Matt Willey
New York

Mattwilley Portrait

Matt Willey studied graphic design at Central St. Martins in London. In 2002, he joined Vince Frost at Frost Design London before co-founding the London-based firm Studio 8 Design with Zoë Bather in 2005. He was named partner at Pentagram in 2019 after 5 years as Art Director of The New York Times Magazine, where he collaborated on a major redesign in 2014. 

At Pentagram, Willey develops branding systems, motion graphics, packaging and publication designs for a wide range of clients, including the design of the titles for “Killing Eve,” the award-winning BBC series created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Willey has worked with several of the leading titles in contemporary independent publishing. He was previously the Creative Director and Senior Editor of the quarterly style magazine Port, the first Art Director of the arts magazine Elephant, Art Director of the travel and culture magazine Avaunt, and helped launch the fashion title Plastique and Scottish contemporary art magazine MAP. He completed a redesign of UK newspaper The Independent in 2013 and is currently the creative director of INQUE, the literary publication he co founded with editor Dan Crowe in 2021. 

A consistent thread throughout Willey’s work is the incorporation of bespoke typefaces, which he draws for the specific contexts of the brands, publications and stories in which they appear. These custom fonts have included AType, BWord, NewPort and NSW01, some developed in collaboration with Henrik Kubel. Willey has made several of the fonts commercially available, and proceeds from select fonts are donated to charity: His MFred and TIMMONS typefaces have helped raise more than £100,000 for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support through the Buy Fonts Save Lives initiative.

Willey has been recognized with numerous awards. He was named Designer of the Year by Creative Review in 2014, and during his five-year tenure at The New York Times Magazine the publication was honored with SPD Magazine of the Year in 2016, SPD Brand of the Year in 2019, and more than 40 SPD gold medals. Willey’s titles for “Killing Eve” were nominated for a BAFTA Award and received a Royal Television Society Craft Award in 2019.

Willey was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) in 2015. He has served as vice chairman of The Typographic Circle and on the board of the Editorial Design Organization (EDO).