News and insights • Posted on 13 September 2022

Welcome aboard James Bornshin

James Bornshin recently joined the crew as our senior designer and has wasted no time in diving right into a big branding job. Here, he shares how he got onto his current career path and what never fails to pique his interest.

From a young age I’ve been drawn to design –  always drawing or painting from being a little kid right into my teenage years. To be honest, nothing else really interested me. Saying that, I vividly remember wanting to be an archaeologist – I’ll put this down to Jurassic Park! When I was nine years old, we moved up north from London to Leeds to be closer to family, and after going to Huddersfield University, I settled in Mirfield.

I was a teenager before I really understood what design was. And, like most designers, it was mainly skate graphics and album covers that piqued my interest and made me realise this was something people did for a job. I studied advertising during my first year at uni. This gave me a good basis for how something should always have a solid idea behind it, a tangible concept as to why copy and visuals communicate and look the way they do. However, I was frustrated at not being able to actually craft the kind of work we were studying, so I shifted to graphic design during my second year.

Although I graduated with a first class degree, I didn’t fully get to grips with branding until I got my first job. At university, it’s all about making something look good, but I loved the strategy side of branding once I got the chance to delve into it. To this day, that’s my favourite part of design, which further helps me create that link between my ideas and visual concepts. Since starting out at my first agency, I’ve worked across a number of agencies in Manchester and Leeds with all sorts of clients. This includes everything from large B2B multinationals to startup drinks brands, including EY, the NHS, Leeds Bradford Airport and Arc Inspirations.

Despite all that, I’m still a print nerd at heart. I love paper and the processes that come with it. There’s nothing better than getting a new piece of print back from the printers! I also love it when an idea comes to life. Not every job has to be the coolest or an award-winning piece – if it solves a particular problem for a client then it’s a job well done. For me, the most rewarding part of working in this industry is seeing how much difference your work makes to the client. 

Outside of work, I’ve been in numerous bands over the years, playing bass in gigs all across the north. However,since kids have come around for many of us, it’s not something I’ve done for a few years. My main highlights would have to be playing at Bingley Festival and getting some airtime on BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio 6 Music. 

After 18 years of not setting foot on a skateboard, I treat myself to one this year. I’m definitely not as fit and agile as I was when I was a teen (no broken bones yet though!). When I’m not risking breaking my own bones, I’m trying to stop my son from breaking his. He’s a proper adventurer even at the age of two and loves to be outside, so he’s been a blessing for getting me away from my computer! 

My first few weeks at TBB have been great. I’ve already got stuck into a big branding job which has gone down well, so we’re in the stages of finalising that. All in all it’s a great place to work. Everyone’s welcoming and friendly, and everyone seems to enjoy what they do – having a laugh while they get things done. I’m excited to see us grow and evolve as a business. There are some big plans in place and I’m looking forward to helping see them through and contributing to exciting projects for great clients along the way.

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Written by James Bornshin

Senior designer James is a branding bigwig and print nerd at heart.

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