First female Head of Design is among three new White October appointments

Frances Place, Jo Lankester and Stephen Trott of White October

Frances Place, Jo Lankester and Stephen Trott of White October - Credit: Archant

Oxford digital agency White October appoints Jo Lankester as Head of Design, plus two recruits in Design and Customer Relations, Stephen Trott and Frances Place, to strengthen its offerings in digital services and client relationships.

The new recruits bring the total White October employees to 28, which is now one of the region’s largest digital consultancies.

Digital designer Jo Lankester’s promotion to Head of Design makes her White October’s first female in the job. Jo, who joined White October as interaction designer in 2012, will now head up the team of four UX and web creatives, oversee the creative work across all accounts and steer White October’s complete creative output as the firm continues to grow.

Jo says of her appointment: “In the last few years Oxford has flourished as a major regional hub for design and branding talent, and White October is a leading player. I’m proud to be making such a strong contribution, helping to shape our creative direction as we move forward.” In addition to her work at White October, Jo is heavily involved in the region’s design community. A speaker at Geek Nights in Milton Keynes and Oxford, she is also co-organiser of Design Jam Reading and runs community printmaking workshops in Oxford. Last year, Jo co-founded the Oxford Creative Assembly which brings together creative professionals to share ideas and knowledge.

Before joining White October Jo established the Oxford design and branding studio, Pen & Pixel Design.

Stephen Trott joins as Interaction Designer adding a host of skills in branding, illustration and visual design. A brand and UX specialist, he has co-founded two start-ups within accelerator programmes - One Diary, an interactive diary and Bertie & Bean, a children’s clothing exchange - raising finance and guiding products to launch. A talented design practitioner, Stephen has also created innovative outdoor advertising for ClearChannel Create. His first major projects at White October are the Gourmet Burger Kitchen mobile app and creative work for new photography conference Birdie. When he is not putting his creative talent to work, Stephen enjoys crayfishing in the River Ock and exploring Oxfordshire by bike. He is also currently South Leigh’s Welly Wanging champion.

Customer relationship specialist Frances Place takes up the position of Client Account Manager working with Client Services Director Chris Jones. Frances joins from Oxfordshire County Council, where she helped to implement a new Customer Relationship System for its service centre. At White October Frances will be the main liaison point for clients throughout the life of their projects, from initial scoping to delivery and evaluation. Frances will also work on the Vizzata project, pursuing new applications and opportunities for this White October-developed research tool.

Outside work Frances is a member of the nationally acclaimed Rock Choir (, and has performed at London’s O2.

White October takes a lean approach to creating websites and mobile applications for innovative companies. The team’s process seeks to conserve budgets and deliver measurable success. Recent projects include an award-winning budget simulator for Lambeth Library and an online customer loyalty mobile application for Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Call 01865 920707, visit or follow @whiteoctober on Twitter.