Archive for October, 2012

Five Beautiful Things – Autumn edition

by Sarah Cameron

The leaves are orange, the fog has come down and we’ve finally had to accept that an Indian Summer is not just around the corner… Don’t worry though; wrap your hands round a steaming cup of tea and check out our latest (and particularly bright!) Five Beautiful Things for inspiration despite the drizzle.


60 Shades of Royalty



Throughout the madness of her Diamond Jubilee, it seemed impossible to escape the Queen’s face, but a piece of colourful genius stood out amongst the generic QEII masks and biscuit tins. Leo Burnett has created a masterpiece ‘Pantone Queen: 60 Years of Matching Colours’.  Each colour of outfit is accompanied by the date it was worn, and the Pantone colour reference. And after all the press the younger royals are getting these days, we suspect Her Majesty will be blushing a rosy Pantone 231.



Jolly Brollies



This playful exhibition of colour and abstract beauty was featured in Agueda Portugal, as part of the Agitagueda Art Festival. The Wonderland-esque display carried a soothing elegance while maintaining a stunning array of colour across the sky. The umbrellas also proved to be somewhat practical by providing a shaded stroll for all those admiring the aerial spectacle; an umbrella function us Brits can only envy.



Inside London



OK, so it’s one of ours, but our drinks team at Coley Porter Bell are rather pleased with their new identity for Beefeater’s limited edition ‘Inside London’ bottle, planned as celebration of 2012 – a truly momentous year for London.
Our idea for the bottle stems from the British outwardly conservative appearance and ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude, contrasting with our ‘inner eccentricity’ seen in London’s diverse range of people, culture and activities.



Nice And Toastie



If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the… bus stop? Caribou Coffee, along with the trusty sous chefs at Colle + McVoy, launch their ‘Hot ‘n Wholesome’ breakfast sandwiches by converting bus shelters in Minneapolis into oversized ovens. Not to miss a trick, these public appliances have been fitted with digital clocks and fully functional heaters.



Living With Patterns



Eley Kishimoto, a husband and wife duo, opened their ‘Living With Patterns’ exhibition at The Aram Gallery, London in September, coinciding with both London Fashion Week and The London Design Festival. The exhibition showcases their collection of women’s wear, named ‘In Shape’, and is on show until 27th October. If you like these retro inspired prints, Clarks will be launching a range of shoes inspired by this work in March next year in the UK.


Beefeater Inside London – Best of British

by Alex Ririe


We’ve just won another award for our Beefeater Inside London Limited Edition design!  This time for the Packaging Innovations London 2012 Best of British design.

Against stiff competition including Marmite’s ‘Ma’amite’ design and Tate & Lyle’s syrup ‘Happy & Glorious’ limited edition we won a silver.

Congratulations to all involved!

A new logo for Wendy’s, ex purveyor of old fashioned burgers

by Alex Benady

Before and after

It’s strange how a brand can enter your consciousness and then hover around the periphery of your mind even though you have no interest in it and never use it.

Take US hamburger chain Wendy’s. You’ll be familiar with it because Wendy’s, the world’s third largest burger chain, has restaurants in the UK. Except it doesn’t. It closed them a few years ago citing the cost and complexity of doing business in the UK as a reason. Don’t know about you, but I had never noticed because I was carrying the Wendy’s logo around in one of the further recesses of my head. As far as I was concerned Wendy’s still exists.

Wendy’s revamped its logo recently. And about time too you might say. The old device hasn’t been so much as tweaked since 1983. No fine tuning, no tidying up, no contemporizing. Nothing. (more…)

Coley Porter Bell Creates New Member of Chivas Regal Family

by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has designed the packaging for the newest permanent member of the Chivas Regal range, The Chivas Brothers’ Blend.

Launched this month, it is Chivas’ first new launch for five years and will be available as an exclusive in Global Travel Retail outlets. It is intended to strengthen the brand’s relationship with this all-important channel and to help position Chivas at the forefront among international travelers.

The new ‘The Chivas Brothers’ Blend’ has been created as a tribute to the founding brothers, James and John whose story began in the mid-1800’s when they first worked together at the Chivas Brothers’ Emporium in King Street, Aberdeen. Paying homage to this rich history, it is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the famously smooth Chivas style.

