Welcome to the Computer Arts UK Studio Rankings 2018! Computer Arts magazine (opens in new tab) polled over 60 top creative directors, studio founders and design course leaders from across the UK to find out which industry peers they most revere and respect, to produce its annual UK Studio Rankings. This is all about peer reputation – regardless of number of staff, operating budget or awards won. The 30 world-class studios on this list are there because their fellow designers think they should be.
These are the UK studios behind the best logos (opens in new tab), brilliant print ads (opens in new tab) and incredible packaging designs we've seen this year. Read on to discover the UK’s top 30 studios of 2018. Use the drop-down menu above to jump to a different part of the list, or see how the studios have fared by comparing to the UK Studio Rankings 2017 (opens in new tab).
30. Julia (opens in new tab)
- Founded: 2008
- Number of staff: 3
Since it was founded 10 years ago, Julia has worked hard enough to now expand offices into Europe. "The spirit didn’t change much," says Valerio Di Lucente, whose delighted to have made our list following an identity overhaul for Publics agency. "It's nice to realise that people recognise what we do."
29. Six (opens in new tab)
- Founded: 2007
- Number of staff: 20
Taking the 29th spot, Six’s Darren Jessopos cites "working on large branding projects in London, LA, Tokyo, Dubai and Paris" as his 2018 highlights. Having since relaunched a large new mag brand in 1010, the MD believes "a very strong in-house digital offer" is where the studio’s strength lies.
28. Johnson Banks (opens in new tab)
- Founded: 1992
- Number of staff: 8
Despite slipping down eight places, Johnson Banks' creative director Michael Johnson believes that 2019 is looking healthy, not least since the studio now has "a clutch of significant projects starting soon, including in the USA". How does the studio stand out? "Create bulletproof strategy and narrative".
27. NB studio (opens in new tab)
- Founded: 1998
- Number of staff: 12
Ranking higher than last year, NB Studio creative director Alan Dye is confident the success is due to "the new team working effortlessly together". Though there have been challenges, he suggests "it’s been the same but with an added Brexit Effect". In terms of 2019 prospects? “Watch this space.”
26. Supple Studio (opens in new tab)
- Founded: 2013
- Number of staff: 5
Inching ever upwards is Supple Studio, whose 2018 client list has included such heavy hitters as Film4, Royal Mail and Childline. “It seems like the industry in general has had a good year,” says founder Jamie Elull. “It feels like the small agency model is being recognised by clients as one that can deliver.”
25. Robot Food (opens in new tab)
- Founded: 2009
- Number of staff: 22
“It’s great for the team to get recognition that really counts,” says Simon Forster, Robot Food founder, on the studio’s first time charting our list. He’s adamant that in 2019 success is sure to continue. “We’re working on a refresh for one of the world’s most exciting brands, hitting shelves next year.”
24. DixonBaxi (opens in new tab)
- Founded: 2001
- Number of staff: 30
London-based studio DixonBaxi is celebrating another good year, having recently bought a new workspace. “Despite a government who are asleep at the wheel, we feel very positive,’ says co-founder Simon Dixon when looking ahead. “We’re in a good place studio, both in terms of clients and the team.”
23. SPIN (opens in new tab)
- Founded: 1992
- Number of staff: 6
As if designing not one, but two Computer Arts covers this year wasn’t already a highlight, creative director Tony Brook cites “working with Apple for the first time, and the BBC,” as 2018 wins. “We have a bunch of amazing possibilities already lined up,” he says, “many of which we are making ourselves.”
22. B&B Studio (opens in new tab)
- Founded: 2009
- Number of staff: 25
“We’re pretty unique within the industry for our focus on brand creation and working with start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators,” says creative partner Shaun Bowen. “It’s absolutely our specialism and the core of what we do, rather than a nice distraction – often the case in larger agencies.”
21. Office of Craig Oldham (opens in new tab)
- Founded: 2013
- Number of staff: 2
Always looking forward, in 2019 Craig hopes “to continue a healthy disregard for the establishment, and continue to let our morales lead us both towards the money we need, as well as our own merriment and meaning.” In 2018 he released the successful Oh Shit What Now?! (opens in new tab) book with Laurence King.
Next page: Computer Arts 2018 Studio Rankings 20-11