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The biggest design events of the year 2000


– Corporate bookings for the British Airways London Eye are cancelled for the start of February, amid fears that the wheel will not be ready. Safety checks reveal the mechanism must be replaced on all of the wheel’s 32 capsules. The London Eye had originally been scheduled for a December 31 1999 opening.

– MetaDesign London merges with Swedish digital media giant Icon MediaLab as predicted by Design Week, Creation Design is acquired by the Jack Morton Company, and Ogle Design gets set to merge with Norwegian product design group Noor Design. Meanwhile, ad agency M&C Saatchi takes a 40 per cent stake in the future projects of identity and packaging group Smith & Milton.

– Martin Sorrell, WPP Group chief executive, is knighted in the New Year Honours list, for services to the communications industry.

– Jonathan Sands takes over from Ian Cochrane as chairman of Leeds design consultancy Elmwood.

A nationwide survey of high street brands reveals some alarming consumer perceptions of company visual identities in the banking and utilities sector. In Scotland, where companies in the sector include Scottish Power and Royal Bank of Scotland, respondents are left highly unimpressed with company logos. The survey reports that no symbol at all was considered both friendly and professional.

– Enterprise IG completes its biggest ever branding project, rebranding management consultancy giant Arthur Andersen.


– Professor Christopher Frayling says building links within the design community will be top of his agenda when he becomes Design Council chairman in April.

– A report in the Financial Times claims that some, unnamed, design groups have not been fully paid for their work on projects in the Millennium Dome.

– Deepend is appointed by Yellow Pages to help integrate all its on-line content under the Yell identity.

– The Interbrand Group gets set to acquire Toronto design consultancy Tudhope Associates, in an attempt to dominate the expanding design sector in Canada. Lighthouse Global Network acquires strategic innovation specialist, US-based IdeaScope Associates.

– TV branding specialist Red Pepper is appointed by European football governing body UEFA to rebrand the onand off-screen identity for the Champions League.

– Met Studio Design and the in-house team at The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television win the Best of Show award in the 2000 Design Week Awards, for the Wired Worlds permanent exhibition at the Bradford museum. The exhibition also wins the award for permanent exhibitions.


– Enterprise IG continues its march around the design world with the acquisition of two companies based in Australia.

– The British Airways London Eye officially opens for business.

– FutureBrand takes a 75 per cent stake in Argentinian identity group Idemarque.

– Hodges Associates is appointed by The New Millennium Experience Company to redesign elements of five Millennium Dome zones, in collaboration with zone sponsors. A NMEC spokeswoman is quick to point out that this is about maintenance of high standards rather than a response to criticism.

– FutureBrand merges with Interpublic Group stablemate, packaging and branding network The Coleman Group Worldwide, trading under the FutureBrand banner.

– Fitch re-engineers its global board structure, in preparation for a planned spree of acquisitions and senior appointments, moving from a design group with branding skills to “a branding consultancy with excellent design skills”.

– Design Week’s latest Top 100 consultancy survey proves business is booming in design. Enterprise IG tops the UK charts once again, with a 30 per cent rise in fees billed through its London office.

– Marks & Spencer gets set to formalise its design roster as part of ongoing monitoring of the brand. The announcement comes as the retailer launches its new corporate identity, created by Interbrand Newell & Sorrell.


– Brand identities for the candidates vying to be new Mayor of London are launched. Ken Livingstone’s is designed by Euro RSCG, with a brief to create a “for-the-people sort of look”. Frank Dobson’s identity sees “Frank” written out in signatory form. “His name is his word”, says his campaign spokesman.

– Lewis Moberley’s Mary Lewis sees the first fruits of her appointment as packaging design consultant at Marks & Spencer with the launch of a Chinese takeaway range.

– The Government announces details of five proposals for future use of the Dome when the New Millennium Experience Company’s tenure is complete at the end of the year.


– The digital revolution continues to gather momentum. It is announced that MTV’s digital TV and Web channel M2 will relaunch in June as MTV2. A revamped website and new on-screen visuals are the work of interactive design specialist Digit.

– Mobile phone giants Vodafone and One2One appoint new branding consultancies, The Identica Partnership and FutureBrand Worldwide respectively. This follows the resignation of the One2One account by Identica.

– The contest for recycling the Millennium Dome comes down to two bids, Dome Europe and Legacy. Legacy’s development would turn the site into a campus for start-up and established hi-tech and creative enterprises.

– Enterprise IG and Landor Associates will continue to compete against each other, it is announced, despite the joining of their parent companies in the $4.7bn (£3.4bn) acquisition of New York advertising giant Young & Rubicam by WPP Group.

– Granada Road Services launches its latest branded roadside offer. Workspace, designed by BDG McColl, is unveiled at Heston Service Area, west London. Granada also announces plans to review its identity.


– Elmwood is forced to lay off eight members of staff as changes in the fmcg packaging market see client budgets tightening. This forces Elmwood to scale down activity in its core business of branded and own-label packaging.

Casualties include designers, artworkers and project managers.

