The UK's top 50 graphic design studios revealed

Find out who did – and didn’t – make the top 50 in Computer Arts' inaugural UK Studio Rankings.

Exclusive Computer Arts survey: the UK's top 50 studios

Welcome to the complete set of findings from Computer Art's UK Studio Rankings 2014, the result of a poll of 60 leading designers and creative directors based across the country.

Crucially, this survey is all about peer reputation – regardless of size, budget or awards. In short: the 50 world-class studios on this list are here because their fellow designers think they should be.

The top 30 was more comprehensively covered in issue 233 of Computer Arts, but here's the rundown…

01. Graphic Thought Facility

Design Cities for The Design Museum, by Graphic Thought Facility
  • Founded: 1990
  • Location: Farringdon, London
  • Staff: 12
  • Creative roles: 83%

Pushing one of the world's most famous design agencies into second place is a small studio that has quietly been creating stylish, considered work for almost a quarter of a century. It's rarely in the public eye, but GTF was name-checked time and time again by our panel. "It's much nicer to hear that, than to hear we've won an award," says the studio.

It boasts a top-notch roster of clients with true design pedigree, such as Kvadrat, Vitra and Frieze Art Fair. And while it may have an underlying approach to its projects, it doesn't restrict itself to a particular aesthetic; neither does it have a specific manifesto.

"We care greatly about our work," says GTF, "but that shouldn't be unique. We have good taste, but don't necessarily worry about needing to make work in good taste. We have an underlying approach, but not a style. We hope our output might generally 'feel' like a GTF project, rather than look like one."

02. Pentagram

London Design Festival guide by Pentagram
  • Founded: 1972
  • Location: Notting Hill, London; also New York, San Francisco, Austin and Berlin
  • Staff: UK: 60; global: 170
  • Creative roles: 70%

Founded in London by Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes, Theo Crosby, Kenneth Grange and Mervyn Kurlansk in 1972, Pentagram is the grandfather of design agencies. Eschewing trends or corporate cash cows, its focus is on conceptual, ideas-driven design.

Pentagram's unique approach also ensures it's always ahead of the curve. "We are independently owned and led by the creatives, who are the partners," says Angus Hyland, who has been a partner at Pentagram London since 1998. "Each partner leads their own team, and we have a flat corporate structure. This is unique in our industry."

So how does it feel to be selected by a panel of creative directors as one of the UK's best? "It's very flattering, of course," says Hyland. "Mind you, we've been here for 40-odd years so I guess we've turned up on a lot of people's radar."

03. GBH

The Verb logo by GBH
  • Founded: 1999
  • Location: Chiswick, London
  • Staff: 18
  • Creative roles: 80%

With co-founder Mark Bonner recently appointed president of D&AD, Gregory Bonner Hale packs considerable punch on the UK design scene – and proudly occupies the fertile space between the traditional disciplines of design, advertising and digital.

Jason Gregory, Mark Bonner and Peter Hale have come a long way since they studied together in the early '90s. "Over the last 20 years, our efforts have been for one thing – to make beautiful, memorable work," they say. "We don't think in terms of 'disciplines', we're in our element when we begin a project with a big view of what's possible, and what we're allowed to bring to it."

Is there a secret to their success? "Our commitment, passion and attention to detail borders on the obsessive," they confess. "It has led to incredible opportunities." Which is perhaps why so many of their clients have become friends and have stuck with them for years.

04. The Partners

The Connaught carrier bags by The Partners
  • Founded: 1983
  • Location: Smithfield, London; also New York and London
  • Staff: UK: 50; global: 70
  • Creative roles: 65%

Being picked by a panel of his peers gives The Partners' executive creative director Greg Quinton "a warm feeling on the inside, like the first cuppa in the morning."

The Partners has been developing creative solutions to complex business issues for over 30 years, and has a well-stocked awards cabinet to boot.

The WPP-owned agency has a legacy quote that keeps the team focused: "We ask, 'Are we the most creative agency in the world, or a bunch of fucking wankers?' It's unachievable, but that's the point, if it were easy it wouldn't be a challenge," smiles Quinton.

