by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has beefed up its senior management team with two heavyweight hirings as it continues to implement an ambitious growth plan.

The company has expanded substantially in the last five years despite the worst economic conditions in memory. Now it plans to continue its trajectory particularly in non-packaging areas including corporate identity, digital and brand worlds.

Andy Porteous joins as a Non-Executive Director after 26 years at Unilever. His brief is to bring a client’s perspective to the business, helping the company to deepen its relationships with clients. He will also help Coley Porter Bell strengthen its digital offer. He takes up his role in January.

At Unilever he occupied a range of senior positions. Most recently he was Global Senior Vice President Digital Unilever Foods. Previous positions include Marketing Director Unilever Foods Poland and Global Brand Senior Vice President for a portfolio of food brands.

At the same time Georgina Goude joins as Head of Client Services from Wolff Olins, where she was a Business Director. Previously she worked as a Principal at brand design agency Heavenly, and spent five years as Senior Account Director and then Head of Client Services at Interbrand.

Vicky Bullen, CEO of Coley Porter Bell said: “We are fortunate to have found two individuals of such a high caliber to help our business. Andy has insight into what clients want at the very highest levels, while Georgina has a track record as a superb builder of client relationships. We want them to help us grow not only our numbers but also other aspects of the business such as our fame, the breadth of our offer, our client list and the quality of our work.”


Andy Porteous said: “I’ve enjoyed working with Coley Porter Bell as a client for the best part of two decades.  Now I am looking forward to seeing how the client perspective can contribute to their growth strategy.”


Georgina Goude says: “I have long admired the work that Coley Porter Bell do and am excited by their brands and their ambition. I am looking forward to being part of the team that will take Coley Porter Bell into its next phase of growth”  ENDS


by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has created a Christmas identity for The Co-operative Food as part of an ongoing overhaul of the retailer’s own-brand offering.

It is featured on The Co-operative’s standard food range and is based on the ‘Loved by us ‘ design strategy created by the agency earlier this year to showcase the retailer’s food credentials and to appeal to younger consumers.

Also appearing on point-of-sale material and in-store decorations, the identity aims to add a warm, homely and charming feel to The Co-operative’s Christmas food range with a lively new script set on a pastel green background. The combination of hand-drawn letterforms creates a unique Christmas typeface for The Co-operative.

Some of the new letters in the identity were drawn from scratch. Others are embellishments of classic type-faces. There are four variants of each letter but upper and lower case aren’t necessarily related. The letters appear in a range of unusual Christmas-inspired hues and are set in varying heights from the baseline.

The effect is intended to be playful, lively and hand crafted, reflecting The Co-operative’s love and passion for food.

Stephen Bell Executive Creative Director at Coley Porter Bell said: “This identity had to stand out in the supermarket across different categories. To do that we chose a typographic rather photographic lead route. It is playful, festive and has a crafted feel, which supports the range’s food values and personality. They don’t look like the usual Christmas food range.

“This shows that key moments in the retailing year such as Christmas, which attract a lot of infrequent shoppers, can be used as a brand-building as well as a trading opportunity.”

Coley Porter Bell designs and names ecommerce portal for Pernod Ricard

by Alex Benady

UK brand design agency Coley Porter Bell has created the name and visual identity for Sipstor, Pernod Ricard’s new ecommerce site for exclusive limited edition spirits and special offers on its premium brands.

The portal is being launched via a website and a dedicated app with additional exclusives activated by scanning QR codes or product images at brand events.

The site, which is launching in the UK before being rolled out through Europe, is aimed at younger, more urban spirits enthusiasts and collectors. Its purpose is to showcase Pernod Ricard brands and reward brand loyalists.

The site will be stocked with short runs of premium products and accessories from Pernod Ricard spirits including ABSOLUT vodka, Havana Club rum, Jameson whiskey, Beefeater gin, Chivas Regal whisky, new flavoured spirits brand Oddka and Pernod.

The visual identity has been designed to work on and off line – the simple and iconic logo is distinctive and versatile enough to be used across media.

It also gives a suggestion of the brand’s playful character. The colour blue was chosen as it provides a connection back to the Pernod Ricard parent brand and it works alongside the array of colours associated with the brands included on the site.

The quirky, handcrafted word marque is contemporary and characterful. The descender of the ‘P’ can also extend to create a broader visual language. It creates a vibrant network of lines, each one connecting to a silhouette of one of the iconic brands featured on the site. Each brand has its own unique colour.

