Design Week looks back over a year of change and picks out the key events.


Design Week kicks off the year with a new-look Review section and extra colour.

Coley Porter Bell makes ten people redundant, bringing the consultancy down to 42. It had 80 staff four years previously.

Imagination is put under pressure to scale down its plans for the Millennium Exhibition in Greenwich after proposed budget cuts of nearly 130m.

Design graduates from the University of Westminster claim their ideas have been hijacked for Tomato’s controversial Channel 4 identity.

Williams Murray Banks is formed by ousted Design Bridge managing director Richard Williams, recently departed Coley Porter Bell client services director Richard Murray and former CPB group creative head Justin Banks.

New York group Diefenbach Elkins starts looking to expand into London and Asia following its acquisition by The Interpublic Group of Companies.


Tesco appoints Crabtree Hall/Plan Créatif to create the store environment for its Tesco Plus store at Pitsea, Essex.

Wolff Olins is busy finalising its management buyout and is appointed to create the identity for Concert, the 25bn company to be formed through the proposed merger of BT and MCI Communications.

The Design Business Association announces its intention to launch a consultancy selection service for clients looking for designers.


Design Acumen and Turner Duckworth share the Best of Show prize in the Design Week Awards, the former for the British Airways First Class seat, the latter for Waitrose own-brand seafood soup packs.

Lord Palumbo, in a House of Commons debate, says every company should have a design director and each Government department should have a minister briefed to champion design.

Harrods launches its internal 350-strong in-house design team led by design director Gary Marshall, who joins from Matrix, the consultancy he founded.

The Design Council is awarded 250 000 in Government funds for nine design projects. It secures a further 3.3m to promote 2000 products and services designed in the UK – the first 200 for the Millennium Products initiative.

Design consultancies using illegal software are among 76 000 companies targeted for raids by trading standards officers.

Andersen Consulting’s design arm, Creative Design Services, is separated from the business and technology consultancy.

Channel 5 launches with branding by Wolff Olins and on-screen idents created by Californian consultancy Silver Hammer.

New York group Diefenbach Elkins completes South African Airway’s new identiy.


A new Labour Government comes to power, with John Battle taking on design as part of his ministerial portfolio at the Department of Trade and Industry.

The DBA board agrees to proceed with the launch of a recruitment service.

The DBA, CSD, the Design Council and DW instigate a strategic review to look at the way design is represented in the UK. The Halifax Initiative is born.

Real Time Studio acquires the 25-strong design arm of Andersen Consulting.

Terence Conran sells his one million shares in Fitch… as Clive Grinyer quits Korean firm Samsung to join the consultancy as senior director for product design.

As expected, Kate Irving resigns as joint chief executive from Rodney Fitch Design Consultants.

Two former partners at The Partners, Steve Gibbons and Shaun Dew, set up a new consultancy, Dew Gibbons… while, after ten years, Peter Carrow quits his associate role at The Partners to join Glazer Design as a director.

The BBC reveals its new logo, designed by Martin Lambie-Nairn.

Terence Conran’s Bluebird gastrodrome opens on London’s King’s Road, complete with food store, restaurant, café and club.

Wolff Olins is appointed to design the corporate identity for GMG Brands – the 24bn merger between Grand Metropolitan and Guinness… and features on BBC2’s Money Programme to demonstrate how the image of Britain should be portrayed to the rest of the world.

Lloyd Northover Citigate forms an alliance with US consultancy Bass Yager.

Martin Lambie-Nairn wins the British Design and Art Direction President’s Award.>


The DBA announces its plans to offer a recruitment service to its member consultancies.

MPand brand development specialist CLK leave Princedale Group in a 3.6m management buyout.

“No brand goods” retailer Muji plans major expansion after its parent company, Ryohin Keikaku, severs links with Liberty in the UK.

Rumours circulate that Rodney Fitch Design Consultants’ joint chief executive Kate Irving is preparing to leave.

The new Saatchi & Saatchi Group is born out of the demerger of Cordiant.

RAC launches a fresh public image which focuses on mobility rather than motoring. Corporate identity is by North.


Architect Sir Norman Foster is awarded the CSD Medafor lifetime achievement in design.

CSD president Nick Jenkins resigns following a decision by the society’s executive committee to pulout of the Halifax Initiative.

Stephen Bayley is appointed creative director of Millennium Centrato “ensure overaldesign cohesion of the content” of the Greenwich Dome.

The new British Airways identity is launched, designed by Neweland Sorrell, complete with artworks, the Mylius typeface and a speedmarque squiggle.

Wolff Olins completes a management buyout pricing the group at 6-8m.

Marcello Minale sells his stake in Minale Tattersfield & Acton.

Graphics group Giant is taken over by corporate advertising agency Burson-Marsteller.

Kate Irving joins Plume Productions as managing director.

The RoyaCollege of Art launches a new identity designed by Alan Kitching, which includes the word “design” for the first time.


Wagstaffs acquires The Green House to form a 50-strong consultancy, in what the groups describe as a “joining of forces”. The Green House name disappears, but founders Judi and Brian Green become associate directors at the new group.

Lloyds TSB is on the search for a design group to create a joint branch concept.

The departure of founder Matthew Baxter from on-screen identity group Baxter Hobbins Sides allows a memorable DW headline – Baxter Hobbins Sides splitting.