– The Design Business Association gives its support to the Interiors Forum, a newly formed joint initiative between the DBA and Lumsden Design Partnership managing director Callum Lumsden, which aims to raise the profile of the interior design profession.

– The Design Trust, a non-profit making organisation dedicated to helping young designers establish successful businesses, is to close at the end of July, it is announced. Lobbying to raise money fails to generate the sufficient funding required to keep the organisation afloat.

– PSD Associates is acquired by the global marketing communications company Cordiant Communications Group.

РThe ugly face of school dinners may be changed forever, following the rollout of a new caf̩ brand, called The Hub, across secondary schools nationwide. Branding work is by SCG London.


– Judi Green resigns from her post as group creative director of Dorling Kindersley after only seven months in the job.

– US advertising group Young & Rubicam acquires UK design consultancy The Partners in a deal estimated to be worth around £15m. The Partners joins Landor Associates in Young & Rubicam’s Diversified Communications Group.

– Sportscar designer Peter Stevens is appointed design director of The Rover Group from his previous post at Tag MacLaren. His role is to resurrect the Rover brand by introducing a “sportier” feel to it.

– Digital media group Syzygy opens a Dublin office, headed by Matt Norton.

– A consortium of design industry representatives, headed by The Design Council and Terence Conran, meets to discuss plans for a Tate Modern-style design venue in London’s disused Battersea Power Station.

– Enterprise IG decides not to replace creative director Franco Bonadio. Bonadio decided he did not want to return after taking a three-month sabbatical.

– Fitch parent Lighthouse Global Network is acquired by the global marketing communications company Cordiant Communications Group, which includes PSD Associates and events group HP:ICM, for around £392m.

– Ford design head J Mays announces plans to open a six storey design centre in central London’s Soho. The centre will employ designers from both inside and outside the discipline of vehicle design.

– The two Dicks – Seymour and Powell – tackle shopping trolleys, kitchen bins and aeroplane seats in the latest airing of their Channel 4 series, Better by Design.

– Design consultancies are back in the running to design Stonehenge’s £65m visitor centre after English Heritage ditches the four shortlisted consortia.

– Design Week’s Creative Survey ranks The Partners top of its DW and D&AD Awards chart, followed by Johnson Banks. The two consultancies change places from last year. Ideo Product Development ranks top of the All Awards category.

– Ann Summers opens a new chain of upmarket Soho branded adult entertainment stores, with design work by consultancies Silver & Co and MHG.

РToiletries giant Elida Faberg̩ appoints Richard Seymour as consultant design director to boost its design management side. He likens his role to that of a football coach.

– Interbrand Newell and Sorrell creates the corporate identity for the Football Foundation, launched by Tony Blair to increase funding and support for the game.

– BP unveils its new Landor Associatesdesigned “helios” flower symbol and sparks off a long-running, controversial debate in the Design Week Opinion page.

– The Economist Group appoints MetaDesign London to oversee a global redesign of its brand and a revamp of the flagship magazine.


– The Millennium Dome is dealt a blow by MPs in a report from the Culture, Media and Sport committee. It says “there is no single element to make the visitor gasp in astonishment – to provide the ‘wow’ factor.”

– Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway’s consultancy Hemingway Design develops an upmarket kitchen range for Miele, including a “cooking/ meeting table” which features a hob in the centre so users can cook while they eat.

– Corporate communications specialist Sheppard Day completes the acquisition of branding consultancy QED.

– London-based interior designer David Collins creates a new retail format for cosmetics chain Victoria’s Secret Beauty, an independent supplement sub-brand to US lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret.

– The Partners creates a new identity for Granada Media, following its flotation in July as a dedicated media group.

– The BBC confirms it is developing two new digital channels – BBC3 and BBC4 – to replace BBC Choice and BBC Knowledge respectively.

– Peter Stimpson of Basten Greenhill Andrews and Charles Allan of Lumsden Design Partnership join FutureBrand Worldwide as high-profile creative directors with “roving roles”, bringing its tally of London-based creative directors to seven.


– Landor is appointed by Andersen Consulting to create its new name and corporate identity, which it aims to launch in early 2001.

– Friends of the Earth appoints Lambie-Nairn to redesign its identity to increase awareness of its work and help it gain greater prominence.

– London groups Jervis Hegarty Losasso, Start Design and Circus create Virgin’s latest high street concept – the – Shop. The roll out is applied initially to 100 Our Price stores.

– Coca Cola introduces Play, its first entrant into the energy drinks market, designed by South African design consultancy Switch. It launches to the trade in South Africa and will be launched in other markets if successful.

– Forty-eight year old Scrabble is redesigned by Brown ID and sister company Added Value. New versions; including Deluxe Scrabble, Junior Scrabble, My First Scrabble and Travel Scrabble are also launched.

– FutureBrand Worldwide extends its global reach with new offices to service Asia Pacific and South America, which will be covered by a new base in Venezuela.

