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THE BEST OF THE BEST

The best branding agencies in London & beyond: The top 10

Working with a talented branding agency can help shape a company’s visual and verbal identity and attract the attention of the right customers.

This doesn't happen by chance. Consideration must be paid to how the identity rolls out across all brand touchpoints. But branding helps influence all outputs from digital marketing campaigns, advertising, social and all marketing material.

Branding is not just about the logo or strapline. It is about how a company communicates to its customers and what it stands for.

The best branding agencies in London produce the most effective identities for their clients. The ones that not only look good but are grounded in solid strategic thinking. They should be able to analyse how you can differentiate in the market, craft a memorable brand, and help you stand out from the crowd.

There are plenty of marketing agencies in London to choose from, but not all of them have the skills and experience needed to help talk to the audience you want to talk to. It’s important to know what you want before looking for an agency.

Brand development is crucial to how your business is perceived in the market. Finding the right branding agency to fit your company's vision is important.

This article will help narrow your search and make your decision easier.

Note: If you want to work with the best branding agency in luxury - talk to ikon.

We have worked with global brands and have a proven track record of success. Cartier, Porsche, Westfield, and Formula 1 to name a few.

Book a brand discovery call to get advice on how you can improve your branding to charge higher prices and ensure you aren't seen as a commodity.

cartier VIP invite
Invites for Cartier designed by ikon

The 10 best branding agencies in London and the rest of the world

Below is a list of award-winning, top branding agencies to help decide who is best for you:

1. ikon

The best branding agency in london if you are targeting an affluent audience is ikon. We may be biased but ikon is renowned for creating and working with luxury brands like Cartier, Westfield, Porsche, and Formula 1.

With an ethos of "design knows no boundary," we aren't afraid to push boundaries with our brand strategy, brand identity and creative work. We do not limit ourselves to the conventional way of seeing things.

Here are some of the branding services we offer:

Brand Strategy

ikon works with brands to create distinctive identities and help them communicate their messages in compelling ways. It all starts with a strong brand strategy as this informs how you want your brand to be perceived by your target audience. We have a framework to help guide businesses through this process.

Having a solid brand strategy in place allows us to ensure how you look and sound matches the strategy. It is the foundation to help convey your company’s message. It’s not to come in and change everything because it's all wrong. Often we work with businesses to improve their branding: strategically, verbally, and visually. Sometimes that means evolving what you have.

Brand Identity

Brand identity is the visual representation of a company. As a branding and creative agency, ikon’s strength is creating and re-imagining brand identities. We translate your ideas and vision into pictures and words.

Sometimes developing an entirely new brand identity is the only way to help re-position you in the market. Other times, it involves taking your existing identity and evolving it to be more relevant. Whichever approach is necessary, it will always be done strategically.

Brand Messaging

A brand’s message is one of the most essential parts of its communication. We help clarify your core messaging to the strategy and how to speak about your values, products or services.

We assist you in finding your differences and what is important to your company. Then we help articulate a clear message that resonates with your target audience. We have a framework in place to help clarify this.

Art Direction

ikon can commission the right illustrators, direct photoshoots and deliver projects to bring your ideas to life. We can guide you in this process from start to finish, whether it’s using existing art direction principles or creating something from scratch. Not only do we have a core team, we have a large network of creatives to deliver your project.

We have commissioned some of the best illustrators on some impressive projects, including for the Queen’s Coronation Festival where the Queen received a copy of the work. Not to mention shooting some of London's most expensive, super luxurious residential properties.

Print

Although we live in a predominantly digital-driven world, print is not dead, it's just evolving. A beautifully executed piece of print can have such a tangible and emotional impact.

We notice opportunities for you to stand out from the crowd. In a digital age, it can disrupt how a message is delivered, feel more personal, and create a lasting impression than any other medium.

ikon understands the details required at each stage. From the initial design to the end product and the elegant finishes. We have produced some spectacular books, brochures, and other printed work for high-end clients.

Web Design and Development

As a boutique branding agency, ikon has an advantage over its competition when designing bespoke websites for its clients. They have delivered many luxury websites. Incorporating some of the other branding services into it that we touched on earlier can have a much bigger impact than solely a web agency as we understand brand. If we create strategy, identity or message, we are better placed to build your website.

