We are thrilled to announce that Williams Murray Hamm received the Grand Prix at The Drum Design Awards 2020.
The recognition was for our collaboration with the Orchestra St John (OSJ) in Oxford. The orchestra is a charity who passionately believes that music has the power to transform lives. They raised funds to bring Afghanistan’s First All-Female Orchestra to Oxford to support their music education.
To thank all their supporters, the OSJ asked WMH to create a commemorative poster. We designed a traditional handwoven rug incorporating the apparatus of war depicting the Orchestra’s incredible journey. We commissioned its production with a women’s charity from Kabul and photographed it to create a poster. The posters were sent in a rubble sack which traditionally Afghan rugs get dispatched in.
Together with the Grand Prix this poster received another four Golds in the following categories; Physical Product Design, Poster Design, Illustration and Design for Good.
The Drum Awards Jury’s thoughts:
“The judges felt it impossible to ignore this entry and during the judging sessions found that it covered many categories. We found ourselves on occasion split, then almost-simultaneously unanimously in favour of it. Any Grand Prix award needs to inspire conversation, debate and passion and considering the isolated conditions enforced on us all we found no shortage of exchange. In many ways this piece of work brought us closer together.
“The entry represents many things – a struggle, a journey, resilience, liberation, a story that needed to be told. This story perhaps was the thing that engaged us the most. It inspired rage, disgust and sadness but also a wonderful feeling of optimism and possibility brought through imagination and honest craft. If ever there was a symbol of overcoming adversity and delivering a message of hope, then this is it.“
Ten years after Richard’s untimely death at 44 years old, very few people currently at WMH worked alongside him. Yet, remarkably, his influence on the business remains very strong. WMH’s positioning, attitude and behaviour all derived from him and continue to course through the veins of the company today.
I have never encountered anyone so confident in their own views and as keen to dominate proceedings as Richard Murray. It was his clarity of thought that gave WMH its provocative stance – a simple extension of his personal beliefs that marketing and design had become moribund and unoriginal and needed goading.
To him, we were shooting at an open goal and it should have been easy to make a success of things. It was not, for the simple reason that most people in marketing are surprisingly risk averse. Richard railed loudly at the failure of other firms to create ground breaking work and readily walked away from clients who didn’t share our views. For a start-up business, this was wonderful stuff, because it gave us a common enemy – lazy thinking. Some thought we were arrogant, some cultish, but we didn’t care we, and particularly Richard, knew we were right.
In the ever more complex world of branding, it was good old packaging design that Richard held closest to his heart. Whilst other agencies, once established, moved swiftly into the more lucrative corporate identity world or focused on ‘digital’, Richard believed you could still command most fame through packaging design and it was fame that Richard sought for us. Packaging also connected him to the audience that he was most comfortable with everyday people, going about their everyday lives. ‘Big Brother’ and tabloid newspapers were what fascinated him, not the ‘C-Suite’.
Whilst kind and, on occasions, immensely caring, Richard would be the first to declare himself ‘difficult’ to work with, indeed he would be proud of the moniker. In his world, there was little worse in life than being beige. Chipped cups were publicly dropped onto the concrete floor, accountants and architects roasted for sloppy thinking or missing the brief. It did not stop people admiring him – you were never in doubt where you stood with Richard Murray.
He could be immensely funny. He had the wit and delivery to make a good stand-up comedian and, at one time, nurtured thoughts of a one-man show. Company drinks and Christmas parties always saw him centre stage, as did awards ceremonies, as long as we had won. If we hadn’t, he cleared off quickly, trailing a stream of invective behind him.
I always thought Richard was a designer manqué. He loved design and peoples’ reactions to it and, of course, he was obsessed with big ideas. He held designers in awe. Everyone else, including him, was there to serve them and, in turn, he commanded huge respect from them.
Like so many brilliant people (and Richard was brilliant) he was loved and feared equally. Clients didn’t get special treatment. He’d still show up an hour late for their most important meetings, tell them they were being lazy or he’d stop the meeting until they put their phones away. It just reinforced the message that this larger than life character was different to all the rest and he was.
Richard was a complex and endearingly funny man who had the remarkable power to make complicated things frighteningly simple. I am indebted to him for a helter skelter ride that I’d never have wanted to miss.
WMH creates campaign for “Untangling The Tracks” exhibition at London Transport Museum.
How can you keep millions of passengers moving while undertaking a huge project to transform an ageing railway and its stations – and make sure they’re kept up to date?
The UK’s railway network is the oldest in the world and today railways are more congested than ever. Passenger journeys in London and the south east have more than doubled in the last two decades leading to a capacity crunch. The Government-sponsored £7bn Thameslink Programme was an ambitious 10-year programme of extensive infrastructure enhancements and the delivery of 115 new trains that have (and continue to) bring faster, more frequent, more reliable, better connected journeys for passengers.
As the majority of the work has now been completed, Thameslink had the incredible opportunity to showcase the Thameslink Program in an exhibition at the London Transport Museum. The exhibition is entitled ‘Untangling the tracks’ where visitors can learn about the upgrades through the ages and how Thameslink have done things differently in their decade long program.
The campaign follows various projects WMH has worked on with Network Rail and Thameslink that inform travellers on these engineering upgrades and the benefits they bring. Yet this campaign needed to not only reach travellers, it needs to grab the attention of kids, parents and teachers, making them feel as though they can’t miss out on this fun (and educational!) exhibition. The idea – Wow, What A Fact! – is therefore centred around the amazing facts and figures of the complex underground works, the rebuilt stations and new trains. The media includes out-of-home, digital and direct-to-passenger communication. WMH collaborated with its trusted production partner, Magnet Harlequin, on the implementation.
