Time travelling

As the clock ticks onwards towards the year 2000, the design industry is picking up pace. Here are the highlights of this year’s journey.


Martin Lambie-Nairn is named creative director as Stephen Bailey steps down from the Millennium Dome.

Jenkins Group is bought out of liquidation by Cobalt. Jenkins chairman Nick Jenkins later pulls out of the consultancy entirely.

Creative partners, Jonathan Ellery, Graham Taylor and Mike Turner quit Addison, following its merger with Sampson Tyrrell Corporate Marketing.

BAA appoints BDG McColl, Chapman Taylor, The Design Solution and Fitch as retail consultants to its “preferred suppliers list”.

Co-operative Retail Services plans its first packaging roster.

The Royal Mail appoints Interbrand Newell and Sorrell to carry out a visual audit of its master brand.

Dutch graphics group Una joins forces with Bell in London.

Webmedia Group puts its website production subsidiary Webmedia Limited into liquidation, with the loss of 17 jobs.

Wolff Olins and Pentagram are appointed to two separate Tesco projects within its design strategy review.

Spencer Landor reveals the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund logo.


Prime Minister Tony Blair reveals elements of Greenwich Dome contents.

Seymour Powell’s Richard Seymour beats Richard Mellor of Hyperinteractive in the polls to be voted in as president-elect of British Design and Art Direction.

Wolff Olins names and brands British Airways’ European cut-price airline Go.

Jones Knowles Ritchie creates new identity and packaging for McVitie’s 1800 products.

BT compiles its first 12-strong multimedia roster.

Twelve Stars unveils its Captain Euro super hero character to humanise the European Union, in what amounts to a big self-promotion.

The Government’s Creative Industries taskforce is criticised for lacking a clear focus.

The Coleman Group Worldwide continues its push to build a global branding design business with acquisitions in Chile and Italy.

Design Bridge takes a minority stake in newly formed brand development consultancy Illumination, set up by Ruth Tobbell and Phil Palmer, who was to quit eight months later.


Ideo wins best-of-show at the Design Week Awards for its Nike Vision sports sunglasses.

The Design Business Association and Design Council are brought in to help the Government-based Creative Industries taskforce find a clear design focus.

On-screen graphics specialist Plume is bought by The Attik. Plume’s Richard Morrison becomes a creative director.

Redjacket is appointed to design stand-alone retail units for Branson’s Virgin Clothing.

Edinburgh consultancy Navy Blue opens London office.

Design Bridge creative director Keren House quits to join Siebert Head in the same role.

Cambridge Consultants once again tops Design Week’s Top 100 chart of UK design groups.

Halpin Grey Vermeir co-founder John Grey dies of cancer, aged 43.


Graphic designer Angus Hyland becomes Pentagram’s seventh UK partner.

US graphics specialist Roger Black redesigns Reader’s Digest, the world’s most widely read magazine.

AMX Digital goes into voluntary liquidation and is bought by Real Time Studio. It is reborn as AMX Studios with Malcolm Garrett still at the helm.

Michael Wolff quits his position as non-executive director at Interbrand Newell and Sorrell to become a founding partner of new venture, The Fourth Room, along with former INS directors Piers Schmidt and Russell Lloyd, and Wendy Gordon.

Landor Associates senior executive director Bruno Toolan resigns with no job to go to. He is replaced in June by Mickie Holden from VB Concepts Worldwide.

The entire staff at product design and multimedia group BIB Design Consultants are made redundant and all but two (including former company secretary Lin Roworth-Stoker, who resurfaces at Smithfield Design) are reemployed as part of the group’s restructure.

B&Q forms a branding and packaging roster, comprising M&K, Elmwood, Pyott Design, Lippa Pearce, The Core and The Jupiter Group in Hong Kong.

Miller Sutherland prepares to move away from packaging design and pulls out of the Superdrug roster.

Shell International appoints Conran Design Group to work on retail and forecourt projects.

British Steel unveils updated brand identity by Design House, and forms its first formal roster with Design House as lead consultancy.

Imagination brands The NEC Group, which operates Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre and other venues.

Pre-press and digital imaging giant Wace Group relaunches its worldwide imaging business as Seven, with name and identity by Sampson Tyrrell Enterprise.

UK creativity is displayed at Powerhouse:UK, a London exhibition housed in four inflated drums designed by Branson Coates.


D&AD Gold Awards go to Thomas Heatherwick for environmental design at Harvey

Nicols and Imaginary forces for Gattaca title sequences. Photographer David Bailey is awarded D&AD’s President’s Medal.

Former Landor creative director Franco Bonadio is named as the new creative head at Sampson Tyrrell Enterprise.

Landor’s San Francisco managing director Craig Branigan replaces Peter Farnell-Watson, who resigns as president of Landor Europe.

