Lookingback

Design Week casts its eye over the events of 2001 to bring you the industry’s highs and lows

JANUARY

Shock waves hit the industry with news of the fatal stabbing of Minale Tattersfield & Partners founder Marcello Minale. MinTat pledges to ‘carry on in the very best tradition of creativity and growth’.

Royal College of Art rector Christopher Frayling is knighted in the New Year Honours list.

The Body Shop splits the role of former head of global design Jon Turner between head of design Paul Porral and head of commercial design Heather Cashen

as it pulls the plug on its new identity, after going before the board for ratification.

Dragon creates the £2m name and corporate identity for Consignia, formerly known as the Post Office, amid howls of protest from the media. Consumer brands, such as the Royal Mail and Parcelforce, remain unchanged.

The Design Business Association reveals that blue chip fmcg clients are trapping design consultancies in restrictive and potentially unlawful contracts, a practice which turns out to be widespread enough to warrant the involvement of the Office of Fair Trading (see December).

BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessey makes public her desire to kill off the BBC1 balloon identity for being slow and irrelevant. Nearly 12 months on and no decision about the future of the channel’s identity has been taken.

FEBRUARY

Airline British Midland unveils its name and identity, BMI British Midland, designed by Landor Associates.

WPP Group restructures its design empire, bringing Tutssels into the Enterprise IG fold and naming its newly-formed ‘brand expression’ offer Enterprise XP, which turns out to be short-lived (see November).

Design Week reveals that clients are charging consultancies to pitch. ‘Truly shocking’ says Design Business Association chief executive Ian Rowland-Hill.

The Government’s central procurement agency, COI Communications, starts assembling a roster, inviting consultancies to submit credentials. It transpires it is charging consultancies £50 for an application

pack.

FLB, Templar Downie and Turner Duckworth scoop packaging projects from Coca-Cola as it gears up for launches and relaunches of the Alive, Powerade and Oasis brands.

Japanese casual clothing retailer Uniqlo appoints Conran & Partners to design interiors for its London store, the first outside Japan.

Digital group Razorfish axes 43 staff, including some 12 designers, in its second round of cuts in five months.

Neville Brody accuses Austria’s Freedom Party of plagiarising a poster he designed to e e support the Tiananmen Square uprising and takes legal action. The FPO later publishes a statement in an Austrian broadsheet apologising for any potential copyright infringement.

PSD Associates managing director Paul Stead is elevated to parent company Cordiant Communications Group’s executive committee to launch a central brand and design management division (see December).

Traditional British brand Mulberry appoints Four IV to rebrand its flagship store in London’s Bond Street as Pringle reveals plans to open a central London flagship.

Light & Coley ceases trading after 19 years after a ‘difficult year’. Three directors Martin Seymour, David Jones and Brem Bremner resurface as Vario in May.

1960s soap Crossroads hits televisions again after 13 years, enlisting Liquid TV and set designer Rod Stratfold to create its new look.

MARCH

Digit bags Best of Show at the 2001 Design Week Awards for its screen idents for interactive music channel MTV2 On Air.

The Falkland Islands Development Corporation appoints The Partners to a branding project, scheduled for completion in April.

Mackintosh attempts a renaissance and repositioning à la Burberry. It is looking for a flagship site in London and plans to launch rubberised cotton and leather chairs and sofas.

Design Week reveals that one of the few remaining independents, Wolff Olins, is in talks with ‘potential partners’ with a view to being acquired. It isn’t long before it succumbs to Omnicom’s advances.

Landor Associates and Priestman Goode are appointed to create a brand identity and interiors, products and services respectively for German airline Lufthansa.

Cashen quits The Body Shop and follows her old boss Turner to Enterprise IG.

Luxon Carrà US parent True North is acquired by Interpublic for £1.4bn. Luxon Carrà is later merged with Springpoint (see October).

BT quashes speculation that it is reconsidering its identity after design briefs are issued specifying that its piper logo should not appear on shopfronts. Five months later its Wireless division is renamed mmO2 by Lambie-Nairn (see September).