The run of the exhibition has been extended, so you can still visit the exhibition this Spring time at London Transport Museum.
The faculty of the South Bank Arts Centre, Bedford, approached Williams Murray Hamm to help with a project for their 2nd year graphic design students. WMH wanted to use this opportunity to tackle the Hunger in Schools problem. In the UK, 1.8 million school children are at risk of hunger each morning. A hungry child cannot concentrate and research shows that hungry children find it more difficult to learn, and are harder to teach as a result.
We believe a great creative idea can create a meaningful difference – from igniting dialogue to initiating long lasting change, also with child hunger.
Chris Ribet, senior creative at WMH, headed up this project and asked the students to think of different ways to inspire a call to action. To help them on their way, his brief set out three approaches:
1. Government led awareness campaign
2. Campaign to reform policy led by an NGO
3. Fundraising and activation in collaboration with a brand
Choosing the best idea
The students separated into seven teams and created seven great ideas, which they presented at our studio to a panel of experts from relevant NGO’s, local government and the marketing community. In a Dragon Den’s style format, the judges discussed the projects. After some deliberation, the judges chose “The Whole Truth”, by Alex Wong and Oliver Judd as the winners. Runners up were “Bloom Card” by Amber Serali & Jordan Jones and “20p” , by Grace White & Cameron Dunn. The winners have been awarded an internship at WMH.
Chris Ribet says: “By identifying a clear insight about Hunger in Schools, the Bedford College students developed bold, creative and ambitious ideas that tackled the problem head on. Congratulations to the winners and runners up. The Whole Truth stood out as a brave, single-minded campaign delivered in all its unvarnished truth to the policy makers. We look forward to having Alex and Oliver in the WMH studio later this year.”
Many thanks to the judges who gave up their precious time to review, discuss and critique the ideas.
– Ellie Kershaw, Programme Delivery Manager at Tower Hamlets Council, tackling poverty
– Claude Barbe-Brown, Marketing Manager at Inspire
– Molly Long, reporter at Design Week
– Richard Williams, founder of Williams Murray Hamm
And of course many thanks as well to Bedford College and its 2nd year graphic design students.
For any press enquiries, or if your college would like some involvement from WMH, email email@example.com or call +44 (0) 20 3217 0000.
Proud to announce that Williams Murray Hamm is behind the new identity for the international FAB Awards programme, which recognises the best in creative work for food, beverage and restaurant brands in over 60 countries.
FAB awarded WMH the brief without a pitch and asked the agency to create a new identity that would reflect the unique status of the awards and make it feel fresh having had the same look since the 1990s. The identity needed to work across other FAB properties, including FAB News, which is being supported with a Google partnership and the FAB Forum.
WMH hit upon FAB’s zest for what it does, always delivered in its simple, unpretentious way. The new look captures the creative and joyous world of food and beverage.
The logo uses a bold sans serif brand name with a bite mark out of the A and a straw in the B. WMH decided to keep the red and white palette but adjusted it to a new, deeper red.
FAB unveiled the initial part of new branding with the first call for entries for the 22nd annual awards in 2020. The complete brand identity will be presented over the coming months, including an entirely redesigned awards trophy to be unveiled at the ceremony in May next year.
Garrick Hamm, creative director at WMH, said: “The old logo served FAB well, but after 20-plus years it was definitely time for a new look. Working with FAB we quickly saw that they needed an identity with a bold personality that was… just as fab as they are.”
Neeraj Nayar, Chairman of the FAB Awards, said: “We are absolutely delighted by WMH’s genius. The simplicity and boldness of the new mark had us hooked the minute we saw it. Sitting perfectly across FAB News, Forum and Awards this is truly excellent and hopefully reflects the creative excellence acknowledged here at FAB. We LOVE it and hope you do too.”
WMH creates new brand identity and campaign for Hirsh London
Hirsh London, the Mayfair luxury jewellery house, has launched a new brand identity ahead of its 40th anniversary in 2020, created by Williams Murray Hamm.
Founded in 1980 by Anthony and Diane Hirsh, today the business is run by their son Jason Hirsh and his wife Sophia, who have grown the brand into a thriving company that is anchored in the heritage of London jewellery houses, combined with wit, technical innovation and contemporary appeal.
WMH was appointed to create a strong, bold and clearly defined brand identity and campaign to capture the attitude and quintessential Britishness of the business through completely new creative work across print, environment, and digital platforms
Hirsh London is one of the capital’s most respected jewellery boutiques. Its speciality lies in its large variety of rare, unusual, natural coloured gemstones which Jason and Sophia Hirsh go to extraordinary lengths to source. Each of their one-of-a-kind pieces are designed around a central gem and entirely handmade in the brand’s London atelier.
Hirsh London has been championing natural coloured gemstones for forty years and is now at the forefront of a movement towards bolder, more colourful designs, particularly in the engagement ring market. This, alongside their personalised service and exquisitely handcrafted bespoke designs, has established them as the leading authority on rare and unusual jewellery.
WMH was introduced to Hirsh by a former client and won the project through a chemistry meeting and subsequent competitive proposal. Its creative input stretches across advertising in European and Chinese markets, and a new brand identity across packaging, website and collateral.