“Coley Porter Bell really understood the design brief,” explained Adam Boita, Marketing Controller at Pernod Ricard UK.

“The Sipstor name really encapsulates the service offering whilst also working across multiple territories. The design aesthetic is also flexible enough to act as an umbrella visual identity for all the brands featured on the site.”

Coley Porter Bell creative director Stuart Humm said: “We wanted to create a contemporary brand that would appeal to an urban crowd. In this way, we didn’t want to try too hard with the design. Its simplicity is confident and youthful, but at the same time it feels premium and can work with the diverse brands and exclusives that the portal will offer.”



by Vicky Bullen

It’s not quite true that the design industry was anti-commercial in the late nineteen seventies. But it wasn’t far off.

Inspired by the success of the advertising industry which was going through its golden age and informed by echoes of the counter-culture of the early seventies, ‘creativity’ was definitely ‘where things were at’.

And effectiveness? Well ok. Just don’t ruin my design. As a consequence agency receptions were littered with awards for dazzling creativity that had no proven commercial impact at all.

It was in that context that Coley Porter Bell opened its doors for business in November 1978 with the twin ambitions of winning pencils and creating profitable brands.

35 years later Coley, Porter and Bell have left the building, but Coley Porter Bell has never looked healthier. Given that the great majority of creative businesses are under ten years old and the majority of those fail to make it to beyond twenty years, we couldn’t help wondering what have we done right?

Like those Georgians who claim to be 140, we are not necessarily best placed to explain our own longevity. But looking back, the key has been a strong but flexible culture that allowed us to deal with change -the four momentous shifts that occurred in the industry since we started. They transformed it from a craft-based cottage industry to a strategic partner for global business.

The greatest of these changes was probably the concept of ‘brand’. Today perhaps the word is over used; everything and anything seems to be a brand. But in the late seventies the concept was still struggling to gain purchase.

Much marketing was still focussed on physical attributes such as ‘power’, ‘durability’ or ‘value’. The idea that personality and intangible attributes could provide competitive edge was still the exception rather than the rule.

Curiously, it was the effect of an advertising discipline, account planning that linked brand thinking and design. Advertising had invented planning in the early seventies and planners were great proselytyzers for branding.

Gradually planners spread to the other marketing services disciplines taking their brand thinking with them. As a consequence packaging design moved from simply informing people what was in the pack to becoming a builder of brand equity.

This contributed to another change that started at about the same time: the design revolution. All of a sudden in the mid eighties the word ‘designer’ was everywhere. ‘Designer’ suits, ‘designer cutlery’, ‘designer stubble’, design rapidly became a way of lending lustre to the most mundane objects.

It wasn’t that Margaret Thatcher had inspired an aesthetic  revolution. It was more that design endowed products with obvious  status. In addition, the brand and effectiveness insights of all those advertising planners had established for the first time that well designed brands were more profitable. Status and profit perfectly suited the ‘loadsamoney’ zeitgeist.

If design was now applying commercial criteria to work for clients it was only a matter of time before it started applying similar thinking to its own business.

That process was turbo boosted by the IT revolution. Until the early nineteen nineties, designs could take weeks to conceive and execute. Today thanks to the ubiquitous Mac, the process can be reduced to days. It has simultaneously deskilled, democratised and down-sized the design industry.

Coley Porter Bell is typical of the industry in now having three or four times the turnover it did in the mid nineteen nineties. But only half the staff.

The drive to transform design companies into tightly run businesses has been further accelerated by the comparatively recent entry of client procurement into the new business process.

The final momentous change has been the move to globalisation. In the late seventies nearly all design was created by small teams of craftsmen for local clients.

As globalisation built during the nineteen eighties and nineties, many clients needed design that transcends national and cultural boundaries.

Design is till created best by small tight-nit teams. Its just that clients can now come from anywhere in the world.

Surviving all these changes cant be achieved by willpower or brilliance or even by diligence –although you wont get far without them. The one thing that can enables a service business like ours to last is a strong culture.


by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has rebranded Tui Travel’s upmarket sailing holiday companies Sunsail and The Moorings to make them more distinct and extend their appeal to new users including non sailors.

The scope of the work includes new strategic positionings, new brand architecture and refreshed visual identities which include re-styling many consumer touch points from literature, advertising, and website to uniforms and physical environments. It does not include new logos. (more…)


by Alex Benady

Created by us

The Co-operative Food is overhauling its own-brand offering, with the launch of its new vibrant “Loved by Us” brand for its standard tier to reflect the retailer’s passion for food.