Many web design agencies will try to fit a company's website into one of their templates. This is where ikon stands out. By tailoring web design to customer wants and needs. We take a more holistic approach, it's this that often impresses customers online.

construction company website
W11 website designed by ikon

ikon vs the competition

Bespoke approach

ikon has taken a unique model to building a creative branding agency. A bespoke approach sets us apart from the rest. Ask yourself this simple question - Would you prefer a tailor-made team specifically chosen from a network to work on your project? Or have an agency give it to a junior as they are on payroll or worse still, bring in a freelancer but still charge high agency rates?

ikon comes into each project and only brings a team in when needed. We don't see two jobs as the same. It’s why we have a core team, which can be expanded at any point to fit your needs. Each creative is carefully chosen and vetted from a network of trusted creatives, often senior and often having worked with ikon for many years.

Personal Service

A personal service is provided from the creative director and brand consultant, Alex Colley. Being the prime contact, leading each step of the way. You will always have an experienced creative available to advise and direct you through your full journey.

ikon has chosen to stay small to keep that personal service and relationship with clients. This approach has led to them gaining an excellent reputation in the industry, considered by prospects alongside some of the best agencies in the world.

Alex Colley, Founder of ikon

Speed

As well as having a personal touch, many of our clients work with us for the pace we deliver projects at. Because we are a boutique service, it enables us to have a quick turnaround. We put all our focus and attention into a select few projects rather than taking on clients just to focus on turnover.

A streamlined, personal process ensures we can deliver high-quality results in a short amount of time. Being a close-knit team means they don't have the hassle of bureaucracy like many big agencies.

Quality

ikon manages to keep overheads to a minimum by remaining small and nimble. It gives us more time to devote to the quality of the work we produce for you. It also helps to collaborate with some of the best thinkers, strategists, and creatives.

Summary

In summary, ikon stands out ahead of its competitors if you are looking for a bespoke and personal service that is customised to your business. We have a very experienced team that can expand as your project requires.

It’s all designed to give the best output for the budget. Low overheads, some of the best talent, few projects and that is why we have attracted some of the most renowned brands in the world.

The list continues with some of our favorites from London and the rest of the world. Not all traditional branding agencies but some of the best in the world at creating and re-imagining brands.

brochure and book for westfield
Print for Westfield designed by ikon

Note: If you would like to get personalised service to build your brand, work with ikon.

We can show you how to attract the right audience for your brand. Sign up for a free brand discovery call.

2. Made Thought

Made Thought is a top creative design studio founded in 2000 by Ben Parker and Paul Austin. Their expertise in building brands from the ground up when fresh creative ideas are needed to differentiate a brand.

They believe that creativity and design are the heart of any company. And both are more essential than ever to a contemporary brand's success.

The three areas they focus on are:

STRATEGY - SEEING THE BIGGER PICTURE. An insightful and practical plan inspires a powerful creative reaction and a unique place in the world.

DESIGN - MAKING BEAUTIFUL AND SMARTER WAYS TO INTERACT WITH THE WORLD. Design that transforms our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is produced by combining excellent quality, courageous simplicity, and moving language.

CHANGE - TRANSFORMING FOR TOMORROW. Going the extra mile of a category. To deliver positive brands that challenge the status quo.

Clients include Samsung, Brooks England, Chandon, Charlotte Tilbury, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, Fred Perry, Adidas, Paul Smith & Stella McCartney.

Made Thought have offices in both London and New York.

best branding agencies hunter rebrand
©Made Thought

3. Two Times Elliott

Award-winning design firm Two Times Elliott is a design consultancy. Producing diverse work spanning strategy, brand identity, printed Collateral, web design, spacial, spacial, and art direction.

Their outcomes are always supported by a worldly concept. Whether it is social, environmental, psychological, historical, or purely symbolic.

Some of their clients include Lick, Virgin Atlantic, The Unseen, M+P Models, Gaia & 2LG studio.

best branding agency akt identity
©Two Times Elliott

4. Pentagram

Pentagram is a multi-disciplined, privately owned design studio. Their work includes strategy, positioning, graphics, identity, exhibitions, installations, products, packaging, websites, creative web design, digital marketing, experiences, data visualizations, typefaces, advertising, communications, sound, and motion. They have 23 partners that are active designers working independently and collaboratively.

They have a unique structure to their business in that they are the only major design studio where the business owners are the creators. They serve as the main contact for their clients. They do this to add a personal commitment to each client. They have a portfolio that stretches five decades in multiple industries and clients of different sizes.