Garrick Hamm, WMH’s Creative Director, says “Hirsh London designs and produces the most exquisite and joyous jewellery using natural coloured stones. They are immensely creative and have a wonderful Britishness to them. Our new brand campaign captures their spirit at the same time as giving them visibility and cut-through in a sea of mainstream, luxury jewellery sameness.”
“We were impressed with the creative direction that WMH took. They understood the very personal nature of our business, the care we put into selecting each of our gemstones, and our commitment to excellence in craftsmanship. We also liked their ethos of working with one company in each industry, rather than specialising in one sector. This has enabled them to come up with a fresh approach in fine jewellery marketing, which we are confident will carry our business forward as it continues to grow into one of London’s most respected jewellery houses,” said Sophia Hirsh, Managing Director, Hirsh London.
It has been a winning first half of 2019 for Williams Murray Hamm, adding another 16 gongs to its trophy cabinet. The wins include work for Waitrose & Partners, Network Express, Network Rail, 21 Sid, Jewel & Temple, Baerbar and its own 20-year book (Blood, Sweat & Ideas).
Yesterday evening, WMH was awarded a Gold and Silver for its work with Waitrose & Partners. WMH created ‘Free From’, a completely new sub-brand concept for the retailer. The new design presents Free From as a positive, progressive eating choice, regardless of whether you have allergies or not. WMH’s visual identity, including pack designs, had already won several awards, including at New York Festivals, Transform, Creative Pool and Fresh.
The FAB Awards is a prestigious international awards program focused entirely on work done for Food And Beverage industry. It recognises the contribution that outstanding creative work makes to building brands. Entries from over 60 countries across advertising, design, digital and other media makes this a sought after award. WMH’s Free From won a Gold in Brand Redesign, and Silver in Packaging Design. Whilst our work for the London coffee shop, 21 Sid, also picked up a FAB Silver in the Brand Identity category.
As a proud partner of the Branded group, WMH collaborated with sister agency Technik on the artwork production of the Free From 50+ product range. Whilst photography was produced by Jonathan Gregson.
On 21 February, Wybe Magermans will be speaking at an evening by the Change Management Institute.
There are countless theoretical models about how an organisation can transform successfully. Yet for all the good these models do to structure change, the crux of successful transformation is centred around how people feel and behave differently. A rational approach alone isn’t sufficient.
Make sure to join Wybe, as he will be sharing key insights on how creativity helped Lamb Weston reshape from a company processing potatoes, to a $3,2bn multinational brand. One that is on now firmly on its way becoming the world’s No.1.
Wybe will be joined on stage by Leon Labovitch. An experienced business change and transformation consultant who has worked at the likes of KMPG, Shell and Sema Group, before setting up his own consultancy.
The event is in partnership with King’s College London. The venue will be the remarkable Bush House in Aldwych, Central London. This iconic building has seen some huge changes since its opening in 1925. The Grade II listed building was originally an American-owned trade centre before becoming the headquarters of BBC World Service. Bush House’s latest purpose is that of higher education. King’s College moved in 2016, this time transforming the building into a centre of knowledge, learning and creativity.
Williams Murray Hamm wins Best Of Show at Mobius Awards.
The new year kicks off in a celebratory fashion, with trophies for our work on Aberlour and RCS at this year’s Mobius Awards. Aberlour is awarded First Place statuette and Best of Show in the Brand Identity category. Whilst our work for RCS Advertising takes Second place ‘Certificate for Outstanding Creativity’ in the same category.
For Aberlour single malt whisky, WMH created a new brand world. Despite growing to the 6th position in the global market, Aberlour was relatively unknown. Equally, they hadn’t changed their communication much since their inception in 1879.
WMH looked at Aberlour’s long legacy, only to discover the founding family’s motto, ‘Let The Deed Show’, meaning ‘actions speak louder than words’. It’s the people, process and place surrounding Aberlour that create a whisky with such distinct character. WMH unearthed these deeds and, working closely with Scottish artist Liz Myhill, brought them to life. We used traditional lino cutting and printing techniques, to create original illustrations gleaned from books of storytelling in the 1900.
RCS came to WMH earlier in 2017. A 20-year-old Japanese advertising agency had metamorphosed into a brilliant new offering. They needed a new positioning and identity to reflect this. RCS helps clients identify, understand and optimise cultural differences. WMH called this ‘cross-cultural marketing’. The identity was built around a globe because RCS deals in global differences. It’s a cultural maze out there, so the ‘globe’ was fine-tuned to reflect this and a magenta ‘dot’ was created at the very core, to represent RCS – a point of consistency in unfamiliar territory.
“When I first met with WMH, I knew they ‘got’ who we were. They were able to interpret who we are, what we do and what makes us special in a way that went well beyond my imagination.”
This May, WMH’s Design Director Mark Nichols visited D&AD’s new swanky offices as part of the D&AD New Blood jury. He was a judge on the Arjowiggins Creative Papers brief which set out to unite print and pixels, asking how print and digital platforms might form a new, symbiotic, relationship.
The task was to create a campaign, product or service for Sony Music, Facebook or Instagram that reminds digital customers of the power of paper.
Mark was joined on the multidisciplinary jury by Jack Renwick, acting D&AD President, Rob Newlan, Facebook Creative Shop’s EMEA Director and Sean Perkins, Director at North Design, along with a wide range of other creatives from advertising, design and paper artistry.
The work well received, but did it break the mould?
