Archive for September, 2010

Plundering Nature can save the Planet

by Ridhi Sain

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that all design is theft or even that most design is unoriginal and ‘borrowed’. But as a designer I know it is true that all designers draw on external references and sources for their inspiration.

So imagine how useful it would be to have an enormous archive of the very best design in the world, addressing any and every problem you could conceive of. Design that has been researched and honed again and again to the most exacting and exhaustive standards, until it could not be more perfect. A treasure chest that is absolutely free for anyone to use. No copyright, no patent, no licence fee. Not even a subscription to a fancy design magazine.


“Mmm… Biltong!”

by James Mcdermid

Biltong is perhaps the greatest culinary invention of all time.

It has the delicious meaty flavor that one might expect from a full sit-down dinner yet it’s ready to eat straight out of the packet. Not only that but it’s also inexpensive, virtually nonperishable, can be enjoyed as a snack at any time of the day, strengthens jaw muscles, makes very little mess and goes great with red wine. What more could you want!

For those who haven’t heard of it, biltong is a spiced cured meat similar to beef jerky that originated in – and is enjoyed throughout – South Africa. I’ve been fortunate enough to have come to experience the joys of biltong, as well as many other South African cultural mainstays, from my time spent here in Cape Town, made possible by CPB’s ‘Life Swap’ programme.


What Shine did for me

by Guest Blogger
Why am I the only one working round here?

Why am I the only one working round here?

I was so shocked when I won CPB’s Shine award last year – that when they asked me what I planned to spend the three thousand pounds on, my brain went blanco. “Fashion” I blurted out foolishly.

Now I am half way through the three month work placement that makes up the other half of the prize, guess what they call me? Not Jia Ying, (my first name). Not even Doctor Gnoh (my surname). No, I am known in the Coley Porter Bell creative department, simply as “Fashion.”

Ok I did spend a chunk of it on clothes. I bought a couple of fabulous interview jackets from TopShop which cost me nearly a thousand pounds. And then I spent two hundred pounds having my portfolio professionally printed. And the rest -well it has gone on what it was meant for -the costly business of living in and travelling in London. Really they should call me “Oyster Card”.


September 5 Beautiful Things

by Stephen Bell


At Coley Porter Bell, we regularly share 5 ‘Beautiful Things’ which have inspired us. Here’s our latest collection. We hope they do the same for you.

If you would like to see more beautiful things which have grabbed us in recent weeks, please visit our beautiful blog:

Stephen Bell, Creative Director

balloon art: jason hackenwerth

Balloon modelling tends to conjure up a certain image – that of clowns and children’s parties. American artist, Jason Hackenwerth, takes the concept to a whole new level with these hugely innovative and captivating sculptures.

The amount of detail in each piece as well as the sheer scale must be seen to be believed. Whoever would have thought such incredible results could be achieved with the humble balloon?

Hackenwerth, described as a fun-loving and vibrant character, clearly embodies his personality in his work. It makes you smile. His unusual and unpretentious subject matter and materials make Hackenwerth more accessible than other artists. Serious he’s not, but a serious player he is – Jason Hackenwerth is a highly regarded artist and exhibits globally at high profile events including Venice Biennale.

To find out more about Jason Hackenwerth’s balloon sculptures, go to


3 New Schools For The New School Year

by Alex Benady
Brilliant Clapham Manor School

Brilliant Clapham Manor School

Of all the different design disciplines, architecture is probably the most powerful in its ability to change collective and individual consciousness. It can determine how we relate to each other and how we feel about ourselves-for the better or worse.

Just think of the regenerative effect that Frank Gehry’s Museum of Modern Art had on the town of Bilbao. And it is only now being understood just how profoundly the built environment affects pupil’s learning in schools.

Two stunning examples of this insight at work have appeared in London recently. The first is dRMM’s polychromatic extension to Clapham Manor Street primary school in south London. (more…)

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.