The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick reveals that a change of identity is under consideration. She describes the origina”pod” identity as “having been done by some kid in Brighton for 25 quid”.

After hosting a soirée for designers at Ten Downing Street, Prime Minister Tony Blair asks the Design Councito run brainstorming sessions on the use of design in Britain’s journey into the next millennium.

Adrianne LeMan takes over as CSD president, as the society’s development director Jane Clarke gives notice that she is leaving to set up her own business.


Tesco holds a pitch for own-brand packaging design – as part of a project to restructure its packaging design process.

The Halifax Initiative sets itself a target to establish a single body for design representation by mid-1998.

WPP continues its pattern of growth by buying Addison Design Company in a deaworth up to 8.5m.

The New Millennium Experience Company invites 22 design groups to participate in a paid creative pitch to decide who wildesign exhibition spaces within the Greenwich Dome.

Master poster-designer Tom Eckersley dies.


Sainsbury’s confirms it has shortlisted design groups for probably the largest retairebranding project of the decade.

Tesco denies that it too is planning an image change.

The British Tourist Authority identity, designed by ReaTime Studio, is described as looking “like a Dad’s Army poster”.

Demos publishes its report Britain Renewing Our Identity.


Colin Porter of Coley Porter Beltakes over as DBA chairman from Jonathan Sands.

Yet more privatised railogos rolout, with the launch of Saatchi & Saatchi Design’s branding for North London Railways, and Thames Trains by Design House.

John Lewis kick-starts Halifax Initiative funding with a 5000 donation.

Branding cities proves a difficult task, and the future of Nottingham’s identity is handed to the city council. Fishburn Hedges was originally appointed to create a marque.

Interbrand UK merges with Neweland Sorrell. N&S’s directors were reportedly paid 18 times the PE ratio.

The long-awaited Virgin Vie cosmetics chain opens for trading with a retaiformat developed by Revolution, and product packaging by Lyons Associates.

Lambie-Nairn’s new balloon screen ident for the BBC is unveiled.

Sainsbury’s plumps for 20/20 Design and Strategy Consultants to carry out its brand identity.

The Jenkins Group merges with retaispecialist Cobalt.

Lloyd Northover, with its PR parent Citigate Communications, wins the job of rebranding the Millennium Commission, having beaten off competition from Wolff Olins, among others.

Addison merges with stablemate Sampson TyrrelCorporate Marketing.

Interbrand Neweland Sorrelappoints ex-Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising heavyweight Rita Clifton to smooth the path of their merger.

Odeon Cinemas pilots new Wolff Olins branding in London’s Camden Town.

Siege& Gale brings in Online Magic co-founder John Wilmott to head up its interactive team.

Martin Lambie-Nairn blesses the Church with a hallmark device called New Start.

Design Acumen wins another prize for its BA First Class seat – top honours in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards.

Ineke Hans wins DW’s first Furniture Futures competition.


BAA, the RIBA and DW set up a workshop to find ways of using design to enhance the customer’s experience, as welas helping profits.

Light & Coley creates a seven-strong board of directors to allow Alan Coley and Laurie Light to develop overseas business.

Changes at Edward Briscoe, as the consultancy’s managing director PhiJones leaves the same week that non-executive director Jurgen Freund joins.

Wolff Olins unveils the name Diageo for the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan.

Revolution appoints Peter Barber as its first chief executive.

Morale at Landor’s London office sinks as at least four designers are sacked.

A tartan-style “Scotland country of origin” device, by Scott Stern Associates, is unveiled.

B&Q announces plans to set up its first formadesign roster, with the help of M&K Chairman PauKing.

Another win for Wolff Olins. This time the project is the identity for British Airways’ cut-price airline, being developed under the name Operation Blue Sky.

DIA wraps up its restructuring process with the addition of Eliot Scott from MDS and Ruth Mark-Rowland to its business development team.

Sainsbury’s is to rebrand its 300-strong DIY chain, Homebase.

Richard Seymour of Seymour Poweland David Stuart of The Partners are elected to the executive committee of D&AD.

DW and D&AD join forces with the RCA to kick off debate on the hot topic of creativity and how to foster it.

Erstwhile Philips man James Woudhuysen joins Seymour Powelto head up the group’s new research division.

Imagination reveals it was paid 7.6m for its work on the Millennium celebrations, most of which has since been ditched.

The first of the new Government department identities is unveiled. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions’ logo is the work of the CentraOffice of Information.

US print and website guru Roger Black opens a London arm of his Internet design studio Interactive Bureau.

Copyright king Dan Johnston dies aged 85.


Glasgow 1999 unveils the gridded identity by Spanish designer Javier Mariscafor its 11m Lighthouse building.

Sampson TyrrelEnterprises’s new Job Centre and New Deabranding is piloted in Brixton.

The New Millennium Experience Company names 11 exhibition designers to create the Dome’s contents, having thrown out Imagination’s ideas.

CDT is to design the logo for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, beating Wolff Olins, Landor and Rufus Leonard.

Siebert Head hunts for a high-profile creative director as part of its efforts to rejuvenate its image.

John McAslan is the latest architect to have the job of developing London’s Roundhouse.

Wolff Olins’ Concert branding is unlikely to be used following the collapse of the BT/MCI deal.

Wagstaffs makes six staff redundant. Judi Green is promoted to creative director.

Neweland Sorreldesigns the logo for Britain’s presidency of the European Union.

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