Archive for March, 2012

Coley Porter Bell ‘puts it down’

by adamsweeney

Creative Quarter is an opportunity for us as a company to get out of the office and experience something new. Last time it was life drawing, this time we decided to get all urban and learn the art of graffiti, with the help of some experts. So on a sunny Wednesday evening we set off to a warehouse in deepest darkest Wood Green with Iona from Graffiti Life, armed with crisps, beer and prosecco (there’s obviously only so urban some of us can get).


One for the road

by Sarah Cameron

New technologies are infiltrating, and in turn innovating each and every part of modern existence. Travel is one aspect of life that has been yearning for a revolution, with passengers craving added elements of comfort and enjoyment to stem the tedium of their daily commute. With Virgin Media celebrating its win of the London Underground WiFi contract, ticket halls, platforms and escalators in 80 stations will be modernised with free internet during the Olympic period. However, with a lack of connection whilst on the tube, and a pay-as-you-go service introduced from September 2012, I am sceptical. Rather than providing a realistic, affordable and entertaining daily provision for Londoners, I fear that the WiFi service is in fact a status-based fad, conveniently free in July and August to appease tourists in the short-term. (more…)

TUI Marine calls in Coley Porter Bell for brand development

by Alex Benady

TUI Travel PLC’s Specialist and Activity Sector’s Marine Division TUI Marine has appointed Coley Porter Bell to carry out brand development work

TUI Travel PLC is one of the world’s leading travel companies with more than 30 million customers, 53,000 employees and more than 250 brands. The Marine Division, the world leaders in water-based holidays includes brands such as luxury yacht charter company The Moorings, sailing holidays, sailing schools and sailing events company Sunsail, and inland waterways boating holiday operator Le Boat.

Vicky Bullen, CEO of Coley Porter Bell said: “Our task is to help TUI Travel PLC’s Specialist and Activity Sector’s Marine Division’s brands compete more effectively.”


Coley Porter Bell helps Actegy to Red Dot award

by Alex Benady

A health product that Coley Porter Bell helped design in addition to developing its brand identity, packaging and corporate identity, has won at one of the world’s leading design competitions.

Actegy Health’s Revitive IX Circulation Booster beat off competition from 4500 other entries to pick up a coveted Red Dot  award in Essen, Germany last week.

The Revitive IX is the latest version of Actegy’s ‘Circulation Booster’ and is due for launch in late April. It was designed to help people with circulation disorders, as a result of old age, illness or disability. The device uses electrical stimulation to significantly increase the blood flow in the feet and legs.

The Revitive IX was designed by Cambridge based medical product design company Team Consulting. Coley Porter Bell contributed design detailing to improve the branding of the product itself.

CPB also designed new packaging and a word mark for Revitive IX intended to create a simple clear and powerful expression of the product’s benefits. Previous packaging had focused on product use. The new packaging forms part of the Actegy’s submission to Red Dot.




The award comes as Actegy, formerly High Tech Health rolls out its new identity, -also created by Coley Porter Bell. The device features the word ‘Actegy’ in moss green accompanied by a heart-shaped device that could be a tree or a circulation system. Attached is the phrase ‘powered by science, inspired by you”.

“Home healing is a relatively new way of dealing with illness. High Tech Health built the original circulation booster but its lead is being threatened by rivals. We helped them devise a visual and verbal language for the category,” said Helen Westropp, head of Coley Porter Bell’s corporate practice.

Josh Penny, MD at Actegy Health said: “When we embarked on this project our objective was to put some distance between us and the imitation products that were coming onto the market.

“We recognised that in order to maintain our premium market position we needed to innovate and launch an iconic product that had a strong medical/therapeutic aesthetic but at the same time would appeal to consumers in a retail environment. This award is a massive stamp of approval across what we’ve done.”

The Red Dot design award dates back to 1955 and is now one of the world’s largest and most distinguished design competitions. In 2012, 1,800 large companies and independent designers from 58 countries registered to the “red dot award: product design”. Within the competition’s 19 different categories, a total of 4,515 registrations were submitted. ENDS


A Fabergé Easter?

by Sarah Cameron

Consumers love for all things Fabergé dates back to the reign of Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra, when a young Peter Carl Fabergé served as jeweller and goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court. Fabergé, and the intricately designed and jewel encrusted Eggs, soon became a symbol of luxury and status during the turn of the 20th century.

History aside, it is interesting to see the impact of the brand still to this day. Despite a legal fiasco regarding the use of the Fabergé name in the 50s, the brand’s allure was restored in late 2009, with a relaunch of ‘The World of Fabergé’ which remains in keeping with the ‘poetry, artistry and refined ideals of beauty’ instilled by Peter Carl Fabergé.

Reminiscent of London’s 2010 Elephant Parade, cue ‘The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt’; the brands latest attempt to engage consumers across central London, with a range of 209 giant ornate eggs decorated by leading artists, designers, architects and jewellers, including Zhandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood and Marc Quinn.

A social media drive via a dedicated Twitter profile and Facebook app encourages people to ‘join the hunt’ by downloading area maps and clues to help uncover the location of each egg. And if the thrill of the game wasn’t enough, upon texting each Central London location, consumers are entered into a prize draw, to be in with the chance of winning a limited edition £100,000 bling-bling ‘Diamond Jubilee Egg’.

Aside from the Egg Hunt, 30 of the most beautifully designed creations will be sold at an exclusive Sotheby’s live auction this afternoon, with the remaining range currently being auctioned online, including a rather pompous looking ‘Humpty Dumpty’ creation by The Princes Drawing School, signed by The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, no less.

