A lighter, brighter future for Lucite International

We are delighted to announce the launch of a global employee engagement initiative called Lighter, brighter everywhere for Lucite International, part of Mitsubishi Chemical Company.

The campaign was launched this week to Lucite International’s 2000 employees across three continents – Asia, Americas and Europe/Middle-East.

Lucite International people are passionate about what they do and we wanted to ensure our creative strategy was clearly connected to the beautiful acrylic products that brighten the world and improve the quality of life. We therefore focused on storytelling that uses MMA or acrylic as an intrinsic part of the creative work. The aim is to inspire and help people to understand how together they are shaping a profound contribution to their world.

The internal engagement campaign, translated into six languages, includes the launch of a series of posters for use across 35 global manufacturing sites, an introductory animation, a boxed cascade pack for employee workshops which includes a game to encourage involvement and team working and a new intranet site.

Click here to see the Lucite International case study in full.

Introducing Progressive

We’re very proud to have helped design and develop the Progressive brand with our friends Matt Nicholls and Ken Valledy. Progressive helps organisations unlock and commercialise new growth opportunities more rapidly than their competition and more effectively than traditional innovation programmes.

It builds faster, more agile, industrial-strength Growth Acceleration Programmes that have a proven track record of enabling senior management to more rapidly define, build and deliver new corporate growth and ROI.

Working across retail, automotive, financial services, media and entertainment, FMCG and professional services sectors, Progressive has already helped organisations bring over 40 new solutions to market.

Big thank-you to Mike Feather for photography and to our friends at Evil Donkey for building the website.


Air Business: From A to Beyond

We are delighted to launch our new rebrand of leading distribution and subscription services business, Air Business and their subsidiary, Quadrant. Our early research indicated that Air Business are the ‘first and last link’ in managing subscriptions and distribution of magazines and newspapers, and are known within the market and particularly by their clients for their reliability, exceptional customer service and human approach.

The ‘Big idea’ was that Air Business doesn’t just take things from A to B – they use their exceptional customer service and support to take clients on a journey spanning acquisition and retention right through to data analysis, physical and digital delivery and beyond. It was this insight that led to the brand proposition; From A to Beyond. This clever twist on language familiar to the sector perfectly sums up Air Business’ strong service mentality and illustrates the added value they provide through their brilliant customer service.

The new brand and proposition has been bought to life across all Air Business touch points, including the website (www.airbusiness.com). The design uses a red flowing line which runs throughout the whole brand, connecting and interacting with human photography and clever brand messaging to tell compelling stories of success.

If you’d like to learn more about The Allotment’s rebrand of Air Business, you can see the full case study here.

Finally, a big shout out to Roll Studio and John Angerson, both of whom we collaborated on throughout the project; Roll on the build of Air Businesses stunning new website and John who shot some beautiful black & white people shots which are integral to the new human look and feel.

The Seedling Diaries – Volume 5

Name: Shohaib Iqbal
Studied: University of Central Lancashire
Interned: February 2017
Likes: Accrington Stanley, design exhibitions & good design
Dislikes: Bad design
Featured project: Peckish Bird Seed Packaging

I have learned a lot during my time at The Allotment.

The Allotment has taught me to dig into a project from the roots and allow each stage of the design to blossom.

I made my move down to London after finishing internships up north in Manchester, allowing me to take a bigger step onto the next big challenge! The Allotment was my 3rd placement in London and has been a memorable experience for me. Talking to the Designers, Strategists and Creative Director has given me a great insight into what The Allotment as a design agency aims for in design; idea solutions and also listening to their experiences, advice and guidance towards making a rebrand meaningful and most importantly, successful.

I have experienced the strategic, ideas and design aspects of the branding process, which has allowed me to grow into a better designer and creative thinker.

Victims or Victors

“Companies rarely die from moving too fast, and they frequently die from moving too slowly.” Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix

Working in ‘brand space’ has always been fascinating but in the last few years the speed of change in technology and its impact on customer’s expectations has given rise to a preponderance of businesses that are potentially either digital ‘victims’ or digital ‘Victors’.

Clients that come knocking at our door are often either incumbent businesses, striving to grow, retain and protect what they have, or are start-up upstarts looking to reinvent the value proposition in a product or service sector. Often the mindsets in these two businesses are poles apart. One sometimes risk averse and ponderous, the other agile, bright and sometimes shallow in experience. It’s intriguing and I have often wondered why ‘big brands’ with all their smarts and deeper pockets fail to grasp their role as ‘market makers and innovators’.

I think there is still a legacy ‘systemic’ issue of a brand management structure that rewards custodianship rather than creativity but I think it also goes deeper than this. Management also has a short-term ‘denial’ perspective that counters mid-term risk taking, even though disruption is clearly on the horizon. Many successful organisations fail to look for new things their customers want because they’re afraid to hurt their core businesses. This has been called the innovators dilemma (1). An inertia caused by the risk of the unknown and the fear that the distraction of focusing on the horizon will lead to a lack of focus on near term sales and revenue plans.

