John Lewis poaches Porral from Design House

The John Lewis Partnership is set to ramp up its creative department, with the appointment of Design House creative director Paul Porral as head of creative services.

Porral will take the helm on 4 August, working under JLP marketing director Gill Bar. The role of head of creative services already existed, though a JLP spokeswoman says it has been vacant for a while.

According to Porral, he will focus mainly on print-related projects, such as in-store communications and publications for all aspects of the John Lewis department store chain, though not for JLP supermarket chain Waitrose. Porral’s role will be that of ‘guardian of the visual identity of John Lewis department stores including catalogues, signage and guidelines’, the spokeswoman explains.

Porral will head up a team of about 30 based in London’s Chelsea, comprising strategists, designers and design managers across print, production, catalogue and point-of-sale, and will also manage external consultancies.

‘I will be working partly with colleagues to bring design excellence to John Lewis Partnership and partly on projects which I’ll be responsible for delivering, working with internal and external people,’ says Porral.

The role will not encompass Web design or retail interiors, but Porral hopes to have some sort of ‘advisory role in experience’ given his background in branding and brand expression.

On the Web front, Robin Terrell remains managing director of John Lewis Direct. John Lewis last year revamped its website, with a design refresh by its in-house team.

The retailer promoted its then retail operations director Gareth Thomas to a newly created role of retail design and development director in February 2007.

The move leaves Design House with a vacancy for a creative director or a senior creative. The consultancy has yet to decide how to replace Porral, who was with the group for four-and-a-half years, heading up branding and graphics.


2008 – Paul Porral appointed head of creative services
2007 – Gareth Jones transfers from post of retail operations director to retail design and development director
2004 – Peter Jones flagship store in London’s Sloane Square reopens after a redesign by John McAslan & Partners
2000 – John Lewis appoints Pentagram partner John McConnell to oversee the redesign of its branding


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