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My name’s Elliot. I live and work just outside Bristol, UK.

I consider myself to be extremely fortunate, because my ‘job’, such as it is, generally entails doing what I love. I call myself a designer as it’s a nice umbrella term for the web design / print design / branding work that I do, although I spend a great deal of time talking about design at numerous conferences around the globe and writing about design for online and offline publications. I’m known for my love of typography and my fairly big side projects, such as the magazines 8 Faces and Lagom. I spent most of 2023 writing and designing Universal Principles of Typography, which will be published by Quarto in March 2024. I also run a podcast and a newsletter — all focused on typography.

Elliot Jay Stocks photograph taken by Chris Henley for AllFlows

Biography

In recent years, I’ve led the creative direction for several products and services, including the print magazines 8 Faces and Lagom, and have led design teams big and small. Thanks mainly to 8 Faces and my former role as Creative Director of Adobe Typekit (now called Adobe Fonts), my recent work has seen me collaborating with brands with a very specific focus on type and typography, and I became a judge for the D&AD Awards in the Newspaper & Magazine Design category.

From 2020 to 2023, I ran things at Google Fonts Knowledge. Completely immersed in all things typographic, it’s been nothing short of a dream project. If you’re interested, I wrote a post about my work with GFK.

Lots of nice people have been kind enough to interview me and showcase my work over the years, including Creative Review, Communication Arts, Computer Arts, The Independent, .Net, Design Week, and numerous blogs, podcasts, and online magazines. Notable former clients include Microsoft, Virgin Group, MailChimp, EMI, Founders Fund, Campaign Monitor, Brooklyn Beta, Smashing Magazine, and Automattic.

Outside of design and all of its connected parts, I record electronic music as Other Form and have released music on several independent labels. I also run my own label, Unknown Movements, which releases music on vinyl, cassette, and digital formats from myself and other artists.

Elliot Jay Stocks photograph taken by Maykel Loomans for The Urban Beardsman

Downloadable biographies

Events and interviews often require easily copy-and-paste-able bios of varying lengths, and you can find those here:

Downloadable portrait

This portrait of me was taken by Norman Posselt and can be used for events and interviews as required:

Elliot Jay Stocks portrait photograph taken by Norman Posselt in Berlin

A brief history of life & work

  1. 2004 – 2007

    Two years working as a web designer / developer in the music industry, first at EMI Music and then at Sanctuary Media, then a few months as Senior Designer at Ryan Carson’s Carsonified. During this time, I make the move to web standards, start writing about web design for magazines like .Net and Computer Arts, and take my first tentative steps into the world of public speaking.

  2. 2009

    Sexy Web Design is published with a title forced on me by the publisher. ‘Pre-sales with that title have been healthy,’ they say. Well at least I can call myself a published author now.

  3. 2010

    Frustrated by my web design work’s lack of permanence and inspired by a burgeoning interest in typography (thanks in no small part to the widespread adoption of web fonts), I start a printed magazine dedicated to type, typography, and lettering called 8 Faces.

  4. 2011

    Keir Whitaker and I create Viewport Industries and spend a year or so running events, making apps, and publishing books and magazines for the web community.

  5. August 2012

    My best friend Samantha says ‘I do’ in front of our friends and family in the Cotswolds.

  6. 2013

    I’m tempted away from independent life by an offer to join Typekit as Creative Director.

  7. September 2014

    Samantha and I launch Lagom: a print magazine that celebrates (among other things) that elusive idea of work-life balance.

  8. 2015

    Hi, Thea! I’m your Dad. I guess I’m a grown-up now.

  9. 2016

    Goodby, Typekit; hello, independent life, round 2. Alongside running Lagom, I re-join the world of client work and start a long-standing relationship with Colonna, serving as the company’s part-time Creative Director.

  10. 2018

    Hi, Gwen! I’m your Dad. Later in the year, I take a brief break from design to help retail startup Neighborhood Goods get their editorial side sorted with everything I’ve learned from Lagom — and become the company’s Editorial Director.

  11. 2019

    Okay, that was a mistake. Back to design. Amongst other projects, I become involved with ClearScore and offer typographic consultancy on an internal branding project that leads to me working with them as a part-time Creative Director. In the summer, I join Maido as Creative Director and lead the Design team.

  12. 2020 – 2023

    I pitch an idea to Google that eventually becomes Google Fonts Knowledge, which I run until early 2023.

  13. 2023 – present

    Back to independent life as a designer and typographic consultant — let’s work together!

About this website

elliotjaystocks.com is powered by Kirby and hosted by GURU. It was designed and built by me, using VS Code, CodeKit, MAMP, GitHub Desktop, and DeployHQ, with Kirby integration and additional PHP by Bastian Allgeier. The type it set in Degular (the variable version) and Vulf Mono by Oh NO Type Co. My logo was designed by Emma Luczyn.

The photo of me at the top of this page was taken by Chris Henley while I was speaking at AllFlows. The one with me at the table was taken by Maykel Loomans for an interview I did with Urban Beardsman magazine. The other one, as noted, was taken by Norman Posselt in Berlin after I spoke at beyond tellerrand.

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