It was supposed to unite the country over the next five years, show what Britain as a country and London as a city stand for and talk to young people in a language they relate to. What the London 2012 logo wasn't supposed to do was generate almost universal derision and raise difficult questions about what a design agency, in this case Wolff Olins, gets paid for.
Described by London 2012 chairman Lord Coe as 'ambitious, interactive and youth-friendly', the angular design has been compared to an 80s album sleeve, a Nazi symbol and a Simpsons character performing a lewd act. The logo and its £400,000 price tag were roundly panned in the press. 'Is this the work of a painting chimp?' screamed the Daily Mail; The Sun went one better by giving a monkey some paint to create an alternative. Claims that the promotional video accompanying the launch could trigger epileptic fits were the icing on the cake.
So unfolded the biggest design news story of recent years. That Wolff Olins managed to produce a logo that caused such a vocal response from so many quarters can be considered an achievement of sorts. Certainly, there can be few people left in Britain who don't know what the logo looks like. Many in the design industry believe the agency was treated badly by the media, but whatever the rights or wrongs of the logo itself, the row did little for the nation's designers. 'The furore hasn't done our industry any good whatsoever - it makes us look flippant and superficial,' says John Mathers, chief executive of Enterprise IG.
Mathers argues that 'more mature clients will see through the media veneer', although Simon Lake, managing director of Corporate Edge, believes the outcry might make businesses think twice about adopting radical logos. 'It could make companies wary of significant identity changes,' he argues. 'If you're a big company going through a merger or an acquisition, that sort of fuss is the last thing you need.'
The row followed what had been a promising year for the branding and design sector. This year's design leagues show plenty of agencies posting significant rises in fee income and turnover, and many agencies are genuinely optimistic about the months ahead.
Tony Walford, senior consultant at mergers-and-acquisitions adviser Results International, believes the sector is on the up after a few years in the doldrums. 'Design agencies have better margins and gross profit figures than in previous years,' he says. 'There wasn't a lot of M&A activity in 2006, but it looks as though there will be more traction in 2007.'
There were some notable acquisitions, mainly made by Loewy. Its income has shot up on the back of its purchase of packaging and identity specialist Williams Murray Hamm at the end of last year and it added to its haul by snapping up The Team in March. Its strategy has been to buy agencies with different skillsets and gain clients in a variety of areas. Loewy's chief executive, Charlie Hoult, argues that design agencies represent a good buy at the moment because a lot of design work is 'digital-proof', unlike sectors such as advertising. Walford adds that, with the sector on the up, there will be many more deals in the coming year. 'The market is ripe for consolidation,' he says. 'It's a sector where you could put three or four small agencies together and achieve real economies of scale.'
One area driving this upturn is high-end brand consultancy work. Agencies including Enterprise IG, Landor and Corporate Edge are bullish about their prospects. The buoyant economy of the past few years has seen an abundance of corporate mergers and acquisitions, with new brands and identities developing as a result. Creative Leap, for example, has spent much of the year working on the Alliance Boots branding. It has been looking at the rationalisation of the merged company's brand portfolio and working on retail designs for overseas markets.
Aiding these agencies is a trend among clients toward what is referred to in the trade as 'brand engagement'. In short, marketers in several sectors are beginning to pay closer attention to the way in which consumers actually experience their brands. 'Across the market, people are talking about the need for a connected brand experience,' says Mathers. 'Clients see the need to break down the silos that meant consumers' experiences varied across different touchpoints.'
One business adopting this approach is financial-services firm AXA UK, which in January set up a dedicated brand experience team. Separate to the brand's advertising and sponsorship team, it reports directly to the group head of marketing communications. Its role is to make customers' experience of the group's range of products seamless, be they individuals, small businesses or large companies. It is conducting research into its customers' expectations that will inform a fresh strategy. 'We were reviewing our brand strategy and recognised the need to focus on the experience across the customer journey,' explains Alison Green, AXA UK's head of brand experience. 'We need total consistency of message and to link that up with delivery, whether that's people asking for information or making a claim.'
The trend is not confined to financial services. Landor was hired by supermarket Morrisons initially to look at its identity. That project has grown into brand-experience work that covers stores, packaging and internal manifestations of the brand.
Another sign of the growing regard for top-end design agencies is that clients are becoming more willing to pay for pitches. Landor's managing director, Cheryl Giovannoni, says the agency has been involved in four or five pitches over the past year where the client has whittled agencies down to two then paid a fee for the design work to decide between them.
Generally, brand-engagement work favours the branding agencies rather than packaging or retail specialists because it touches on so many areas, offering agencies the chance to mould a brand's strategy and become a client's strategic adviser. As such, more branding shops are pushing into the space traditionally occupied by advertising agencies. A sign of this overlap came earlier this year, as Imagination became a member of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
The blurring of the boundaries is likely to continue as the role of digital communications grows in importance. Given how crucial a website is to a company's brand, any design agency worth its salt now has online design experience, and some are building considerable digital marketing expertise. Last month Imagination launched Where are the Joneses?, a web-TV sitcom, in collaboration with TV production company Baby Cow and sponsored by long-time Imagination client Ford of Europe. It invites users to participate through a blog, where they can leave comments, and a wiki, where they can contribute to scripts for future shows.
