Julian Roberts, a graphic designer at Irving & Co, talks to us about his work and inspiration as part of our second photographic series.

Graphic designer, Julian Roberts sitting at his desk surrounded by books looking into a book.

Strong-minded women have been a recurring theme in my working life thus far. I spent 3 years working with Anita Roddick, then in 2001 I received a call from Priscilla Carluccio who was looking for a designer to work with her on their eponymous restaurants. God had taken her previous designer (he had become a priest), from which began a long and rewarding creative bond. Past and present I have also worked with  Rapha, Jasper Conran, John Lewis, The Hart Brothers and Jeremy Lee for Quo Vadis, The Fine Cheese Company where I have been fortunate to have had a long working relationships with Ann-Marie for almost 30 years. Barrafina, & the recently opened El Pastor.

Person at desk, writing with a pencil into a book surrounded by books.

Occasionally you find that creative alchemy when everyone involved works together seamlessly to create a magical and timeless result. The new branding of Quo Vadis – the esteemed Soho institution – began in 2011 when Jeremy Lee teamed up with Sam & Eddie Hart. I was asked to help re-vitalise the graphic identity, and after an excellent long lunch with them I had the vision in my head. That very same afternoon I called the illustrator John Broadley and asked him if he was interested in creating illustrations and decorations for them – a magic he weaves to this very day. The only brief John needs are some seasonal  musings.

Books sitting beside a Kate Moss book cover by Allen Jones.

Books play a intrinsic and tangible part of my workspace. Collecting books from a young age has very much been a part of my identity – they are a comfort, and vital source of knowledge and ideas. Whether leafing through or reading a book there is a focus and more considered pace of thought – one which can too easily be swayed and distracted when searching online.

Man standing facing forward in black and white in front of a book shelf with ornaments.

Photography by Aitor Santome

Julian wears Kirk Originals Genoa sunglasses in black.





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