Archive for February, 2012

Azera: coffee with crema is here

by Emma Brock

Stroll down the coffee aisle of your local supermarket this week and you might notice a significant new brand.

It’s called Azera. It’s from Nescafe and it’s the company’s first foray into the burgeoning microground coffee sector. In fact it’s their biggest coffee launch in years.


I’m especially proud of it because Coley Porter Bell created the name, packaging and brand identity. (more…)

What brands can learn from fishnet stockings

by adamsweeney

I hate to ruin my reputation as a wild twentysomething – hypnotised by X Factor, tweeting by reflex and primed to riot at the drop of a Nike – but last week, I tuned in to Radio 4 to listen to Start the Week.

Having slogged my way through 40 minutes of enriching (obtuse) chatter, with neither a live text vote nor a dancing Dermot O’Leary to keep my spirits up, these closing words from sculptor Peter Randall-Page grabbed my attention.

“We spend our lives making decisions about what’s inside a thing from what’s on the outside.”


Young gun goes for it

by Clare Taylor

Today a small yellow box was delivered to our reception. No, it wasn’t a valentine. It was a cv. Possibly the best presented and entertaining I’ve seen.

The label read ‘A Toy’ – inside the box was a paper plane with the instruction ‘Please Open’ written on the nose. We unfolded the plane and on the reverse was an immaculately laid out and very well written covering letter.

The best was yet to come. Beneath the paper plane was a toy gun. With a hint of trepidation we pulled the trigger. As we did, the barrel of the gun snapped open and a piece of pink cloth unfurled. It revealed a cv where it should have said ‘bang’.

The red flash read ‘Don’t despair! Help is at hand’ from Elle Loveday Rose Lockhart, a second year Design student from Goldsmiths University, London.

Elle, we get many cvs every month. But never a toy pistol before. It was beautifully executed with a witty light touch.

CPB picks up effectiveness hat trick at DBA

by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has won three gongs for effective design at the 2012 Design Business Association’s  2012 Design Effectiveness Awards..

The first was a packaging bronze for helping Unilever’s Hellmann’s Deli Mayo fight off competition from other sauces that were beginning to encroach on its turf. In just five months CPB conceived and executed a new visual identity for a range of flavoured mayonnaises. Within a further eight months, Hellman’s had re-established itself as the market leader in the flavoured mayonnaise sector, increasing share from 18.9% to 32.5%. (more…)

Flashback – how we used to work

by Craig Barnes

Well, how *some* of us used to work – I was a wee nipper when this article was printed but it’s very interesting nontheless.

Whilst browsing my local charity shop I chanced upon a collection of late 1980′s, early ’90′s GRAPHIS magazines. Inside one from 1990 I discovered this gem of an ad: A double page spread promoting the all-new Adobe Photoshop 3!

You can turn red wine to white!

Create a window to an outside world!

Extend a shadow using an airbrush!

All highly skilled and wondrous stuff in this pre-internet era, and I’m sure very expensive to use, too. How far we have come in twenty years. Here we all are using the same programme (eight versions later) to improve our family photos using a clone tool on a PC at home. Or is that just my Mum?

(click on the thumbnail to enlarge and read)



Can the ubiquity of sponsorship ultimately make a brand invisible?

by Igor Astrologo

An article published in Marketing magazine reveals that “Non-sponsor Nike is brand most associated with Olympics”.
This raises a couple of poignant questions for brands interested in becoming sponsors of global events: can being overly present turn a brand into wallpaper? And could well-targeted and -devised campaigns (be they traditional or social-media driven) prove to be the most effective form of communication/promotion for brands with their eye on a global audience?


Nike Make It Count campaign imagery


Cutest crit ever? 5-year-old analyzes logos

by Igor Astrologo

Candid comments by a designer’s 5 yr old daughter on a selection of well known logos.
What’s interesting are the associations she makes: while she immediately recognizes certain logos as a specific brand (ie inevitably Disney, Nike, Apple, Mcdonald’s), others represent an absolute (ie bp=gas, Starbucks=”the coffee logo”).
Amusingly, the Pepsi logo is “the pop from the pizza place” (that’s one way of putting it!), and the Olympic rings are “baby toys”… Let’s hope LOCOG don’t chuck them out the pram if all the money we’ve thrown at the Games goes to waste!




Roses are red violets are blue etc

by Alex Benady whom it may concern

Couriers have been calling at our offices all morning delivering streams of Valentine’s Day tributes to the loveable people at Coley Porter Bell from those who love them.

At 10.00 a beautifully wrapped wicker basket full of cakes and pastries arrived for Ed, one of our planners. The cakes were mostly brown and gold, the basket was light tan and the ribbon a British racing green.

Thoroughly versed in the imagery of Valentine’s day as we are, we all laughed. Not just at the insight shown by Ed’s wife in chosing his love token. But at the recognition of what something as innocent as a basket of cakes has to say about the iconography of Valentine’s day. (more…)

Title sequences don’t come much better than this

by Igor Astrologo

I saw “Thank you for smoking” again the other evening and was reminded not only of the art of a great screenplay, but equally of that of a great opening title sequence. The credits roll by in retro typographic style on vintage cigarette packets, all to a jaunty Country & Western tune by Tex Williams. Ironic to say the least, but couldn’t be more fitting for a film which takes on the tobacco lobby from the inside.

Why we dont want consumers to love our new Morrisons work

by adamsweeney

I was walking out with my inamorata on Saturday night and as we passed a bus stop, I was confronted by an illuminated six sheet poster for Morrisons’ M Savers range. It was strange. It feels like Coley Porter Bell has been working on, obsessing over, worrying about and immersed in nothing else for months, possibly years. (Six months says our studio.)

And there it was -the fruit of our collective labours. Not hidden in a supermarket aisle, but on the street. For everyone to see. “Oh look,” I said, “that’s our work. What do you think?” “Yeah,” she said, ”Nice. Let’s go home.”

“No, but don’t you like the lettering? Craig from work designed it.” “Yes it’s fine,” she said pulling me away. “And don’t you like the little product illustrations? They are hand drawn,” I persisted. “Please, it’s bread,wipes and tea bags. I don’t really care. It’s cold, let’s go home.”

There, she said it. “I don’t really care.” Even though dozens of people have sweated away on these designs for months and months. Even though the designs might play a crucial part in the future prospects of one of the UK’s largest supermarkets. Even though these designs had been part of my life. She didn’t really care. And if she didn’t care just imagine how little people with absolutely no connection to this work would care. (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.