Multimedia projects will open up new avenues for many in the design sector. Indeed, the much-maligned 2012 logo has been designed specifically with interactive media use in mind. Peggy Connor, head of strategic consulting and brand design at the AAR, argues that this is where the industry is heading. 'Clients are talking to us about transferable brand assets,' she says. 'Branding now has to appear on mobile and the web, and offer consumers a level of interactivity.'
Another area with scope for greater digital involvement is internal communications. The Companies Act 2006 requires companies to post annual reports on their websites. The result, according to Corporate Edge's Lake, will be 'a big shift in thinking about how the corporate website is used and how it builds the brand'.
One reason all forms of internal communications are proving buoyant for branding and design agencies is that a brand's ability to ensure the experience it delivers is uniform across its organisation depends largely on its staff, so it has to focus on making employees aware of what its brand stands for.
Over the past year Corporate Edge has carried out corporate communications work for companies including Cadbury Schweppes and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. Lake points out that good staff are especially important in service sectors such as leisure and financial services. And as these areas become more sophisticated in their marketing, employee engagement work will grow in importance.
This is a trend taking hold around the world. Turquoise has handled internal communications projects for clients including Saudi TV and Maltese telecoms firm Go. 'Clients are realising that if there is no buy-in from staff, change won't happen,' says Turquoise managing director Linda Garcia. 'Just changing the logo means nothing.'
Yet it would be wrong to suggest that business is booming for everyone in the design industry. In general it is the big, branding-led agencies that are feeling upbeat. Further down the table, fortunes are more mixed. Areas including packaging and retail design have suffered over recent years from a combination of vast oversupply and procurement. Design remains a highly fragmented sector - according to the Design Business Association (DBA), just 5% of design companies turn over more than £500,000 a year. That means a huge amount of competition. When allied with pressure on fees from procurement departments, the result has been shrinking margins. 'There is a growing divide between branding companies and the design sector,' argues Giovannoni. 'Clients are now looking for long-term relationships with branding agencies.'
The retail design sector is one that is having to think hard about its business models. Some agencies are looking to overseas markets to accelerate growth. CRC, for example, is launching a Parisian venture, called Soul-CRC, that will focus on luxury retail. Its offer will be international. 'The retail market in the UK is facing tough challenges,' says Jon Bunning, Soul-CRC's managing director. 'There is an increasingly commoditised approach to design and without appropriate value appreciation, margins are being eroded. As a result, agencies may need to increase their global reach to realise opportunities in emerging markets.'
In the area of packaging design, there may be opportunities closer to home. For example, many FMCG brands are starting to think about how to respond to the growth of e-commerce. 'The challenge now is that lots of people buy their groceries based on a thumbnail on a website,' says Loewy's Hoult. 'How do you make a brand stand out in that environment?'
There are also signs that brands may be willing to be more inventive when it comes to their packaging. Earlier this year, PepsiCo took the bold step of producing multiple pack designs for cans and bottles of Pepsi. The designs were intended to target different groups in its target youth market, using themes such as cars and music.
The big challenge looming for packaging design is the environment. Over the past year the issue of waste has become more pressing for brands. Last month nine major FMCG companies - Britvic, Cadbury Schweppes, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Dairy Crest, Duchy Originals, Masterfoods, McBride and Nestle - signed up to the government-backed Courtauld Commitment, pledging to stop the growth in packaging waste by next year, and reduce it by 2010. And Waitrose recently announced that it would replace plastic milk bottles with milk pouches to ease pressure on landfill space.
If design agencies play their cards right, there should be scope in this environment for more green packaging projects. Jon Davies, managing director of Holmes & Marchant, which has designed packs for Kenco and Carling, believes that this is 'an enormous opportunity' for the packaging sector. 'It is starting to come through into clients' briefs,' he adds.
Pressure on companies to go green will also feed into internal branding work. If a company is to change its behaviour, it must educate its staff about how and why it is making those changes. 'Smart sustainability is now about embedding the idea in the business plan,' says Douglas Broadley, managing director of Imagination. 'It is a big challenge for business - there are fundamental issues with how companies manufacture products. If marketing starts to be applied in a superficial way on issues of such global importance, (the business) will be caught out and alienate consumers.'
Another big opportunity lies in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). One of the conclusions of the Cox Review of creativity in business, unveiled by Sir George Cox in late-2005, was that more needed to be done to encourage Britain's SMEs to make use of the nation's creative services. Since then, the Design Council has set up a business support programme to help them realise the potential of design to improve performance. The aim is to reach 5000 businesses by 2010. The initiative received a further boost last summer when the UK arm of Nissan won the right to claim tax credits on some of its design investments. The Design Council is investigating whether the decision will mean smaller companies can also get tax breaks on design activity.