05. Johnson Banks

Disaster Emergency Committee branding by Johnson Banks
  • Founded: 1992
  • Location: Clapham, London
  • Staff: 10
  • Creative roles: 60%

According to founder Michael Johnson, johnson banks began with a simple goal to find "unique answers to the most interesting problems" – but went on to develop a fascination with the social impact of design, counting many charity and cultural institutions among its clients.

"There's a common thread of 'thinking' and strategic insight in our work, but the way that manifests itself visually is constantly changing," continues Johnson, who describes his studio culture as "a bunch of people sitting at desks listening to the same music, spending slightly too much time discussing what's for lunch."

Flexible working hours and minimal stress are the order of the day: "Evenings and weekends are for lives outside work, thinking and recharging," he adds.

06. Made Thought

Brand mark and packaging for Tom Dixon on the new Eclectic range
  • Founded: 2000
  • Location: Fitzrovia, London
  • Staff: 18
  • Creative roles: 88%

Made Thought co-founder Ben Parker reaches for a Brian Wilson quote to express his studio's mantra: 'Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you'll suck forever.'

Four key principles lie at the heart of everything the Fitzrovia-based studio does: firstly, a balance between style, concept and function; secondly, a brave, risk-taking approach that doesn't just rely on research and strategy. "But we also need to be accountable, and justify the marks that we make," he continues. "Finally, have fun and enjoy the process."

Sceptical of how any piece of design work can be assessed outside of its intended context, Made Thought eschews design awards on principle, and Parker believes its continued success is down to one thing: "Remaining passionate and hungry about producing great work for great clients."

07. Wolff Olins

The Space by Wolff Olins
  • Founded: 1965
  • Location: Kings Cross, London
  • Staff: UK: 90; global: 150
  • Creative roles: 30%

Founded in London seven years before Pentagram – "exact date unknown, it was the 60s!" grins marketing director Krisana Jaritsat – Omnicom-owned Wolff Olins has the longest heritage of any of the agencies on our list, and is still widely respected by its peers.

"It's good to get the recognition of friends, but most of all it's a great way to attract new talent," asserts creative director Chris Moody."Perhaps the reason we still feel relevant is because we keep bringing in new people with new ideas."

At its heart is a collaborative spirit and commitment to human-centred design: "The work only works if it works for real people," adds Moody.

08. Universal Everything

Polyfauna: a series of audio-visual presentations by Universal Everything
  • Founded: 2004
  • Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  • Staff: UK: 5; global: 6
  • Creative roles: 70%

In the last decade Universal Everything has maintained an unorthodox approach, "to how the studio works (a remote network of collaborators), where we are based (Sheffield) and what we do (something between design, art and film)," says founder Matt Pyke.

Based near the Peak District, Pyke and his core team of five look for creative inspiration outside the design world, in disruptive technology, anthropology, even campanology.

09. ustwo

The Monument Valley app by ustwo
  • Founded: 2004
  • Location: Shoreditch, London; also New York and Malmo
  • Staff: UK: 129; global: 252
  • Creative roles: 72%

This year's output for ustwo has focused mainly on apps for iOS and Android, including the Apple Design Award-winning Monument Valley and ticketing app DICE. But the studio's ambition is anything but small.

"Our aim is to be the defining digital product studio by launching valuable products, services and companies that make a measurable difference to the world," says global design director Joe Macleod.

With a culture of quality and 'failing fast', co-founders John 'Sinx' Sinclair and Matt 'Mills' Miller have created a sizable studio that feels like "a post apocalyptic art college, encouraging people to do the unexpected, the challenging and the surprising."

10. Moving Brands

Moving Brands' Google branding, in conjunction with Sonos
  • Founded: 1998
  • Location: Hoxton, London; also Zürich, San Francisco and New York
  • Staff: UK: 50; global: 80
  • Creative roles: Not disclosed

Independent with massive global clients, Moving Brands is all about creativity for the moving world, and "no dickheads".

"We're nice, and a bit nerdy," says CEO Mat Heinl. It's a sentiment that's recently seen the agency work on campaigns for Google Play and Sonos, and most recently BBC iPlayer.