The Partners creates the branding for Barclays’ new investment arm B2.

Smithfield Design operations director Tony Wells dies, aged 47.

Lippa Pearce and Din Associates design planned soup chain Soup Opera, the first of the latest retail phenomenon.

Europe’s leading express distribution service TNT has a new corporate identity by South Africa-based KSDP Design.

Oxfam’s in-house team creates branding for subsidiary retail chain Origin.

Lisbon Expo ’98 opens. The UK pavilion is by HP:ICM and Branson Coates.

The Chartered Society of Designers appoints Maria Luniw as acting director, while CSD director Brian Lymbery’s extended sick leave continues.

The DBA launches Design for Good as a DBA/Design Effectiveness Awards category, to encourage designers to work on charity projects.

Redjacket is believed to have been appointed to the top-secret rebranding project for ice cream giant Häagen Dazs, beating Fitch and Crabtree Hall/Plan Créatif.

Textile, poster and packaging designer Enid Marx dies, aged 95.

Majority shareholders of Paris-based group Carré Noir oust president and founder Gérard Caron. Brussels affiliate BEP Design Group pulls out of Carré Noir to realign with French group Desgrippes Gobé & Associates in December.

The Attik seeks successor to account director Kate Irving, formerly with Plume, who has joined marketing services agency Chambers Culross Barrow.

Senior Pentagram staff Peter Tennent and Gavin Thomson leave to join product consultancy Factory Design.

Cobalt creates and backs its own retail chain Watch2Watch.


WPP Group merges its global identity business under one name, so that Sampson Tyrrell Enterprise becomes Enterprise IG.

The Royal College of Art’s schools of industrial design and furniture are both to be headed by Ron Arad.

Interbrand Newell and Sorrell designs the long-winded identity for merged accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Richmond Design Group founder Robert Lush dies, aged 67.

Siegel & Gale announces its long-mooted 20.4m management buyout from ad parent Saatchi & Saatchi.

Chilean National Airline LanChile has a new identity by Diefenbach Elkins Davies Baron.

David Slater leaves E-fact to become creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi Design.

Clare Anderson joins Wagstaffs as managing director, with former managing director Steve Puxley becoming chairman.

MPL designs logo for Commercial General Union, created from the merger of Commercial Union and General Accident.

Lambie-Nairn releases a “new Britannia” statue logo for the Millennium Festival, with input from sculptor Mark Reddy.

Enterprise IG creates a new Hilton hotel brand identity.

Colin Porter reduces his role at Coley Porter Bell from chairman to non-executive chairman. In December he quits the consultancy entirely.

Diesel’s global design strategy is to be handled by Conran Design Group in London and Sisman Design in New York.

British Airways is compiling a multidisciplinary approved suppliers list.

NatWest severs its formal link with Minale Tattersfield & Partners and Smith & Milton, and appoints ad group TBWA GGT Simons Palmer to replaces its eight-strong marketing roster.


Retail communications consultancy M&K regains its independence from marketing parent group Birkdale, after Birkdale shareholders accept a 1.6m bid for M&K plus two non-design sister companies.

Landor reveals plans to expand its Paris office after winning a pitch to create France Telecom’s new identity last month.

Virgin Vie decides to overhaul its retail format after poor footfall levels in-store. The retailer brings in Clinic, partly owned by Virgin, to work with original design group Revolution on instilling more Virgin-ness to the cosmetics operation. Virgin Clothing prepares to axe its plans for standalone clothes stores, in favour of concessions within existing retail units.

Imagination returns to the Millennium Dome, for which it created original proposals, to work on client BT’s space there. The consultancy also looks set to create a Dome zone for client, Ford.

Raymond Loewy International forms an alliance with New York packaging group Deskey Associates, in a bid to compete better against rivals owned by big-budget ad agencies.


MetaDesign is appointed to end a national joke by redefining Skoda’s brand identity.

Whittard of Chelsea unveils its new T-bar, created by Carte Blanche with graphics by Bostock & Pollitt.

Horseman Cooke McBains changes its name to The Open Agency, as part of a 10m full service offer with through-the-line agency McBains.

WPP-owned BDG McColl makes a bid for improved creative credibility with the acquisition of 21-strong leisure specialist group The Principals.

ONdigital, the first digital terrestrial pay-TV service, appoints Creative Identity Agency to create its on-screen identity. ONdigital’s brand values were created by Wolff Olins.


Boots The Chemists reveals its in-store café concept, created by John Herbert Partnership, Lewis Moberly and John McConnell. Designed to capitalise on the chain’s reputation for sandwiches, it is thought that standalone units could be introduced if trials are successful.

Johnson Banks creates posters to promote “New Britain” as a brand in 900 British Council overseas classrooms.