Davies believes SMEs will provide a growing client base for the design sector. He points to small brands such as Dorset Cereals, which has succeeded on the back of smart pack design by Big Fish. 'Because smaller brands don't have the budgets for major communications campaigns, their only way to communicate is through design,' he says. 'They're also great to work with - you're helping them build their company and the bigger they grow, the more they'll help you.' This point is echoed by DBA chief executive Deborah Dawton, who argues that work for SMEs may ease the margin pressure on agencies. 'Agencies may see a rise in creative contracts that give them some stake in the success of a product,' she says.
There is clearly no shortage of activity in the design sector. The challenge for agencies is in realigning themselves to meet the developments creating it. With so many design companies out there, agencies will struggle unless they have a clear positioning - Dawton contends that it is now 'impossible to be a generalist'. This is true even for the big branding agencies. Imagination, for example, recently reorganised, focusing on six core areas to make its offer clearer to clients. 'Clients are a lot more choosy now, and the market is much more crowded,' says Broadley. We've been thinking about how to refine our experience into more sharply defined, explainable products.'
For marketers faced with a bewildering choice of agencies, this should make life a little easier. Whether it is internal branding or greener packaging, the design sector is well placed to take advantage of new pressures on brands and marketers. It is now up to agencies to convince clients of all sizes that there is more to the industry's art than painting chimps could manage.
THE SARBANES-OXLEY EFFECT
For agencies affected by the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which restricts the financial information US-owned companies can make public, we have used Companies House data supplied by Willott Kingston Smith. Gross profit is used to approximate fee income; the agencies are placed in the table to indicate their industry position, but not ranked. No up-to-date financial information could be found for Jack Morton Worldwide, The Partners or Landor Associates. These agencies therefore do not appear. Last year Conran Design Group merged with CGI London, whose 2005 gross profit was £1.75m. Figures for the merged group are not yet available.
DATA FILE - TOP FIVE BIG AGENCIES FOR GROWTH
Agency Fee income Fee income Change
2006 (pounds) 2005 (pounds) (%)
1 Start Creative 7,612,540 4,695,295 62
2 Loewy 7,932,000 5,007,000 58
3 Dalziel & Pow 3,771,384 2,760,141 37
4 Linney Design 4,149,029 3,077,125 35
5 SAS 3,989,000 3,029,000 32
Note: does not include Sarbanes-Oxley-affected agencies
DATA FILE - TOP FIVE SMALL AGENCIES FOR GROWTH
Agency Fee income Fee income Change
2006 (pounds) 2005 (pounds) (%)
1 P&W 1,600,000 800,000 100
2 BD-NTWK 2,874,000 1,568,000 83
3 Allen International 2,473,822 1,441,996 72
4 Stocks Taylor Benson 2,645,000 1,810,000 46
5 Turner Duckworth 2,969,000 2,041,000 45
Note: does not include Sarbanes-Oxley-affected agencies
TOP DESIGN AGENCIES
Rnk Agency Fee income Fee income %
2006 2005 chng
1 Imagination Group 31,248,000 29,818,000 5
Enterprise IG* n/a 15,015,880 n/a
Wolff Olins* n/a 12,326,000 n/a
2 Checkland Kindleysides 9,320,000 8,087,000 15
3 Radley Yeldar 8,800,000 7,400,000 19
Interbrand UK* n/a 8,148,000 n/a
4 Loewy 7,932,000 5,007,000 58
5 Jones Knowles Ritchie 7,926,000 8,509,000 -7
6 Design Bridge 7,784,000 6,391,000 22
7 Start Creative 7,612,540 4,695,295 62
8 Blue Marlin 7,561,000 5,929,000 28
9 Corporate Edge 6,550,000 6,489,400 1
FutureBrand* n/a 5,779,000 n/a
10 Elmwood 5,200,000 4,270,000 22
