Find the Gap

I was just sitting down to write this column when I heard that administrators had been called in at Fairline. Back in 1987, my first ever marine Ad was for Fairline, so I could hardly let this news pass without comment. (more…)

Look for which BMF logo?

There inevitably comes a time when you begin to feel that some element of your marketing communications needs refreshing. It might be an advertising theme, the logo, the strapline, the website – you’ve been using it for some time and surely something that’s fresh will work better than something that isn’t. (more…)

Visual Impact

As Twitter is overtaken by Instagram with over 300 million regular users, the rise of visual social media is symptomatic of a world that’s increasingly more interested in pictures and video than in words. (more…)

Creative Partners 20th Birthday

It is 20 years ago this January (2015) that we launched the Creative Partners agency. Our first ever Ad was for an 18ft Sea Ray with a 135hp sterndrive and trailer: “£12,950 On The Road”.  Today, our latest work features a 7,000hp 122ft Riva with an eight figure price tag.

Our world has changed out of all recognition, and so too has the boat industry. (more…)

Website Faux Pas

There is much discussion in the media about how M&S’s new £150m website appears to have lost them 8% of sales.

Clearly asking six million customers to re-register won’t have helped. Barely half of them did so, only to find all their wish lists had disappeared.  And yet, M&S’s new site somehow defaulted to those customers’ old delivery addresses, so their orders went astray!

But technical faux pas aside, what of the new site’s design? (more…)

Yacht Website Award

Creative Partners has won an international award for the website it designed for the Ferretti Group motor yacht dealer Ventura (

Against 88 other entries, the  website won ‘Best in Class’ in the Lifestyle category of the Interactive Media Awards organised by the Interactive Media Council. (more…)

Creative Partners New Website

Nov 2012: Leading specialist marine advertising, design and marketing communications agency, Creative Partners, has launched its new website at (more…)

Choosing a Brand Name

It’s not every day you have to choose a new brand name. But when you do, it’s one of the most important business decisions you’ll make.

Yet you’d be amazed how little attention it gets, often decided almost literally on the back of an envelope, I’ve actually seen it happen!

There are so many factors to consider, and a multitude of pitfalls to avoid, it is well worth getting it right. (more…)

Logo Design

A logo that’s instantly recognisable is the holy grail of marketing. Every time it’s seen, and recognised, the closer the affinity between the brand and the consumer.

Which makes it that much more likely the consumer will feel favourably about that brand when he’s in the market for whatever product it represents. (more…)


More mature readers will remember “The Best Outboard Motor for the World”. An image might even pop into your head of a stripy-shirted sailor with a kitbag on his shoulder carrying a Seagull outboard.

The product eventually became outdated. But you couldn’t fault the strapline.

“The Ultimate Driving Machine”, “Finger lickin’ good”, “Every Little Helps”. Straplines like these can work wonders. (more…)

Branding the Product

There was no mistaking the black and red of Autohelm, the dark blue hull of a Sunseeker or the pale blue band linking the windows of a Swan.

All three have had their imitators, which just goes to show that their competitors also recognised the value of such bold branding cues in product and packaging design. (more…)

Corporate Design Style

You may not like the bright orange and nursery school typefaces of EasyJet’s corporate graphic design style, but you can’t deny how strong and recognisable it is.

It’s all down to consistency, in colours, typefaces, proportions, dimensions, spacing and layouts – the corporate design rules. It’s a relatively simple discipline, and not hard to set up, but it pays huge dividends in terms of brand awareness and brand image. (more…)

Brand Visibility

As a fresh-faced final year undergraduate attending an interview at one of the top London Ad agencies, I was shown one of their latest creations and asked “What’s the most important thing in this Ad?”

I forget what I said, but the answer they were looking for was ‘the branding’. It’s a principle that has stuck in my mind ever since, to the benefit of many a client. (more…)

Brand Values

iPhone or Android? Garmin or Simrad? Fairline or Princess? Which do you favour? Which do you feel more comfortable with?

Your choice will to some extent be down to the properties of the product, but a large part of it will be a response to that enigmatic affinity we call brand preference. (more…)