The provisional online round of judging saw 265 entries from across the globe, some underwhelming and well wide of the mark, some entertaining, but off brief, some ‘good’ and a handful that stood out as being truly great.
On the day, the Arjowiggins jury awarded two wood pencils, three graphite pencils and one yellow pencil.
WINNER of the Yellow Pencil: Colorgram is a concept for Arjowiggins Creative Papers that engages Instagram users in real life. It identifies shapes and colours in Instagram posts and transforms them into minimalistic die cut art. Congratulations to Jack Wellesand Danae Gosset, from the School of Visual Arts, NYC.
So what tips does Mark have for creating a winner?
“To start with, it’s imperative to interrogate the brief fully. Not only must your work answer the brief but it must stand out, stretch the brief and turn it upside down and look at it from a new, and relevant, perspective.
It’s unlikely your first answer will be the winning answer (no matter how good you think it is). Chances are, if it comes easily, many other people will have thought of the same solution. Trust me, we saw a lot of the same ideas regurgitated and skinned slightly differently. You have to persist until you’ve created something you’ve never seen before.
Having a proper grasp of the latest technologies, creative platforms, relevant social issues and a thorough and un-biased understanding of the target audience, will also help elevate your entry.
Once all of the above is in place you’re in with a chance. Now, to test if your idea will translate, can you easily and confidently describe it in no more than two short sentences? If it takes an essay and tons of boards to explain your ground breaking creation, the chances are you’ve overcomplicated it and got lost in your own genius.
Of course the one thing all the winners had in common was a great and original idea at the heart of the work.
To get to the higher pencil levels the work had to be well executed and commercially achievable – it’s a lot easier to have a great idea without thinking of its practicalities.
To win you need to have the jury arguing over who’s going to employ you first and be nervous that they’re going to be left behind by the next generation of creative mega minds! Easy right? No. Design is and will remain a challenging discipline, but with the right amount of blood, sweat and ideas your work just may get rewarded with the coveted D&AD pencil”.
We are excited to be shortlisted for a Design Week Award in the Poster Design category for our B2B work with Point of Light.The series of posters form part of the overall Point of Light brand identity. The brand mission to “tell extraordinary stories with light” is brought to life using evocative and mysterious monochrome illustrations in the purest 2D presentation of light and shadows.
This February, Garrick Hamm formed part of the judging panel for the Creativepool Awards 2017 in the Graphic Design category.
Garrick joined a panel of 165 leading industry judges, from 22 countries, across 33 categories, with representatives from Bloomberg, Bupa, Deluxe, Facebook, FCB, Getty, Guinness World Records, IKEA, Ogilvy, Phaidon, Publicis and Saatchi & Saatchi.
About the Creativepool Awards
Creativepool is the largest creative industry network, connecting global creatives to generate business through discovery and inspiration. It endeavours to set higher benchmarks for creativity and to inspire learning, interaction and debate.
Looking back on what has been a particularly strong, though demanding, year for creative work, the theme for this year’s awards was ‘Creativity will save us’. Winners are selected in a fairer competition that awards companies and individuals separately. It is this diversity and the democratisation of the returning People’s Choice winners, that will once again set the Annual apart from other creative awards.
As one of the most widely distributed creative award publications, Creativepool prints 15,000 perfectly bound copies of the Annual which are received by industry leaders at some of the most significant creative events of the year, including the Cannes Lions Festival, Clerkenwell Design Week and the London Design Festival.
Upon completion of his judging duties, Garrick said: “This year’s entries demonstrated a renewed optimism and appreciation of craft, with clients opting for the bigger, braver solutions. People are seeing the benefit of creativity and how it can play an important role in being the key differentiator. Against the current backdrop of uncertainty, it is good to see clients embracing fresh, bold and brave design.”
Creativepool’s Managing Editor, Alexandra Schott, said: “Given how uncertain our future now seems to be, both politically and technologically, it is a powerful time to be a part of the creative industry. The bravery and innovation we have seen this year has been eye-opening and empowering for the team, who have assembled an incredible judging panel. We can’t wait to see who our community name as their People’s Choice. We hope the bonds formed through the Annual act as a catalyst for the year ahead. Creativity will save us.”
To download your copy of the Creativepool Annual for 2017 click here.
The Annual winners will be announced on 29th March 2017 at Protein Studios in Shoreditch. To get your tickets click here.
This January, WMH senior designer Mark Nichols returned to Norwich University of the Arts as a visiting lecturer. He was teaching on the 2017 D&AD New Blood briefs, one of which he will be judging at this year’s New Blood Awards in April. Mark advised on work across seven different briefs over the two days, as well as finding time to give portfolio reviews on other work created by Norwich’s top students.
“It’s always a pleasure to return to such a great creative institution and not just for the student nostalgia…this year’s New Blood briefs are as exciting and challenging as ever. The brief I will be judging brings into question how print and paper can be used effectively to promote digital platforms. Such involved, topical, subject matter should be the catalyst for some truly pioneering work. It will highlight how design can help the analogue and digital worlds coexist or, better still, form a new symbiotic relationship”
Mark turned student once again, when he was lucky enough to catch David Pearson’s lunchtime lecture highlighting the joys of book jacket design. It further evidenced the recurring theme that print is not dead and, used innovatively, won’t die anytime soon.
Author: Mark Nichols – Designer at Williams Murray Hamm
WMH foresaw the “Trump Factor” in 2002, but we didn’t recognise it for what it was.
