Points of focus

From the vantage point of the year’s end, Design Week zooms in on milestone events and key figures that have shaped the design landscape over the past 12 months, and could continue to resonate into 2006.


• The Science Museum enters phase two of its £50m ten-year masterplan, which will see an expanded shop created by Lumsden Design Partnership and a café designed by H Studios.

• Pentagram partner John McConnell resigns his directorship, but says he will continue working on a consultancy basis for clients John Lewis Partnership and The Co-Op. He also says he has plans to breathe new life into his own consultancy, John McConnell Design.

• Turner Duckworth overhauls the Mr Kipling brand identity with bolder, more contemporary, reworked packaging designs, as part of an £8m relaunch. The packs feature close-up photography and aim to reflect the characteristics of the cake ranges. However, later in the year Mr Kipling scraps Turner Duckworth’s high-profile rebrand after declining sales, and goes off-roster to appoint Vibrandt to create new packaging for the cakes brand.

• Thomas Heatherwick’s competition-winning sculpture, B of the Bang (pictured above), is unveiled in Manchester. Standing 56m high and inclined at an angle of 30 degrees from the vertical, it is the tallest sculpture in the UK. Its radiating spikes are hollow, while the five supporting legs are made from thick, heavy steel.

• Interbrand closes its sister group, Innocence, after a year of assessment by Jez Frampton, chief executive of both groups. The move is part of a strategy to ‘sharpen up the Interbrand offer’ in London.


• Silken Group receives planning permission to construct a luxury hotel and apartment complex in London, due to open mid-2007. It follows on from the Puerta America hotel in Madrid, which formally opens in May, with floors by a glittering array of creative stars. Foster and Partners is the lead architect on the London scheme.

• Monsoon collaborates with Sonja Frick Design to create a retail concept that brings together its four sub-brands and nine ranges under one identity for the first time.

• Boots the Chemists overhauls its £100m No7 cosmetics range with structural packaging designs by Priestman Goode and a new logo created by Enterprise IG.

• Volvo Car Corporation appoints Steve Mattin, senior design manager at Daimler-Chrysler, as vice-president and design director.

• Nascent hand-held gaming device Gizmondo (pictured right) launches its first retail store in London’s Regent Street, designed by multidisciplinary consultancy, 2Heads.

• Johnson Banks unveils its identity design for the UK’s six-month presidency of the EU. The design substitutes stars for flying swans and is intended to represent the mutual reliance of the EU states. Later in the year, right wing think tank The Bruges Group accuses the Government of plagiarising its own flying swan logo. The claim is rejected and the political knockabout fizzles out without any legal action being taken.

• SSL International, owner of condom manufacturer Durex, launches a range of vibrators – Wand, Little Gem and Charm – designed by Seymour Powell, with packaging by Kinneir Dufort.


• Unilever drafts in Seymour Powell partner Richard Seymour as creative director of design for its global brand Dove. He continues to act as consultant design director for the company’s UK personal care division, Lever Fabergé.

• Glaxosmithkline relaunches Ribena, with a reworked identity and brand proposition designed by Seachange Creative.

• High street bank Abbey announces plans to rebrand 726 of its UK branches in the style of its new Spanish parent, Banco Santander Central Hispano. The branding, originally created by Landor Associates in 1986, will replace the controversial Wolff Olins identity created 18 months earlier. Wolff Olins is, however, tasked with its implementation.

• The South Bank Centre appoints Wolff Olins to redesign its corporate identity, created by CDT Design ten years earlier.

• Corporate Edge is appointed to create an identity for the Isle of Wight, following a four-way pitch.

• The Design Museum drafts in former Abbey chief executive Luqman Arnold as its chairman. He replaces James Dyson, who left the previous autumn, following a spat over curatorial direction.

• Global jeans brand Wrangler unveils designs for its first ever stand-alone retail outlet, with an interior concept created by JHP Design.

• British Airways begins developing a short haul airline brand, working with both Interbrand and the Ingram Partnership on separate, but interrelated projects.

• The Sony Aiwa website, designed by All Of Us, wins Best of Show at the 2005 Design Week Awards.

• Chancellor Gordon Brown’s Budget speech includes measures to promote design, including a design centre for Newcastle and a review of the UK creative industries, led by Design Council chairman Sir George Cox, who reports in December.


• DW relaunches with a new in-house design and larger format, with increased focus on images and a new masthead.

• The Central Office of Information reveals its overhauled design and creative services for print roster, cutting the number of consultancies from over 100 to 64. Design strategy, rather than implementation, is shifted into the marketing and strategy roster.

