ico is a London based design studio that creates and builds memorable brands for businesses and organisations with ambition.

Our Expertise

Branding strategy and identity

Brands succeed due to a marriage of carefully defined strategy, innovative ideas and strong creative execution. We've taken start-ups from a seed of a concept through the branding process until its eventual acquisition by a multinational; we've cut through the complexity and rebranded a major UK airport, and worked as a partner to one of the world's most dynamic beauty companies, helping them launch six global brands in three years.

— Brand positioning & naming
— Visual identity design
— Art direction
— Copywriting
— Brand communications
— Research & insights

Digital and interactive

The main expression of many brands is online and with our UX and UI expertise we have found creative ways of bringing them to life. Working with our network of development partners, we have created websites, immersive e-commerce sites, online journals, games, microsites, web and mobile Apps, interactive digital signage and many more.

— Personas & user journeys
— Wireframes & prototypes
— Digital interface design

Editorial and print

As a company with a background in design for print we recognise its continued importance, especially in an era when digital is the norm. A well-considered printed piece with compelling content is increasingly proving a disruptive way to engage an audience that is turned off by traditional marketing messages. We have designed award-winning books, cultural journals and regularly showcase our editorial skills within Taste, our self-published magazine on the business and culture of food.

— Publication design
— Content creation and copywriting
— Editorial direction

Moving image and film

Film is an incredibly powerful way to engage an audience and demonstrate a brand's personality; it's also an effective method of distilling and delivering complex information. Moving image opens up many possible creative executions – animation, interview, documentary – however our starting point for any project is always to define the message first. From this, we can then decide the most appropriate execution, from short pop promos for Instagram to a suite of esoteric films which capture the essence of individual fragrances.

— Creative direction
— Video production
— Motion graphics & animation
— Editing & post-production

Packaging

Our approach to packaging is to start not with the bottle, can or pack, but with the product: how does it make someone feel, what are its unique attributes, how is it different from the competitors? By creating the brand first, we naturally answer the questions that define the production methods and materials. The result is not only striking packaging, but a fully-rounded brand with assets and an attitude that have longevity far beyond the store.

— Concept design
— Visual design
— Prototyping

Environment

The most immersive way for a customer to experience and interact with a brand is often within an environment. Ensuring coherence in stores and physical spaces is critical for brands that wish to quickly scale their operations. Our experience designing exhibitions for both commercial and cultural institution clients has given us insights into how brands should best be expressed in three dimensions, and where appropriate, we partner with selected interior architects to deliver the best possible outcomes for our clients.

— Exhibition design
— Wayfinding
— Interior creative direction
— Experiential & interactive

Campaigns

A successful campaign can be instrumental in launching a brand or helping to reinvigorate an existing business. Working as close partners with clients – often helping to shape and define the brief – we've created and delivered memorable campaigns across both traditional and digital media.

— Copywriting
— Internal engagement
— Cross media campaigns
— Digital communications

Partners

Niall Henry - Managing Director

Niall founded ico in 1994 and has over 25 years experience in the creative industry. He cultivates a pragmatic approach that encourages design to be more valued and his wide knowledge of business gives a rounded perspective of business and design challenges. Through nurturing an inclusive management style ico has attracted and retained a talented team of creative thinkers and design managers. He oversees most aspects of the business and is directly responsible for account management, business strategy and finance.

Vivek Bhatia - Creative Director

After completing a BA in Graphic Design, Vivek spent four years at publishing specialist Hamlyn Books, before joining ico in 2001. Vivek is a hugely experienced designer and art-director who oversees all creative output of the studio. He leads the design team with significant experience in brand projects for a diverse client list including London Luton Airport, Benugo and Snog Frozen Yogurt. His awards include two Graphis Gold awards and a Red Dot award for brand identity. He is an associate lecturer at various London colleges and at IDEP Design College in Barcelona.

Russell Holmes - Strategy Director

Russell has over 20 years industry experience working with many of the world's most successful brands including Nike, Apple and MTV. Since joining ico as Strategy Director, he has been instrumental in developing the brands for Benugo, Biju, Volta and London Luton Airport. A writer and lecturer, he has an MA in Communication Design from Central St Martins and has contributed to magazines and such as Eye, Graphic and Idea (Japan).