Founder and chief executive
John built up Soapbox from a freelance design practice to a thriving global communications agency. He divides his time between running the business, managing major accounts and working as creative director on key projects. John began his career in book publishing before joining the IPPR in 2003. He is an advisory board member for On Think Tanks. You can read some of his writing on the future of policy and research communications on our blog.
Chief operating officer
Polly joined Soapbox in 2012 and oversees agency operations, projects and people management, while managing some key projects herself. She has a background in non-profit communications, over ten years’ experience of managing creative teams and postgraduate diplomas in Financial Management, HR, and Management and Leadership. She studied English and Intellectual and Cultural History at Sussex.
Director of strategy
Cormac joined Soapbox in 2010 and has overall responsibility for our digital communications practice. He is also involved in business development and acts as a lead on many of our bigger web projects. Cormac spent the first 10 years of his working life in policy roles in various national organisations in the UK before becoming an editor and then specialising in digital content. He studied law and French at Queen’s University Belfast and has postgraduate qualifications in journalism and translation.
Rachel is Soapbox’s creative director, overseeing all our design outputs. In her own practice she is particularly adept in using typographic detailing to help guide readers through dense and complex texts. After graduating with a degree in design for communication at the University of Reading, Rachel stayed on to complete a masters in book design. She joined Soapbox in 2009 and worked her way up from junior design to her current role.
Director, Washington DC
Joe is director of our Washington, DC studio. He is a frequent writer on content strategy for policy communications and leads our practice in that area. He spent five years in academia before moving to a variety of leadership roles in digital and strategic communications at the US Congressional Budget Office, The Century Foundation and Eastern Research Group. He holds a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Virginia.
Director of editorial design
Autumn has been with Soapbox since its inception in 2008 and oversees a range of prestigious publications as head of our Bath studio. Passionate about design detail and making policy content shine, she worked on many high profile, award-winning publications before joining Soapbox. She holds a master’s in classics from University College London.
Director of web development
Scott has been building websites since 2005, primarily for the non-profit sector. At Soapbox, he works to ensure we deliver quality work at good value and to industry best practices, while also seeking opportunities to innovate and excite users. Scott is adept at tackling complex problems and is keen to share and develop his own knowledge. He is actively involved in the WordPress and Drupal open source communities and regularly speaks at industry events.
Head of web and brand design
Esa leads on Soapbox’s design of branding, visual identity, web and other digital projects. His previous roles have included senior product designer at CNN Digital, and various design positions within small studios and multinational corporations in both London and Helsinki. He is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins, to which he has regularly returned as a visiting lecturer.
Dan is an award-winning designer, with over 18 years’ experience on national newspapers and magazines. Before joining Soapbox he was creative director at The Independent, leading the acclaimed redesign that won Design Week‘s ‘Editorial Design of the Year’. Dan’s specialism is crafting long-form copy into engaging and impactful designs. His work has been recognised in international competitions, and featured regularly in the UK design press.
Web development intern
Ben joined Soapbox as a web development intern in 2021, as part of his computer science degree at Brunel University. He has a fascination with how things work and brings this enthusiasm to Soapbox’s web projects. Ben is also an award-winning book blogger, and illustrates in his spare time.
Elena joined Soapbox as a content strategist after more than seven years in the think tank space as director of email marketing and audience relations at the Center for American Progress. Prior to that, she spent several years working with progressive organisations as a digital strategy consultant and a communications specialist. Elena earned a BA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, and brings a love of language and a respect for audiences to all of her projects.
Shuvro is part of Soapbox’s project management team, holding a degree in technology and e-commerce from the University of East London. He joined Soapbox after switching careers from the music industry where he worked with bands including Megadeth, Dragonforce, Sepultura, Cradle of Filth and Ghost. He’s now enjoying the relative peace of the Soapbox office, spreading the calmness that only comes from well-managed projects.
Ian is Soapbox’s lead editor, based in our Bath office. He enjoys working with text to create clear, engaging written content, whether that’s writing, editing or proofreading a report, copywriting for the web, infographic text, animation scripts, through to collaborating on new tone-of-voice guidance for our clients. His background in both academic and commercial publishing means he has a wealth of experience in both print and digital projects.