Moving Brands' 'nerds' are a varied bunch to boot: '"Our staff are from different backgrounds in terms of education, experience and geography," adds Heinl, "and that brings a real sense of open-mindedness."

11. NB Studio

NB Studio re-crafted cider brand Aspall's identity this year
  • Founded: 1997
  • Location: Southbank, London
  • Staff: UK: 12
  • Creative roles: 70%

NB Studio is located between the Globe Theatre, Tate Modern and Borough Market on London's Southbank. Co-founders Nick Finney, Alan Dye and Ben Stott's arsenal of creative tools is fittingly eclectic, even including weekly group yoga.

The team of 12 tries to be as democratic as possible: "We have regular crits through the week with the partners," reveals Finney. "By Friday we're ready for drinks, quizzes, games, table-tennis and storytelling."

12. ManvsMachine

ManvsMachine set out to create a film channel for Film 4, covering all on-air aspects of the brand from idents to OSP and beyond.
  • Founded: 2007
  • Location: Haggerston, London
  • Staff: UK: 20
  • Creative roles: 90%

When you have Microsoft asking you to work on its Xbox brand refresh and Nike falling at your feet, it's safe to say you're doing something right. ManvsMachine's success isn't due to being everybody's friend, though.

"Our intention is to be creatively fulfilled doing purely commercial work for mainstream clients," says co-founder Mike Alderson. "This often means pushing clients for more time on development, but so far so good."

Find out what happened when Computer Arts had a chat with the team at the studio's swish Haggerston HQ...

Watch the whole series.

13. Here

Here redesigned the Bacardi brand identity, creating a new bat icon based on some early logos and the anatomy of the Cuban fruit bat.
  • Founded: 2005
  • Location: London Fields, London
  • Staff: UK: 20
  • Creative roles: 75%

At Here Design, inquisitiveness is essential. "We learn about the world through our work," says creative director Caz Hildebrand. "The more we understand, the better our design work can be."

It's an approach the studio uses to great effect with global clients such as Bacardi, when exploring its heritage and authenticity for a recent rebrand – but Here also saves time for passion projects such as the Geometry of Pasta, the studio's very own brand of pasta and sauces.

14. ilovedust

ilovedust collaborated with sister company Golden Wolf on eye-popping music video Dog Blood
  • Founded: 2004
  • Location: Southsea, Hampshire
  • Staff: UK: 22
  • Creative roles: 75%

Detail, craft and a strong sense of narrative are the threads that bind ilovedust's diverse folio together. "It's a two-way process," says creative director Mark Graham of the design approach at the laid-back studio he describes as "like a working man's social club.",>

The team are passionate about their craft, but not driven by ego. "We don't have tantrums when we aren't allowed to run a font at 6pt or use a fourth spot-colour on a print job," he laughs.

A 2014 highlight so far has been the Boys Noize/ Skrillex music video Dog Blood: "We went balls to the wall on the graphic approach and animation techniques," adds Graham. "It's an insanely cool video – one that can make your nose bleed."

15. Sennep

Macmillan app branding by Sennep
  • Founded: 2003
  • Location: Shoreditch, London
  • Staff: UK: 14
  • Creative roles: 60%

Sennep creative director Matt Rice describes the studio's inclusion on the list as a "lovely pat on the back" for his diligent team, who keep their heads down creating clean, crisp design in an environment that he describes as "friendly, relaxed but focused."

Never happy to "settle for 98 per cent", Rice isn't afraid to start again if necessary in order to craft the perfect solution. "We like to think there's something about the feel of a Sennep piece of work that is recognisable – be it a playful touch, an executional detail or a level of digital craftsmanship," he adds.

16. Turner Duckworth

Turner Duckworth's visual identity for Uproot
  • Founded: 1992
  • Location: Chiswick, London; also San Francisco
  • Staff: UK: 28; global: 70
  • Creative roles: 75%

As well as mixing up projects with large and small clients, Turner Duckworth finds success in mixing and moving its creative talents too. With studios in London and San Francisco, job swaps are popular in the Leo Burnett-owned agency.


