Form celebrates its 21st Birthday

Not content with a birthday cake or a card with a large novelty key consultancy Form is celebrating its 21st birthday in style – with a limited edition book, an exhibition and a series of talks and events.

Form 21 Logo
Form 21 Logo

Since establishing in 1991, the consultancy has created some enormously recognisable work for bands and musicians as diverse as East 17, The Saturdays, and Elbow; as well as clients including Virgin Galactic.

Marketing materials for Virgin Galactic

Paula Benson, Form founding partner, says, ‘It’s about the collaborations and the people and the stories. We’ll be showing original artworks and objects. We wanted a really eclectic mix of things in the exhibition. Paul West, my partner, is a real hoarder so we’ve got thousands and thousands of boxes of stuff.’

Biology record sleeve, representing work for Girls Aloud

The book features a foreword by Popjustice/NME writer Peter Robinson. Designed, of course, by Form, the 52-page tome will document key Form projects over the last 21 years.

A stone’s throw from Form HQ, the exhibition will bring together a series of 21 objects chosen by Form founding partners Paul West and Paula Benson. Each of these pieces will reference a story – including a misunderstanding with The Clash’s Joe Strummer – as well as wider cultural references such as the birth of Britpop and Britart.

Original Rankin print for Natalie Imbruglia Torn
Original Rankin print for Natalie Imbruglia Torn

Benson says, ‘We wanted 21 objects but they’re not chronological or too ordered. The objects represent interesting work. For instance we’ve got some Damien Hirst work we did back in 1992 – it’s not perhaps the most exemplary piece of design we’ve done but it represents an important time for us as a company.’

she adds, ‘Trying to prioritise has been really hard. The tricky thing is the editing process of choosing the objects.’

The Clash book – photographs by Bob Gruen for Vision On publishing

The exhibition space will play host to a number of events and talks, such as a Student Day with ‘portfolio surgeries’; Striking a Chord, which will comprise series of quick-fire marketing talks from marketeers working in music, live events, TV and the arts; and a collaboration with D&AD on a Sharp’ner night, entitled Picture a Sound.

Benson says, ‘Music was the back bone of Form, and it made us develop in the first place. It’s still at the heart of what we do: though we’re not doing as much music work as we did, we’re taking that energy into other areas.’

The exhibition runs from 8 – 13 June at Blackall Studios, 73 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, London. For more information visit

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  • Steve Price November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I am proud to say that I had the pleasure of meeting both Paula and Paul on a plane to Japan in 2005. They have the ability and patience to put up with me and we’ve been great friends ever since.
    Form is a bastion of great people, great ideas and iconic design. They are a great representation of both good business sense and great creativity. Happy Birthday Form.

  • Caroline Diehl November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Form and Paula did Media Trust’s branding quite a few years ago now, and we haven’t looked back. It looks striking wherever and however we use it, and we get consistently positive feedback.
    Congrats on 21 years of amazing work.

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