Archive for the ‘Five Beautiful Things’ Category

5 Beautiful Things. Summer Edition

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With the summer season now in full swing (and even the weather to match!)  our latest 5 Beautiful Things has been themed around the delights of summer.  With exhibitions, architecture, wonderful summertime occurrences, and some  inspiring pieces of design included, there is something for everyone.


1.      As if a trip to Fiji wasn’t tempting enough?
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Fiji Airways got our attention when they released previews of their redesign earlier this year. We have now been able to see their full rebrand, complete with aircrafts proudly embossed with Teteva Masi symbols, and cushions to match. We love how the theme doesn’t vary from its origins, with direct symbol translations communicating Fiji’s welcoming nature. The design is simple, distinctive, and sophisticated; perhaps a trip to Fiji is in order?


2. Get in touch with your roots
This beautifully creative new envelope concept by the Swedish postal service is both unique and arresting; this new trend of designer envelopes has swept over Sweden and we hope it comes our way soon! With each of the four envelopes representing each season, we love the transformation of such a banal object into a work of art, to be treasured surely by any recipient.


3. Showcasing the freshest artistic talent

If you are in London this summer, head down to the Royal Academy for this year’s Summer Exhibition. This display is a true celebration of artistic talent, with works from both the well-known, and the unheard-of. What really distinguishes this exhibition is the sheer scale of the event. This has earned its title of the largest open exhibition in the UK, boasting a collection made up of paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, architectural design and models. With a collection uniquely chosen and hung by artists, this is a spectacular must-see.
For tickets:


4. Summer pavilions just got playful…

This striking take on the summer pavilion by Atelier Zundel Cristea, has been installed in the Museum Gardens in Bethnal Green, London. We urge you to dismiss all existing mental imagery of summer pavilions, and take a look at this satisfyingly symmetrical, undulating inflatable structure. Perhaps simply a coincidence, or a factor in its very design, the pavilion has been located next to the Museum of Childhood.


5. Manhattanhenge

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Manhattanhenge is a stunning, half natural, half man-made occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the East-West streets of the main street grid. This amazing phenomenon happens just 2-3 times per year and as people local to the area flock to the best viewing spots, this attraction has been likened to the crowds that gather to celebrate the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. So if you happen to be in Manhattan over July 12th, be sure to secure yourself a good vantage point. If you aren’t lucky enough to be there, the Pinterest page is well worth looking at!


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.


Creative Britain is not in Reverse. Yet.

by Alex Benady
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The future of British Art schools?

The future of British Art schools?

Tonight at The Institution of Mechanical Engineers luminaries of the UK creative world will debate the proposition: Is Creative Britain in Reverse?

At first glance there is little evidence to support such an idea. Ok the UK did put in its worst showing for decades at Cannes this year. But as we all know awards prove little or nothing.

In contrast Government figures suggest that creative Britain is doing rather well. They confirm that the creative industries are one of the jewels in the crown of UK Plc. At the last count the creative economy employed just over 2.25 million people -over 7 per cent of the work force. It comprised nearly 158,000 businesses and accounted for 6.4 per cent of UK Gross Value Added, producing exports of £16bn. (more…)

What has the Milkybar Kid got in common with Zappo’s founder Tony Hsieh?

by Emma Brock

Believe it or not the Milkybar Kid is fifty. Time to give the little dude a change of clothes and a bit of a scrub up, you might think. So that’s exactly what we did last year and this week our update of one of the UK’s most enduring brand icons finally found its way into the shops.

As part of the redesign Coley Porter Bell developed a whole world for The Kid as well as a psychologic profile, describing what he thinks, how he reacts, his interests and motivations. Not only does he now have a clearly identifiable moral code, he is active fun, generous and fair and just a little bit cooler than his recent incarnations.

Predating the film Bugsy Malone by a good fifteen years, he used to be the sheriff of a small town peopled by kids. Now he is leader of a small posse which includes Bluebell the Cow, Scruff the dog and Sonny the horse.  Their different interactions and adventures allow for The Milkybar Kid to appear in many different scenarios and scenes.  Inviting consumer to construct their own narratives around his activities.