11 Rufus Leonard 5,012,000 4,515,000 11
12 Vibrandt Starchamber 4,967,111 6,241,000 -20
13 Nucleus 4,900,000 4,300,000 14
14 The Team Brand Comms 4,754,000 3,634,000 31
Lambie-Nairn* n/a 4,175,294 n/a
15 Linney Design 4,149,029 3,077,125 35
16 SAS 3,989,000 3,029,000 32
Coley Porter Bell* n/a 3,959,436 n/a
17 Springetts Brand 3,914,582 4,042,343 -3
18 Navyblue 3,875,000 3,761,000 3
Identica* 3,862,129 3,111,605 24
19 Dragon 3,853,000 3,175,000 21
20 Dalziel & Pow 3,771,384 2,760,141 37
21 Redhouse Lane 3,465,024 4,142,481 -16
Pauffley* n/a 3,361,279 n/a
22 Glazer Consulting 3,192,132 2,536,319 26
23 Wardour Publishing 3,165,900 2,889,300 10
24 Pearlfisher 3,024,000 2,646,000 14
25 Oakwood Design 3,007,000 2,764,000 9
26 Live & Breathe 2,979,899 3,022,914 -1
27 Turner Duckworth 2,969,000 2,041,000 45
28 BR&Me 2,894,600 2,789,462 4
29 BD-NTWK 2,874,000 1,568,000 83
Conran Design n/a 2,708,000 n/a
30 Stocks Taylor Benson 2,645,000 1,810,000 46
Springer & Jacoby*2 n/a 2,640,579 n/a
31 Holmes & Marchant 2,600,000 2,000,000 30
32 Coutts Retail 2,593,000 3,461,000 -25
33 Parker Williams 2,589,000 1,912,000 35
34 UffindellWest 2,573,034 1,952,579 32
35 Allen International 2,473,822 1,441,996 72
36 Small Back Room 2,400,000 2,300,000 4
37 Boxer 2,306,000 2,237,000 3
38 Turquoise 2,182,000 1,832,140 19
39 Precedent 2,100,000 1,900,000 11
40 Carnegie Orr 1,934,000 2,714,000 -29
41 SiebertHead 1,914,000 1,911,000 0
42 wk360 1,800,000 1,400,000 29
43 Shelton Fleming 1,684,411 1,407,121 20
44 P&W 1,600,000 800,000 100
45 35 Communications 1,599,464 1,142,000 40
46 LMC Design 1,561,000 1,230,000 27
47 Chaos Design 1,474,554 1,408,000 5
48 N1 Creative 1,409,000 1,127,007 25
49 Wyatt International 1,140,750 1,068,296 7
50 Creative Leap 1,118,060 1,453,736 -23
51 Ziggurat Brand 978,700 1,014,540 -4
52 WPA Pinfold 975,000 815,000 20
53 Turnbull Ripley 947,000 1,037,000 -9
54 Robson Dowry 929,000 699,000 33
55 Butcher & Gundersen 927,108 1,077,214 -14
56 Dew Gibbons 842,300 889,729 -5
57 Independent Marketing 842,000 697,000 21
58 Pierrot Print 795,521 801,235 -1
59 Avvio Design 780,000 650,000 20
60 Hey Moscow 748,126 766,180 -2
61 Ripe Design 723,331 813,084 -11
62 Mansfields 722,000 600,000 20
63 Like A River 339,211 353,806 -4
Rnk Agency Turnover Turnover % Int'l Staff
2006 2005 chng work
(pounds) (pounds) (%)
1 Imagination Group 102,645,000 94,416,000 9 44 393
Enterprise IG* n/a 20,592,172 n/a n/a 120
Wolff Olins* n/a 15,445,000 n/a n/a 114
2 Checkland Kindleysides 14,000,000 10,502,000 33 10 87
3 Radley Yeldar 13,000,000 12,000,000 8 3 84
Interbrand UK* n/a 10,051,000 n/a n/a 78
4 Loewy 13,023,000 11,694,000 11 23 250
5 Jones Knowles Ritchie 8,614,000 9,833,000 -12 5 82
6 Design Bridge 10,870,000 8,486,000 28 50 90
7 Start Creative 8,654,306 5,334,512 62 5 70
8 Blue Marlin 8,489,000 6,521,000 30 15 84
9 Corporate Edge 8,977,496 8,487,491 6 17 88
FutureBrand* n/a 7,675,000 n/a n/a 68
10 Elmwood 6,100,000 5,260,000 16 4 77
11 Rufus Leonard 6,016,042 5,491,463 10 8 65
12 Vibrandt Starchamber 6,160,927 7,712,000 -20 40 65
13 Nucleus 6,300,000 5,700,000 11 20 46
14 The Team Brand 6,422,000 5,257,000 22 0 44
Lambie-Nairn* n/a 5,971,610 n/a n/a 36
15 Linney Design 7,323,877 7,071,588 4 27 57
16 SAS 7,390,472 5,479,000 35 1 42
Coley Porter Bell* n/a 5,141,152 n/a n/a 40
17 Springetts Brand 4,321,751 4,429,812 -2 4 45
18 Navyblue 7,198,000 7,351,000 -2 0 76
Identica* 5,745,515 4,036,725 42 n/a 30
19 Dragon 4,741,000 3,735,000 27 30 39
20 Dalziel & Pow 4,266,940 2,973,699 43 32 53
21 Redhouse Lane 4,651,042 5,007,043 -7 3 70
Pauffley* n/a 3,785,972 n/a n/a 32
22 Glazer Consulting 3,607,002 2,949,938 22 0 24
23 Wardour Publishing 4,221,290 3,852,455 10 5 45
24 Pearlfisher 4,042,000 3,558,000 14 36 53
25 Oakwood Design 3,609,000 3,179,000 14 1 30
