Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

5 Beautiful Things. Summer Edition

by beautiful
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.


Dreams for sale because ‘Reality Sucks’

by Alex Benady

Even before the media started to talk about the post Olympic blues that the UK is experiencing, and how people will pick themselves up from this, the British people and indeed people across the world have been feeling an increasing desire to escape.

Research we conducted back in April found that 54% of Britons agree that the need to escape has become more important to them over the past few years and 69% agree that ‘it’s good to be random or do random things occasionally’.

This is no surprise really given the grim economic situation many in the West have been experiencing, and the over regulated world we live in today where we consume too much, often on autopilot and follow very rational ways of thinking, that leads to dull monotonous design.

In this rather grey world where ‘reality sucks’, we have seen a new trend emerging which we have explored in our latest Visual Futures presentation, ‘Reality Sucks’.  Click here for quick snapshot of the presentation

The full report covers how design, products and brands are drawing on the principles of Surrealism to offer consumers alternative realities, such as Cadbury’s Joyville and an Alice Wonderland inspired gym in Japan to escape to. We have also seen absurd design from the likes of Lady Gaga, a rabbit shaped exhibition centre at the Shanghai World Expo and a boat on top of the Royal Festival Hall, just for the hell of it.

The use of Surrealism has not gone unnoticed by the public. Indeed, it has even been attributed to feeding collectors desire for Surrealist Art. In the past 18 months, Surrealist records have fallen like dominoes with Miró’s “Peinture (Etoile bleue),” 1927, fetching £23.5 million at Sotheby’s London in June. It is Oliver Camu’s belief (deputy Chairman of Christie’s Impressionist and modern art) that the growing interest in Surrealism can be attributed to its “presence in everyday media, marketing and advertising”.


Jonnie Peacock crosses the line

However, for me personally the greatest example of how juxtapositions have becoming more accepted and can be used to open our eyes, is the rebranding of people who were once ‘people with disabilities’ as ‘superheros’. There can be nothing more amazing than the sight of Jonnie Peacock on his blade completing the 100m in 10.9 seconds! They have escaped the grim confines of their everyday reality, by sheer determination, dreams and getting people to see them in a new light.


Beautiful Appetite

by Chris Button

Predicting trends in the cosmetics market is not the easiest of tasks for a brand manager. Nonetheless, the competitive advantage provided to a brand that predicts, or indeed drives, a new trend is immense. Over the past few years, a reliable indicator for the future of cosmetics has emerged in a category traditionally treated as separate: food.

Currently, the global cosmetics market is broadly driven by two consumer needs: personalisation and naturalness. Personalisation used to be solely about basic needs like ‘oily’ or ‘sensitive’, but is now becoming increasingly segmented by gender, ethnicity and lifestage (e.g. age, pregnancy). ‘Natural’ used to have enough meaning to engage the consumer, but now consumer calls for increased specificity are leading to more sophisticated claims like ‘Paraben-free’. However, these further developments in personalisation and naturalness are causing problems for cosmetics brand managers. Disengaged consumers are jaded by naturalness claims while making increasingly individual demands.

The main problem for brands in their attempt to meet these two consumer needs of personalisation and naturalness stems from unresolved tensions within the cosmetics market. At Coley Porter Bell we have identified three tensions: natural versus scientific; minimal versus maximal; functional versus emotional.

The clash between natural and scientific revolves around the twin demands for naturally sourced, herbal treatments and technologically advanced laboratory solutions. Although not necessarily mutually exclusive, they represent very different approaches to the market. The claim of bareMinerals that “it’s make up so pure you can sleep in it” is in stark contrast to Voss Laboratories’ Amatokin that proudly champions its “unique polypeptide compound” based on stem-cell technology.

The distinction between minimal and maximal refers to the use of cosmetics to achieve a flawless natural look or to decorate with colour. This contrast has been particularly pronounced in 2011 with brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein adopting a pared back approach while John Galliano and Louis Vuitton currently favour a more glammed-up approach.

The division between functional and emotional refers to the divergent role of cosmetics as something that treats (e.g. moisturising cream) or something that adorns (e.g. lipstick). As with the tension between natural and scientific, functional and emotional concerns are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Some products currently on the market, such as Bite ‘Natural Food Grade’ lipstick, attempt to do both.