• Food manufacturer RHM begins compiling its first formal roster of design consultancies. This results, in June, with the selection of Ikon, Jones Knowles Ritchie, Turner Duckworth and Williams Murray Hamm, although the roster will be reviewed again at a later stage. The company also relaunches its Hovis brand, with packaging by Design Bridge, replacing WMH’s brave Big Food designs. Despite this, Design Bridge doesn’t make it to the roster in June.

• The Design Business Association and the Design Council announce an alliance to boost the development of design consultancies and the market for design buying. As part of the collaboration, Design Council chief executive David Kester joins the DBA board as a special advisor.

• The Chartered Society of Designers chief executive Frank Peters outlines plans to open up its Design Association to membership by consultancies, as well as individual designers – potentially clashing with the DBA, currently the membership body for consultancies.

• Design guru Malcolm Garrett returns to the UK, taking up an associate creative director role at Applied Information Group, the consultancy formed by Tim Fendley in 2003.

• South Bank Centre creative director John Pasche leaves after 11 years. He is replaced by Tim Hodgson, who receives an internal promotion to the new title of art director.

• Boots the Chemists unveils the results of creative director Jon Turner’s store design overhaul, presenting the work of its Creative Hub of consultancies, in the four-storey Sedley Place store on London’s Oxford Street. (pictured above right)


• ITV turns to BBC Broadcast – later rebranded as Red Bee Media – to create the visual identity for its entire network of channels.

• Japan Tobacco brings in a cabal of international designers to rethink the branding of its Camel cigarette product. The project is being led by Huddersfield consultancy Attik and includes work by New York group Vault49.

• Channel 4’s idents, redesigned by in-house team 4Creative, pick up a D&AD Gold Award.

• Milton Keynes Council brings in Applied Information Group and Lacock Gullam to develop a wayfinding and signage strategy for the city’s central area.

• Christian Aid starts the wheels moving on its brand overhaul, by putting the contract to redesign its website out to tender. Johnson Banks is also tasked with looking at the charity’s identity.

• Transport for London head of design Innes Ferguson says he will build a smaller, multidisciplinary group of design consultancies, when TfL’s roster is reviewed between September 2005 and April 2006.


• Retail branding comes under fire in a report from the New Economics Foundation, which blames it for creating ‘identikit’ shops and ‘clone towns’.

• The broadcast design industry holds a series of meetings to discuss the issue of large-scale free pitches, exemplified by a 21-way, unpaid pitch by Irish broadcaster Telefis Éireann, for its youth programming branding.

• Ashley Carter Whitehead founders Edward Ashley-Carter and Neil Whitehead part ways, with Whitehead naming his consultancy as Stuff International Design and Ashley-Carter setting up Ashley-Carter Consultants.gap84266581_s.JPG

• DW reports that Gap UK has appointed brand strategy consultancy Eat Big Fish to work on the fashion retailer’s strategy. Gap UK declines to comment.

• Restaurateur Alan Yau and Future Systems reveal to DW their futuristic Japanese dining and entertainment venue, planned for a former turbine hall in Battersea Power Station, as part of the building’s redevelopment by Parkview International. Later in the year, Japanese designer Keiichi Tahara is appointed to develop a lighting masterplan for the project, which will also include the Upperworld hotel by Ron Arad Associates.

• Cigarette companies are using design and marketing consultancies to develop ‘sensory’ branding, in the face of prohibitive advertising legislation, DW reveals. Fitch is working on such a project for British American Tobacco brands Pall Mall and Lucky Strike.


• London is jubilant after being chosen to host the 20th Olympiad in 2012, opening up a wealth of design opportunities. Celebrations are cut short by the London terrorist bombings the next day.

Enter alt description text here• Motorola indicates its intention to open a design centre in London to house its UK design team, currently based in Basingstoke.

• The Diamonds exhibition, designed by Real Studios, opens at the Natural History Museum.

• Yo! Sushi, the Japanese restaurant chain, reveals expansion plans, with new identities and packaging created by Intro. It says it is also working with Priestman Goode on new restaurant designs.

• Landor Associates poaches Cheryl Giovannoni, then chief executive of fellow WPP-owned branding consultancy Coley Porter Bell, to become its managing director. She replaces Charlie Wrench, who becomes a global president of the company.


• Design group Thompson resigns the account to brand the city of Leeds, after strategy disagreements with Marketing Leeds, and is replaced by local marketing agency England.