26 Live & Breathe 8,070,521 9,851,886 -18 0 39
27 Turner Duckworth 3,729,000 2,577,000 45 0 30
28 BR&Me 3,177,500 2,882,987 10 3 26
29 BD-NTWK 4,930,835 2,679,000 84 30 180
Conran Design n/a 3,302,000 n/a n/a 39
30 Stocks Taylor Benson 3,475,871 2,645,746 31 0 31
Springer & Jacoby*2 n/a 5,798,792 n/a n/a 40
31 Holmes & Marchant 3,000,000 2,500,000 20 38 27
32 Coutts Retail 16,940,000 29,937,000 -43 5 200
33 Parker Williams 2,998,000 2,310,000 30 42 25
34 UffindellWest 3,071,150 2,643,881 16 25 25
35 Allen International 2,839,267 1,749,829 62 95 25
36 Small Back Room 4,300,000 4,000,000 8 25 32
37 Boxer 3,530,000 3,384,000 4 32 30
38 Turquoise 3,519,964 2,908,499 21 65 32
39 Precedent 2,600,000 2,300,000 13 5 45
40 Carnegie Orr 4,100,000 4,600,000 -11 5 20
41 SiebertHead 2,415,000 2,430,000 -1 40 32
42 wk360 3,701,000 4,140,000 -11 8 36
43 Shelton Fleming 3,002,428 2,558,403 17 75 19
44 P&W 2,300,000 1,750,000 31 4 20
45 35 Communications 2,540,329 1,718,000 48 0 27
46 LMC Design 2,564,000 2,124,000 21 10 22
47 Chaos Design 1,843,193 1,761,580 5 46 16
48 N1 Creative 1,432,863 1,239,008 16 10 21
49 Wyatt International 4,759,548 4,594,514 4 2 28
50 Creative Leap 1,326,540 1,661,413 -20 65 18
51 Ziggurat Brand 1,177,000 1,181,000 0 28 12
52 WPA Pinfold 1,289,513 1,177,671 9 5 19
53 Turnbull Ripley 1,147,000 1,413,000 -19 0 13
54 Robson Dowry 1,130,000 941,000 20 0 12
55 Butcher & Gundersen 1,173,244 1,219,426 -4 46 18
56 Dew Gibbons 1,066,000 1,151,805 -7 0 14
57 Independent Marketing 1,014,000 871,000 16 20 10
58 Pierrot Print 1,371,588 1,456,791 -6 10 14
59 Avvio Design 5,236,000 4,400,000 19 0 42
60 Hey Moscow 1,196,837 1,443,995 -17 0 14
61 Ripe Design 1,372,804 1,364,349 1 0 16
62 Mansfields 3,016,037 2,520,262 20 0 10
63 Like A River 1,103,643 1,092,902 1 10 6
1 Imagination Group
Founded 1978. Privately owned. Chairman John Banks, chief executive
Gary Withers. No specialisms disclosed. Clients include Ford Motor
Company, Sony, Royal Bank of Scotland. Member DBA.
Founded 1996. Subsidiary WPP. Chairman Dave Brown. No specialisms
disclosed. No clients disclosed. www.enterpriseig.co.uk
Founded 1965. Subsidiary Omnicom. Managing director Charles Wright.
No specialisms disclosed. No clients disclosed. www.wolff-olins.com
2 Checkland Kindleysides
Founded 1979. Privately owned. Founder Jeff Kindleysides, managing
director Claire Callaway. No specialisms disclosed. No clients
3 Radley Yeldar
Founded 1986. Privately owned. Chairman Carl Radley. 1% packaging,
10% corporate identity, 68% corporate literature, 10% web, 1%
advertising, 4% consultancy, 6% other. Clients include Pearson, ITV,
Founded 1974. Subsidiary Omnicom. Chief executive Rune Gustafson. No
specialisms disclosed. No clients disclosed. www.interbrand.com
Founded 1929. Privately owned. Chairman Mark Adams, CEO Charlie
Hoult, managing director Ed Hardy. 30% packaging, 23% corporate
identity, 42% corporate literature, 5% web. Clients include Nestle,
Nutricia, BP. www.loewygroup.com
5 Jones Knowles Ritchie
Founded 1990. Privately owned. Chief executive Andrew Knowles.
Packaging 100%. Clients include Britvic, Diageo, Mars. Member DBA.
6 Design Bridge
Founded 1986. Privately owned. Chairman Sir William Goodenough,
chief executive John Morris. 90% packaging, 10% corporate identity.
Clients include Unilever, KFC, Pernod Ricard. www.designbridge.com
7 Start Creative
Founded 1996. Privately owned. Chairman Mike Curtis. 32% corporate
identity, 28% corporate literature, 40% web. Clients include Virgin,
BBC, Adidas. Member DBA. www.startcreative.co.uk
8 Blue Marlin Brand Design
Founded 1993. Privately owned. Chief executive Andrew Eyles. 88%
packaging, 4% corporate identity, 6% corporate literature, 2% web.
Clients include Unilever, Shell, Weetabix. Member DBA.