Technical lead - front-end
Stuart joined Soapbox in 2012 and is our lead front-end developer, working closely with both design and development teams to produce pixel perfect websites. Stuart is keen to make all of Soapbox’s web outputs as accessible and performant as possible by using the latest web principles and technologies – focusing on semantic HTML and scalable CSS architecture. He holds a degree in multimedia technology and design from Brunel University.
Editor and typesetter
Sarah’s background is in international wildlife conservation, genetics and computing. After graduating with an MRes from Imperial College London, she set aside travels with dangerous creatures for a career in academic journals, working on a variety of titles. Sarah joined Soapbox in 2017 and divides her time between a range of editing and typesetting duties – to which she brings a keen eye for detail and a passion for quality communications.
Working across print, digital and data visualisation, Margherita specialises in translating complex concepts into clear graphic messages. Her previous experience includes leading the graphic and exhibition design efforts for an international architecture firm, and several years as a freelance graphic and set designer. Margherita holds a BA in design from the University of Florence and an MA in exhibition and set design from the University of Rome.
Sam spent several years as a self-employed web developer and designer, learning how to develop and lead the full process of building, launching and maintaining websites. He enjoys keeping up to speed with new and current trends in web, in particular exploring how animation can bring websites to life. Sam graduated with a degree in history in 2017.
Riya began her journey as a web developer at a London based design agency in 2015. Starting as an intern there she learnt how to create and develop professional quality websites, and her skills have been growing in the industry since. She is proficient in multiple coding languages used for front end web development, specialising as a WordPress developer. Her skills and experience acquired from various projects make Riya a well rounded member of the team and allow her to build websites that emanate excellence.
Senior brand designer
As Senior Brand Designer at Soapbox, Guy creates and develops visual identities that help our clients to captivate audiences and drive change. He oversees implementation across physical and digital outputs, making sure everything remains impactful and on-brand. His 10+ years of experience have included working at a non-profit organisation countering misinformation, and at numerous design studios in both Amsterdam and London.
Web development intern
Bethany joined Soapbox in 2022 as a web development intern, as part of her placement year at the University of Kent. She enjoys seeing websites come to life, from analysis and design through to build and launch. In her spare time she likes to explore the towns and villages around her home in Kent, and relax by watching movies.
Naomi joined Soapbox as a brand strategist in June 2019, as part of the agency’s commitment to improving and developing our practice in this area. She cut her teeth working in journalism and at the UK think tank Demos before moving to communications agency, Fishburn Hedges, where she spent five years advising and delivering campaigns for a range of clients. Prior to joining Soapbox she worked for several years as a freelance consultant.
Andrea is an experienced developer, proficient in a range of content management systems, and back and frontend processes. He has worked with various higher education institutions in Europe – Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, European University Institute and Imperial College London, for whom he also developed an online shop. A committed, passionate coder, Andrea loves to put innovation into practice to improve high-quality, accessible digital services. He holds a degree in computer science engineering from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Sorbonne Université).
After studying history of art and an MA graphic design, Sandhya spent several years working on design projects in the advertising industry. She then pursued her love of typography and long-form publishing to study for an MA in book design at the University of Reading. At Soapbox, Sandhya focuses on print and digital publications, as well as complex data visualisations, aiming always to produce designs that are effective, aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Žiga started working for Soapbox as a publication designer, before shifting his focus to digital. He now works across disciplines, applying the same principles of user-centred design. Before joining Soapbox, Žiga completed an MA in information design at the University of Reading, building on his undergraduate degree in interactive communications at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Lara joined Soapbox in 2022. She has 14 years’ experience in customer service, and as studio assistant, she is our go-to person for all things office related. She has a flair for organisation and enjoys finding clear ways to implement processes and systems.
Sharon joined Soapbox as a designer in 2016, after years working as a policy and research lawyer. Her deep-seated love for language and illustration led to a career change and move to London, where she retrained as a graphic designer at the London College of Communication. Sharon now specialises in publication design and data visualisation, and also brings with her experience in bookbinding and publishing.