Our radical, baked bean smothered, Hovis rebrand, failed dismally in research. No consumers polled would admit to feeding their family baked beans, in spite of it being one of the country’s favourite grocery products.
The research firm suggested that the design be dropped for something with more wheat on it, or perhaps a picture of a loaf. Brave management ignored this wisdom and ‘Big Food Hovis’ went on to become the fastest growing grocery brand in the country. Saving the brand and saving scores of jobs.
Unwittingly we had encountered an early case of ‘Shy respondents’.
When the Conservatives won the last election, against all odds, pollsters put it down to ‘Shy Tories’, people who wouldn’t admit to voting for Mr Cameron. The Donald’s extraordinary win is put down to the same phenomenon – a fear of admitting who you’re voting for because you’re rather, or very, ashamed.
We are in the ‘post truth’ era, where nobody trusts experts and everyone follows their emotions – think Brexit.
So what’s new? Advertising and branding has always done this. When two products are similar, we in marketing use emotion to carve out our space. Facts, in the world of pasta sauce, luxury perfumes, tinned custard and frozen ready meals don’t count for much, but the emotional pull of a great brand can be irresistible.
The conundrum lies in that no manufacturer worth their salt would ever go to market without asking consumers what they think.
‘Consumers lie’ the late Richard Murray used to cry ‘If research is infallible, why do so many products fail?”
Of the experts we no longer trust, pollsters have tumbled to the same depth as politicians, financial forecasters, priests and latterly, football coaches. For years, research has kicked the hell out of great ideas in advertising and design. We all know it, as do our clients.
“We need great creativity and great work to cut through that. Far too often we get scared and go back to the easier thing to do because it’s not going to be terribly damaging – but we can do something bigger and better and braver.”
He is absolutely right. The problem is that research will most likely kill the brave ideas that he wants. ‘Shy’ consumers and conservative marketers looking for the next career move, will conspire to normalise everything.
It’s time for those who seek the public’s opinion to get better at what they do. They need to create measures that really work, that allow us a true picture of what’s going on. Hopefully, it’ll also allow companies the ability to break through into better, braver, more effective marketing too. It’s long overdue.
A celebration of an infectious spirit and an incredible talent.
Today, it is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we bid a final farewell to our beloved friend and illustrator extraordinaire, Geoff Appleton, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. During a year that has seen the loss of many great talents, we will remember and celebrate Geoff’s memory as one of the greatest.
Williams Murray Hamm co-founder, Richard Williams, remembers Geoff’s infectious spirit:
“I’ve been at Williams Murray Hamm for 20 years and I can honestly say that I’ve not seen a freelancer more loved by our people and our clients than Geoff.
They broke the mould when they made him. He was the last of a breed of artists who could earn a good living by drawing on paper and never doing stuff he didn’t want to do.
We’ll miss his jolly banter and his great work and, in particular, I’ll miss talking to him about the finer points of Bob Dylan…”
Our thoughts are with Geoff’s family and to commemorate his legacy WMH has made a donation to his nominated charity, Children and the Arts.
Children & the Arts is an independent educational charity that engages with disadvantaged children nationwide who do not have access to high-quality arts activity because of either social or economic barriers… [read more]
WILLIAMS MURRAY HAMM DESIGNS STATE OF THE ART INNOVATION CENTRE FOR LAMB WESTON.
Following the creation of a new brand purpose and visual identity for Lamb Weston’s global business, WMH was asked to design the interior of an innovation centre where possibilities become reality.
Lamb Weston, a ConAgra Foods brand, has more than 60 years’ experience as one of the world’s leading suppliers of frozen potato products to restaurants and consumers. An industry pioneer, the company planned a new, state of the art, innovation centre with co-creation spaces, fully functioning kitchens, pilot line, interactive areas and a resource for employees; in short a place where possibilities could become reality.
Having already started the building phase for the project, Lamb Weston approached long time collaborating agency WMH in March 2016 to create the overall theme and interiors. The Centre opened to employees on 24 June and to Lamb Weston customers soon after.
WMH had previously helped Lamb Weston relaunch its new global positioning and identity: to be the most inventive potato company in the world. The Innovation Centre would express this purpose and help find new, more inventive ways of collaboration between customers and Lamb Weston staff.
Intended as a flagship Lamb Weston US building, the Innovation Centre needed to be a place that captured the imagination and be worthy of the claim ‘if you dream it, you can make it here’.
Deborah L. Dihel, Ph.D. Senior Director Research and Innovation at Lamb Weston said:
“Our new Innovation Centre is absolutely incredible. WMH was the perfect partner to help us communicate Lamb Weston’s brand promise throughout the building in a distinctive and memorable way. The design elements set the stage as soon as our visitors see us from the street, and their experiences are enhanced further as they enter and work in the space. WMH’s design communicates our history of successful innovation, yet at the same time, inspires all who enter to be futuristic, be inventive and make their potato dreams a reality.”
Using the playful design it had created for the brand identity, WMH produced a fully sensory experience for the many spaces in the Centre. Bright and light, visitors encounter witty and striking wall graphics at every turn. Interactive areas have been created to bring to life the history of the business, its vision and values and to relate employee stories. Breakout rooms inspire new and innovative ways of working together.
On the experience, Garrick Hamm, Creative Director of Williams Murray Hamm said:
“We love working with Lamb Weston. Once again, WMH has been there to help them bring their Innovation Centre to life. Their strength of purpose, reflected in the Innovation Centre design, really encourages their employees and customers to be as inventive and imaginative as they like – the possibilities are endless”.