9 Corporate Edge
Founded 1972. Privately owned. Chairman Chris Wood, MD Simon Lake.
12% retail/interiors, 30% corp ID, 44% corp lit, 11% web, 3%
research. Clients include InterContinental Hotels, Shell, National
Grid. Member DBA. www.corporateedge.com
Founded 2000. Subsidiary Interpublic. Chief executive Patrick Smith.
No specialisms disclosed. No clients disclosed. www.futurebrand.com
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chairman Jonathan Sands. 59.9%
packaging, 6.8% corporate identity, 22.7% corporate literature, 2.9%
web, 7.7% strategy. Clients include Asda, HBOS, Nestle. Member DBA.
11 Rufus Leonard
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chairman Neil Svensen, managing
director Will Rowe. 30% corporate identity, 20% corporate
literature, 50% web. Clients include Lloyds TSB, 02, Shell
Chemicals. Member DBA. www.rufusleonard.com
12 Vibrandt Starchamber
Founded 1993. Privately owned. Chairman Ray Armes. 100% packaging.
Clients include Unilever, Nestle, RHM. Member DBA.
Founded 1979. Privately owned. Chairman Peter Matthews. 20%
corporate identity, 50% web, 30% strategy and intellectual property
consulting. Clients include Amanresorts, Rothschild, Teletext
Holidays. Member DBA. www.nucleus.co.uk
14 The Team Brand Comms Consultants
Founded 1982. Subsidiary Loewy Group. Managing director Julian
Grice. 40% corporate identity, 43% corporate literature, 17% web.
Clients include Department for Education and Skills, BAA, Home
Office. Member DBA. www.theteam.co.uk
Founded 1976. Subsidiary WPP. Chairman Martin Lambie-Nairn. No
specialisms disclosed. No clients disclosed. www.lambie-nairn.com
15 Linney Design
Founded 1980. Privately owned. MD Michael Fisher. 3%
retail/interiors, 15% packaging, 6% corporate identity, 49%
corporate literature, 27% web. Clients include McDonald's,
Whitbread, Yamaha Motor Europe. Member DBA. www.linney.com
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chairman Mike Freedman, managing
director Jeremy Sice. 27.8 % corporate identity, 37.3% corporate
literature, 34.9% web. Clients include BT, Sainsbury's, Ernst &
Coley Porter Bell*
Founded 1979. Subsidiary WPP. Chief executive Vicky Bullen. No
specialisms disclosed. No clients disclosed. www.cpb.co.uk
17 Springetts Brand Design Consultants
Founded 1976. Privately owned. Managing director Andy Black. 95%
packaging, 5% corporate identity. Clients include Young's Bluecrest,
Dairy Crest, Johnson & Johnson. Member DBA. www.springetts.co.uk
Founded 1994. Privately owned. Joint MDs Douglas Alexander, Geoff
Nicols. 2% retail/interiors, 6% pack, 42% corp ID, 28% corp lit, 2%
exhib, 20% web. Clients include LOCOG, Miller Homes, Sport England.
Member DBA. www.navyblue.com
Founded 1992. Subsidiary Cossette Communication Group. Chairman
Michael Peters. No specialisms disclosed. No clients disclosed.
Founded 1991. Privately owned. Chairman Dorothy MacKenzie. 56%
packaging, 44% corporate identity. No clients disclosed.
20 Dalziel & Pow
Founded 1983. Privately owned. Operations director Rosalyn Scott.
91% retail/interiors, 9% graphic design. Clients include River
Island, Primark, Stylo. Member DBA. www.dalziel-pow.co.uk
21 Redhouse Lane
Founded 1988. Privately owned. Managing director Jeremy Redhouse. 5%
corporate identity, 40% corporate literature, 10% web, 45% other.
Clients include Barclays, BAA, Department of Health.
Founded 1984. Subsidiary Omnicom. Managing director Patrick
Eastwood. No specialisms disclosed. No clients disclosed.
22 Glazer Consulting
Founded 1991. Privately owned. Chairman Ralph Glazer. 20% corporate
identity, 80% brand consultancy. Clients include Welsh Assembly
Government, GE SeaCo, Network Rail. www.glazer.co.uk
23 Wardour Publishing & Design
Founded 1996. Privately owned. Chief executive Martin MacConnol. 80%
corporate literature, 20% web. Clients include Camelot, JP Morgan
Asset Management, ITV. Member DBA. www.wardour.co.uk
Founded 1992. Privately owned. Managing director Mike Branson. 96%
packaging, 2% corporate literature, 2% web. Clients include Absolut,
Unilever, InBev. Member DBA. www.pearlfisher.com
25 Oakwood Design Consultants
Founded 1995. Privately owned. MD Tony Marwick. 1% retail/interiors,
5% packaging, 5% corp ID, 74% corp lit, 5% exhib and events, 10%
web. Clients include Hyundai, Mattel, Comet. Member DBA.
