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Central Saint Martins

James Bull

BA Graphic Design Alum
Central Saint Martins
Person Type
James  Bull


I co-founded the branding agency Moving Brands in 1998 after graduating in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins in 1997.

I oversee the creative output of the studio believing that truly powerful brand experiences are created with a consideration of Moving, Static, Sonic and Responsive assets (an approach unique to Moving Brands).

I have a broad appreciation of the creative arts with a special interest in how moving image and sound design can help a brand communicate effectively across all forms of media. I have created work for many global companies including; The Body Shop, Nokia, Vodafone, Keane, Universal Records and Nokia Siemens Networks.

Why did you decide to study at Central Saint Martins?

I wanted to study at what I perceived to be the best college in the world. I wasn't sure if I would be good enough to get accepted on the course, but it was where I wanted to study so I had to just go for it.

I had heard that Gilbert and George had studied there and so I decided that was the place for me.

What was the best bit about living and studying in London?

London is a vibrant place with loads going on - it's got a real positive side and a negative side too - if you want to find something in London, whatever it is, you can. I wanted London to show me what it had to offer and change me into a more creative person and it delivered.

Overall the best thing about London is the people; they give London its diversity of culture, openness to differences and quirkiness, wide-ranging points-of-view and acceptance of sexual and political diversities... and this is evident in studying in London too - the people you study with become a massive part of your life.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Throw yourself into every aspect of what you're studying, have conviction in what you are trying to create (even if the tutors don't like your work) and find other students around you that you enjoy and get something out of working with.

Fifteen years or so after becoming a student at Central Saint Martins I'm still working with people that I met on the course, so it's really important to make the most of the relationships you create while still a student. After all most people on your course will be the people in the industry in a few years from now.

And for students about to graduate?

Show people what you do. Become great at promoting yourself - get a website (with a proper URL), get your work on it, be bold in the way you communicate what you do, research and meet companies (pester them until they meet you - and be creative about the way you do it). Go to events, work for free in order to create opportunities, stay in London (it takes years to get back into it if you leave), and don't be scared to talk money. Invest the money you make doing your work, back in to promoting yourself. Be positive, have conviction in yourself and get out there.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I started a company 'Moving Brands' more or less straight out of college. When I graduated I had already found people I wanted to work with professionally and we had talked about setting up an agency. After walking around the industry for a few months to find my feet I remember thinking "sod this, it is going to take years to get to where I want to be", so we took the idea of starting something ourselves much more seriously.

Moving Brands started with five people and now there are around 35 employees. How did we get here? Well, firstly we had a tight group that wanted to achieve something and we just went for it - a combination of student loans and not paying ourselves got us started and we had to learn how to become a company as we went along. It was a rollercoaster ride for the first few years but we are certainly stronger now.

How has Central Saint Martins helped in your chosen career path?

It taught me self-belief and gave me a can-do attitude. I really believe that anything is possible and I feel Central Saint Martins added to that attitude. It also taught me how to recognize an opportunity - if one comes your way grab it with both hands.

Visit Moving Brand's website


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