Colourful is a strategic design consultancy.
We use colour as a metaphor for all that makes a brand different and appealing, and create colour for your brand through good ideas, great experiences, and crafted visual execution.

On twenty years in design. Three years of Colourful. And in defence of 2016.

Contrary to the widely held view, 2016 hasn’t been all bad. This year marked my 20th year in the design industry which I think is worth a little reflection and maybe even celebration. Broadly, I’ve spent the past two decades promoting and enabling design whether that’s been through design strategy, design management, marketing, writing or education. I’m not a designer Read more…

Case study: One small step for brand... Assisting on 'Branding. In Five and a Half Steps'

I was delighted to be asked by Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks to assist on his new book Branding. In Five and a Half Steps, just published by Thames & Hudson this Autumn. For me, it was more than a joy to spend days immersed in branding case studies. But what’s important is that this is a book that seeks Read more…

Exhibition: London Design Biennale – immersive storytelling with purpose

The inaugural London Design Biennale opened at Somerset House on 7th September. It’s an exhibition that’s hard to place, combining art, product design, and architecture. 37 countries are exhibiting and each has made a response on the theme of Utopia. But what and who is it all for? The term Biennale sounds lofty. I expected serious propositions for future place-making Read more…

Thought: Are we all product designers now?

When people simply say they are “a designer”, I’m quick to assume that it’s graphics or web design based on the many freelancers I meet. While it could mean anything from fashion to furniture, 3D product design, or even architecture, all of these kinds of designers tend to describe themselves more precisely. What then is “the design industry”? The design Read more…

Soundbite: Stylus Packaging Futures

I was delighted to be quoted by Stylus in its report Packaging Futures 2016-17. Here I was talking about how everyday products are being upgraded with stylish branding. For the full report, see the Stylus website.

Thought: Why branding for start-ups is deeper than just packaging

Recently I’ve been speaking with a number of start-up businesses about their branding. We love working with start-ups because they’re energised, innovative and bursting with potential. As consultants, we work closely with the owners to shape the brand as they bring it to market. There’s everything to play for. And we can make a huge difference to their future, which Read more…

Case study: Creating a brand platform for the Folly Farm experience

Folly Farm is the biggest zoo in Wales. But while it started out as a farm, it’s now a substantial award-winning family attraction encompassing a vintage fairground, numerous play areas, and a world-class zoo. They contacted us to help develop their brand narrative and make sense of a confused offering. We worked with the senior management team to develop a Read more…

Case study: A brand identity to activate wildlife-lovers

Many people don’t realise that one in ten British species faces extinction, and that hedgehogs and dormice could soon be gone for good. With its tens of thousands of volunteers across the UK, People’s Trust for Endangered Species monitors these species and takes action to protect them. Emily Penny and Phillip Southgate were brought on board to help the charity Read more…

Case study: Raising awareness of a much-loved cultural gem

St John’s is an ornate baroque church designed and built by Thomas Archer some 300 years ago. Tucked away in Smith Square, midway between Tate Britain and Westminster Abbey in the heart of London, it has an exceptional acoustic and has presented some of the finest classical choirs, chamber orchestras and period instrument groups. While St John’s has a loyal Read more…

Case study: Introducing a new symbol for a family charity

The Family and Childcare Trust is a charity focused on making the UK a better place for families. Following a merger, it needed a new visual identity to improve awareness and recognition of the organisation in a crowded sector. Emily Penny and Phillip Southgate worked with the senior management team to develop a brand that would be pioneering, dynamic and Read more…

Case study: Creating a personal signature for a food writer and teacher

Culinary Anthropologist is the brand name for food teacher and consultant Anna Colquhoun. She came to us needing a brand identity that would help her to promote the consumer side of the business while at the same time expressing her expert credentials. We distilled the brand message, focusing on her core belief in good, seasonal, home-cooked food, and created icons Read more…

Read all about it: Colourful Times out now

It’s black and white and read all over. For a brief introduction to Colourful and what we’ve been up to, you can download our very own newspaper the Colourful Times here. Drop us a line at with Colourful Times as the subject to be added to our mailing list for further news and views. Include your postal address if Read more…

Brand Strategy

What is a brand? Our definition is that it’s a vision others can see too. We’re here to help bring your vision to life for both your staff and your customers. To do this we need to build your brand from the inside out so that it’s authentic to you, relevant for your audiences and practical to sustain.

We work closely with your internal team to create a brand platform that expresses your reason for being, your mission, and your values. It should serve as a rallying cry for the organisation, capturing its direction of travel. And it should be a genuinely useful point of reference for day to day decision-making, guiding and inspiring communications, product development, staff behaviour, and environment.

Typical tasks include stakeholder consultation, brand audit, brand workshops, brand platform, naming, brand architecture, messaging and tone of voice.

Service Design

We all know that it’s not just about what you say that matters, it’s what you do that really counts. Experiences are where brands can really connect with audiences, and compete in the market. Service design provides a way to examine and shape those experiences to ensure that they are both effective and right for the brand.

We help to design innovative new services and improve existing services. Our process involves defining and visualising the customer experience, and how your business needs to change to deliver it.

Every business is different, and every project is too. We use the right tools for the job, which might include: modelling your customers’ and staff needs with personas and scenarios, creating compelling propositions for future services, customer journey mapping, and blueprinting services in detail.

Visual Design

Our aim is to create a visual language that’s just right for your brand, crafting unique assets that make sure you are remembered and stand out from the crowd.

Our designers and strategists work hand in hand from the start of the project, offering a powerful combination of left and right brain thinking.

Typical services include logo design, campaigns, graphic toolkits, illustration, photography and brand guidelines. We work closely with our network of production experts to deliver the printed and digital products you need.

Colourful & Co.

Emily Penny

Emily Penny
Brand Consultant

With a degree in Fine Art, an MA in Marketing, and nearly 20 years in brand consultancy and design management, Emily has learnt a lot about how to help businesses get the most out of branding and design. Emily teaches branding at London Metropolitan University, writes about branding, and prepares DBA Design Effectiveness Award case studies. Working closely with your team, Emily will help to develop a strong strategy, including visual and message concepts, and heads up the team to deliver creative executions.

Phillip Southgate

Phillip Southgate
Creative Lead

Phillip has worked with Colourful since its inception, leading on the visual design of brand identity projects for the Family and Childcare Trust and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species. He is a design director with experience working at top design agencies such as Small Back Room and Thirteen. Phill has worked with a wide range of public sector, nonprofit and corporate clients. He is passionate about creating clear and imaginative communication across literature, exhibitions and web.

Stuart Penny

Stuart Penny
Service Designer

Stuart became an interaction designer in the early 1990s, working within a number of London design agencies before completing an MA in Interaction Design at the Royal College of Art. With a cv that includes working as senior consultant at Flow Interactive, LiveWork, Engine, and Orange he co-founded Colourful. Colourful represents Stuart’s dedication to crafting the customer’s online experience of a brand, bringing together his rigorous insight-based methodology, with a quest for a very human level of engagement.

Who we've worked with

– Nonprofits –
Copenhagen School
Family & Childcare Trust
People’s Trust for Endangered Species
Professional Association
for Childcare & Early Years
St John’s Smith Square
The Home Office

– Enterprises –
Culinary Anthropologist
Department Store for the Mind
Folly Farm
Toot the Tiny Tugboat
Victoria Moore

– Corporations –
Lloyds Pharmacy
Medical Protection

We work differently.
A collective of individual experts, we collaborate for projects or drop in to support your team. We're senior level people focused on delivering good work, efficiently.

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