"We move our designers around to stop them getting in a rut," says creative director Bruce Duckworth, who co-founded the agency 22 years ago with partner David Turner. "It's a chance to experience a different culture and to freshen up their thinking."

17. Bibliotheque

Bibliotheque's cover for The Hour magazine, 'It's About Time'
  • Founded: 2004
  • Location: Shoreditch, London
  • Staff: UK: 9
  • Creative roles: 100%

Focusing its energy on identity, spatial, digital and print design, Bibliotheque hasn't found time to enter many design awards in its 10-year history. The design consultancy is its own harshest critic; the team are even sceptical of identifying its identity.

"To say you're unique is a pretty self-centred attitude," believes co-founder Tim Beard. "There are elements that we might do slightly differently to others, but broadly speaking, the design process is the same the world over. It's the outcomes that are different."

If there is one thing that defines Bibliotheque, however, it's perfectionism: "We're constantly pushing to make things better," concludes Beard. "Never be satisfied with acceptable."

18. Magpie

Magpie's Mind and Movement branding
  • Founded: 2008
  • Location: Shoreditch, London
  • Staff: UK: 8
  • Creative roles: 65%

A relative youngster in this list, Magpie has recently worked on projects as diverse as real ale festival London's Brewing, and the brand creation of Zizu, a company launching a product to help safeguard children's posture.

Venturing into new territory has worked well for Magpie, with its recent education pact and exhibition Mind and Movement winning the studio a D&AD Yellow pencil.

19. Studio Myerscough

  • Founded: 1993
  • Location: Hoxton, London
  • Staff: UK: 1
  • Creative roles: 100%

From Southbank's vibrant The Temple Of Agape installation to Wakefield's Swing It! experience, Morag Myerscough has continued to transform spaces the length and breadth of the UK this year with her bold graphic signature.

Splitting her time between her prolific studio and Supergroup, a "creative A-team" of artists and designers, Myerscough works to the motto: "After victory, tighten your helmet cord".

Watch the whole series.

20. Stranger and Stranger

DonPapa Rum branding
  • Founded: 1994
  • Locations: Farringdon, London; also New York and San Francisco
  • Staff: UK: 13; global: 25
  • Creative roles: 60%

Packaging and branding design firm Stranger & Stranger has been "super specialised" for a long time. "We know what we're talking about and we cut straight to the chase," says founder Kevin Shaw. "We always try to give each client something distinctive," he continues.

"The designers get a relentless stream of killer briefs for clients who want amazing quality and they want it tomorrow. We don't generally work as teams and everyone has their own projects, so the pressure is intense – but there's no better place to test your skills and strength of character."

21. Human After All

The UK's top 50 studios

Human After All's World Economic Forum 2014 agenda report
  • Founded: 2005
  • Location: Shoreditch, London
  • Number of staff: UK: 16
  • Creative roles: 100%

Since rebranding in 2013 as Human After All, the London-based creative agency – which previously operated as part of The Church of London – has been carving a global reputation with innovative projects for the likes of Google, Facebook and BAFTA. Underpinning the studio's work is the manifesto: "creativity connects" as CEO Danny Miller explains.

"We care a great deal about what we do, and we're willing to go the extra mile to make things work. It's the hard stuff that defines the studio just as much as any one moment of creative excellence from any of our team. Plus booze and nibbles on a Friday, of course."

22. Spin

The UK's top 50 studios

Spin's Type Plus book

Founded: 1992
Location: Kennington, London
Number of staff: UK: 9
Creative roles: 70%

"We see every project as an opportunity to make something apposite, unique and special," says Spin senior designer Sam Stevenson. Over the past 20 years, Tony Brook and Patricia Finegan's multidisciplined design studio has developed a stunning portfolio of work across branding, publishing, motion, digital and more.

"I wouldn't say it's the place to work if you want an easy ride," Stevenson laughs. "But if you're obsessive, like pushing yourself and don't mind hard work, it's fun."

23. AKQA

The UK's top 50 studios

Nike RISE, by AKQA
  • Founded: 1994
  • Locations: Farringdon, London; also Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, Gurgaon, NYC, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Tokyo and Washington DC
  • Number of staff: UK: 400; Global: 1,600
  • Creative roles: Undisclosed

AKQA won the 2014 Queen's Award for Enterprise Innovation. It's one of a plethora of industry plaudits picked up by the influential WPP-owned agency this year, which has 13 offices in Asia, Europe, North and South America.