Technical lead – WordPress
Graham is a full stack senior developer building websites in WordPress, Drupal and Bolt CMS. He is happy to work on everything ranging from database admin to custom backend development, building bespoke frontends to preparing the server for launch. Graham previously worked as a designer and developer creating e-learning courses and graduated from Brunel University with a degree in multimedia technology and design.
Design project manager
As Soapbox’s production manager, Jenny oversees most of the design jobs coming through the studio, including print, infographics, and animation. Her role includes providing quotes and working with the designers to make sure they stay on brief, on time and on budget. She joined Soapbox after several years managing design and animation projects in the e-learning sector. She holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Sheffield.
Head of digital delivery
Huey oversees the project management and delivery of all our digital projects at Soapbox, ensuring our clients get the digital experience they need at the quality we all expect. He has produced award-winning work for the likes of Disney, Xbox and Coca-Cola, as well as the UN and a number of charitable and progressive organisations. He holds degrees in business and multimedia from Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia. Huey also serves on the UK board and sub-committees of the International Rescue Committee, and on the Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council at Agency Hackers.
Grace has a strong background in design, having worked for six years creating food-and-drink packaging, picking up several awards along the way. She switched careers in 2022, retraining as a software developer, which combines her keen eye for detail with an enthusiasm for problem solving, collaboration and teamwork. Grace holds a BA Hons in graphic design from Leeds Arts University.
Phoebe spent 10 years as a producer in the advertising industry, helping big brands to tell better stories. She has brought her valuable project management experience to the team at Soapbox, helping our clients share a different kind of information altogether. She holds a degree in contemporary media from the University of Westminster.
Erika has over fifteen years’ experience managing creative teams and delivering complex communication and marketing campaigns for NGO, charity and for-profit clients in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US. Before joining Soapbox, she was the director of communications at On Think Tanks, a global platform which provides research, ideas and advice for think tanks around the world.
Lena joined Soapbox as a junior designer in 2022, after graduating with an MA from the London College of communication. Lena worked for several years in customer service and in the music and events industry – overseeing venues and ticketing – before her love of typography and traditional, hands-on print processes (such as screen printing) led her to retrain as a graphic designer.
Creative lead, Berlin
Anja works on a range of projects including branding, exhibition and publication design, animation and information graphics – all with a focus on strong conceptual design solutions and clear messages. Prior to joining Soapbox Anja worked with major cultural institutions and architectural practices in Berlin and London. She holds an MA in visual communication from the University of Art and Design Halle.
Junior web developer
Rafa joined Soapbox as a junior web developer in 2020. With a Bachelor in Business Administration and Management and many years of international experience, he decided to make a move into web development where his logical mind and creative heart work in tandem to help him build websites to a high standard.
Junior digital designer
Jemima joined Soapbox as a junior digital designer in 2021, after graduating from Shillington college of graphic design. With a focus on user experience and user interface, she combines logical thinking with a strong visual aesthetic to provide accessible designs and accurate communication. Before joining Soapbox Jemima worked as a web editor for a food and sustainability publication, and she also holds a BA in archaeology and anthropology.
Johanna is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. She currently splits her time between Soapbox and the Financial Times, where she works as a creative director. She has previously produced films for broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel. Her 2016 feature film debut, They Will Have To Kill Us First, received acclaim from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and many more.
Anup has over ten years’ experience working with Drupal as a back-end developer. Before joining Soapbox, he worked on a range of projects including publishing domains, commerce and social networking. Anup has a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, and has completed several back-end and developer certifications from Acquia. He likes to stay up to date with new technology trends by participating in various forums and meetups.
Alice works across Soapbox’s digital projects, with a focus on user experience, user interface and visual design. In previous roles she has designed websites for a wide range of third-sector and public-sector clients. Alice holds a PgDip in design for visual communication from the London College of Communications and an MA in economics from the University of Edinburgh.
Since gaining her degree in applied communication at Newcastle University, Florence worked in project management roles in medical education and financial services in New York and London. She joined Soapbox in 2018 as a project manager.