Created to showcase the retailer’s food credentials and to appeal to younger consumers, the Loved by Us range will start appearing in store in September, with 700 lines being introduced by Christmas, and the remaining products being rolled out throughout 2014. The roll out of the new-look range, consisting of more than 2,500 products, will start with food-to-go products, followed by ready meals, pies and pizzas.

The design, created by Coley Porter Bell, marks a strategic step change in The Cooperative’s approach to packaging, stressing the human touch and naturalness of the own-brand offering. It draws on the retailer’s ethical credentials, presenting an informal, unpretentious identity. (more…)

Why science and the future have became a source of hope not fear for consumers

by Alex Benady

Business needs to let science inform  design and communications, not just  R&D if it wants to stay relevant says a new report from brand design agency Coley Porter Bell.

The study called Eureka examines the way that the renewed interest in science is informing our visual culture, in particular a new visual language for brands.

It suggests that traditionally when times are hard, consumers have drawn comfort from the past. But after the longest economic downturn since records began, consumers are looking to science and the future to provide them with hope and certainty.

The report includes contributions from leading scientists including Baroness Susan Greenfield, Lord Robert Winston and social psychologist Bertolt Meyer, better known as the bionic man. It draws on dozens of examples from both high end and mass culture, from packaging, fashion, retailing, technology, the arts and architecture.

It looks at the growth of intelligent labeling, infographics and the way that brands are using geometric motifs in design and. It cites a high tech robotic dress with animated robotic limbs that protect the wearer, it highlights the fashion for molecular gastronomy, the growth of ‘lab chic’ in utensil design, it refers to the explosion of TV science programmes as well as Zaha Hadid’s futuristic Galaxy Soho building in Beijing and Richard Branson’s promotion of space tourism with the Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two.

The paper argues that the new interest in science or ‘reenlightenment’ is a response to both structural changes in the role that science plays in society and the economic cycle. (more…)

Coley Porter Bell designs Royal Baby packs

by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has helped Unilever mark the birth of the royal baby by designing special commemorative packaging for Comfort and Persil

The limited edition packs are decorated with golden filigree and a photo of the Comfort Pure baby wearing a crown with the words ‘Celebrating A Royal Baby’. They will go on sale the day after the baby is born.

The designs appear on Comfort Pure and Persil non-bio powder which are positioned as Unilever’s mother and baby fabric care brands. There’s more information in an article on Marketing‘s web site .


Coley Porter Bell hat trick at International Spirits Challenge

by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has scooped three medals at one of the world’s leading spirits awards.

The prestigious International Spirits Challenge 2013 has awarded Coley Porter Bell two golds and a bronze this week with work for three Pernod Ricard brands, Beefeater Burroughs reserve, Olmeca Altos and Chivas Brother’s blend.

Beefeater’s Burroughs reserve won gold in the ‘Best Packaging & Design On Trade’ section. Olmeca Altos took top prize in ‘Best Packaging and Design’ while Chivas Brothers’ Blend won bronze in ‘Best Packaging & Design Travel Retail’ division.

The brief for Olmeca Altos was to bring the brand story to life via the bottle. The design had to appeal to the ‘creative classes’ – hipsters and bar tenders and it had to have its own distinct modern Mexican personality to distance it from the Olmeca masterbrand.

Meanwhile, Beefeater wanted to establish a new category of super premium sipping gin. It needed to attract free-thinking’ drinkers already engaged with other ultra-premium categories such as whisky and cognac. CPB developed the concept, name and packaging design, which is a metaphor for the gin’s unique production.

And Chivas wanted to develop a permanent exclusive for Travel Retail to fit naturally into its portfolio and justify a price premium versus Chivas 12. It had to be highly visible and appealing to the ‘modern gentleman’.

“A lot of thought, care and craft goes into producing designs for these brands, and it’s nice to see that all our hard work behind the scenes goes recognised by people who really know about drink,” said Stephen Bell executive creative director of Coley Porter Bell


Coley Porter Bell helps Royal Salute mark 60th anniversary of the coronation

by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has designed the bottle and secondary packaging for a new Royal Salute Whisky marking the sixtieth anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

The brief for The Diamond Tribute bottle was to develop a permanent expression in the Royal Salute range to commemorate the timeless elegance and dignity displayed by the monarch over the course of her 60 year reign. It also references the origins of the brand -  the first bottles of Royal Salute were produced in June 1953 at the time of the coronation and have since been available in three different glazes denoting the rubies, sapphires and emeralds of the Imperial State Crown. (more…)