The e-business slowdown leads to digital group Wheel axing 20 per cent of its workforce, three months before culling a further 50 per cent (see June).

APRIL

Deepend breaks into the luxury market by winning a major redesign of Bentley’s website, just five months before the group goes into liquidation (see September).

Then beleaguered retailer Marks & Spencer puts on hold all work by 20/20, Rodney Fitch & Co and Din Associates, three weeks after stating its problems would not affect them

as it unveils the identity for its George Davies-designed women’s clothing range, Per Una, in an attempt to turn around its fortunes. Per Una emerges as one of M&S’ few saving graces as it reveals encouraging first-half results in November.

Three months after Design Week exclusively reveals that The Football Association is reviewing its identity and has approached Elmwood, the FA announces its appointment to create a series of identities.

The Samaritans appoints Wolff Olins to review its branding, confirming later in the year that it is overhauling its identity.

Ann Summers appoints interiors group Silver & Co and graphics consultancy MHG to redesign its core brand, including interiors, products, logo and packaging.

After three years of research and development, Dyson Appliances launches its Root8 Cyclone vacuum cleaner. It claims to have 45 per cent more suction than the Dual Cyclone.

MAY

Having kicked up a justified stink over clients charging consultancies to pitch, the DBA finds itself on the receiving end of a great deal of stick over the 675 per cent price hike for non-members wishing to enter this year’s International Design Effectiveness Awards.

Four senior staff break away from Tucker Clarke-Williams to form Love. Their former parent is eventually bought out by Magneto Interactive in November.

Irene McAra-McWilliam is appointed professor of interaction design and head of department at the RCA.

After 11 years of research and development Perrier launches in plastic bottles, developed by French consultancy Dragon Rouge.

Jaeger injects some modernity into its interiors and identity, courtesy of David Collins Architecture and Lewis Moberly.

Interbrand axes its 3D department. It blames the slowdown in the global economy and the knock-on effect on corporate identity work. The same reason is given when 10 per cent of its staff are axed in July.

AMX proves that not all is doom and gloom in the digital media sector with the launch of an interactive television division to capitalise on rapid sector growth.

Designers label a Design Council initiative to encourage design graduates to teach as ‘fundamentally flawed’. The Design Council hits back saying that there are many unemployed graduates and a shortage of teachers.

Loewy Group and Journey Branding Experience agree to join forces under the Loewy brand in October.

The British Library chooses Jill Finney as its first director of strategic marketing from July. Her arrival marks a hunt for a brand identity consultancy that remains unresolved at the end of the year.

The Greater London Authority establishes its first design roster with Appetite, The Attik, Chambers Chapman, Radius Design, Cutting Edge, The Team Brand and Wagstaffs.

JUNE

After Tony Blair romps to victory in the General Election, departmental reorganisations create identity jobs, such as the Department for Education and Skills identity, which The Team picks up, and the Department of Work and Pensions, which goes to Corporate Edge. The Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions shuns design, adapting its old logo ‘on the computer’. The expected break up of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport doesn’t happen, but Culture Secretary Chris Smith gets the chop.

Camelot appoints Landor Associates to revamp the National Lottery logo and in-store environments in an attempt to revive the game’s popularity.

PSD Associates culls nine design jobs, putting the blame on the general downturn and the woes specific to the telecoms sector.

Brandhouse WTS updates the packaging for 1970s kids’ dessert Angel Delight using graffiti-style illustrations with the aim of putting the fun back into the brand.

One of the great unsung heroes of graphic design, John Gorham, dies.

Lynne Dobney quits as chief operating officer of Interbrand.

BDG McColl announces that it is axing its architectural offer from the new year to concentrate on office and branded environments. This eventually leads to the merger of its retail and leisure division into the Enterprise IG empire (see November).

The Department of Health makes another attempt to put together a roster 18 months after its last effort foundered.

JULY

COI Communications is in trouble with the industry once again thanks to the size of its roster – then 22 and growing. COI Communications refuses to say how many groups will win a place, prompting winners to wonder when a roster becomes a design directory.