The trend of charities getting wise to branding issues continues, with Interbrand Newell and Sorrell winning a project to redesign Oxfam’s identity. The results are due next spring.

Madame Tussauds appoints Pearlfisher to create a new identity.

Williams Murray Banks founder Justin Banks leaves the group to resume his freelance career. He is replaced by new creative director Garrick Hamm, who joins from Tutssels@The Brand Union.

Ideo acquires a 25 per cent stake in The Fourth Room, for a figure “closer to millions than thousands [of pounds]”, says Fourth Room’s Schmidt.


Architect Lorenzo Apicella becomes Pentagram’s eighth partner, joining with his nine-strong team.

Design House founders Tim May and John Larkin announce their decision to step down after 30 years. Client services director Lavinia Culverhouse is promoted to managing director to lead the next generation of management.

Enterprise IG beats WPP stablemate Coley Porter Bell, and Interbrand Newell and Sorrell to rebrand travel giant Thomas Cook.

Diefenbach Elkins Davies Baron rebrands Scandinavian airline SAS with local group Stockholm Lab.

John Smart, managing partner of Interbrand’s San Francisco office, is shot dead.

Enterprise IG wins the commission from BT to refresh the “look and feel” of its branding.

Tesco plans to change the way it uses design continues in earnest, with its in-house packaging design team closed down. Staff are reassigned to different departments. The long-awaited packaging roster is finalised, and believed to include Pemberton and Whitefoord, Pentagram, Blue Marlin and Ian Logan Design.

At Fitch, senior director Clive Grinyer quits after 18 months to join the in-house team at Tag McLaren Audio. Charles Allan, Fitch associate director and graphic designer, follows him.

Seven job losses at Lloyd Northover Citigate are blamed on “the paucity of management”, by one of those made unemployed.

Creative group director Alex Ritchie quits Imagination to set up Los Angeles and London offices for German group Arthesia. Former Imagination colleague Owen Snee joins Arthesia London.

Top packaging design groups unite to combat low pitch fees.

Diefenbach Elkins co-founder and chairman John Diefenbach steps down, as co-founder John Elkins takes over.

Psion and Therefore win Grand Prix in DBA Design Effectiveness Award for Psion Series 5. Martin Lambie-Nairn wins Prince Philip Prize.


Government-backed mapping document The Creative Industries is criticised for being under-resourced by one of its co-authors, Janice Hughes of Spectrum Strategy Consultants.

Co-Operative Retail Services searches for a point of difference with the unveiling of new own-label packaging strategy by QED.

Eight design groups go on a British Council-run trade mission to Brazil.

Publisher Miller Freeman drops a logo by Enterprise IG after just weeks as it proves unpopular with staff. Featuring a fox, it conjures up an image of “public nuisance and slyness”, according to one insider.

Long-term problems for the Chartered Society of Designers come to a head, with bungled communication over the sudden departures of acting director Maria Luniw, believed to be sacked, and the resignation of president Adrianne LeMan making things worse.

The New Millennium Experience Company finally unveils proposals for the Mind and Body zones of its interior, designed by Zaha Hadid and HP:ICM/Branson Coates respectively.


The Identica Partnership merges with Tango Design, as part of a deal with Tango’s parent group, ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Dolphin is renamed Dolphin MG after its acquisition by Mercier Gray.

DBA chairman Colin Porter bids farewell to Coley Porter Bell, the last founder to do so, to concentrate on his own company CorpBrand and the DBA.

Richard Morrison quits The Attik just nine months after the group bought his former screen graphics consultancy Plume.

New players

January: Dew Gibbons, Association of Ideas and Abet form Millennium Projects, a new company to handle millennium-related projects

Circus is set up by Dilys Maltby, Paul Twivy, Tim O’Kennedy and Tim Ashton

March: Jonathan Ellery, Mike Turner and Graham Taylor, formerly with Addison, form Browns

July: Marita Lashko (former associate director, The Partners) and Martin McLoughlin launch Lashko McLoughlin with a focus on print, plans for interiors

Fusion Designers & Architects is launched by Sophie Douglas and Roger Gascoigne. It includes two senior creatives formerly at Design Solution, Karen Byford and David Castro

August: Salterbaxter is formed by Nigel Salter and Penny Baxter, both formerly of Stocks Austin Sice

September: Crush is launched by Carl Rush, formerly senior art director of Stylorouge

October: Former Edward Briscoe Design staff Lea Banwell, Gavin Walker and Julia James, plus Chris Simmons of Dome Consultancy set up Verve Design.

Real Studios is formed by ex-Event staff Alistair McCaw, Yvonne Golds and Victoria Cook

Former Dialog directors André Soukias and Grahame Jones establish Soukias Jones

November: Interstate launched by ex-Carter Wong director Nick Downes

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