Ok, you might think that creating a back story for a cartoon character selling chocolate is a bit, well, pretentious. But like any marketing update, any micro change, it tells you something about the way that consumers and society at large are changing.

In this case it’s all about the humanisation of brands. While our Milkybar packs are clearly in the analogue world, the demand for brands to become more ‘human’ is actually being driven by the virtual world of social media. As US marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuck puts it: “Social media have taken us back to small town rules. You can no longer stack it high and see it fly.” ie You have to have a real personality and use it to interact with your consumers.”

There are various strategies available to achieve this. One is to literally make a person the face of the brand or corporation. Richard Branson, Stelios and Remington’s Victor Kiam are prime examples in the real world.

A modern variation on that theme is the construction of a social company or brand on-line. US on-line shoe firm Zappos was established in 1999 and now has sales of well over $1.2bn a year.  The company was built largely on Olympian service which in turn was based on the idea of showing that the company is made up of happy individuals that you’d really like to get to know, says Chief exec Tony Hsieh. He takes pains to lead from the front in this respect and astonishingly takes the time to reply to every Twitter addressed to him. What better way to communicate that this is a social company than to use social media?

A third approach is to humanise the brand through tone of voice. Probably the best example of that is innocent which has built a stunningly successful business based on pure ingredients and fresh natural vocabulary. It’s personal, informal and even a little cheeky

They use back of pack copy to engage, charm and make people believe in the brand “We’re perhaps not as sophisticated in database management as we’d like to be but  we do realise the value of direct contact, ” said communications chief Charlotte Rawlins a couple of years ago.

The Milkybar Kid, isn’t a CEO, he isn’t a tone of voice, but he is very human and in a world dominated by the internet, that counts for an awful lot these days.

The Most Incredible Thing

by Simon Adamson

Went to see the opening night of this last night. A ballet to electronic music. It is only on until the end of the month, but I would recommend it.

Beauty Spot

by Simon Adamson

Great website from my favourite architects/interior design firm. Wonderwall inc is a Japanese agency established by Masamichi Katayama. The website has some interesting navigation.

KAWS Lightbulbs Beauty Spot

by Simon Adamson

These KAWS’ signature light bulbs are definitely a cool bulb. Only available at The Standard Hotel retail shops. If anyones going to one of the Standard hotels soon, please could you pick me up a box. Be much appreciated! Kaws’ has changed the look of the casual lightbulb into an ‘XX’ mark which is recognised as the KAWS’ signature.

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


May 5 Beautiful Things

by Stephen Bell

At Coley Porter Bell, we believe in making brands beautiful. Beautiful brands stand out from the crowd, inspire, and leave a lasting impression. But none of this would be achievable if it wasn’t for the everyday beauty that surrounds us and inspires our creativity.

We regularly share ‘5 beautiful things’ which have inspired us, and we hope they will do the same for you.

So here is our May edition…

If you would like to see even more of the beautiful things that inspire us then please visit our beautiful blog:


Stephen Bell, Creative Director, Coley Porter Bell

a beautiful move: new coley porter bell london office

Coley Porter Bell UK has moved offices! Now, while the prospect of moving a business can be quite daunting, it is also a chance to refresh, renew and, as we are a brand design agency, a great creative opportunity to bring our brand to life …in 3D.

“We wanted our new space to be a reflection of who we are and what we do. We came up with a list of words that would form an essential part of the brief for both ourselves and our chosen architects. These were human touch, crafted and clever detail, colourful surprises, depth and realness – a place that works, and my favourite… a bit of glamour. We wanted a space that would encourage creativity both for our clients and for ourselves.” – Stephen Bell, CPB Creative Director

We are looking forward to welcoming you here and to having many creative and productive times ahead of us. Our new address is Coley Porter Bell, 121-141 Westbourne Terrace, London W2 6JR.


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.