"Our goal is to remove the friction from life by creating work with worth and purpose," says chief creative officer James Hilton. "Our aesthetic is simply the imaginative application of art and science to create beautiful ideas, products and services. To be included among the top UK ideas and design companies is a humbling achievement."

Watch the whole series.

24. Hat-trick

The UK's top 50 studios

Hat-trick's WWI Stamp
  • Founded: 2001
  • Location: Southwark, London
  • Number of staff: UK: 8
  • Creative roles: 67%

Hat-trick picked up its first D&AD pencil this year for its Victorian see-through, peep-show-inspired bedtime storybook, Hide & Eek! Creative director Gareth Howat credits the multidisciplinary design studio's success to plenty of hard work.

"We're driven by ideas-led design. We have lots of projects on, and we all get on well as a group," he explains. "We're not believers in spouting lots of words – we let the work do the talking."

Watch the whole series.

25. Rose

The UK's top 50 studios

Rose's Labyrinth – Mark Wallinger, for Art on the Underground
  • Founded: 1999
  • Location: Rotherhithe, London
  • Number of staff: UK: 10
  • Creative roles: 80%

Rose specialises in creating, developing and maintaining world-class brands. The past 12 months have seen the 10-person agency bestowed with a swathe of industry accolades, including a silver award for D&AD's Most Awarded Design Agency 2014.

"We have an ethos that emanates throughout the business of striving to exceed expectation – ours as much as our clients," explains partner Simon Elliott, who co-founded the studio with Garry Blackburn in 1999.

"The great Michael Wolff once described our work as 'quintessentially British, but with a beautiful, modern twist', which we like to think nicely sums up what makes us special."

Watch the whole series.

26. Made By Many

The UK's top 50 studios

Made By Many redesigned the ITV News website

Founded: 2007
Locations: Islington, London; also New York
Number of staff: UK: 44; Global: 54
Creative roles: 90%

Made By Many helps big companies act like small ones. A commitment to learning and adapting has propelled the digital agency high in the innovation department – and earned the multitalented team an impressive client list, including TED, Microsoft and Skype.

"We've always believed this quote from Ash Maurya sums up our company very well: 'Life is too short to make things no-one wants'," explains co-founder Isaac Pinnock.

27. APFEL

The UK's top 50 studios

APFEL's Other Primary Structures design
  • Founded: 2003
  • Location: Bethnal Green, London
  • Number of staff: UK: 6
  • Creative roles: 67%

"Our work reflects a thought process rather than a preconceived style. It develops out of questions, and responds to the content and context of a project," says APFEL studio manager Anna Lisa Reynolds.

Co-founded by designers Kirsty Carter and Emma Thomas, A Practice For Everyday Life has carved a name for itself in the British design scene – excelling particularly in the cultural sector. "We have a lovely studio space, which is light and quiet to work in," she continues.

"Projects benefit from enthusiasm, interest and perspective. There's an open and collaborative culture: we're all interested, involved and have input – and often go to exhibitions or events together in the evening."

28. Purpose

The UK's top 50 studios

Sin Serif
  • Founded: 2003
  • Location: Marylebone, London
  • Number of staff: UK: 30
  • Creative roles: 65%

'Design with substance' is the motto at Marylebone-based design studio Purpose. The 30-strong team of strategists, designers and account handlers craft award-winning branding, digital and live experience work for clients ranging from super brands to start-ups.

"We foster a can-do spirit. Our people – their passion, commitment and belief – are core to our success," says co-founder and creative director Stuart Youngs.

29. Cartlidge Levene

The UK's top 50 studios

Training Pool Changing Village signage at London Aquatics Centre
  • Founded: 1987
  • Location: Shoreditch, London
  • Number of staff: UK: 5
  • Creative roles: 100%

For over 37 years, the small but perfectly formed studio founded by Ian Cartlidge and Adam Levene has been creating clean, elegant and modernist environmental graphics for a wide range of clients, most recently including the RCA, Tate Modern and London Aquatics Centre.

