Soapbox helps the UK’s leading thinktanks and policymakers to communicate their ideas – in words, in images and online

128 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SW
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Our clients are drawn from across the political spectrum and include some of the UK's most-respected thinktanks. Our integrated approach to policy communications means that we can cater for all of their design, editorial and digital needs.

In 2008, Soapbox was asked to revamp Chatham House’s publications. The template we created for the layout of reports reflects the thinktank’s position as a global authority on international relations. In particular, the distinctive but versatile cover design aims to foster the impression that, while they cover many different topics, these documents form part of a coherent body of work. The approach was later adapted and rolled out across all of Chatham House’s printed communications.
As a grassroots membership movement, Compass focuses on promoting engagement and activism as well as policy development. Soapbox provides the design for the Compass annual conference, its campaigns and recruitment drives. This involves rolling out messages across a range of platforms and materials, including posters, flyers, advertisements and conference packs. We also designed the brand identity and built the website for the Compass-sponsored High Pay Commission.
Our connection with Policy Exchange began when it was set up, in 2002. A pre-Soapbox John Schwartz was responsible for designing the new thinktank’s brand identity and publication templates. Since then, we have typeset all of its reports, including Alex Morton’s ‘Making Housing Affordable’, which won the Prospect award for thinktank publication of the year in 2010. We have also compiled a publications handbook for Policy Exchange staff and partners, including guidelines on written style.
The RSA is a 250-year-old multidisciplinary organisation dedicated to promoting social progress through its free public events, projects and 27,000 Fellows. It recently asked Soapbox to roll out its revamped brand identity across all areas of activity and communication platforms. This involved redesigning everything from signage to stationery and marketing materials, as well as new templates for policy reports. The RSA sets exacting ethical standards for itself and its suppliers. When we have managed the production of printed materials for the organisation, we have been careful to use environmentally friendly methods, with FSC-certified recycled paper and vegetable oil-based inks.
Soapbox has typeset and designed the covers for Biteback books on topics as diverse as the creation of the coalition government, the state of civil liberties in Britain and the discontents that arise from supporting West Ham Utd. We also set up the political publisher’s website and edited Anthony Seldon’s recent book on Gordon Brown’s premiership.
The United Nations Association (UNA) is a membership organisation that works to support the goals and activities of the UN. In 2007, Soapbox was brought in to revamp UNA’s communications, after the organisation expanded its role to include acting as a source of information on the UN for policymakers and civil society in the UK. Our redesign has given the UNA’s quarterly magazine a more modern and professional feel. In 2010, we created an animated film on the UN to help promote the UN Forum, a one-day conference in London that attracted more than 1500 participants. We have also been commissioned to design teaching materials on the UN for UK schools.
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John Schwartz

Managing Director

Angela Whitney


Tom Hampson


Cormac Bakewell


Johanna Schwartz


Polly Jackson

Operations Manager

Rachel Bray

Senior Designer

Autumn Forecast


Robert Hunt

Senior Web Developer

Amy Ricketts

Soapbox Associate

Stuart Brockwell

Web Developer

Megan Weston

Graphic Designer

Paulien Hosang

Graphic Designer

Ellen Taylor

Graphic Designer

Who we are

John Schwartz set up Soapbox at the beginning of 2008 with the aim of improving the way policy is communicated in the UK and beyond. Since then, he has assembled a dedicated team of design, digital and editorial professionals with a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise.

Having built Soapbox up from a freelance design practice to a thriving communications agency, John divides his time between running the business, checking the quality of its outputs and keeping his hand in as a designer. John began his career in publishing, running Politico's bookshop and imprint before becoming publishing manager and designer at the IPPR, where he began developing his approach to policy communications. He studied philosophy and politics at the University of Warwick.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7552,

Angela is our lead designer and heads up the day-to-day operations in our design studio. After completing a degree in visual communication in her native New Zealand, she spent four years working as an in-house graphic designer for the Wellington office of an international charity and for a large Australian insurance firm. She became Soapbox's first employee shortly after arriving in London in 2008, and remains the agency's creative driving force. While Angela handles a range of projects, her focus is on magazines and marketing materials.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7556,

Tom joined Soapbox as Partner at the start of 2012. He started his career running media communications, first at the political think tank Demos in 1997 and then for Sarah Brown at the PR company Hobsbawm Macaulay. In 2002 he set up his own small communications and design consultancy, the Press Company, before joining the Fabian Society as Editorial Director in 2006 where he commissioned and published the Society's pamphlets and books and edited the Fabian Review. Tom has a BA in English Literature from Trinity College, Cambridge.

