Fredrick Cecil David Holmes was born in Chelsea, London.  He was schooled at Ealing Technical Collage & School of Art and The Central School of Art.

David, as he became known, then joined the Fifties world of advertising, where, after brief interlude for National Service, his passion and creative flair quickly established his reputation; first as an art director for Colman, Prentis & Varley and then with: WS Crawford, Mather & Crowther, Kingsley, Manton & Palmer and the Television Depart. Ltd.  David created hugely successful campaigns for clients including Formica, White Horse and British Gas, but it was his campaign for The Salvation Army in 1967, which helped to raise a million pounds to support disadvantaged children he remains proudest of today.


In Seventies, David struck-out on his own running his creative consultancy for two years before teaming up with Dick Knight and Alasdair Ritchie as founder and creative director of Holmes Knight Ritchie in 1977.

The agency quickly developed a reputation as a creative hot shop and evolved first into HKR Wells Rich Greene and then finally TBWA-HKR under David’s creative leadership.

During this period David created campaigns which established brands including Dow's and Graham’s Port, Dyno Rod and Grolsch.  But perhaps David's most enduring work is his long association with Macallan, from 1973 to present times. Now a global brand, Macallan owes much of its success to the brilliant ads and packaging created by David and his writing partner Nick Salaman.   

David left TBWA-HKR in 1992 and has since devoted his time to painting, illustration and design at his London studio in Primrose Hill.

As well as painting, David still accepts commissions and is always interested to discuss new projects.  Recent projects include a commission to design a book for "The Ivy" to commemorate their 100-year anniversary, and from his long-standing client, Macallan, to design a series of limited edition tin books celebrating the history of the development of this most famous brand.

Perhaps the best way to enjoy and understand the full breadth of David's work is to buy a copy of his book, "A Brush with the Music of Time".  Designed by David, this beautiful book, which won "Best British Book" in the British Book Design & Production Awards 2017, documents David's working life, and with a typically generous David Cecil Holmes touch, name checks all the friends and colleagues with whom he has worked in career spanning over seven decades.