William Cookson

What I do · About me · Awards · Things · Get in touch

Selected projects

ANNA Money
Creative Director (Product/Brand), 2018–2021
I worked lean and fast in this fintech challenger bank. I was the design lead for product teams and also the creative director for brand positioning, tone of voice, and marketing campaigns. Every day was different and ridiculously fun. A hybrid role across a banking, bookkeeping and accounting platform. Tackling everything from conversation design to miaowing debit cards.

Wired – Move over neon Monzo, now there's a bank card that miaows

Co-founder, 2011–2015
Charities deserve excellent fundraising experiences, efficient donation processing and intelligent back-office tools – that’s why I co-founded Believe.in. Raising investment of $1M over two rounds, this was steepest, fastest and most exciting learning curve of my life!

BBC – Believe.in and the business of charity
TechCrunch – Believe.in expands beyond the UK

Siemens Employer Brand
Creative Director, R/GA, 2016
A comprehensive strategic and creative project for Siemens to ensure they hire and retain the best engineering talent in the world. I provided the creative leadership to the clients and grew a team over 60 strong, across multiple markets directing brand playbooks, design toolkits, editorial guidelines, tone of voice development, film and photo shoots, recruitment campaigns and exhibition design.

Campaign – How Siemens and R/GA redefined employer branding
Red Dot Award 2018

Bookindy – Browse Amazon, buy independent
Personal project, 2015
As I wrote in my Medium post, I became lazy and ordered all my books from Amazon when one of the best independent bookshops in the country is on my doorstep. The Bookindy Chrome extension displays your local independent bookshop’s prices as you browse Amazon and you can even buy online to pick up or get your books delivered. It’s worth adding to Chrome.

TechCrunch – Bookindy Hijacks Amazon
The Guardian – New Bookindy app helps bookshops fight back against Amazon

Skyjacker – We Own the Skies
Game Designer, 2017
Inspired by the US skyjacking epidemic of the late 60’s / early 70’s where opportunists would commandeer aircraft for fame and fortune, I designed and built Skyjacker with tech legend Rob Chandler. At last, there’s a game where you can live out your fantasy of hijacking an A380 in real life. 2 people, 6 months, $0 budget, it’s live. Play today!

Game site and dev blog
Download and play (iOS)

Creative Director, 2016
Zoom in, then zoom in further and further to explore each of Levon Biss’s insect portraits from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in strikingly high-resolution detail. Microsculpture.net renders massively high resolution photographs over a range of magnifications so visitors can enjoy the intricate shapes, colours and unexpected, breathtaking beauty of specimens. It’s a privilege to help Levon brand and display his work.

D&AD – We got a wood pencil

GeeCycle – Help a refugee when you upgrade
TechFugees Hack Team, 2015
Geecycle was designed and built during the TechFugees hack, where our team was challenged to use technology to help the migrant crisis. A simple snippet of embed code can be placed on any website and detects if a page visitor is browsing with the latest iOS or Android devices. Those visitors with the very latest phones, are encouraged to donate their old phones to migrants who most need them.

Read the medium article
Telegraph – Techfugees take on migrant crisis
Visit Geecycle.org

CareBnb – Book a night, save a life
Believe.in project, 2015
As the ebola epidemic in West Africa deepened, I initiated a project to raise funds for Médecins Sans Frontières who were leading the crisis response. Most people have booked via AirBnb, so we faithfully recreated the AirBnb experience where visitors could book a night for an ebola victim.

Visit CareBnb.io
FundraisingUK – Book with Carebnb and donate to fight Ebola
ThirdSectorLab – 4 lessons learned from the Airbnb ebola spoof

Manchester City Football Club
Art Director, Poke London, 2009
The mcfc.co.uk project delivered the digital strategy and execution for the football club focusing on fan-centric experiences around ticketing, shopping, football content and club information. Inspired by the requirements of everyone at the club from the ground staff to journalists, squad and manager to the loyal fans themselves, I led the design and delivery of this genre re-defining site.

Creative Review – Poke v MCFC

Art Director, Poke London, 2011
This slightly eccentric British fashion brand pride themselves on the craft and quality of their products. I pitched and worked on the art direction of the new e-commerce site and the social media strategy, with the attention to detail and craft befitting this iconic brand and it’s seasonal ranges. Choosing the shade of grey for the background and the tint of logo for online execution were as important as the user experience of a checkout with an average basket price of £1,000.

Marussia Virgin Racing
Art Director, Poke London, 2010
When Richard Branson entered Formula 1 with a limited budget but massive ambition, I led the art direction of the brand and visual identity. I got stuck into logo and brand guidelines, a launch film, content planning, design of a responsive website, pit garage graphics, race suit design and team merchandising. I collaborated with illustrator Tavis Coburn (who later helped with Skyjacker) to produce stunning high-impact visuals.

Nike Bootcamp
Senior Designer, AKQA, 2008
This was an innovative ground-breaking product and a departure from the standard digital advertising campaign for Nike. Bootcamp delivered over 20 hours of football training videos wrapped up in an intuitive design and mobile app that allowed keen amateurs to ‘Train like a Pro’, track their performance against friends and test their skills and fitness during the programme. I led the user experience and design of the product.

Senior Designer, AKQA, 2007
Coca-Cola partnered with iTunes and I helped design and build a website and iTunes brand channel that celebrated emerging music talent across Europe.

Wayne Rooney’s 21st
Senior Designer, AKQA, 2007
What do you give a footballer who’s got it all on his 21st birthday? Coca-Cola wanted to send Wayne Rooney a birthday card, 24 hours later, I came back with a simple suggestion - manufacture a few crates of (extremely) limited edition Rooney Coke bottles.