This unique 12 year old blend uses a carefully selected range of malt whiskies including Strathisla and Longmorn to recreate the extra smooth taste that is perfect for sharing with friends.

The main design challenge was to differentiate ‘The Chivas Brothers’ Blend’ from other Chivas variants and the existing 12 year old in particular. It was also important to convey the brand’s heritage and the story of James and John without feeling too traditional or old-fashioned.

One of the solutions to this was the selection of the colour purple – not only does it bridge the gap visually between 12 and 18 year olds, but it balances tradition and modernity whilst creating stand-out at fixture and providing a sense of authority.

Extending the brand’s visual equities beyond colour, extracts from the Chivas brother’s original royal warrant have been used to add authenticity and relate the story back to the brand’s beginnings. The brand’s iconic crest is silk screened directly on to the bottle providing a more contemporary reference back to the Chivas family.

Coley Porter Bell design director Richard Clayton said. “The Chivas Brothers’ Blend is a unique product so we wanted to give it its own distinctive identity while being sympathetic to the broader family of Chivas Regal. We’ve created a design that is vibrant and sophisticated with a strong on-shelf presence. The packaging celebrates Chivas Regal’s history but is completely relevant today and in the future.” ENDS

3D printing will change the world. But not quite yet.

by Peter Cottington

Print your own air force?


It looks pretty certain that 3D printing is going to revolutionise our society and the making of things, more profoundly than anything since The Industrial Revolution. It’ll change the way airplanes are made, guns, consumer electronics, food, clothes, medical equipment, our homes, everything.

According to Wired editor Chris Anderson, who has just published a book touching on the subject: ‘Makers. The New Industrial Revolution’, first of all, it will help remove the shackles from innovation, reducing barriers to entry in many industries to ‘ankle height’. It will usher in the long awaited era of ‘mass customisation’ and it may even do away with the large manufacturing companies that base their existence on economies of scale.

Current wisdom is that it will be a trillion dollar industry before you can say ‘print me an aircraft carrier’.  So last week a couple of us visited Hobs Reprographics to find out more about it.

As a company in the business of helping bigger companies develope new products, 3D printing is likely to impact on us in many ways. I suspect that it will increase demand for the services of firms like ours. If there is to be a proliferation of new products, they will need marketing and branding advice to compete in the super-fertile innovation womb that is the internet.

But in the shorter term our interest is more humble. We aren’t likely to be branding desk top nuclear reactors or print-your-own false teeth machines or coloured yellow fats any time soon.  But sometimes, not too often, maybe four or five times a year, we create dummy packaging for new detergents or fancy new spirits bottles.

At the moment we use model makers who take three, four or five days to make beautiful hand crafted prototypes costing anything up to three thousand pounds and beyond. The promise of 3D printing is that it can make better quality prototypes in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the cost.

Our hosts had two printed devices on display. And for some reason a bust of James May’s head. The first thing that struck me is that any model produced will only be as good as the 3D data provided to the printer. We develop designs from scratch. That means we cant just use a 3D scanner to input data. In the absence of 3D scanners, we need  a very experienced 3D cadcam operator.

Either way it’s an expense to add to the cost of purchasing the 3D printer which in this case is around £75,000. And that was the cheaper of the two machines we saw. Yes people talk about the prospect of domestic 3D printers for a few hundred pounds. But we need the highest quality, so even in the medium term future they will remain expensive.

Another issue for 3D printing is what ‘ink’ do you use? It’s hard to imagine a printer that can cope with metals, earths, organic materials and plastic. In this case the machine was using a white powdery material that looked and behaved like icing sugar.

It worked by laying down (or printing) 0.3mm layers of material. In the areas where another layer is going on top, it then sprays a layer of glue before applying another layer of ‘sugar’. After 4 hours it had produced a bottle. This, they told us, was ten times faster than a year ago.

But just as if it was made out of sugar, the surface was rough and crumbly, so it had to be dipped into superglue. Then, to get the perfect finish it had to be sanded and polished. No wonder model makers are laughing at the lack of quality in 3D printing so far.

There’s another problem: surface graphics. From what we saw they were  poor quality with dull blurred colours. In our line of work  colours are our love, our fetish, and we need reproduction of the very highest quality. That capacity doesn’t seem to be there yet.