Since the Brexit vote of 23 June, the press has served us a diet of cascading bond yields, frozen property funds and sliding sterling: a daunting menu, beyond the comprehension of most consumers. But in these times of change, I wanted to reflect on a more palatable subject. One that is a little closer to home for us all – food.
Opportunities in adversity!
Seventy-five years ago Britain faced another crisis, finding itself isolated as an island nation while battle raged across Europe. Prior to the Second World War, the country imported two thirds of its food by sea, approximately 55 million tons a year. But by 1940 the threat posed by German U-Boats, which succeeded in sinking 728,000 tons of produce that year, had reduced imports of food to just 12 million tons. Britain was forced to retool its whole food supply and re-educate its population.
Though Brexit doesn’t pose such a dire and direct threat, Britain still imports over half its food and so remains vulnerable to the vagaries of international trade. Given the Brexit news, this situation is unlikely to improve. A recent study by the National Farmers Union predicted that by the mid-2040s, the country would only be able to produce enough food to feed 53% of its population.
The famous patriotic posters of WW2 told Britain to ‘Dig for Victory!’, ‘Don’t Waste Food’ and ‘Doctor Carrot’ will guard your health. As we consider our next steps in the Brexit flux, maybe there are lessons for action here on how we source and consume our food. Lessons that could help not only improve our own health but also that of the British food industry as a whole.
I’m not advocating the kind of control Lord Woolton, Minister of Food during WW2, had. He had free reign to create and issue ration books whilst managing the UK’s food supply; “making him the envy of nutritionists, dieticians, and indeed anyone interested in the health of the nation, before or since.” But, we could use these economically challenged times of change to improve in three areas:
1) Reducing food waste
The economy is already softening and there is a very real chance we will go into recession. There is a horrible disconnect between the estimated 3 million people in the UK thought to be living with malnutrition or at risk because they do not eat enough, and the 1.9 million tons of food waste the UK is estimated to have created in 2014-15 alone.
In this respect, the Grocer’s “Waste not want not” campaign to reduce food waste is laudable, as are Asda’s £3.50 wonky veg boxes, Waitrose’s policy to ensure none of its food goes to landfill, and the cooperation of many supermarkets with food banks.
Manufacturers too have a responsibility to sensibly apply ‘best before’ dates and consumers need to make better judgements on both the quantity purchased vs eaten, as well as when a food in the fridge is genuinely ‘past it’.
A concerted effort by all parties could drastically reduce the nation’s food and financial waste, but it will take both coordination and education.
2) Buying British
The weakened pound and a general desire for all of us to support the country in our new ‘solo’ quest represents a golden opportunity to celebrate British-grown food and boost our nation’s self-sufficiency whilst reducing our food-miles.
This need not be akin to the somewhat masochistic support my father gave in the 1970s to our failing motor industry by buying a succession of Triumphs & Rovers that simply fell-apart. We have our own delicious cheeses, seasonal fruit, meat, and vegetables together with an explosion of alternative British food & drink brands (think Dorset Cereals, Charlie Bigham’s pies and Fever Tree drinks) that deserve to be more locally and widely consumed as well as exported to our neighbours, near and far.
Food that is produced in Britain should shout it loud(er) and producers should strive to collaborate to create more of the ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ – PDO or ‘Protected Geographical Indication’ – PGI that the EU had previously helped us to sustain.
Clearly buying British will not only keep the money in Britain but may even help insulate British consumers from potential future trade tariffs and a continued weak pound.
3) Improving Food Education
A 2015 study by the ONS (Office for National Statistics), showed that of the £530 the average UK household spends each week, 20% goes on food & drink (including eating out, alcohol and tobacco). While much of the other 80% of the spend (from gas bills to holidays) has a physical impact on us (breathed in as fumes from transport or felt as fibres on the skin), the food budget physically enters our bodies.
In the age of convenience and fast-food, I think we have a lot to learn from our continental neighbours. The perennially slender French take meals very seriously, spending more time eating than their fellow Europeans; two hours, 22 minutes per day in 2010, 13 minutes longer than in 1986. French meals are also treated as a shared experience, with 80% eaten with others.
In contrast, the NHS spends £6 billion a year on diet-related diseases. Britain is “…sleepwalking into a major health crisis because of poor diets among young children” according to a coalition of restaurateurs, food manufacturers and medical experts. The change needs to start with children, as food habits are formed in childhood and a child’s weight and diet has a big impact on their adult health outcomes. This is a cause already gaining momentum thanks to celebrities like Jamie Oliver and his ‘Food Revolution’, but it needs concerted backing and funding to roll it out across the country and to save future generations from a lifetime of poor eating habits and diet-related disease.
Times are very different to the crisis felt during WW2 when only about 2% of households owned a fridge and the country was under a real siege. However, the next few weeks, months and years could see us under a ‘virtual’ siege of pressure to sign the infamous Article 50 and formally sever links with the EU. I personally struggle to see a lot of positive from these turbulent and uncertain times ahead, but if we become prouder to buy and responsibly consume quality British food, well, maybe there’s a little silver lining after all.
Giles Atwell started his career as a graduate trainee with Unilever in 1996 and moved to Cadbury in 2002. He has led commercial, innovation and marketing teams in Australia, Brazil, Singapore and the UK. His most recent successes include Cadbury/Milka Bitesize rollout, two years of double-digit growth in Brazil and Halls Candy global turnaround.
