads at Clearleft.

  • The Holiday Place

    Clearleft delivered a rethought, rebranded and redesigned responsive luxury holiday travel website.