"We have little time for self-promotion – our work is our self-promotion," asserts Cartlidge. "The quality and intelligence of our work is paramount, and it's very rewarding that this is being recognised."

He describes the vibe at Cartlidge Levene as "informal, relaxed and creative", but with a hard-working ethic and impeccable standards that the five-man team refuses to compromise on.

30. Pearlfisher

The UK's top 50 studios

The Guild branding
  • Founded: 1992
  • Location: Hammersmith, London; also New York
  • Number of staff: UK: 55; Global: 85
  • Creative roles: 69%

Pearlfisher operates three fully integrated studios – dedicated to Futures, Strategy and Design – in London and New York, working across branding, packaging, spatial design, animation and everything in between.

"We pride ourselves on being bold, lucid and original, and keep these qualities front of mind," explains co-founder Jonathan Ford. "Our approach is dynamic, at times unexpected, but always tailored to the project at hand."

31. Music

The UK's top 50 studios

You can take a virtual walk around Music's Manchester studio via the firm's website

David Simpson and Matthew Beardsell opened Music studio in the Northern Quarter of Manchester back in 2007, with the intention of establishing a hardworking yet fun-loving environment where creatives would feel supported and valued.

That rationale quickly bore fruit, and Music has since grown into a successful 24-strong team that works across branding, digital, advertising, experiential design and interior solutions, with an original approach being the only pre-requisite for tackling a brief.

"The vibe is hardworking and fun – hopefully a place where individuals feel supported and valued," say Simpson and Beardsell.

32. SomeOne

The UK's top 50 studios

SomeOne is the new lead brand partner of Cancer Research UK

Centrally located in Shoreditch's Silicon roundabout, SomeOne is an award-winning design practice that cuts out the middleman between creative and client. Since 2005 the firm has focused on launching, relaunching and protecting products, services and organisations worldwide, while growing from a team of three to 33.

"Consistent branding makes us sad," says co-founder Simon Manchipp. "Consistent equals predictable, patronising, repetitive, dull. People often ask for consistency, but what they need is coherent thinking. We do that."

"We're a dysfunctional family that functions exceptionally well as an ambitious and progressive design practice," he continues. "We're a lawsuit waiting to happen when it comes to our after-hours activities."

33. DesignStudio

The UK's top 50 studios

DesignStudio worked with Airbnb in a year-long project to create a top-to-bottom transformation of the Airbnb brand

DesignStudio was founded in 2009 by designers Ben Wright and Paul Stafford to fill the gap in the creative industry between small boutiques and sprawling design firms. Working out of London and San Francisco, the team work across branding, art direction, digital and motion with the aim of bringing bespoke solutions to global brands and audiences.

DesignStudio's recent top-to-bottom transformation of the Airbnb brand highlights its commitment to the creative process and is testament to its belief that through creativity, anything is possible.

"We have a strong team of creative minds," explain the studio. "Every single member is encouraged to push themselves creatively and get involved with projects they're passionate about. We look to support this creativity, to allow the team to take things further than they ever have before."

34. Why Not Associates

The UK's top 50 studios

Why Not Associates' collaborative prints with Charming Baker

For over 25 years, London-based graphic design company Why Not Associates has been busy crafting a diverse portfolio, from museum exhibitions for the V&A to motion projects for Channel 4 and beyond.

At its heart is a tightly knit creative team who work in a relaxed atmosphere and have the freedom to explore design solutions in their own way. Print, branding, typography, motion and public art all come under the studio's remit. "We always try to push our clients to the most interesting solution that works for them," says co-founder Andy Altmann.

35. B-Reel

The UK's top 50 studios

B-Reel's Xbox Glitch was the first project of its kind to integrate TVC and web in such a way

Billed as a self-styled "creative partner" to clients, B-Reel has successfully championed its vision of collaboration since its inception in 1999. A multidisciplinary team of 150 employees man offices in London, Stockholm, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and Barcelona, which speaks to the firm's international pedigree and ability to provide solutions for virtually any medium.