Having lived on 4 continents over the past decade, Giles’ children were becoming a little too well travelled. And so at the end of 2015, he and his family decided to return to the UK and their home in Oxford. He left Mondelez in June and is looking forward to the next UK-based challenge.
When not working, Giles is a keen tennis player, amateur photographer, whisky and wine enthusiast.
With today’s business pressures, we’re so busy dealing with what’s in front of us, that we rarely get a chance to talk about wider matters. This is particularly true of our clients and friends of WMH. They’re a fascinating lot, but we only dig deeper with them when we are socialising or having one of our sporadic events. A lunch with Giles Atwell, during which he spoke about food with such conviction, led to a request for him to write our first guest blog. We’re hoping it will become a regular event on our site. Giles was the kind of client we warm to. During his time on Cadbury’s at Mondelez, he was brave to appoint us to a significant innovation project and we loved working with him and have always stayed in touch. He knows the food industry inside out and we’re flattered he’s written for us.
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How it’s put a spanner in the works for Chris Evans.
Top Gear has been “Bjorn Again” but it’s just not Buddy Holly. Richard Williams explores relaunched brands who have attempted to rediscover their illustrious past.
Call me an old fashioned blokey chap. I loved Top Gear with Clarkson, Hammond and May. I hated a lot of the actual driving stuff, but I really loved the banter. Here were three top motoring journalists who felt entirely comfortable with each other. Anyone can do stupid things like catapult cars or set fire to caravans, but it’s the way they played it. It was the in-jokes they let us in on that were so funny. They were our chums and we sat on the edge of our seats waiting for what we knew would be the next excruciating utterance.
There’s a parallel to life in our studio. We all know each other so well. A raised eyebrow, an admonishing cough, a riff about Reggie Perrin and we’re off. Irreplaceable. It’s hard to join WMH simply because it takes years to learn the stories.
The same is often true of businesses and brands when they try and relaunch to rediscover their illustrious past.
Phileas Fogg was a clever, entrepreneur-led snack brand that introduced the UK to posh crisps. So successful was it that United Biscuits bought it and wrecked it in very short order.
As Kettle, Tyrrell’s and a plethora of smaller brands surrounded it, it tried again and again to relaunch (we even had a go at it) but it had lost its sparkle, its point of difference, its raison d’etre. Now, it’s been relaunched yet again. The products are actually very good, but it’s a pale imitation of its former self with unfunny TV ads and dreadful packaging. It’s a poor pastiche of the past.
For many years, Trustees Saving Bank, latterly the TSB, was a common sight on our high street. It was the bank that “Likes To Say Yes”. It disappeared, having become part of Lloyd’s Banking Group, went into oblivion and was resuscitated in 2013 and subsequently sold to a Spanish business.
What’s it there for? We’d all survived quite happily without it. Apparently the Spanish think the name has ‘traction’. I think it looks like ‘The Bank Nobody Goes Into’.
Returning to the car theme, I’ll finish with an example of a car that should have been dead and buried years ago. As a kid, I loved the Chevrolet Impala. How could you not be drawn to its spaceship styling? Its rear wings reached into the middle of its vast boot and radiated out in a whoosh of glory. This was not a normal car – it moved when it was standing still. I wore the wheels out of my Dinky version.
Have you seen 2016’s Impala? Don’t bother. It looks like the illegitimate spawn of a Vauxhall and a Mazda – only worse.
Don’t misunderstand me, there are huge numbers of brands that relaunch very successfully because they understand what makes them different and get how we can continue to be in love with them, but New Top Gear isn’t anywhere near.
Top Gear, at its best, was about unlikely friendships born through a common love of cars. As a car nut or football fan, you can understand that uniting bond, despite the obvious differences between the people. Chris Evans and TFI Friday, at its best, was like that too – Chris and his workmates, feeding off the energy of a Friday night; beer, banter, music, idiotic drunken tomfoolery…. Perhaps he needs to get some of his real mates back and forget the international starring line-up.
Following the recent UK launch of Amazon Fresh, Richard Williams and Garrick Hamm explore the Love and Hate of the brand packaging ‘First Moment of Truth’ in the digital age on online grocery shopping.
Many years ago, Procter and Gamble came up with the idea of ‘The First Moment of Truth’.
This was all about how packaging works in the supermarket and how first impressions really count. I can’t remember what the second and third moments of truth were, something about bar codes probably.
I wonder what P&G thinks about the FMOT of their brands as they appear in online shopping. Does it bring on an FMOH (First Moment of Horror)? Here’s the truth. Brands look dreadful on Ocado and as we’re about to be invaded by Amazon Fresh they need to do something now.
There is no ‘shelf blocking’ since there aren’t any shelves to block and you can’t see any ‘category cues’ or ‘appetite appeal’ because the pack shots are so tiny, the copy is illegible and everything is low res. The game’s up. Brands have to find a new way to work for online shopping and it’s a wonderful, thrilling opportunity.
Hopefully Amazon Fresh really will lead to a completely different way of presenting brands on screen. They’re going to have to look at simple visual mnemonics. It could even lead to a new golden era where intelligent, meaningful logos represent a brand instead of dull old packaging.
Actually, this is really just a gratuitous excuse to talk about the recently updated ‘A Smile in the Mind’. Along with Alan Fletcher’s ‘The Art of Looking Sideways’ it is one of the must-have books on engaging, intelligent design. I’ve always loved those clever little logos that give a business personality.