26 Live & Breathe
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chairman Adrian Watts. 5% packaging,
20% corp ID, 30% corp lit, 5% exhib and events, 10% web, 30%
POS/direct. Clients include Peacock Stores, BSkyB, Habitat.
27 Turner Duckworth
Founded 1992. Privately owned. Managing directors David Turner,
Bruce Duckworth. 80% packaging, 20% corporate identity. Clients
include Coca-Cola, Motorola, Homebase. Member DBA.
Founded 1992. Privately owned. Managing director George Riddiford.
95% packaging, 2% corporate identity, 3% corporate literature.
Clients include Scottish & Newcastle, Sainsbury's, Jordans Cereals.
Member DBA. www.brandme.co.uk
Founded 1990. Privately owned. Chairman Ghill Donald. 30%
retail/interiors, 40% corporate literature, 15% exhibitions and
events, 15% web. Clients include Peugeot, Coca-Cola, Orange.
Conran Design Group*1
Founded 1956. Subsidiary Havas. Managing director Jane Simmonds. No
specialisms disclosed. No clients disclosed.
30 Stocks Taylor Benson
Founded 1988. Privately owned. Managing director Joe Bakowski. 23%
packaging, 25% corporate literature, 52% POS. Clients include Blacks
Leisure Group, Alliance & Leicester, Next. Member DBA.
Springer & Jacoby*2
Founded 1999. Subsidiary Interpublic. Managing director Daniel
Blatter. No specialisms disclosed. No clients disclosed. www.sj.com
31 Holmes & Marchant
Founded 1967. Subsidiary Media Square. Chairman Andrew Doyle,
managing director Jon Davies. 15% retail/interiors, 85% packaging.
Clients include Unilever, Kraft, Coors. www.holmesandmarchant.com
32 Coutts Retail Communications
Founded 1982. Subsidiary Media Square. Chairman Alan Wild. 75%
retail/interiors, 4% packaging, 9% corp ID, 5% corp lit, 5%
exhibitions and events, 2% web. Clients include Disney, Hutchison
3G, Red Bull. www.crc-uk.com
33 Parker Williams Design
Founded 1990. Subsidiary ECG Holdings. Managing director Kate
Bradford. 90% packaging, 10% corporate identity. Clients include
Sainsbury's, Constellation Europe, Coop Norden. Member DBA.
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chairman Erika Uffindel. 35% corp ID,
30% corp lit, 35% brand strategy. Clients include Royal Bank of
Scotland, Standard Life, Countryside Properties. Member DBA.
35 Allen International
Founded 1992. Privately owned. Chairman Michael Allen. 90%
retail/interiors, 10% corporate identity. Clients include BNP
Paribas, Lloyds TSB, Raiffeisen International.
36 Small Back Room
Founded 1992. Privately owned. Joint MDs John Rushton, Ian Tasney.
56% corp ID/lit, 22% exhibitions and events, 22% web. Clients
include BP, The Crown Estate, Southeastern Trains.
Founded 1986. Privately owned. MD David Poole. 5% retail/interiors,
50% packaging, 15% corporate identity, 15% corporate literature, 15%
web. Clients include McDonald's, Tesco, Johnson & Johnson. Member
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Chairman Sharon Wheeler, managing
director Linda Garcia. 100% corporate identity. Clients include
Dubai Holding Group, Pipex, TV3. www.turquoisebranding.com
39 Precedent Communications
Founded 1989. Privately owned. MD Paul Hoskins. 15% corp ID, 15%
corp lit, 60% web, 10% strategy/consultancy. Clients include
Department for Culture Media & Sport, Cambridge University,
Newmarket Racecourses. www.precedent.co.uk
40 Carnegie Orr
Founded 1994. Privately owned. Managing director James
Carnegie-Brown. 30% corporate identity, 60% corporate literature,
10% web. Clients include Compass, Mitchells & Butlers, Premier
Founded 1972. Privately owned. Managing director John Parsons. 75%
packaging, 25% product design. Clients include Heineken,
Colgate-Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser. Member DBA.
Founded 1982. Subsidiary Page Character. Managing director Lawrence
Palmer. 32% packaging, 5% corporate identity, 63% corporate
literature. Clients include Nestle Cereal Partners, BSH
Siemens/Neff/Bosch, Mothercare. www.wk360.com
43 Shelton Fleming Associates
Founded 1982. Privately owned. Chairman Maurice Fleming. 55%
exhibitions and events, 45% production management. Clients include
BMW, Guardian News Media, London Development Agency.
Founded 1987. Privately owned. Partners Simon Pemberton, Adrian
Whitefoord. 100% packaging. Clients include Tesco, Starbucks,
Seicomart. Member DBA. www.p-and-w.com
45 35 Communications
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Managing director Nigel Forsyth. 48%
corporate identity, 52% corporate literature. Clients include BBC,
Cadbury Schweppes, Diageo. www.35communications.com
46 LMC Design
Founded 1985. Privately owned. Chairman Max Cohen, MD Andrew Cole.
