Personal Profile

Simon Khalil

Senior design strategist with over 20 years of experience in design across digital and print for two of the UK’s leading national newspapers, The Daily and The Sunday Telegraph and the Middle East’s leading English language daily, Arab News. Proven track record of successfully juggling internal client needs with the pressure to deliver large volumes of content to tight deadlines at world-class standards. Significant experience leading and developing large creative teams to win over fifty design industry awards as well as securing personal industry recognition for a variety of projects, visual identities for major events and special coverage for global consumer brands. Highly experienced at successfully leading and managing teams through periods of organisational change. Implemented a global digital and print redesign for Arab News and secured fifty-six design industry awards in less than 36 months. Extensive experience in developing brands and growing audiences and customers. Also, double hats as Head of Video for Arab News initiating editorial ideas and directing scripts, storyboards and signing off on all video output.
In-depth knowledge of Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Lead Arab News’s commercial partnerships creative team producing branded content and sponsored products. Currently based in Dubai, UAE.


2018 - Present

Arab News

Global Creative Director                                                                                                                             

Key responsibilities

  • Lead and direct the design strategy operations for the creative team globally in bureaus across the world. In particular the main creative hubs in Jeddah, London, Dubai and Islamabad.

  • Head of video initiating editorial ideas and directing scripts, storyboards and signing of on all video output across the brand

  • Direct photo and video shoots

  • Managing and developing the strategic and visual development of the brand

  • Created a global creative team across multiple bureaus. Educate and develop editorial infrastructure across the brand. Recruited resources as required

  • Manage the creative demands of numerous internal stakeholders which include but not limited to the executive team, senior editors and section heads

  • Develop marketing and commercial opportunities with external clients to enhance revenue at Arab News. 

  • Collaborating with external suppliers and commissioning specialist design work from illustration to animation

  • Educate and develop design and visual skills across all departments with regular training presentations and workshops

  • Develop comprehensive style guide and ensure proper implementation with third party vendors and clients

Key achievements

  • Successfully led the implementation of a major redesign, across print and digital in April 2018

  • Developed the Arab News brand across multiple new markets and grown audiences 

  • Launched Arab News Japan, a Japanese language brand, and Arab News En Français

  • Secured 56 design industry awards in less than three years. Including nine European Newspaper Awards of Excellence, a WAN-IFRA Best Use of Online Video - 1st Place, thirteen SND (Society for News Design) Awards of Excellence, three SPD (Society of Publication Designers) Merit Awards. three Gold and five Silvers in the Indigo Design Awards.

  • Directed multi-platform editorial projects for major events in The Middle East across the year, for example Women Driving in Saudi Arabia and Saudi National Day

  • Launched and lead design on Arab News Deep Dives. Immersive multimedia stories on long form software called Shorthand

  • Developed basic typographical and fundamental design rules across the creative team globally to align design excellence


Telegraph Media Group (TMG)

Group Art Director, TMG

Key responsibilities

  • Lead and direct the design strategy and operations for all fashion and feature’s pages and lifestyle sections of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph including mobile and tablet editions and on-line; ensure efficient delivery of content to the highest design standards

  • Manage the creative demands of numerous internal stakeholders which include but not limited to the executive team, senior editors and section heads

  • Collaborate with and support the marketing and commercial teams on content strategy solutions for external client briefs that require editorial design elements; represent ideas to client when appropriate 

  • Present and champion a continuous pipeline of innovative and practical design solutions to internal stakeholders while managing expectations appropriately, subject to time and budget available

  • Direct photoshoots, commission illustrators, animators, photographers, and videographers

  • Responsible for identifying design solutions for the repackaging of content from various print sections for the mobile and tablet editions

  • Collaborate with the TMG Video team to ensure seamless transition of print content across on-line, mobile and tablet

  • Set clear direction, objectives and performance targets aligned to TMG strategy on a daily basis

  • Monitor online content output from the likes of WSJ, New York Times, AJ+, Playground + as well as global consumer brands to ensure on top of current content trends 

  • Develop and inspire team to achieve their full potential by providing timely, well balanced, constructive feedback; seek out 360 feedback to enhance own and team performance


Key achievements

  • Successfully led the implementation of a major redesign, ensuring all design output adhered to the new design styles and guidelines

  • Managed team through significant period of change including a major restructure 

  • SND Award of Excellence for World’s largest Cruise Ships (Discovery front page)


Art Director, 

The Daily Telegraph


Art Editor, Features and supplements,

The Daily Telegraph        


Acting Deputy Art Director,

The Daily Telegraph


Art Editor, News and Business sections

The Daily Telegraph


Art Editor, The Daily Telegraph, Weekly supplements and City Office    


Art Editor, DotCom Telegraph,

The Daily Telegraph

Get in Touch


+44 (0) 7973 841130

+971 (0) 56 996 0873

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