Archive for May, 2009

There’s two sides to every story

by Ellen Munro

With Coley Porter Bell being a design agency, inevitably, we print things. A lot. Our recycling bins fill up very quickly. Recycling’s great, but how about the other R, re-using?

We decided to take printed paper that was no longer needed and turn it into A5 notepads. By folding the pages inwards and ring binding, we’re left with fully blank pages ready to be scribbled on. An energetic painerly stenciled version of our logo adds colour to the covers. They’ll only ever be for internal use and thanks to the help of our ever enthusiastic placements, Hannah and Carina, all our desks are now graced with one. With printing not likely to cease any time soon, there will be plenty of paper for replacements too. Then of course, we can recycle the first ones!

Happy Birthday Mini

by Katie Monk

The Mini is 50! The cheeky little roadster has been gracing our streets since 1959 and has become an icon of British design and a symbol of the 60′s.  Since it’s rebirth in 2001 the iconic supermini has gone from strength to strength, with limited editions from Paul Smith, collaborations with Smeg and celebrity fans including Madonna, Kate Moss & Matt Damon.

There are some fans who feel that BMW have ‘airbrushed history’ and have not remained loyal to Alec Issigonis’s original design, however the iconic car made famous by Michael Caine in The Italian Job does not seem too worried about that, and today thousands of enthusiasts chose to celebrate the birthday of the worlds most lovable motor in style.


Well worth it

by Ellen Munro

Here’s a new take on the ‘Make do and Mend’ mentality that is proving popular once more, as purse strings are tightened. Pollocks have taken over a shop unit in Seven Dials, Covent Garden and turned it into Worthless, a play on the name of our gone, but never forgotten, high street staple, Woolworths.

From the 22nd May to 5th June, they are inviting people to take in one item each that they regard as worthless. It will then be passed on to a creative artist to transform. The transformation could be taken on by Tracey Emin, Jon Burgerman or a fledgling artist, but it will all be anonymous. The idea then is that you will be able to buy back your item for whatever you think it is worth. Certain items will also be auctioned off and profits given to the MS Society.

Pollocks want to show us all that art doesn’t have to be hung in high brow galleries or covered in diamonds to be worth something. They say ‘Worthless demonstrates the beauty of craft and the value of creativity’. A beautiful sentiment, I’ll be interested to see what creations appear from Worthless.

Worthless Exhibition
Opens 10am, Friday 22nd May and runs everyday till the 5th June.
37 Endell Street, Seven Dials – Covent Garden.

Time to SHINE

by Sarah Ridley

We are launching our annual student competition SHINE 2009, with media partner newdesign magazine.

The competition is open to all 2nd year graphic design students who graduate in 2010, and the winner walks away with £3000 plus 3 months paid work experience at Coley Porter Bell.

This year’s poster was designed by Miles Marshall, from Norwich University College of the Arts, whose ‘swimming sperm’ is an edgy take on the competition name and ethos.

To enter students need to submit one piece of work that best shows off their creative talent and send to SHINE 2009, Coley Porter Bell, 18 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0DH.  Entry deadline is 19th June 2009.

Short-listed candidates are invited to the agency to present their portfolios from which 10 finalists are selected to design next year’s competition poster.  The winner is chosen at a reception held in the autumn.

Please make sure that your contact information is included with each entry (photocopies are acceptable) – name, address/tel number, mobile number, email and college that you are attending.

Photoshop shocker

by Adam Ellis

I saw this article in todays newspaper, Hockney an artist respected as one of the greatest living craftsmen of our time has created his latest body of work on Photoshop…I feel slightly torn, when you see a piece of art the goose bumps you get are from actually knowing the tactile quality of the paint raised up from the canvas texture was truly applied by the artist , a one off if you like it’s magical.  Knowing Hockney has embraced technoligy is great, but if an agent can rattle of a few more copies every now and then does the exclusivty of true art loose its luster. That said I wonder if Da Vinci could have used a mac would he?

Twit Twoo – the rise and rise of Twitter

by Katie Monk

About a month ago I attended a networking event by The Future Laboratory where I met Hugh Garry a really interesting guy, who ‘makes interesting digital things happen’ at Radio 1.  He spoke to a small group of us about the wonders of the digital world, and among the many things he spoke about was Twitter.  Now I had heard of Twitter, but just didn’t understand what it was or it’s purpose.  Garry recommended I sign up and ‘just start tweeting’ which in itself sounded like a very strange concept to me.  He suggested following people I’m interested in and to just embrace the site and see what happens….


The ‘CHER’ factor and the Recession

by Stephen Bell

Have you noticed how brands that have been around along time are now reminding us of that fact as we are in a recession? Obviously it’s all about reassurance, dependability and to some degree, comfort. Brands often live longer than people and their enduring history gives us a sense of stability. Some of the brands we are still buying today have survived depression, recession and two world wars, so what’s the problem?

It reminds me of a great quote by American Impressionist Jimmy James who when talking about singer/actress Cher and her perseverance and longevity said -

“After the nuclear holocaust, all that will be left are cockroaches and Cher”.

I think brands are reminding us of their CHER factor. Relentless survivors, always there no matter what, albeit with a few makeovers and touch-ups.

Examples include HOVIS and their historical epic of a TV ad as well as nostalgic print ads. Persil, currently celebrating 100 years of tough but gentle cleaning with TV ads that show the brand through history as well as how the pack design has morphed through time. Nestle Milky Bar, again morphing the pack design through its long history and a current Uncle Benns Print Ad reminds consumers of the good value of rice for family meals, with the character of Uncle Benn saying “I’ve been through a few of these recession thingys myself.”

When it comes to Cher, other stars may come and go, but she is reassuringly always there for us…..sequins and all.  So it is with some old and familiar brands. The show MUST go on!

Kiss the frog

by Kate Azurdia

If you haven’t already seen it, take a few moments to look at the Prince of Wales Save the Rainforest campaign on YouTube. I think it’s brilliant, delivered in a thoughtful, engaging and intelligent way. When I read about the frog in the newspaper on the way to work, I thought it might be a little tacky but it actually raises a smile and a charm, creating a hook for the campaign to get raise interest in a very important subject.

World’s 100 Most Valuable Brands

by Christian Barnett

BRANDZ has released the 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2009. I will skate over and around the methodology for BRANDZ - you can read all about that on the website, here - and instead offer a couple of interesting, top-line snippets.

Inspite of the recession, the value of the top 100 brands increased by 2% to $2 trillion. This means that brand share is a greater percentage of total company value.


This blog is about all the things that inspire us as we make brands beautiful: insights and ideas, points of view, fabulous work, nascent trends - all the things that excite us and help us to see new possibilities for the brands we work on. So please enjoy, add your comments, forward the link, and come back and see us. We’ll be posting regularly.