Clients include Warner Bros, Leafs by Snoop, Tiffany & Co, Jack Daniels, Liberty, Alexander McQueen & Waitrose.

rolls royce marketing material
©Pentagram

5. &Walsh

&Walsh is an advertising and branding-focused creative digital agency based in London and New York. They collaborate with clients starting from the initial brand planning stage and continuing through the design, art direction, and final project execution. They produce stunning, emotionally engaging work that serves their clients' objectives and connects with their target audiences.

They use their artistic talents to spark conversations and effect change, which is one of their main goals. Their studio dedicates a large portion of its time to self-initiated initiatives for social causes that are important to them. They have developed events, books, exhibitions, and entire organisations for these social projects.

Services they offer include Advertising, Art Direction, Animation, Branding, Brand Strategy, Consultancy & Copywriting.

Clients include Appy, Kenzo, Zumtobel, The New York Times, Milly & Bombay Sapphire.

&walsh beauty books
©&Walsh

6. Wolff Olins

British advertising agency and corporate identity consultancy, Wolff Olins, was established in 1965. Wolff Olins is a marketing and advertising agency based in London, New York City, and San Francisco. Since joining the Omnicom Group in 2001, it has grown to employ about 150 designers, strategists, technologists, program managers, and instructors. They have been successful in various industries, including non-profit, retail, energy & utilities, media, and technology.

Clients include Volkswagen, The Beatles, Orange, BT, First Direct, GSK, Google, Uber & Tik Tok.

lafayette brand identity
©Wolff Olins

7. Bibliothèque

Bibliothèque is an independent design studio based in London. They believe that design is fundamentally a problem-solving activity that can be used in any industry, academic field, or form of media. They motivate like-minded individuals by providing value and assisting like-minded clients in achieving their goals. Take a look at some of their projects, clients, and services.

Services include Art direction, Brand identity, Design for print, Design for publishing, Environmental design, Naming, UX/UI design & Packaging design.

Clients include Barbican, Nike, V&A, Sony, Tate & Vitra.

interior design identity
©Bibliothèque

8. Kurppa Hosk

Brand agency Kurppa Hosk has offices in Stockholm and New York and employs around 80 people. They combine the most astute strategic minds with the top designers in the business to tackle complex business problems. They work with early-stage startups to some of the world's most respected brands and enterprises.

Kurppa Hosk uses strategy, brand design, and experience design to transform brands and organisations. They achieve this through business artistry, a strategy that combines boldness, beauty, technology, and precise workmanship with commercial and behavioral research, insight, and analysis.

Services include Research and insight, Brand platforms and strategy, Design strategy, Communication strategy, Brand development, Naming, Design systems, Typography, Social media & Product design.

Their clients include Scania, H&M, Lauder, Pinterest, Dustin & Bobbi Brown.

audio branding website
©Kurppa Hosk

9. SNASK

Snask is an internationally recognized creative agency that does branding, design, and film. They regard themselves as a “creative agency of misfit geniuses.” Following their ten commandments in daily life. Snask has established a reputation for producing commercial design work that is audacious, visually arresting, and never takes itself too seriously.

In addition to being an agency, they also work on a variety of side projects, like writing the international bestseller "Make Enemies & Gain Fans," releasing their own beer, "Shower Beer," co-founding the "Yay" design festival. And rocking out around the world as Vag (the rock group).

Clients include Travis, Spotify, Klarna, Schuh, Kaibosh & The Washington Post.

eyewear branding
©Snask

10. Ragged Edge

Ragged Edge is a branding agency in London that build around the notion that champions being “an agency for people trying to achieve the improbable". They use a strategy that aims to reward brave clients. They create work that doesn’t respect the status quo. They aim to challenge you, change you and change the way you see the world.

Ragged edge has an international client list but have a team based in the same London studio.

Services include Visual and verbal identity, UX and UI design, Messaging, Campaigns, Film and photography, Environment branding, Brand guardianship, Employer branding.

Clients range from Papier, Circa 5000, Laka, Mindful Chef, Northzone, Globe Trotter, Otta & Onto.

best branding agencies alcohol branding
©Ragged Edge

So there you have it, our round up of some of the best branding agencies in London and beyond.

This list is not made from any rankings tables or effectiveness results, we are judging purely in a creative sense. I hope you found it useful and if you are in the luxury space, consider ikon as your agency for creating or evolving your luxury brand.

This article is written by Alex & Brandon of ikon | We are a boutique branding & creative agency – but not in the traditional sense. We hand-pick a team from our experienced creatives to suit each project, delivering a personal and bespoke service. Alex is always the lead contact every step of the way and our clients include the likes of Cartier, Westfield, Porsche, & F1.
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