But the heavy work-load and city living eventually pushed Reid out of Suburban Press and away from London, in general. Then, in 1976, he received a telegram from his college friend, Malcolm McLaren, who wanted to gauge Jamie Reid's interest in coming back to London.
Jamie Reid's return to the city brought him back in touch with McLaren and a new band that McLaren had recently formed and started managing, ‘The Sex Pistols’. Fronted by lead singer Johnny Rotten, the angry, brash young group soon became the face of English punk rock. At least part of that was due to Reid.
Working closely with the Pistols, Jamie Reid designed artwork for the group's debut (and only) studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. He also co-wrote the lyrics of one of the group's most popular songs, "Anarchy in the U.K.," and produced cover art for the song, a torn and tattered Union Jack flag with safety pins clipped to it. That and other he made Pistols art, including a picture of the Queen with a safety pin through her lip, became defining symbols of the punk rock era, and the Sex Pistols in particular.
Following the Pistols' end in 1978 and the demise of the British punk scene, Jamie Reid continued to work as an artist, infusing his work with his political leanings. He's worked with various artists to protest nuclear weapons, racism and a fairer criminal justice system. For much of the 1980’s and '90s, he worked with the world music group Afro Celt Sound System.
In 2000, Jamie was commissioned to design the Magic Room in the Pelirocco Hotel in Brighton England, which offers rooms with decor inspired by British youth cults, and counter culture icons. The Magic room is decked out in shocking pink and florescent yellow, with works by Jamie Reid on the walls, and his designs printed on the curtains and wallpaper. A retrospective of Jamie Reid's work was exhibited at The Aquarium L-13 gallery in London in 2007.
Jamie Reid has collaborated with street art legend Shepard Fairey to produce a series of powerful contemporary political images focusing on climate change and the banking crisis, including Bright Future: Save Petrol/ Burn Cars, an effective satirical spin on Jamie Reid's Nowhere Buses, complete with burning Rolls Royces and a Suburban Press bumper sticker.