Seth Hawthorne (Director, London)

Seth Hawthorne


I guess I’d consider my first creative role to be the one working as part of the stage crew at The Pavilion Theatre in Weymouth. I’ve shone a spotlight on Rod Hull’s emu, Bernie Clifton’s ostrich, Keith Harris’ duck and Norman Collier’s chicken. Not many people in our industry can say that.

From such creative heights I took myself off to London and got a job as a sales executive selling ad space at The Times. Go figure? Anyway, I really enjoyed it, and along the way discovered a love of great journalism and storytelling. After a decade working for Rupert Murdoch I took a risk and joined Wired magazine in its first UK incarnation back in the mid 90s; an amazing and exciting adventure, which sadly ended when we ran out of money, but delighted when Condé Nast stepped in and relaunched the UK edition. I subsequently did a stint at National Magazines (now Hearst) before joining Dennis Publishing to work with the legendary and maverick, Felix Dennis. Google him. I ran the advertising operation for Maxim magazine before switching to a publishing role as the publishing director of The Week – simply the best magazine, bar none. Subscribe!

In 2007, I moved to Hong Kong where I spent several years working in the Asian magazine publishing market, and also set up an image library supplying images to Hong Kong’s creative agencies and publishers. On returning to London with my family, we made a decision not to return to our previous life in North London suburbia (after the exciting and fast pace of Hong Kong, suburbia didn’t hack it), but to set up home in London’s Soho where we still live and which we love.

I then looked for a new challenge, and I’m delighted that Parker Design has proven to be that challenge. Running and growing the London office calls on all my commercial nous and network savvy, and my long experience working with the content and creative teams of magazine publishers has positioned me well to adapt to the ways of working within a creative agency.

Above all, I love that I am learning new things, get to work alongside a great bunch of talented people and come across constant opportunities to meet new people with interesting businesses that need our help. It’s about nurturing the right chemistry with clients so that they choose to work with us again and again, and I cherish that we’ve got a people culture that makes clients want to use and trust us. I also love being part of the start-up team building the Parker Design London business. Exciting or what?

When I’m not at Parker Design, you’ll often find me at the theatre or eating out in one of Soho’s many restaurants (Blanchette on D’Arblay Street is a top tip). And to counter all that eating out, you’ll sometimes find me at the gym. Failing that, I’ll be watching back-to-back episodes of The Walking Dead.