“Jones Knowles Richie Agency”

Today we were lucky enough to spend some time on the JKR Agency in Camden, which has been going for some twenty-six years. It’s a pretty large company, employing over a hundred people.

They are at the very top of the ‘branding chain’, working with companies such as Budweiser, Snickers, M&Ms, Stella Artois, Irn-Bru, PG Tips, Young’s, Boddington’s, Havana Club, and Domino Pizza, to mention just a few. They also work with startups, such as Hippeas or Booma, creating imaginative, original, and successful campaigns for all of their clients.

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Sean Thomas, the creative director there, explained, how the design has been changing especially recently. When the company started, and for a long time after, they have been almost primarily doing packaging design. In the recent years, however, they have moved on to doing whole branding campaigns, across many different media. They are also increasing their video output, which is becoming more and more desired.

The original chalk drawing by the creator of the JKR.
The original chalk drawing by the creator of the JKR.

He also pointed out that due to the gradual decrease in TV advertising (due to consumers streaming more and TV-watching less), branding has been gaining importance. This is good news for us, future branding experts.

Sean shared with us that their secret is “it’s all about being different”. He also explained that for the company to have a solid base for success, they must have a purpose, rather than just generating ‘pretty designs’ for their customers.

Just a small part of the whole studio—they share a wonderfully large space.
Just a small part of the whole studio—they share a wonderfully large space.

This was a very enlightening visit, and the agency has left a very good impression on the whole group. Hopefully one day some of us can become part of the team.

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