T: +44 (0) 7802 331 841,

Cormac is responsible for Soapbox's editorial services, as well as pursuing new business for the agency. He is a punctilious editor and is equally at home drafting pithy report summaries or generating ideas and copy for marketing materials. He spent 10 years working in policy roles at the CBI and two national public bodies before retraining as a journalist and subediting for a variety of newspapers and magazines. He studied law and French at Queen's University Belfast and holds a diploma in translation from Institute of Linguists.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7563,

Johanna Schwartz is an accomplished filmmaker and photographer who specialises in constructing thought-provoking documentary films on a wide range of topics. She has produced and directed programmes for a variety of major UK and US broadcasters as well as content for corporate, government and NGO clients. She is also a partner of Soho-based production company Bertie Films.

T: +44 (0) 20 7930 3151,

Polly makes Soapbox more efficient. She started with us in the summer of 2012 and co-ordinates the scheduling of all our work, allocating Soapbox's resources across the agency. She has a background in studio and production management, a diploma in financial management and a BA in English and intellectual and cultural history from the University of Sussex.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7560,

Rachel is Soapbox's specialist typographer and is particularly adept in using detailing to help guide readers through dense and complex texts. She is also interested in exploring the application of type as design element in its own right and has begun to learn letterpress printing. After graduating with a degree in design for communication at the University of Reading, Rachel stayed on to complete a Masters degree in book design and joined Soapbox in 2009.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7559,

Autumn is an expert on page layouts for reports, pamphlets and books. She previously worked as a manager for Ottakar's bookshops and then for the online bookshop Autumn studied classics at King's College London before completing her masters degree at University College London, specialising in the reception of erotic classical art and literature.

T: +44 (0) 7899 263 185,

Robert is an expert developer with a keen eye for detail. He has over six years of experience in development and has previously worked on projects sponsored by Google and Microsoft. His job is to provide senior level coding support and to lead our web team day to day. Robert is extremely passionate about coding standards and website optimisation – making the web faster and more compatible for everyone.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7566,

Amy is a multi-disciplinary designer and is Soapbox's expert on user-centred design. Before joining us, Amy initially studied as a graphic designer before completing a Masters degree in service design innovation. She has since worked as a freelance graphic and service designer on a number of projects for the NHS, third sector organisations such as Mind and higher education establishments including the London School of Economics. She enjoys discovering behavioural insights in order to design robust and intuitive solutions to complex problems.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7567,

Stuart graduated from Brunel University with a first-class degree in Multimedia Technology and Design. He mainly deals with front-end development, building websites by applying the latest web principles and technologies. As well as development, Stuart also has a keen eye for web design and is always keen to heighten user experience in new and existing projects for Soapbox.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7562,

Megan studied typography and graphic design and then completed an MA in book design, both at the University of Reading. Since graduating she has worked for several years in a small agency, gaining experience across branding, print and digital design. She enjoys devising solutions to complex design problems – manipulating text, images and graphics to create effective communications.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7552,

After having studied a BA in Visual Communication in the Netherlands, Paulien discovered that her passion lies in typography and in understanding how to communicate effectively with type. This led her to take on an MA in Contemporary Typographic Media at the London College of Communication, through which she could also express her interest for cities and their structures.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7558,

The token Northerner, Ellen's a graphic designer with a background in the arts. Recently graduating with a Masters degree in Graphic Design from the London College of Communication, she used her time there to hone her skills as a keen visual researcher. Her main interests surround understanding the role of visual culture within society. She loves print design in all its guises and when not in the Soapbox studio she's a collector of old maps and other printed ephemera.

T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7557,

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128 Southwark Street
London SE1 0SW


T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7550
F: +44 (0) 20 7117 5400


Tom Hampson
T: +44 (0) 20 7902 7556