The conclusion we came to was that although we have high quality Cannon and Epson printers in house  we are unlikely to ever get a 3D printer. We just don’t need them often enough so we’d use a 3D printing shop. But until the quality improves radically we wont be using them at all.

Unless of course 3D printing changes the nature of brand design in ways we haven’t yet thought of. In which case you can disregard everything I’ve just written.



London Underground Signage (Sadly not Official)

by Craig Barnes


I’ve posted one or two of these before, but they deserve to go on again today after a rubbish journey into work on the tube. The sight of one of these may just have cheered me up on a drizzly Monday morning!


Pentawards Victory in Paris

by Craig Barnes

After being shortlisted for many awards in 2012 for the Morrisons M Savers work, we finally won not one, but two awards on the same night! Sadly there were not enough of us available at the office to go to both The Fresh awards and the Pentawards ceremonies in person. However, Claire and Craig managed to head off to Paris to pick up a Gold Pentaward at their glamorous 6th annual ceremony. It was a glitzy affair at International Paris Le Grand Hotel in the heart of the city. The building itself was incredible; only the French can do opera houses like this one, and we felt very special heading up to the stage to collect the coveted trophy in front of  200 members of the design world.

Not long had we struck gold with Morrisons before we were awarded a bronze for our Beefeater Inside London design. This, and being totally seduced by our surroundings, meant we couldn’t help but celebrate our success with a drink or two – and a few more for the others back at base who couldn’t make it!




Look for Longer

by Craig Barnes

As I was standing waiting for my train this morning I noticed this beautiful poster on the platform, which engrossed me and confused me in equal measure. A quick bit of research on twitter upon arriving into the office (on twitter somebody, somewhere has the answer to everything)  and I have discovered it is a cryptic piece of art depicting 75 London Underground station names. I am going to have to struggle not to spend my whole working day tying to crack them all! I’ve got Barbican (Barbie and Ken, get it?), Angel (easy) and Green Park already. This could take some time…

I’m still not sure why these posters have come about, but as a bit of a London Underground nerd, I do know that next year is the 150th anniversary of the world’s first underground train network. Perhaps this is all part of a bigger countdown campaign? I hope so; with all the Brititshness of the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee this year now over, leaving a lot of us on a post-patriotic comedown, a Tube Birthday Party in 2013 could be just the ticket…
Take a look at the website for a full resolution version and say goodbye to your lunch hour!

Coley Porter Bell unveils Sensory Planning

by Alex Benady

Brand design agency Coley Porter Bell is expanding its strategic offer with the launch of Sensory  Planning designed to help clients to define how their brand should be experienced through any of the senses.

Most conventional brand planning is verbal –it is concerned with the analysis of which words should describe a brand.  10 years ago Coley Porter Bell was the first agency to develop  ‘Visual planning’ which creates a visual language for a brand. It analyses and identifies all a brand’s visual properties –its colours, shapes, styles, texture, tone, the nature of images and how they should be presented.

Now that same technique is being applied to the other four senses: sound, smell, touch and taste. In addition Sensory Planning will address the increasingly important issue of movement in brands and their identities. (more…)

Cadbury’s purple reigns

by Alex Benady

I’m not quite sure what I make of the news that Cadbury has won a legal battle to own the colour purple. Rival chocolateers Nestle took Cadbury to court, maintaining that colours cannot not be used as trademarks.

Quite why they would want to do that when they have whole battalions of brands that would benefit from the ability to use colours as trademarks, is not clear. Kit Kat and Gold Blend, a brand we work on, spring to mind.

But in his wisdom Judge Colin Birss ruled yesterday that colours are “capable of being signs.”  He said that “Cadbury purple”, Pantone 2685C to be precise, has become linked with the company’s chocolate over the course of more than 90 years. It is Cadbury’s and no-one else can use it in the area of milk chocolate confectionery.

On the one hand my inner libertarian bridles at the idea that anyone, especially corporations should be able to own anything as fundamental as a colour. It is reminiscent of businessman Craig Venter’s attempts to own the human genome.  It feels like such a fundamental part of nature that surely no-one should be allowed to use it. (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.