Insight | Never Being Boring
Insight | Never Being Boring


Insight | Never Being Boring

Most people in the real world aren’t that bothered about brands.

They’re too busy doing what interests them.

To quote legendary ad man Howard Gossage: “Nobody reads advertising. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.”

And it can be said of design, too.

It’s a sobering thought.

We must unearth ways of being part of what people find genuinely interesting.

The most interesting brands spark to life from
the edges.

At the intersections of:

strategy + creativity 

position + personality

intellect + intuition 

thinking + doing 

substance + surface 

physical + emotional

high art + low art 

order + chaos 

visual + verbal

what you say + how you say it

something from here + something from over there.

Traditionally, working practices separate what you
say and how you say it.

But we fuse the strategic and creative stages.

How we work brings forward and accelerates the magic from the myriad of decisions made during creative execution.

Students of the profession may recognise this approach from the Honda Book of Dreams —
Google it.

It’s interesting.

It created a way for strategic and creative people to collaborate on strategic and executional decisions before doing the actual work.

Decisions about fonts, colours and vocabulary became part of the upfront strategic conversation, creating a visceral understanding of a brand voice, not just what you say but how you say it.

We love that.

It’s a working method that collects quotes, images, poems, lyrics and doodles.

It’s all stuck on the wall, and we work out what feels like the brand and what doesn’t.

Care is taken not to narrow things down — not to try and create a singular style or tone but a ton of different approaches which all feel like the brand.

Then you make it into a book.

Or, as we sometimes do, a film.

Sounds easy?


It means you need to be interested in everything.

As Russell Davies, the planner on Honda at the time, says: “It’s not about making yourself interesting. It’s about making the world interesting. And that means developing skills and habits around ideas, creativity and communication.”

As Russell’s book Do Interesting states on its cover:




It’s about having your radar up at all times.

It is developing your skills of memory and recall.

Or how to use a Pritt Stick and a scrapbook.

Always be collecting.

And it’s useless if you don’t pass it on.

It means it’s a richer way of thinking and doing for us.

Curating the most interesting and relevant stuff takes a sharp mind and eye.

And then we join the dots.

Or we whack it in the equivalent of a creative Large Hadron Collider.

That’s when it gets interesting.

We work with our clients to build the most interesting brands by doing the most interesting work of our lives, working in the most interesting manner possible.

That doesn’t necessarily mean we need to work with rock star brands; interesting can be found anywhere and applied to anything.

So we have a particular way of going about it.

Boring is our sworn enemy.

Interesting always takes a position.

Interesting has a personality.

Interesting can find a good idea anywhere.

Interesting keeps its eyes open and doesn’t fall
asleep in the car.

Interesting has continuity, not mind-numbing,
ruthless consistency.

Interesting might be even more important
than different.

You may have noticed that the headline on this page is a song title borrowed from the Pet Shop Boys.

In the track’s stylish black and white video, directed by fashion photographer Bruce Weber, is the hand-scrawled quote: She was never bored because she was never boring.

We think that’s interesting.

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BBF is one of the leading own-label manufacturers of cakes and chilled desserts, supplying retailers across the UK and European market. The business was formerly Bright Blue Foods and around 2015 had experienced some significant service issues that damaged its reputation. Having been acquired by turnaround specialists Endless, Bright Blue Foods needed a change in name and image to ignite the process of rebuilding its reputation internally and externally.


  • Revenue grew from £70m in 2015 to over £140m by 2018.

“Squad did a fantastic job repositioning the brand of our investment. The business now has a fresh and contemporary look, which has really supported the ongoing growth.”

Richard Harrison - Investment Director, Endless LLP

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Half Dozen Other | Brand Identity
Half Dozen Other | Brand Identity


Half Dozen Other | Brand Identity

We’d previously helped coffee, brunch and breakfast restaurant Pot Kettle Black kickstart their expansion plans. It gave the business new impetus and catalysed new sites and innovation, resulting in the birth of a sibling business. But when you launch an upstart sister business, don’t expect it to come without some sibling rivalry.

Our name and branding for their new bakehouse, Half Dozen Other, captured that although siblings often see the world differently, there are some things they undeniably have in common: a sunny disposition and a love of Antipodean coffee culture with a northern accent. You see, their differences weren’t that great at all. It was more a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other. Or perhaps that’s six and a half of one, half a baker’s dozen of the other?

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JW Lees | Light Beer
JW Lees | Light Beer


JW Lees | Light Beer

Government changes to beer duty in August 2023 created an opportunity for JW Lees to develop a new lower-alcohol lager. The challenge was to achieve standout in a competitive environment. Still, we also needed to fit in, creating a design that would slot into JW Lees’ lager story alongside their existing Original and Manchester Craft brands.

We designed Light using a typographic approach that follows our previous work using muscular display faces with an industrial heritage to express our Modern Traditional Brewer brand platform. Combining type treatment and iconography reinforces the beer’s name and creates a beacon on the bar. We chose the red to add something different to the range and communicate its value proposition.

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