• English Heritage issues a plea to local authorities to maintain traditional signage from the ravages of neglect and decay.

• Johnson Banks is appointed to create new identities for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and the National Art Collections Fund.

• Ilva, the Danish furniture group and upmarket rival to Ikea, signs a lease to take over Marks & Spencer’s failed Lifestore in Gateshead, ahead of plans to take on the UK market.

• Liverpool City Council announces it is setting up its first 12-strong, graphic design roster, in preparation for becoming European Capital of Culture 2008.

• Fashion designer Orla Kiely reveals plans to open her first European store in London’s Covent Garden, designed in collaboration with architect and furniture designer Gerard Taylor.

• High street bank Bradford & Bingley begins a fundamental brand review and appoints The Partners and Value Engineers to work together on the project.

• The Natural History Museum sets up its first design roster, consisting of 18 design consultancies, interactive exhibition designers and graphic design groups.

• Forty museums and galleries share the £4m Galleries Improvement Fund, created by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with the Wolfson Foundation, to improve display and facilities.

• Heal’s unveils a new retail brand identity, created by Lippa Pearce, as part of wider plans to rejuvenate the furniture retailer. (See above right)


• Ingo Maurer designs ‘zen rooms’ for seven underground stations in Karlsruhe, Germany, using lighting to help relax travellers, as well as a platform edge lighting scheme to alert them to the imminent arrival of a train. (Pictured below left)

• Electronic goods manufacturer Dyson starts putting together its first formal roster of design consultancies, including Hat Trick Design Consultants, Sea Design and Thirteen, to work alongside its in-house design team on a variety of projects.

• Navy Blue begins work on a new identity for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, so that its logo and merchandise can be registered and protected from trademark infringements.

• Transport for London appoints Priestman Goode, after a four-way pitch, to carry out a redesign of underground station entrances. TfL also reveals plans to develop a chain of underground restaurants, bars and shops, with both identities and interiors designed by Keane Brands.

• Network Rail begins the hunt for designers to carry out a £4bn overhaul of Britain’s railway stations, including key London stations Euston, Victoria and Waterloo.

• The London Design Festival opens with a speech by Chancellor Gordon Brown, passionately defending the design industry, describing it as not incidental, but a centrepiece of the modern economy.

• Rock Galpin wins the Laurent Perrier Design Award for his modular seating system Sketch.

• The Guardian reveals a complete redesign in the smaller Berliner format, overseen by its creative director, Mark Porter, with a new font, Guardian Egyptian, created by Paul Barnes and Christian Schwartz. It replaces David Hillman’s seminal 1988 design. Separately, Neville Brody begins work with The Guardian ahead of a redesign of its Guardian Unlimited network of websites.

• BBC begins the hunt for a design consultancy to redesign the screen idents for BBC1, to replace the iconic red series designed by Lambie-Nairn in 2002, featuring wheelchair basketball, salsa and Bollywood routines. The process is ongoing.


• Following the launch of its Marc Newson range, luggage brand Samsonite reveals plans to set up its first design centre in London, headed by global creative director Quentin Mackay.

• London’s St Pancras Station appoints Lewis Moberly to create its new identity as part of a £400m revamp.

• The proposed merger of Boots the Chemists and Alliance Unichem leaves a question mark over the future of the two healthcare retailers’ rostered design consultancies.

• Czech Airlines resists launching a new visual identity, as part of its complete brand overhaul by Karakter, for fear of the ‘perceived cost’.

• The first details of a forthcoming UK design biennial – Designs of the Time – are reported by DW. The ten-year programme, backed by the Design Council and various Regional Development Agencies, will launch in 2007 in Newcastle, and will be headed by Doors of Perception founder and design pundit John Thackara.

• The inaugural Benchmarks, DW’s branding design awards, gives Best of Show to Hat Trick Design’s new identity for the Natural History Museum.


• Media Square secures the acquisition of design consultancies Lloyd Northover and Holmes & Marchant via the £63m takeover of marketing services network Huntsworth.

• DW’s salary survey reveals that starting salaries have fallen year-on-year for senior design appointments. Managing directors and creative directors starting new jobs can expect to earn between 10 to 6 per cent less than they would have the previous year.

• Fortnum & Mason appoints Jestico & Whiles, David Collins Studio, Kinnersley Kent Design, HMKM, WMH, Betty Soldi and Endpoint, as part of a £24m store refurbishment and rebranding project by the retailer.