Whether for the mind or the body, the unifying concept that we believe can help address these tensions is nourishment. More specifically, it is ‘outer’ nourishment with its focus on what is applied to the body externally as cosmetics. This may be contrasted with ‘inner’ nourishment with its focus on what is consumed by the body through diet. However, even this distinction is slowly being eroded as food terms like ‘organic’, ‘fair-trade’ and ‘halal’ proliferate on cosmetics packaging. This overarching concept of nourishment has formed such an inextricable bond between cosmetics and food that food trends are now leading the way for personalisation and naturalness in cosmetics.

At Coley Porter Bell, we have identified nine food trends that we believe will feature prominently in cosmetics in the future.

1. Transparency: explicit, quantifiable front of pack ingredients possibly with a nutritional key.

2. Guidance: ‘healthy-aging’ (like ‘healthy-eating’) rather than ‘anti-ageing’.

3. Functionality: multi-purpose products addressing a variety of needs.

4. Convenience: cosmetic ‘snacking’ on-the-go.

5. Sustainability: production quality linked with product quality.

6. Provenance: product source linked with product quality.

7. Nutrition: entrance into ‘nutricosmetics’ (beauty drinks/foods) by major cosmetics players.

8. Revivalism: nostalgia for ‘good old days’ reviving past ideas of glamour.

9. Connectivity: aps/sites following personal recommendations (e.g. MAC ‘Shop Together’).

By carefully using these trends to nourish the consumer needs of personalisation and naturalness, cosmetics brands will not only be able to be on-trend, but will also be able to lead and sculpt the very future of beauty.

Chip and Question?

by Ed Silk

I recently stopped to refuel at The Co-Operative. Upon paying using Chip and Pin I was surprised to be asked a question displayed on the small LCD screen. It read, “Do you know that Heinz makes mayonnaise?” and offered up two answers – yes or no. For me the answer was yes (You’d be hard pressed not to know that, what with Hellman’s being one of our main clients).

The Co-Operative were the first to launch this innovative approach way back in 2008. (Clearly I don’t shop there very often – well, never if honest.) But I thought it was genius. Such a simple idea and essentially with a captive audience all waiting for the ‘Remove Card’ to pop up, who wouldn’t want to oblige them with an answer. I’m just amazed that this isn’t more prevalent amongst more retailers and restaurant chains. Why aren’t they embracing this technology to galvanise opinions about their products to services?

Personally, I’d love to be able to rate my shopping experience at the point of purchase or help inform corporate decisions about which community project to support, say, as The Co-Operative plan to do. In an age when consumer diaologue and feedback is vital for brand survival, I predict that we’ll all be answering a lot more questions in the future.

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…)

Beautiful Biscuits from Mrs. Fell

by Leia Baker

Congratulations to our lovely Heta, who got married on Saturday to Nick. We hope you both had a beautiful day and thanks for the yummy biscuiteer biscuits!

Beauty Spot – Stickers on the Central Line

by Andy Hellmuth

I stumbled across this site on the interweb.

Keep your eyes peeled for these pieces of mini art/vandalism….. depending on whether you’re a cup half full/empty kind of person.

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.

Steet art engages. Why don’t posters?

by Stephen Bell
Pure Evil's engaging provocation
Pure Evil

Profit is a stern disciplinarian that generally keeps commercial creativity on its toes. Well that’s the theory at any rate. But it’s a theory that is sorely tested by a new exhibition of Street Art at the Black Rat Projects, nestling in a railway arch behind Cargo (the club) in increasingly yuppified Shoreditch.

As you enter the formerly shabby little side street containing the gallery, you pass two well known Banksys stencilled on the wall -they must be worth millions and they aren’t even part of the exhibition. Inside there’s a show of prints by artists like …Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Blek Le Rat, Pure Evil and D*face, all from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection. But they don’t come across as fusty old museum pieces. They are astonishingly vibrant, energetic, clever, funny, provocative  and inspiring. 

The exhibition opens with three works by Shepard Fairey all using his characteristic Soviet-style  graphics and ends with a beautiful piece by Pure Evil mimicing Peter Blake’s famous cover for The Beatle’s Sergeant Pepper album. But instead of a cast of 60′s celebs, he lines up images of dozens of the most evil people of the 20th century. Hitler, Charles Manson, Stalin Pol Pot and Maggie Thatcher are all there. In the foreground where Blake spelt out ‘Beatles’ in red roses,  Pure Evil spells ‘Pure Evil’.

As I shuffled out it struck me that even though Street Art isn’t new, it still has energy and the ability to engage in a way that has become conspicuously lacking in the more mainstream street form -commercial posters. (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.