Orange confirms Interbrand’s appointment to develop the brand worldwide, as exclusively revealed by Design Week two weeks before.

Wally Olins, who left Wolff Olins at the end of the summer, is honoured with a Royal Society of Arts Student Award in his name.

John and Frances Sorrell use the charity they set up on leaving Interbrand in 2000, the Sorrell Foundation, to help design become more proactive in social areas.

Marc Newson and Habitat head of design Tom Dixon accept the challenge of creating ‘coffee table’ sex toys for nascent upmarket sex brand Myla.

Brewer Riddiford founder John Brewer becomes Blue Marlin’s creative director Europe to oversee its overseas expansion. However, his tenure proves to be brief and after two months he leaves and sets up publishing company Smallish Books.

BA enlists FutureBrand to eradicate the last remnants of its much-criticised world imagery identity.

Itch announces its intention to team up with Ideo Product Development from August to increase the latter’s interactive capabilities.

Interbrand slashes 10 per cent of its workforce to cut costs in what it protests will be the only round of cuts. Reports continue to suggest otherwise.

Virgin makes its biggest investment in the design of its train stations since winning its franchise in 1997 and hands Fitch the task of revamping 17 stations.

Coley Porter Bell appoints Beth Barry from WPP stablemate Ogilvy & Mather as director of strategy and Cheryl Giovannoni, then a global account director at Lowe Lintas, as managing director. Chief executive Amanda Connolly looks for another role within WPP.

AUGUST

The Football Association decides to split its identity implementation between Elmwood, Springetts and Browns. However, industry sources say the projects include the rebranding of the FA Cup and the parent brand and a review of England home game branding.

Brown KSDP makes ten redundant while Holmes & Marchant’s corporate division closes with the loss of ‘five or six’ jobs. Adera Nucleus loses 11 UK staff as part of a European cull of 188. Addison Corporate Marketing makes eight people redundant, while Deepend admits it has let three people go during the toughest six months in its history. Bad debt pushes Red Pepper ID into liquidation.

Jestico & Whiles develops a prototype

interiors concept for Bupa, which is evaluated at Wellesley Hospital.

Consultancies line up for a Compass Group pitch to create a UK chain of shopping mall cafés, which proves to be not what it seems (see December).

Transport for London invites consultancies to pitch for a place on its first design roster.

Enterprise IG London managing director Patrick Smith is elevated to chief executive of Enterprise IG UK.

The Open Agency receives approval for its designs for a £700 000 interactive exhibition for the world’s largest passenger ship, the Queen Mary 2, which will make her maiden voyage at the end of 2003.

CCG attempts to knit a global branding and design network under the Fitch name, claiming it will be the second biggest in the world.

COI Communications once again finds itself the focus of designers’ ire. This time it is over the contracts being offered to consultancies that have won a place on its roster.

Tucker Viemeister, Razorfish’s former executive vice-president of research and development, joins the nascent New York office of Dutch product design group Springtime.

SEPTEMBER

Transport for London refutes claims it has downgraded its design function. However, former design chief Corynne Bredin points out that specialist design resources have been greatly reduced.

The economic slowdown continues to bite e e and as a result Wolff Olins axes 40 jobs while The Partners makes eight people redundant.

The BBC starts to put its first formal design roster together in an effort to save money. However, it is soon overwhelmed by the response.

The British Museum puts its search for a head of design on hold, re-evaluates its design department structure and says it may cancel exhibitions as its strives to save money. Later in the year exhibitions are reprieved (see December).

Birmingham’s museum of science and discovery, Thinktank, opens with £1.5m of exhibition and £900 000 of audio visual design.

The tragic events of 11 September put the world on hold but within days New York design consultancies get back to work with a ‘business as usual’ ethos

Landor Associates New York creates an identity to unify support for victims of the attack and raise money for the relief fund.

Ford looks to appoint 15 designers for its recently opened design studio, the London Design Enterprise.

Former Asda general design manager Susan Robinson sets up retail interiors consultancy Brown Cow.

The demise of Deepgroup rocks the design industry. However, some good news surfaces with the emergence of De-construct, made up of seven former Deepgroup staffers.