• McDonald’s adds health warnings to its product packaging with Boxer Design, though DW readers challenge the effectiveness of the designs.

• Early reports emerge of a review, by Imperial Tobacco, of its corporate identity. Talks are held with a number of design groups.

• Japan Tobacco International creates its first international design roster, though the tobacco giant only names one of the three rostered groups – Nude Brand Creation.


• The Cox Review (pictured below) is published and includes plans for a new multi-million pound national design centre based in London. The centre is likely to be based in the West End and run as a collaboration between the Design Council, the London Development

Agency and a string of other design organisations.

• Nestlé sells its in-house design division, Group Creative Services, to Anthem Worldwide.

• The International Olympic Committee rules out free pitches for the London 2012 Olympic Games and appoints the AAR to hunt for a design consultancy.

• German publisher Taschen announces plans to open two London bookshops. A designer is yet to be appointed, but Philippe Starck, who has created interiors for the other stores, looks likely to take on the project.


Who has made a positive contribution to design over the past year? Design Week takes a selection of familiar and fresh faces that have stood out from the crowd…

1 Hilary Cottam

Beating more conventional designers to the Design Museum’s Designer of the Year award, Design Council strategist Hilary Cottam proved a highly controversial winner. The award prompted questions about whether her work was truly design and whether she had claimed credit for the work of others in her nominated projects. Unfazed by the brouhaha, the Design Museum decided to put her on its jury for next year’s award.

2 Mike Dempsey

CDT Design chairman Mike Dempsey put his stamp on the Royal Designers at the beginning of a two-year stint as Master, initiating a rebrand from the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry and creating a new logo, with ambitious plans to make the body more relevant and higher profile.

3 Tom Dixon

Wherever you looked at this year’s London Design Festival, you could not help but see Tom Dixon. From a ‘personal appearance’ at Selfridges, to promote and autograph his Snap Light, to a photo call for his Bombay Sapphire Stretch bench, snaking its way around Trafalgar Square, made of rubber bands, Dixon proved that design is not his only skill.

4 David Collins

Interior designer David Collins affirmed his position in the glamour stakes with a series of high-profile projects, including Nobu Berkeley, the third in the exclusive chain of Japanese restaurants in London. Ventures in the offing include a wine bar and ice cream parlour for Fortnum & Mason, a jewellery shop on Bond Street, and two hotels in New York and West Hollywood.

5 Patricia Urquiola

Patricia Urquiola’s husky, irreverent, chain-smoking presentation of her Ideal House, at the IMM Cologne furniture fair, was nicely complemented by the hammock she designed for Moroso. The distinctive and decorative style of the Spanish-born Milan resident’s furniture was in evidence on the stands of most other leading Italian furniture manufacturers, at both the Milan and Cologne Furniture Fairs.

6 Mark Porter

Mark Porter struck an important blow for in-house design after carrying out a total redesign of The Guardian. Despite some criticism, that the new design lacks the flair of David Hillman’s classic 1988 design, the new Guardian manages to be one of the most important projects in graphic design of the past year.

7 Derek Birdsall

In a year when graphic design produced few wows, Derek Birdsall’s winning of the Prince Philip Designer’s Prize was another highlight. The ‘gobsmacked’ graphic design guru was honoured for his work on the Church of England’s Common Worship in 2000, Penguin covers and Nova magazine in the 1960s.

8 Gordon Brown

Taking temporary respite from his covert leadership challenge, Chancellor Gordon Brown discovered design, surprising the audience at the launch of the London Design Festival with an impassioned defence of the centrality of design for the British economy.

9 Jonathan Ive

Apple Computer’s British design head Jonathan Ive continues to receive plaudits for its consistently industry-leading approach to design, including this year’s D&AD President’s Award, presented by Dick Powell. Despite some initial production problems, the latest iteration of the iPod, the diminutive Nano, gets an enthusiastic welcome.

10 Sir George Cox

The Design Council chairman’s long-awaited Review of Creativity in Business was finally published, finding that the UK has only five to ten years before the creative skills of emerging economies pose a substantial competitive threat. Rather than suggesting a ‘creativity czar’, Cox put together proposals, including creativity and innovation centres, getting more creatives on to boards, and increasing cross-disciplinary and educational communication.

11 Jason Bruges

Lighting designer Jason Bruges jumped to prominence as a result of a series of eye-catching designs, including a Memory Wall on one of the floors of the all-star Puerta America Hotel in Madrid, and the interactive Anemograph light sculpture at the Sheffield Millennium Galleries.

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