35% packaging, 15% corp ID, 45% corp lit, 5% exhibitions and events.
Clients include Nestle, Carlsberg, Merlin Entertainments.
47 Chaos Design
Founded 1971. Privately owned. Chairman Peter Campbell. 4%
packaging, 27% corporate identity, 56% corporate literature, 13%
web. Clients include Canon, Sony, Christie & Co. Member DBA.
48 N1 Creative
Founded 2001. Privately owned. Managing director Glenn Elliott. 30%
packaging, 30% corporate identity, 20% corporate literature, 20%
web. Clients include Unilever, Bausch & Lomb, BBC. Member DBA.
49 Wyatt International
Founded 1952. Privately owned. Chairman Brian Barrett, MD Karen-Anne
Bernie. 5% retail/int, 30% corp ID, 40% corp lit, 5% exhib, 10% web,
10% ad design. Clients incl RoSPA, Saint-Gobain Pipelines, Brammer.
50 Creative Leap
Founded 1996. Privately owned. Managing director David Gray. 45%
packaging, 35% corporate identity, 15% corporate literature, 5% web.
Clients include Alliance Boots, Reckitt Benckisser, Pernod Ricard.
Member DBA. www.creativeleap.com
51 Ziggurat Brand Consultants
Founded 1984. Privately owned. Managing director Adrian Collins. 95%
packaging, 5% corporate identity. Clients include Nestle Rowntree,
Sainsbury's, Premier Foods. Member DBA. www.zigguratbrands.com
52 WPA Pinfold
Founded 1978. Privately owned. MD Myles Pinfold. 10%
retail/interiors, 20% packaging, 20% corp ID, 30% corp lit, 5%
exhibitions and events, 15% web. Clients include Npower, Asda,
SigmaKalon. Member DBA. www.wpa-pinfold.co.uk
53 Turnbull Ripley
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Managing director Mark Turnbull. 50%
corporate identity, 50% corporate literature. Clients include NEC,
Bourne Leisure, Stopgap. Member DBA. www.turnbullripley.co.uk
54 Robson Dowry Associates
Founded 1976. Privately owned. Joint MDs Ian Robson, Andy Sanders.
25% packaging, 35% corp ID, 40% corp lit. Clients include Bank of
England, Constellation Europe, Environment Agency. Member DBA.
55 Butcher & Gundersen
Founded 1981. Privately owned. MD Ray Gundersen. 42% packaging, 14%
corporate identity, 27% corporate literature, 6% product design, 11%
research. Clients include Pyrex, Waitrose, Legal & General.
56 Dew Gibbons
Founded 1997. Privately owned. Managing director Steve Gibbons. 80%
packaging, 10% corporate identity, 10% corporate literature. Clients
include Procter & Gamble, Boehringer Ingelheim, Invista. Member DBA.
57 Independent Marketing
Founded 1999. Privately owned. Joint MDs Caroline Beecher, Arnold
Woodhouse. 35% corp ID, 35% corp lit, 10% exhib and events, 20% web.
Clients incl InterContinental Hotels, bmi, Diamond Trading Co.
58 Pierrot Print & Design
Founded 1992. Privately owned. Chairman Andrew Campbell. 5%
packaging, 10% corp ID, 55% corp lit, 10% exhibitions and events,
20% web. Clients include BBFC, Bisley Office Furniture, Compass.
59 Avvio Design Associates
Founded 1992. Privately owned. MD Duncan Gardner. 10%
retail/interiors, 2% packaging, 8% corp ID, 15% corp lit, 10%
product design, 25% exhibitions and events, 30% web. Clients include
Vodafone, BSkyB, Motorola. www.avvio.co.uk
60 Hey Moscow
Founded 2001. Privately owned. MD Liz Wakefield. 18% corp ID, 53%
corp lit, 6% exhibitions and events, 15% web, 8% other. Clients
include Asthma UK, Drinkaware, Learning & Skills Council.
61 Ripe Design
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Chairman Gordon Carey, MD Alex
Murray. 3% corp ID, 46% corp lit, 4% exhibitions and events, 41%
web, 6% interactive. Clients include Fisher Price, Crosby Lend
Lease, Adidas. www.ripe.co.uk
Founded 1905. Privately owned. MD Andy Frankland. 2% corp ID, 10%
corp lit, 85% exhibitions and events, 3% web. Clients include Ford
Motor Company, Jaguar, SirsiDynix. www.mansfieldsdesign.co.uk
63 Like A River
Founded 1996. Privately owned. Joint managing directors Rob Taylor,
Peter Rogers. 30% packaging, 30% corporate identity, 40%
advertising. Clients include Co-operative Group, Silentnight,
Christy Home. Member DBA. www.likeariver.co.uk
* Companies House financial data provided by Willott Kingston Smith for
agencies affected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
1 Conran Design Group merged with CGI London in 2006. CGI's 2005 gross
profit was £1,752,729
2 London office due to close in late summer 2007