A brief history of Darren Hughes
1974 - 1997
Darren was born and bred in the Yorkshire heartland of Barnsley. Just like Billy Elliot (without the ballet shoes), he rejected the family career of coal mining and headed for a more arty adventure. In 1992, Darren left home, venturing south to London, where he completed a BA (HONS) Graphic Design course at Camberwell College of Arts.
1998 - 2001
Darren then went on to learn the craft of letterpress by working with Alan Kitching and Kelvyn Smith at the Typography Letterpress Workshop. This experience led to him teaching and assisting Typography Letterpress at the Royal College of Art. Subsequently, Darren completed an MA (RCA) in Art & Design Communication at the same world-renowned college.
2002 - 2007
His working life started as an Art Director at Albion London, a creative digital agency. Darren was the third person to join the then-startup, which now employs over 90 people. At Albion London, he worked on the launch of Skype, Innocent Drinks, and Virgin. Darren then moved overseas to Amsterdam to work for the international creative giant Wieden and Kennedy as a Designer/Art Director, contributing to projects for Coca-Cola, Nike, EA Games, and Old Spice.
2008 - 2018
He then moved back to Manchester, UK, in 2008 to join LOVE as Creative Director, winning global advertising accounts such as PlayStation, Umbro, Nike, and Diageo. In 2012, he began freelancing, and during this time, he cooked up a new business idea, Withoomph.com, which launched in 2014 and was acquired by Canva.com in 2018.
2019 - 2022
In 2018, Darren joined British Cycling to help them execute their organizational strategy, "Transforming Britain into a Great Cycling Nation," working across all disciplines, from Road, Track, Cyclocross, BMX racing, BMX Freestyle, Cycle Speedway, and MTB. He has worked on cycling projects that target every level, including Olympic champions, professional and amateur athletes, weekend warriors, and first-time riders, extending to kids on balance bikes.
2023 — PRESENT
Darren is now an experienced freelance creative expert who partners with clients to help grow their businesses. He is also working on a new digital product called Darta, which transforms sports data into art.
Darren possesses a passion and drive for a variety of sporting activities, including cycling, cyclocross racing, commuting 30 miles per day, running (both trail and road), crossfit/ HIIT, and he also actively participates in rugby for a local club.