Born in the North of England, James earned his creative spurs at Sheffield College before moving to the Middle East. Over the last decade, James has established himself as a leading designer within the region. Having worked as creative lead at the likes of Minale Tattersfield and FITCH, James heads as Design Director, 2D and 3D creatives at Landor Associates.
January 2010 – Present
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Moving across WPP companies to one of the founding agencies of the branding industry with over 60 years of branding experience - Landor Associates. Retaining his position as a Design Director and not just based in the Dubai, but as well operating from Landor’s Mumbai office. Although based in these two studios the clientele reach and project experience on the ground spread from the Middle East, North Africa, Northern Europe and Asia.
James Pass Design
2008 – Present
After being established in the Gulf for over the past decade within the design industry, James Pass has built a reputation as a leading creative name and a reliable asset to any new brand developing within the region.
Having establish JPd back in 2008 – JPd has been able to help many start-up companies weary of large creative agencies, develop their brand and bring brand awareness to their customers and market. Working for a wide range of clients and in varying different industries from Food Catering, FMCG, Furniture Manufacture, Educational Institutes and Digital experience agencies the list goes on.
Using an extended network of contacts and resources JPd has brought many small start-up company brands to life from Strategy, Design and Deployment. Working directly with clients from the start to achieve the desired results. This success has attracted companies from outside the GCC region from North America to Asia.
November 2007 – September 2009
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Through Fitch acquiring gscs the agency grew to one of the largest multidiscipline design and branding agencies within the region. James had to also come to grips with the procedures and process of a WPP agency. Often having to present and work with Rodney Fitch, founder of Fitch and veteran of the design industry.
Due to the type of clientele Fitch targets the majority of projects under taken during this time were retail and FMCG related; from developing Organic food ranges for the GCC/Middle Eastern region on behalf of Alyasra Foods in Kuwait. Under James’ direction development and creation of brand identity, packaging and retail environments were developed.
During his time at Fitch one of the largest brand projects to be undertaken by James was the rebranding of the Abu Dhabi based hotelier Rotana Hospitality. James and his team undertook Rotana with over 35 hotel properties throughout the GCC, Middle East and North Africa with a systematic brand program from design to deployment. As well as the main Rotana hotel brand, two sub-brands were created from a Serviced apartments to a Sharia hotel chain that again would be launched across all regions. Deployment of collaterals were managed and delivered across all 45 properties in the end, with James holding brand guardianship over the projects subsequent months.
November 2003 – November 2007
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
James joined small start up design agency gscs as employee as the seventh empolyee at the end of 2003, based in the new Dubai’s media hub free zone Media City. gscs was founded in 2001 by creative and entrepreneur Gregg Sedgwick. Gregg had formed previously founded previous and still established branding and design agencies Sedgwick Richardson in London, Hong Kong and Singapore as well as TMH based in Dubai and Gallery One chain of Photography Galleries around the globe.
gscs attracted some of the brightest talents within the industry and from many leader agencies around the globe. In the space of 2 years gscs had grown from 6 employees in 2003 to over 50 in 2005 and so became quickly the leading design and branding agency within the Middle East. Specializing in Brand Strategy, Brand Identity, Brand Communications, 2D and 3D design, digital, signage and wayfinding.
As Design Director at gscs, James led a creative 2D team of designers and artworkers on a series of high profile projects for the agency. Leading the role out of the branding for the Jumeirah hotel group across 8 hotel properties around the world, destination real estate projects from Dubai to Marrakesh.
WPP retail branding agency ‘Fitch’ acquired gscs in 2005, becoming the market leader overnight in brand strategy, brand communication, 3D environments and signage and wayfinding. Not just within the region, but also within the WPP group for this part of the World.
1999 – October 2003
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Moving from the Emirates to the rapidly growing Emirate of Dubai, James joined Grafix Advertising a Canadian, Design and Advertising agency based in Dubai and Bahrain.
Joining a more western-based studio environment compared to that previously, James creative client exposure started to develop past the shores of the Arabian Gulf. Through working on the companies lucrative client account, Microsoft – James started to become exposed the creative and client considerations of having to work for a global brand, through having to understand the brand, Strategy, Values and utilize brand guidelines for the first time. Grafix advertising handled Microsoft’s 2D creative and advertising for all its corporate and product needs for the GCC, Levant and North African markets. For example handling the launch materials and instore collaterals for Microsoft Windows XP Home and Office for those regions.
At Grafix’s, James’ task was to also run the creative arm of all-digital and web based projects. After extensive training in Dreamweaver and flash James was also the tasked with the technical development and production of all the digital projects to leave the studio. Amongst these projects were the development of an online travel agent website for GMI in Abu Dhabi, corporate sites for construction firms within the region as well as a 3D animation.
1998 – 1999
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Moving from the United Kingdom to the Arabian Gulf, James joined Minale Tattersfield Design at their newly opened Sharjah studio, headed by the Dutch Creative that designed the KLM brand, Hink Huisman.
Established in 1982 by Italian, Marcello Minale and Yorkshire man, Brian Tattersfield. The combination of their respective backgrounds, training and experience provided an instant multi-disciplinary and international approach to design. With offices around the globe from London to Sydney, the Sharjah studio was their second studio
within the Arabian Gulf.
Working within a multi-cultural studio of designers and artworkers, James managed a small team on largely Packaging projects for FMCG brands within the GCC/Middle East region. Learning quickly on the fly the skills to manage small teams of different ethnic creative professionals and a complex conservative consumer audience and limited supplier technical capabilities. As well as being exposed for the first time to packaging projects, James also had to learn to coop with working on client projects where English was not the primary language used on the finished materials.
The Sharjah studio closed and was merged with Minale Tattersfield Kuwait office at the end of 1999.
Scope Creative Marketing
1996 – 1998
Sheffield, United Kingdom
James’ first break into the creative industry after graduating from College came at one of the leading design and marketing companies outside of London, Scope Creative Marketing.
Established in 1982 and based in Sheffield within a beautiful three storey Georgian building housing over 60 staff – Scope’s core business was graphic design based projects with strategic marketing thinking. Mainly working for financial services, FMCG and Hospitality brands based within the United Kingdom.
Working within one of the three large creative teams, James started as a Graphic designer working alongside and reporting directly to the Assistant Creative Director and team lead. Developing his creative thinking and presentation skills with a mind set for commercial results for a wide range of high and medium budget projects. Being exposed to commercial based projects that covered a wide scope of deliverables and creative touch points such as Graphic Design, Photography, Print and Advertising as well as the New Media of the time… The World, Wide, Web.
In 2001, Scope Creative Marketing merged with a digital agency and public relations company to form under a new name ‘Dig For Fire’ (www.digforfire.co.uk). Still based in Sheffield, Dig For Fire is now a leading Digital media company in the United Kingdom.