James Turner

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James Turner

James Turner, born 1978[1] is a British graphic designer who worked at Game Freak. In 2010, he became the first Westerner to officially design Pokémon.

Turner designed Pokémon for Pokémon Black and White, Pokémon X and Y, Pokémon Sun and Moon, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and Pokémon Sword and Shield; he was also the Art Director for the latter. Additionally, he directed the 2012 Nintendo 3DS eShop title HarmoKnight and the 2015 video game published by Sega, Tembo the Badass Elephant.

Before joining Game Freak, James Turner worked for eight years at Genius Sonority, and was credited under the name Jamie Turner (Japanese: ジェイミー・ターナー). The first game he worked on at this company was Pokémon Colosseum, and according to James, he was responsible for the game's battle effects, battle camera, and cutscenes.[2] For Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, Turner finalized Shadow Lugia based on various initial sketches of the design drawn by Hiromoto SIN-Ichi, which began after the conceptualization of the core game.[3] Turner designed all the characters for Pokémon Battle Revolution and oversaw the designs of the different outfits.[4] He would then leave Genius Sonority to apply for another job, landing a position at GAME FREAK before the release of Pokémon Black and White.[3] During his interview, Turner claimed that he was required to design a Pokémon on the spot as part of the interview process. Although the moment was too fleeting to come up with a fully-fledged Pokémon with a backstory, Turner has mentioned that this design was originally a ghostly tree, which would later go on to spark the idea for the Phantump family in Pokémon X and Y.[3]

On June 9, 2022, Turner announced that he had left Game Freak to form his own game studio, All Possible Futures.[5][6][7] This was a change that he had decided upon during the pre-production phase of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, shortly following the end of Sword and Shield's development.[3]



The following is a list of Pokémon designed by Turner.

Generation III
Box XD 249S.png
Shadow Lugia[8]
Generation V
Menu HOME 0582.png Menu HOME 0583.png Menu HOME 0584.png Menu HOME 0622.png Menu HOME 0623.png Menu HOME 0629.png Menu HOME 0630.png
Vanillite[9][10][11] Vanillish[9][10] Vanilluxe[9][10] Golett[9][10] Golurk[9][10][12] Vullaby[9][10] Mandibuzz[10]
Generation VI
Menu HOME 0708.png Menu HOME 0709.png
Phantump[11][13] Trevenant[13]
Generation VII
Menu HOME 0779.png Menu HOME 0794.png Menu HOME 0799.png Menu HOME 0803.pngShinyLGPEStar.png Menu HOME 0804.pngShinyLGPEStar.png
Buzzwole[11][15] Guzzlord[11][15] Poipole[16][17]
(and Shiny)[18]
Generation VIII
HOME0025Gi.png HOME0094Gi.png Menu HOME 0263-Galar.pngShinyLGPEStar.png Menu HOME 0264-Galar.pngShinyLGPEStar.png Menu HOME 0850.png Menu HOME 0851.png HOME0851Gi.png Menu HOME 0854.png Menu HOME 0855.pngShinyLGPEStar.png Menu HOME 0862.pngShinyLGPEStar.png
(and Shiny)[22]
(and Shiny)[24]
(and Shiny)[26]
Sizzlipede[27] Centiskorch[28] Gigantamax
Sinistea[30] Polteageist[31]
(and Shiny)[32]
(and Shiny)[34]
Generation IX
Menu HOME 0128-Paldea Combat.png Menu HOME 0128-Paldea Blaze.png Menu HOME 0128-Paldea Aqua.png Menu HOME 0977.pngShinyLGPEStar.png Menu HOME 0978.pngShinyLGPEStar.png Menu HOME 0978-Droopy.pngShinyLGPEStar.png Menu HOME 0978-Stretchy.pngShinyLGPEStar.png
Paldean Tauros
Combat Breed
Paldean Tauros
Blaze Breed
Paldean Tauros
Aqua Breed
(and Shiny)[37]
Curly Form
(and Shiny)[39]
Droopy Form
(and Shiny)[39]
Stretchy Form
(and Shiny)[39]


050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Needs images of Aquarella and Boolum

The following is a list of characters designed by Turner.

He also designed unknown human characters in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.[47]

Official artwork

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Harmoknight x Pokémon art
GAME FREAK Postcard art
SWSH key art
Hello Ponyta merch

This is a collection of official Pokémon artwork drawn by Turner.


