After famously saying the last recession was ‘bath-shaped’, Sir Martin Sorrell has challenged creatives to come up with a shape for this recession. What shape do you think it will be?

It’s tempting to say Bush-shaped, but that might be too political. Bread-knife-shaped? The downturn is evident enough, and it’s certainly cutting into the UK in no uncertain terms. But there are likely to be a number of small false dawns – the serrations of a bread knife, if you will – which will raise hopes only to slash them still further. The end result will be a slice off our productivity, for sure.
Fred Burt, Managing director, Siegel & Gale

What is unique about this particular recession is the inane commentary that accompanies it. Everything from the supremely irritating phrase ‘credit crunch’, to the hours of enjoyable nonsense about growing your own vegetables (get real – it takes an area the size of a football pitch to feed a family and keep a cow). Meanwhile, if you tell everyone that they are poor for long enough, they’ll believe it, and the more you do that, the longer the recession will last. So, a very-long-bath-shape, perhaps? No, I rather think it will be pear-shaped.
David Worthington, Chairman, Media Square Design Division

What shape is a recession? Whatever you want it to be. If your bath is half full, it is an opportunity to adapt, change and develop your creative business model to meet the demands of a transforming economy and society. Or if it’s half empty, it may be time to pull the plug.
Julian Grice, Chief executive, The Team

I think the shape of a recession is more like a flat plane. The analogy of a recession being like a yacht caught in the doldrums also rings true. Here we are, becalmed, waiting for a breeze. The recession will last longer for manufacturers that shelve design and development, because when it ends (it will) they’ll be years behind.
Terence Woodgate, Furniture designer

Like a cake tin. A perpendicular fall, with a corresponding rise as a reward if you have the right ingredients to turn a sticky mess into something more palatable. Caution: timing and keeping the oven door closed really is crucial for success.
David Haseler, Strategy director, Smith & Milton

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