Magazine article Marketing

AGENCY 2003: Design Agency of the Year - Best of the Rest

Magazine article Marketing

AGENCY 2003: Design Agency of the Year - Best of the Rest

Article excerpt

It has been a risk-averse year in design, but Deborah Dawton, chief executive of the Design Business Association (DBA), believes those clients that have stuck with their agencies have benefited from their loyalty.

'The best work in 2003 has been a result of relationships built up over time,' says Dawton. 'Clients need to make the most of the design industry's talent of understanding how business links to consumers, how people think and why they buy.'

Peggy Connor, head of design and strategic consultancy at the AAR, agrees: 'Clients today are focusing on loyalty and long-term relationships, not short-term fireworks.'

In a year clouded by war and fears of terrorism, frivolity in design was scarce. But the cautious atmosphere has had its benefits, as clients became more aware of the importance of design to the bottom line.

'There is a realisation that brand design can be at the heart of the business strategy,' says John Mathers, managing director of branding and design agency Enterprise IG, and president of the DBA.

Effectiveness is something Elmwood Design showed in the repackaging of Manor Born sausages. The revamp emphasised the family-run nature of the business and led to a 57% rise in monthly turnover. This was achieved with no other communication or price change.

Another triumph of effectiveness came from last year's Marketing Design Agency of the Year, Williams Murray Hamm, with its in-store and packaging work for Here, the organic food retailer. This helped to increase individual customer spending at Here from pounds 5 to pounds 21. 'It is a prime example of design having a profound impact on a small business,' says Dawton.

WMH had a notable year, picking up accolades in Marketing's Brand Design Awards for work on the V&A shop, and on Clipper Teas, which took visual inspiration from magazines such as National Geographic, eschewing traditional conventions in the premium tea sector.

Lewis Moberly had a strong year too, with a Marketing Brand Design award for its work on a corporate identity for advertising charity NABS and a commendation for its Piz Buin Self Tan packaging design.

Consistently interesting package design ensured Jones Knowles Ritchie once again stood out from the crowd, with a Marketing Brand Design award for the Molton Brown Men's range and its cube-shaped packaging for Hula Hoops Shoks.

On the whole, FMCG packaging has not been setting the design world alight in 2003. …

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