Pokémon & GAME FREAK releases

Title Platform Release date Position
Pokémon Colosseum Nintendo GameCube 2003-11-21 Camera Animation
Special Effects Art
Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness Nintendo GameCube 2005-08-04 Art Chief
Pokémon Trozei! Nintendo DS 2005-10-20 Art Director
Pokémon Battle Revolution Wii 2006-12-14 Art Director
Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors Wii 2007-07-12 Art Director
Pokémon Black and White Nintendo DS 2010-09-18 Digital Movie--Main Design
Pokémon Character Design
3-D Map Graphics
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 Nintendo DS 2012-06-23 Pokémon Character Design
Pokémon Black Version and White Version Graphics Design
HarmoKnight Nintendo 3DS 2012-09-05 Director
Pokémon X and Y Nintendo 3DS 2013-10-12 Digital Movie Design Lead
Pokémon Characters Design
Tembo the Badass Elephant Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
2015-05-21 Director
Pokémon Sun and Moon Nintendo 3DS 2016-11-18 Digital Movie Design/Effect Design Section Director
Pokémon Characters Design
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Nintendo 3DS 2017-11-17 Pokémon Characters Design
Pokémon Sword and Shield Nintendo Switch 2019-11-15 Art Director
Pokémon Design
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Nintendo Switch 2022-11-18 Pokémon Design
Character Design

Other games

Title Platform Release date Position
GRAPPIN Microsoft Windows 2023-03-24 Main Key-Art Design
The Plucky Squire Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 5
Xbox Series X
Nintendo Switch


  • While Turner has several Pokémon among his favorites,[51] as of April 29, 2018, Salandit is his favorite Pokémon.[52]


  1. GAME FREAK Illustration Demonstration: Episode Two [James Turner x HarmoKnight] - YouTube
  2. Tweet about Turner's responsibilities on Colosseum
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Pokémon’s Art Director On Leaving Game Freak For The Plucky Squire - MinnMax Interview
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Tweet about designing all characters for Pokémon Battle Revolution
  5. Tweet by James Turner (@JamesTurner_42). Posted on June 9, 2022.
  6. Tweet by James Turner (@JamesTurner_42). Posted on June 9, 2022.
  7. All Possible Futures Official Account
  8. Tweet about finalizing the design of Shadow Lugia
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 GAME FREAK: 「ポケットモンスターブラック・ホワイト」のつくりかた 4 (archive)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Nintendo Dream Vol. 205, May 2011 (Shellspider's blog (Japanese), Translations (Part 1, Part 2) by Dr. Lava)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Interview with James Turner
  12. Tweet about designing Golurk
  13. 13.0 13.1 Tweet about designing Phantump and Trevenant
  14. 14.0 14.1 Archive of deleted tweet by @JamesTurner_42 (Posted on January 29, 2018).
  15. 15.0 15.1 Tweet about designing Buzzwole and Guzzlord
  16. 16.0 16.1 Tweet about designing Poipole and Naganadel
  17. 17.0 17.1 Tweet about designing Poipole
  18. 18.0 18.1 Tweet about designing Shiny Poipole and Naganadel
  19. Tweet about designing Naganadel and the origin of Naganadel's Japanese name
  20. Tweet about designing Gigantamax Pikachu
  21. Tweet about designing Gigantamax Gengar
  22. Tweet about designing Shiny Gigantamax Gengar
  23. Tweet about designing Galarian Zigzagoon
  24. Tweet about designing Shiny Galarian Zigzagoon
  25. Tweet about designing Galarian Linoone
  26. Tweet about designing Shiny Galarian Linoone
  27. Tweet about designing Sizzlipede
  28. Tweet about designing Centiskorch
  29. Tweet about designing Gigantamax Centiskorch
  30. Tweet about designing Sinistea
  31. Tweet about designing Polteageist
  32. Tweet about designing Shiny Polteageist (Japanese, archive)
  33. Tweet about designing Obstagoon
  34. Tweet about designing Shiny Obstagoon
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Tweet about designing Paldean Tauros.
  36. Tweet about designing Dondozo
  37. Tweet about designing Shiny Dondozo
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Tweet about designing Tatsugiri
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Tweet about designing Shiny Tatsugiri
  40. Tweet about designing Zook
  41. Yeah! I designed Lucy ☀️
  42. 42.00 42.01 42.02 42.03 42.04 42.05 42.06 42.07 42.08 42.09 42.10 42.11 42.12 42.13 42.14 42.15 42.16 42.17 42.18 42.19 [1]
  43. 43.0 43.1 Tweet about designing Nate and Cyndy
  44. Tweet about designing Sashay
  45. [2]
  46. 46.0 46.1 Tweet about designing Professor Sada and Professor Turo
  47. My pleasure to serve These are the first humans I designed for the mainline games! Before this I designed humans for XD, Battle Revolution, and Trozei.
  48. Tweet about designing Naganadel
  49. 49.0 49.1 Pokémon — James Turner
  50. 50.0 50.1 https://twitter.com/JamesTurner_42/status/1399259424498372612
  51. Post about the various favorite Pokémon of James Turner.
  52. Post about James Turner's favorite Pokémon

External links

Pokémon designers

Emi AndoHitoshi ArigaKanako EoHiroki FuchinoMotofumi Fujiwara
Misaki HashimotoMana IbeAsuka IwashitaTomohiro KitakazeFumie Kittaka
Yusuke KozakiKazuyuki KurashimaLee HyunJungMegumi MizutaniShigeki Morimoto
Keiko MoritsuguKensaku NabanaAtsuko NishidaYusuke OhmuraTomohiko Ohkubo
Muneo SaitōKen SugimoritakeReiko TanoueAimi TomitaKenkichi Toyama
Saya TsurutaJames TurnerTakao UnnoEmi YoshidaHironobu Yoshida