The interesting model below from McKinsey clearly illustrates the point where an incumbent’s existing business model, for a short-time, out performs the theoretical new model. Adapting to market change has created some stagnation in growth but in the longer-term has ensured the sustainability of the business. Kodak and Blockbuster are good examples of businesses that succumbed to a period of myopia, ignored the inevitable digital disruption and failed to adapt as a result.

BLP Emerging Themes 2017

Following the success of BLP’s Emerging Themes publication in 2016, we were delighted to collaborate once again with our client BLP in developing and producing this years Emerging Themes brochure. The annual thought leadership piece offers advice, practical guidance and opinions on the regulatory risks facing individuals and firms in the financial services sector in 2017.

With uncertainty looming over the economy and Article 50 potentially just around the corner, ‘Redrawing the Lines’ subtly depicts how both negotiations around the EU, and financial regulations more broadly are being redefined this year and beyond. The transition from print to pencil illustrations is a gentle nod towards this uncertainty whilst also beautifully bringing the brochure to life on the cover and divider pages.

Launched in late January, feedback on the brochure has been fantastic with the subsequent Emerging Themes seminar attracting a record attendance.

Radical Sportscars Rebrand

Radical Sportscars have always done things differently. In racing terms; they take their own line.

Radical Sportscars set out 20 years ago to do just that. Our rebrand needed to capture this attitude, evolve the brand and focus on communicating an ‘incomparable racing experience’.

To understand what Radical meant to the drivers of these awesome racing cars our creative director went to a Race Day at the Circuit De Jerez, Spain.

This insightful weekend led to the inspiration for the rebrand. The drivers, including Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny (yes, the Olympians), and the Support Team believe that the Radical Racing experience is second to none. Heart pumping, adrenaline fuelled joy!

This thought led us to the brand proposition that ’Nothing Compares’ to the Radical experience. The identity with the ‘R’ racetrack and the red ‘Race line’ reflects Radical’s maverick spirit, and the uncompromising performance and thrill of the ride. The resulting brand feels premium yet authentic.

See the full case study here.

The Seedling Diaries – Volume 4

Name: Jack Parker
Studied: University of Central Lancashire
Interned: July 2016
Likes: Bolton Wanderers, good design, beer
Dislikes: Blackburn Rovers, bad design, wine
Featured project: Hovis Anniversary Packaging

I really feel like I have grown as a designer from being at The Allotment.

Having just finished my second year of my sandwich course at university, it was time for me to begin my placement year down in the big smoke.

What I have found so far from being out on placement is that every design agency has different values and views with a specific area they usually specialise in. The Allotment work a lot with charities and campaigns to help better people’s (and in some cases animal’s) lives. It’s inspiring to see the difference a bit of good design can make and working here I have been lucky enough to take part in two briefs that are both focussed on design for good. The Allotment is also a company with a strong reputation for good work and big creative ideas, so coming here as a placement I wasn’t expecting to be granted as much responsibility as I have. They really let you get stuck in and value your opinion with real hands-on problem solving.

Living values

The Allotment have developed a brave and vibrant graphic language for New Street Group’s (NSG) brand new offices in Central London.

New Street Group are a leading recruitment business which has enjoyed dramatic growth. They have developed strong brands in Interim Management (Interim Partners), Financial Services Resource Contracting (BrightPool) and Executive Recruitment (New Street).

Adam Cale, designer for The Allotment, said; “We were keen that the environmental graphics built on the previous illustrations, which were created for their website, in collaboration with artist Tang Yau Hoong, and received such widespread praise internally and externally for their clever use of negative space and messaging.

We wanted to avoid the usual visual clichés and create something that would spark conversation, highlight NSG’s values and create stand out. We developed a set of 12 wall graphics featuring quotes from inspirational individuals that epitomise NSG’s values. The quotes were used as inspiration for a set of beautiful and bold illustrations”.

Design, THE agent of growth

Over a career spanning 24 years I’ve seen how design grows businesses of all sizes and ages across all sectors and geographic markets. Design and its intrinsic value are what get me out of bed in the morning; it’s what inspires everyone at The Allotment. Time and time again I’ve seen that when businesses and boardrooms embrace design fully it can totally transform every part of their organisation, from bottom-line revenues through to culture and internal/external perception of the company and its brands.

There are many definitions of design. Here’s what I mean when I talk about ‘design’. Design is all about asking the right questions. Answers to these lead to really powerful strategic insights, which in turn lead to the development of exceptional ideas and innovation. It‘s these insights that help businesses achieve their vision and full potential. Design helps define, clarify and illustrate why a business exists; why it’s relevant to the world. Design takes that core purpose and makes it tangible, makes it real, relevant, understandable and differentiated. Design makes that purpose emotionally engaging and compelling, which in turn changes behaviours and adds a direct value to a business’ bottom-line.