So, if you’ve always wanted to be the proud owner of a jewel encrusted gem of an egg, arm yourself with a smart phone, grab some clues, and hit the streets of London during the remaining days of Lent.


Do-good design

by Sarah Cameron

If someone asked me to pay full price for half a lettuce during my usual weekly shop, I’d think they were having a laugh. However, in the case of Brazilian Charity campaign ‘Half for Happiness’, more than 100 half products were successfully sold every day, in a wonderfully simple yet innovative campaign.

Combining a strong visual impact with experiential tactics, every day supermarket products – including cabbages, pizzas and steaks- were cut clean in half, accompanied with the message ‘How about sharing with those in need’ in the white blank space left behind.

By asking consumers to pay the usual full product price, 50% of the profits were donated to Casa Do Zezinho, a Sao-Paulo based charity collecting much needed funds for children suffering from malnutrition.

The NGO was able to keep costs low through a fantastically simple guerrilla marketing approach, whilst using a creative packaging design to bold effect. With a 28% increase in donations to the charity since the campaign, coupled with a Silver Cannes Lion to boot, both immediate and long-term financial and reputational success were generated for this worthwhile cause.


Morrisons attributes record profits to new M savers brand

by Alex Benady

Morrisons has attributed the chain’s record turnover and profits last year to the performance of its new ‘M savers’ budget line created by Coley Porter Bell.

Last week the UK’s fourth largest supermarket reported an 8% rise in annual pre-tax profit to £947m, up from £874m in 2010/11. The result beat city forecasts and the performance of rival supermarket chains.


Dalton Phillips

Turnover grew by 7% to £17.7bn compared to £16.5bn last time and the store enjoyed record customer numbers, up 0.4m a week. The retailer attributed the good results to its emphasis on fresh produce and low prices. Its budget M savers range performed particularly strongly, while the fact that Morrisons produces half of the fresh goods it sells in its stores also paid off said chief executive officer Dalton Philips.

“This has been Morrisons’ best year yet with another good financial performance and growth ahead of the market. Customers were having a tough time but we responded with a new M savers brand for budget conscious shoppers, promotions that customers understood, and industry leading service, he said.

Tesco kicked off a price war last autumn when it unveiled its  Big Price Drop campaign, prompting Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons to follow suit. M Savers which attempts to give even Morrisons most basic products an artisan feel, formed part of the company’s response.

Dalton Philips told Sky News: “We are a very different business from our competitors because we are entirely focused on food. We manufacture so much of our food, we have our own facilities – we have a farm where we get our meat from… that’s unusual, it’s not done elsewhere in the UK.”

Morrisons appointed Coley Porter Bell to redesign the 17,000 skus in its own label range in 2010. ENDS

CPB staffer researches happiness in Bhutan to inform brands in Britain

by Alex Benady

Senior planner Ed Silk has flown to the Himalayan Kindgdom of Bhutan for a two week field trip investigating happiness.

In the past fifty years average per capita incomes have risen across the world by hundreds of per cent. But despite the higher disposable income most research suggests that society is no happier than in 1960. Ed wants to find out why.

He has chosen to visit Bhutan because it has been making political and economic policy based on measures of Gross National Happiness,  since 1972. ‘GNH’  is assessed by its peoples’ sense of being well-governed, their relationship with the environment, satisfaction with the pace of economic development, and a sense of cultural and national belonging.

As a result Bhutan has a raft of progressive measures aimed at improving quality of life. It has banned outdoor advertising, MTV and plastic bags. In 2004, Bhutan became the first country in the world to ban smoking and the selling of tobacco.

A cynic might say it’s just as well that Bhutan focuses on happiness not income. It’s economy ranks 169th in the world, annual per capita income is around $500 a month and a third of the population exists below the poverty line.

Similarly it is said that when French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a few years ago to include well-being in the French national accounts, it was only because he knew the economy was about to flat-line.

But such arguments  ignore the enormous weight of logic that suggests it may be foolish and short sighted to run the entire world on one very dodgy ‘metric’: GDP.

Ed is hoping to discover what we can learn from this remote and supposedly backward Himalayan country and why we measure well-being solely in terms of economic growth? He also wants to understand the role brands play in making us happier as a nation. And he is hoping to answer the intriguing question: shouldn’t we measure how happy a brand makes us feel rather than simply counting the amount of shareholder value it creates?

Ed earned the trip by winning Coley Porter Bell’s annual Blue Skies award which aims to encourage people in the company to pursue their creative dreams and develop new thinking. The winner receives a cash prize of £2500 and two weeks off for research. ENDS


We need a nurturing designer who is highly creative with drink (and fmcg)

by Stephen Bell

Caring and creative?

We are looking for an imaginative, versatile designer with seven or more years experience. You’ll have big ideas and a strong conceptual imagination with the ability to think about brand identity ‘beyond the pack’. You’ll have an eye for detail, excellent crafting skills and you’ll think about packaging structurally as well as graphically.

We are a brand design agency so it goes without saying that you must have a good understanding of brands and the client organisations that own them. That includes the ability to build relationship and understanding the importance of strategy as a springboard for great work. Needless to say, you’ll be a comfortable and articulate presenter.

Coley Porter Bell is a happy, straightforward place to work and we like to support each other. So we want you to be able to use your experience to nurture younger designers. That means you are energetic, motivating, down to earth and fun. Or a ‘team player’ as the job ads put it.

Above all, you must share our desire to make brands beautiful.

Does this sound like you? Go on, send a pdf cv and portfolio to Sarah Davey my PA. It’s a fantastic design job for the right person.


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.