Lambie-Nairn’s O2 identity for BT Wireless’ Cellnet operation prompts media criticism and a writ from property group Burford, which owns the O2 Centre in London’s Finchley, for infringement of trademark.

Springpoint embarks on an international expansion drive, opening a Hong Kong office. It follows the consultancy’s acquisition by Golin/ Harris International, part of the Interpublic Group, in April. Further developments are afoot (see October).

OCTOBER

A question mark hangs over the planned £450m extension to Vienna Airport, for which JHP is designing interiors and retail concept, following 11 September.

The Identica Partnership says 20 staff are to take voluntary redundancy over the next two months, while Pentagram makes two redundant thanks to a freeze on projects with client United Airlines.

Former Deepgroup chief executive Gary Lockton resurfaces as chief executive officer of North Creative a fortnight after Deepgroup disappears. The Recollective becomes the second group to emerge from the rubble of Deepgroup. Gluemedia, one of Deepgroup’s six constituents, rebrands as Glue London.

The Department of Health delays its second attempt to create a roster after being inundated with applications. The last attempt in 1999 foundered due to staff changes and pressure of work within the department. The roster is expected to be finalised in March 2002.

Sainsbury’s overhauling of its packaging roster causes Davies Hall and Two by Two to review the future of their businesses.

John and Frances Sorrell are appointed as individual creative consultants by COI Communications to advise on how to approach the design industry.

Interiors and architecture group Eigg goes into voluntary liquidation with the loss of five jobs.

British Design & Art Direction launches Creativity Works, an initiative to promote the importance of creativity to the business community in collaboration with the Design Council and the Royal Mail.

Interpublic Group merges Luxon Carrà into Springpoint to further boost Springpoint’s international presence.

Design House and Coley Porter Bell each scoop DBA International Design Effectiveness awards. Tangerine wins the Grand Prix for the British Airways Club World seat.

NOVEMBER

Virgin Atlantic cuts seven from its product design team and halts interiors projects.

James Beveridge leaves The Partners after 16 years to join CDT Design as creative partner, citing a desire to work for an independent consultancy.

The DBA gets set to admit in-house design teams and design managers to its membership.

The Chartered Society of Designers reveals plans to make itself lead body for the design industry through a process of full accreditation by mid-2002.

Attik creative directors Simon Dixon and Aporva Baxi plan to launch as Dixon-baxi, on 1 January, while Attik seeks to develop its brand execution work.

Former Dorothy Perkins creative director Nikki Hillier launches White Room Associates.

Interbrand joint managing director Alex Batchelor will be appointed Orange’s vice-president worldwide brand in January.

BDG Retail and Leisure merges with Enterprise XP to form Enterprise Brand Experience. Former Fitch UK chief executive officer John Harrison takes the helm. Enterprise XP CEO Brian Shepherd will look at ‘other opportunities’ within WPP Group and BDG former head of retail Sue Wheldon joins WPP retail consultancy The Store.

CPB chief executive officer Amanda Connolly confirms she is to leave the consultancy after more than 12 years to go on maternity leave.

Tucker Clarke-Williams Creative is acquired by Magneto Interactive. Three TCW employees are made redundant.

DECEMBER

Compass Group admits the mall café project it orchestrated a two-stage pitch for in the summer was a phantom to test consultancy’s working practices. No appointment has been made for the real job, implementing existing brands across retail and leisure, as DW went to press.

In the week that CCG launches its global branding and design network Fitch Worldwide, two PSD design directors are made redundant though it is not related to the Fitch rebranding, says Fitch Worldwide.

Interbrand lawyers investigate Moscow-based Interbrand Rusconsulting over infringement of trademark.

The cash crises at the British Museum continue to bite, though exhibitions have been saved from the threat of cancellation. However, its search for a head of design is still on hold.

The DBA says the widespread practise of clients forcing consultancies to sign restrictive contracts warrants the involvement of the Office of Fair Trading.

Design’s year ends with Pentagram co-founder Kenneth Grange receiving the Prince Philip Designers Prize. m

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