Design WILL grow your business. Here’s what we’ve learnt:

1) Value design and design will add value

Many businesses see design as a cost. It’s not. If used effectively throughout a business, design represents a sound investment – an investment that delivers exceptional ROI over many years. Research by The Design Council confirmed that every pound spent on design provides over £20 in increased revenue*. We’ve seen this statistic play out for real in the results of our clients time and time again.

Find out how we helped White Logistics grow revenue by 403% here.

2) Design defines the real problem/s that need solving
Design is all about asking the right questions – the really difficult and challenging questions, like: ‘Why do you do what you do?’, ‘Why is that different – prove it?’, ‘Why should customers and staff listen or believe what you have to say?’ The answers to these and many more questions inform and define a much clearer brief. And getting the brief ‘bang on’ means you are going to solve the right challenge, saving you time and money. You’re also likely to see the benefits and the ROI quicker too!

Find out how we grew the world’s largest equine charity income by 60% in four years here.

3) Design reduces risks and maximises value

Design creates a map of the future – a plan that helps your business identify the opportunities and challenges. Design helps you navigate the risks and mitigate the negatives allowing you to maximise the potential and value within your business. It’s a map that helps business leaders show their workforce the future. It can illustrate the destination and bring both excitement and clarity to the journey it’s going to take to get there. In turn, having absolute clarity about why and how this will benefit all stakeholders is proven to increase productivity and profitability – so everyone wins.

Take a look at how we helped a UK-based furniture business grow through a shift in strategic direction here.

4) Design defines competitive advantage

We’ve mentioned questioning earlier, but answers to the difficult questions are where design really starts to add value. By getting to the core of why your business exists means designers can then set about translating that into a unique and differentiating proposition, which makes decision making for customers very much easy. Design cuts laser-sharp through the noise so your brands, products and services become infinitely more relevant and stand out in today’s cluttered and complicated marketplace.

Find out how we helped grow Bauer Media’s listener base here.

5) Design connects values to direct behaviours and positive action
Design helps translate vision and purpose into highly emotive employee engagement campaigns. Just imagine a global workforce being able to see and feel the impact they have on the world and why they come to work each day. Imagine the sense of pride and responsibility you could foster. The Macleod Report shows that businesses with a top-quartile engagement, compared to businesses with bottom-quartile engagement, generate twice the annual net profit, 2.5 times greater revenue growth and a 40% lower staff turnover**. Design is absolutely vital to creating and maintaining sustainable businesses with motivated people at their heart.

Find out about our multi award-winning work that helped Lucite International grow a sense of pride and purpose here.

6) Design allows you to fast-track knowledge and insights
Plug a strategic design consultancy into your business and you immediately tap into years and years of insights, innovation, creativity and passion. Imagine instantly unleashing all the learnings from every previous client challenge, every project and every market and sector (respecting confidentiality, of course) . What other business partner could grow your knowledge and bring matching value to the table? Instantly.

We love our work with charities and each project benefits the next. Here are just two examples of how we’ve helped them grow. View our work for ZSL here and our work for Give London here.

7) Fast paced world; design is a great for streamlining and simplification
If I haven’t made it clear already, design is simply a great simplifier. It puts the customer experience first and strips out unnecessary complexity. It makes decisions, and therefore life, easier by making choices intuitive and natural. Businesses often have an instinctive inclination to build ‘process barriers’ between themselves and their customers. Design questions these and objectively streamlines their offer to help ensure customers achieve their goals faster and more efficiently. The commercial benefits of simplicity are proven, with 69% of customers more likely to recommend a brand that provides simpler experiences and communications***.

Our work with Currencies Direct illustrates how we helped them grow understanding through simplification. View the work here.

The above list is just the tip of the iceberg. Embrace design then plug the right design and brand consultancy into your organisation and watch it grow every area of your business.

Creative Director and Co Founder.



* Design Council. http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/resources/report/evaluation-our-designing-demand-programme

** Macleod Report, Engaging for Success and http://www.talentculture.com/6-eye-opening-employee-engagement-statistics/

*** Siegel+Gale, Global Brand Simplicity Index.


Images shown below are a snapshot of some of the projects mentioned in the article above.

ZSL Membership Pack

For any brand, Membership is a great way to encourage loyalty, belonging and repeat visits. For ZSL providing unlimited entry to their Zoo’s, as part of an exclusive membership scheme, allows people to enjoy the Zoo experience at a leisurely pace knowing they can return, again and again.

Designed by The Allotment, we are delighted to share the brand new ZSL Membership pack and proposition. Using the line ‘Welcome to the Family’, we have created a playful and engaging pack which includes bespoke quarterly guides for both ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos plus tons of surprises for their younger members.

The packs look fantastic in the memberships kiosks at both ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos. You can also order your membership online.