The original Spratt’s pet food logo is clunky and artless, but incredibly endearing. Dog happiness is built right into it. I also came across this little beauty for Knapp Shoes (obviously) by Chermayeff & Geismar Inc. in New York. It’s a lovely witty mark. Simple and clever. How could you resist? Similarly, Norbert Dutton’s 1959 logo for electronics business, Plessey, is something we’d be proud to have done today.
(left) Spratts – Logo designed by Max Field-Bush (UK). Copyright (second extension) 2016, Julien Clairet of DATA ACCESS Paris. / (middle) Knapp Shoes – Logo designed by Charmayeff & Geismar Inc. / (right) The Plessey Company Ltd – Logo designed by Norbert Dutton’s 1959
With wit like this, think what you could do for a brand like Bird’s Eye or Flash. We won’t see the end of supermarket packaging by any means and I fear that we won’t lose steamy shots of soup and stringy cheese slices on pizza packs, but perhaps Amazon Fresh, unwittingly, will lead to a design revolution where we go back to intelligent, beautifully thought through brand identities.
I can’t wait.
Authors: Richard Williams & Garrick Hamm.
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Williams Murray Hamm’s brave, bold and engaging design for Penny Market’s ‘Orto Mio’ antipasti range was awarded a Silver at last night’s International Food & Beverage Awards.
Now in their 18th year, the FAB Awards are focused entirely on work done for Food and Beverage brands. They recognise the critical contribution that outstanding creative work makes in building brands, identifying and rewarding leading practitioners from over 60 countries.
Rewe owned, Penny operates 3,550 stores in Europe. Having won a written competitive pitch against two other agencies, WMH was appointed to rejuvenate the 45+ antipasti range to reflect a more unconventional and approachable image for Orto Mio.
WMH’s new design embodies the relaxed, sociable style of eating antipasti. It suggests that the food can barely be restrained by its packaging and is bursting to get out with colour and flavour
The illustrations work in unison with lively, colourful hand drawn typefaces. Each product carries a witty copyline, such as ‘oh la la olives’, ‘we are the champignons’ and ‘you make me blush’, continuing the promise of an enjoyable eating experience.
On winning the award Garrick Hamm, Creative Director at WMH said:
“We are overjoyed that our work on ‘Orto Mio’ has been recognised by the FAB Awards. Hopefully, the witty design raised as much of a smile on the judges’ faces, as the award has on ours!”
Recognised as one of the UK’s most prestigious design for business awards, Thursday night’s annual turnout was held at Tobacco Dock, London. The guest list of shortlisted winners included many of the top 20 creative and design businesses in this country.
Judged by business leaders and entered jointly by client and designer, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are both rigorous and authoritative. They celebrate the power of design to drive business success and provide compelling proof of why design is a sound commercial investment.
Popular with small, independent retailers, JuiceBurst was missing a massive opportunity by having no presence amongst large convenience retailers like WHSmith. In order to achieve significant retail listings to drive growth, WMH defined a target audience, positioned the brand and created highly differentiated packaging that would really engage consumers.
Building on the brand’s name, WMH used fruit being detonated as the central motif. This overarching idea connected the packaging to social media and digital content via Blippar, the augmented reality app.
Since re-launch, JuiceBurst has become one of the nation’s fastest growing beverage brands. In a market declining by -9%, it is growing at 93% year on year. There has been an amazing 75% annual profit increase and distribution has increased from one to nine national retailers.
WMH Creative Director Garrick Hamm said ‘It just illustrates, again, that great, simple creative ideas can make a difference to the bottom line. I’m delighted for our long-standing and supportive client Jon Evans at Purity and, of course, our hard working team at WMH’.
We’ve always had a strong portfolio of ambitious small brands that can’t afford large ad budgets. They tend to see their packaging as media they own and come to us because we create campaignable ideas that they can make noise with.
Purity Soft Drinks is typical of this kind of client. They have huge ambitions for their JuiceBurst brand, which is loved by newsagents across the land, but so completely anonymous that few consumers would recognise it.
We were hired, initially, to develop the brand strategy and packaging, but the work has taken us much further and into the realms of film-making, SFX and augmented reality.
JuiceBurst looked like an own label product in a clunky bottle. The only way we could make it behave like a brand was create an identity based on the one thing it could own – the best juice on the shelf having a bit of an outburst. The idea’s in the name.
Because we’re such an ideas driven business, people don’t realise that we love designing pack structures. In this case we created a big fat, juicy shape that glugs effortlessly – JuiceBurst is a big drink.
All along, it was clear that we could do so much more with the brand than redesign it. Squeezing the pips of the marketing budget (we just had to get that in) we worked with Artem, the firm behind many of the special effects of the Olympics ceremonies. They became expert at detonating fruit while Matt Broad caught it all on high speed, HD film. Lisa Desforges wrote the witty outbursts and Frank Pescod did his magic on the musical front.
The result is a range of films with beautiful, real fruit bursting in all their glory. A still of the film is used on each label and you can watch a short documentary film of how we did it, a must see. How could you resist watching grown men blow up fruit? It’ll be as big as ‘Buttrocket’, only messier. See the making-of film here.
Blippar™ is a phone app that recognises features of a label, or newspaper and brings it to life. In the case of JuiceBurst, you point your smartphone at the label and you’re presented with interactive graphics that turn with the bottle and offer you games, win prizes or let you watch the ‘How We Made JuiceBurst’ short film.