He started out as an historical illustrator but after ten years, describing everyday life from the Stone Age to the present, "was keen to escape." He approached Penguin Books and spent another ten years painting paperback covers for a wide range of genres from horror to romance. He has also illustrated a number of children's books.
He was runner-up for the Francis Williams memorial prize for children’s book illustrations in 1987 with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Gollancz, 1984).
The University of Brighton’s Aldrich Collection houses Todd’s original gouache works for the illustrated edition of Treasure Island.
Dreaming Aloud - Justin Todd, a catalogue, with an accompanying essay by Christopher Sharrock, which tracks the contribution of Todd to the history of his profession, from early illustrations of 'Penny Lane' in the Beatles Song Book to Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island, is available through the College of Arts and Humanities online shop.