Personal Profile

Simon Khalil

Senior design strategist with over 15 years of experience in visual news design across print and digital  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 supplements 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 twenty-five design industry awards in less  than 18 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, story boards  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

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, story boards and signing of on all  video output across the brand 

  • Direct photo and video shoots 

  • 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 re-design, 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 31 design industry awards in less than two years. Including six European Newspaper  

  • Awards of Excellence, a WAN-IFRA Best Use of Online Video - 1st Place, four SND (Society for  News Design) Awards of Excellence and an SPD (Society of Publication Designers) Merit Award.  Gold and 3 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 multi-media 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)

Key responsibilities

  • Lead and direct the design strategy and operations for all 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 

  • 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, 

Telegraph Media Group (TMG)        


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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