– Department store giants House of Fraser and John Lewis implement rebranding exercises. Consultant John McConnell is brought in to look at the latter’s retail branding, following a report by John Lewis’ incumbent design group Citigate Lloyd Northover, and the company announces plans to rename all provincial stores John Lewis. London’s DH Evans flagship renames itself House of Fraser.

– Designer Fernando Gutiérrez and April Greiman join Pentagram’s London office as partners, taking the consultancy’s worldwide tally of partners to 19.


– Tim Pyne, founder of consultancy Work, responds to accusations of cronyism in its appointment to design four of the Dome’s zones. “The decision to appoint Work was debated long and hard by the entire Litmus Panel [the Dome’s creative thinktank],” he says.

– James Dyson wins the legal case it brought against Hoover for infringement of a patented design. A Hoover spokesman says: “I thought we had a good case.”

– US group True North Communications acquires Luxon Carrà in a deal worth up to $18m (£12m).

– Leeds group Elmwood’s 40 staff vote unanimously in favour of a proposal for a shareholder partnership which will give everyone in the consultancy a financial stake.

– Gillian Crampton Smith, the Royal College of Art’s computer related design course director, leaves for Italy to set up a new Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, near Milan.

– Lumsden Design Partnership appoints Dan Ray as head of graphics. He replaces Charles Allan, and joins LDP from Point of Difference, where he was creative director.

– London’s Barbican Centre unveils its new identity – designed by Citigate Lloyd Northover – the arts centre’s first since it opened in 1982.

– London design venue champion Andrew Morris – owner of Earls Court, Olympia and the Business Design Centre – unveils plans to expand his empire worldwide with a series of branded exhibition centres.

– Don Cameron scoops the Prince Philip Designers Prize 2000 for his design and manufacture of hot air balloons.

– Body Shop head of global design Jon Turner quits after six years for Enterprise IG, where he becomes executive creative director in the London office, stepping into the shoes vacated by Franco Bonadio.

РCadbury launches Caf̩ Cadbury, its first entry into the high street, created by Abingdon brand consultancy Marketplace.


– FutureBrand Worldwide is poised to take a stake in London broadcast design group English & Pockett, as part of the design giant’s aim to establish “global media and entertainment” practices in London and New York.

– AMX founder Malcolm Garrett is appointed part-time visiting professor to the communication art and design department at the Royal College of Art.

– London’s Capital Radio unveils its new Design Motive-created marque, which replaces the existing sunshine logo.

– Deepend parent Deepgroup announces plans to open a Deepend Prague office in the Czech Republic in 2001, in conjunction with Czech digital media group Sorcererware.

– James Dyson moves into washing machines, launching the Contrarotator.

– Wickens Tutt Southgate rebrands as Brandhouse WTS.

– Brown ID is to merge with South African group KSDP, following the latter’s acquisition by Brown ID’s parent Tempus Group. The new group will be called BrownKSDP.

– International digital group Razorfish lays off 18 employees from its London office. Managing director Mike Beeston blames it on changes to the digital market.

– Halifax creates a roster of four design consultancies for below-the-line work. The roster includes Leeds-based State of the Art.

– Wolff Olins founder W

ally Olins is awarded the RSA Gold Medal for his contribution to the design industry.

– Tag MacLaren product design head Clive Grinyer quits the hi-fi specialist to take up the new post of director of design and innovation at the Design Council.

– FutureBrand Worldwide is poised to launch a strategic alliance with IBM to handle its global e-branding projects.

– Alex Ritchie quits his brand positioning and events design group Blu to join global events specialist Jack Morton Worldwide as head of branded exhibitions and environments.

– Creatives in Scotland’s capital form Creative Edinburgh – a network of industry contacts with the aim of promoting the city as a centre of creative excellence.

– London brand communications consultancy Bamber Forsyth is acquired by global marketing communications company Cordiant Communications Group in an earn-out shareholder deal reputed to be worth around £30m.

– The Post Office reviews the nature of the design services it buys and is set to create a new roster of design consultancies from 1 April 2001.

– Wembley Stadium appoints The Identica Partnership to rebrand the business in the runup to the opening of a new stadium in 2004.

– Swiss manufacturing company Rohner Textil wins the Design Sense 2000 award for its bio-degradable and compostable upholstery fabric.


РThe National Magazine Company plans to launch a healthy living caf̩ concept using the Cosmopolitan brand. The leisure concept, with interiors by Citrus, is expected to be called Cosmopolitan Life.

– Digital media group Oyster Partners launches The Brand Strategy Group to address the middle ground of digital branding.

– The British Airport Authority appoints Toronto multidisciplinary design group Karo to look at wayfinding at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports.

– The British Museum’s Foster and Partners-designed Great Court opens. Consultancies involved include Pentagram Design and Carte Blanche.

– Radio 1 announces plans to relaunch its identity in the New Year, with the help of Lambie-Nairn.

– London design group Design Bridge confirms it is has worked with McDonald’s on hotel brand evaluation. This follows McDonald’s announcement it will be opening two Swiss hotels using the brand name The Golden Arch Hotel.

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