Russell Smith



Multi-disciplinary Director, Designer and maker of compelling, useful and beautiful identites, interfaces and illustrations.

Work File [1/8]

Collection of moments.

Label: Personal
Tools: Sony A7C, 35/85mm
Date: 2021 - 2024

Before becoming an Art Director, I really took it upon myself to have a more holistic understanding and opinion on all the visual tools a brand can have. Photography was definitely an area I lacked practical know-how, and if I was to comprehend and "speak the language" when working with photographers; I felt it was important to get out there and learn the essentials.

So here is a collection of self-teaching moments. Moments where I'm fiddling, tweaking; annoying my wife but quietly enjoying myself in the hope to become a more holistic director.

Work File [2/8]

Designing an identity for a corporate language learning brand.

Client: Hult EF
Role: Art Directer
Date: 2021

Blending academia and mid-century modernism, the drive was to deftly communicate a sense of traditional academic integrity; through the use of conservative type, layout and colour. Complimented with a sense of bold innovation through unexpected shapes, shocking patterns, and dynamic compositions. The project also included an illustration solution that any Creative could deliver on and a responsive, component driven web site.

Work File [3/8]

Global brand guidelines and design system for EF Education First.

Client: EF Education First
Role: Senior Digital Designer
Date: 2018 - 2020

An adaptable system of guidelines and tools that help EF Education First products appear related at a glance. Each business unit operates independently but still belongs to the EF brand family. In other words EF is a branded house, not a house of brands.

A global effort to solve common brand and design challenges, ultimately freeing up teams to focus on bespoke solutions for their audiences.

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Illustrations conveying those busy moments while trying to study.

Client: EF Hello
Roles: Art Director & Illustrator
Date: 2019

EF Hello reached out to elevate their application's transaction pages through the use of illustration. We explored dozens of art styles and settings, circumstances that were light hearted and relatable. The final artwork is a balance between inspiring and warm, yet designed to allow animation and user interface elements above and below.

One fun takeaway was the importance of conveying the character's emotion through the use of colour and time of day. As the small devices they would be seen on was making the character's facial expressions to difficult to see.

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Web design for a Pro Cycling team's latest news and insights.

Client: EF Pro Cycling
Role: UI Designer
Date: 2022

The EF Pro Cycling website is a curated, ever changing selection of articles, events and insights. Therefore opting for an editorial approach that instantly conveys the intentions of the website was very important for the audience and future works. This is communicated through dividing lines synonymous with news outlets and tight margins. Various editorially inspired layouts for interesting reading; Celebrating the beautifully shot photography that carries an ever evolving team identity. Finally, minimal interface flair shows the intent to showcase the high quality content for what it is.

Work File [6/8]

An illustrative Art Direction for EF's 50+ schools around the world. 

Client: EF Education First
Role: Art Director & Illustrator
Date: 2019

Our approach at first was to focus on the most interesting section of the schools. While developing the direction, moving from hand drawn lines and watercolours; to architectural lines and flat tones, we felt retaining the correct propotions was a necessary nod to the architectural achievements. But simplifying the visual information to the point just before we lose character, gave each school a painterly and crafted feeling. 

We built rules around the established treatments of simplicity, colour and texture. We then applied these to four schools varying in size and complexity to ensure the approach worked for all.

Work File [7/8]

Collection of shots and musings during my travels in Kyoto, Tokyo & Yokohama.

Label: Personal
Tools: Sony A7C & Canon G7X
Date: 2016 - 2023

Ever since a friend "insisted" I watched his DVD collection of anime, I, like many, really struggled to understand the constant "γΈγ‡γ€œ". But nevertheless, I pushed through and came to be rather curious of Japan. I've since travelled to Japan numinous times, took a sabbatical there and even meet my now Wife.

I love Japan. I love it's quirks and conveniences. So I wanted to share a collection of my favourite shots as a love letter to my second home.

Work File [8/8]

Scene design for an experimental online classroom.

Client: EF Education First
Roles: Modelling & Animation
Date: 2022

Tasked to create an environment online teachers could inhabit, the team worked through various photo manipulations, vectors and hand drawn illustrations. Because we wanted to overlay devices and user interface elements, we found committing to a 3D space was the best solution. In fact, I hadn't touched 3D software since college. But that was more than my team. So while not the most mature execution; it's one I'm proud of and was perfect for the project at hand.

16 years of design industry experience and 5 years of interaction design and media education, I've enjoyed complimenting my career through self-taught illustration and photography. Currently building a new creative team in London.


EF Education First - Creative Director

2023 - Present


EF Education First - Art Director

2020 - 2023


EF Education First - Senior Digital Designer

2018 - 2020


Deloitte Digital - Senior Creative Designer

2015 - 2018

Deloitte Digital - Creative Designer

2013 - 2015

POSSIBLE - Freelance Digital Designer

2013 - 2013

Territory Studio - Freelance Digital Designer

2012 - 2013

Foviance - User Experience Design Consultant

2010 - 2012

The Insight Exchange - Freelance User Interface Designer

2009 - 2010

Samsung Design Europe - Interaction Designer

2009 - 2009

Sabotage Design - Freelance Interaction Designer

2008 - 2008

Court Three - Graphic Designer

2006 - 2007


First Class, Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Design for Interaction

2006 - 2009. Ravensbourne, Chislehurst, England

Distinction, BTEC National Diploma, Multimedia

2004 - 2006. North West Kent, Dartford, England

Russell Smith

Creative Director

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