"We merge high-end design and polish with the ability to solve very complex and seemingly impossible creative propositions," says B-Reel's Lins Karnes.

Just this year, the studio's XBox Glitch campaign was the first of its kind to integrate TV commercials and web content, utilising a knack for innovative storytelling and high-concept design.

36-50 top UK studios in 2014...

The members of our 2014 judging panel also considered the following studios to be outstanding contributors to the UK creative industry this year. Here, listed alphabetically, are 2014's top 36-50 UK studios...

Anomaly

The globally acclaimed Anomaly bills itself as a "new model agency" in response to the idea that the old agency models are broken and traditional solutions are becoming less effective. Backed up by an international team boasting diverse skillsets in interactive marketing, media strategy and design, Anomaly is set to lead the change.

Construct

Construct's status as design boutique reflects the studio's "small but beautiful size", its clientele and its dedication to the authentic, specialist and sophisticated. The London-based design practice offers branding, graphic design, copywriting, strategy and art direction services.

Designers Anonymous

Founded by Darren Barber and Christian Eager, Designers Anonymous is an award-winning agency that boasts close relationships with its clients, which include Carlsberg, 20th Century Fox and Tate Gallery. Working across everything from print and packaging to digital and video, the studio specialises in charismatic communications.

Future Deluxe

Future Deluxe is an experimental creative studio driven by research, technology, and the pursuit of new aesthetics and techniques. Its work covers CG, moving image, interaction, design and film production, and serves a wide range of industries, from fashion to technology, music and entertainment.

Golden Wolf

Golden Wolf is a passionate and prolific animation studio based in Shoreditch. Founded in 2013 as a sister company to leading design studio ilovedust, it specialises in imaginative animation and motion graphics. Clients include Cartoon Network, Warner Bros and Disney.

Kin

Research and design studio Kin was founded in 2008 and is made up of designers, developers and makers. Its work was shortlisted for Designs of the Year at the Design Museum in 2011 and appeared in Time Magazine's Top 10 of Everything 2010.

Love

Love is a design-led agency that takes an integrated approach to storytelling, utilising advertising, branding, digital and experiential to meet its clients' aims. Love believes that design sits at the core of brand success, and seeks to develop visionary solutions that drive conversation and engagement for global brands.

Mark Studio

Mark is an independent branding and graphic design studio. Since 2005, it has been producing work for clients of all kinds and sizes, winning a fair few awards along the way. Mark likes to keep things simple, works hard to understand a client's business and what makes it different, and works harder still to communicate that difference in the most engaging and effective way.

North

Sean Perkins launched North in 1995. The studio is responsible for a wealth of striking and innovative identities for the likes of RAC, The Royal Mint and Carat, and – as our survey shows – remains as highly thought of today as it was in the mid 90s.

Rehab Studio

Rehab is all about working with partners on a project by project basis, blending creativity and innovative technology with expert craftsmanship. The studio launched in Belfast in 2005, and since then has been busy crafting experiences that people want to talk about, share and engage with.

Saffron Brand Consultants

Saffron has a strong "one-office" philosophy and operating model. Its global team of strategists, designers and account managers work as a coherent team across its different offices to bring the best of its knowledge, skills and experience to its clients, wherever they are in the world.

Sawdust

Sawdust is the award-winning creative partnership of Rob Gonzalez and Jonathan Quainton. The pair focus on bespoke typography, image-making and visual identity across a diverse range of sectors, creating work with intelligence, visual ingenuity and meticulous craft.

Studio AKA

Studio AKA is a multi-BAFTA winning and Oscar-nominated independent animation studio, known internationally for its idiosyncratic and innovative work, which is expressed across an eclectic range of projects.

UK Government Digital Services

Although not a traditional studio, the Government Digital Services team operates like an in-house agency within government. The GDS helps government make digital services and information simpler, clearer and faster, and puts users' needs before the needs of government.

United Visual Artists

UVA is a London-based art practice that combines a wide range of disciplines including sculpture, installation, live performance and architecture. The studio has an open approach to collaboration, uniting diverse skills to continuously evolve new technologies and materials, which in turn suggest new artistic directions.