The secrets to building a world-class brand

Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Earle's cupcake and crossbones logo and vintage 1950s cartoon style has hit the big time. But how did a college drop-out with no formal training end up with an international following and a multi-million dollar brand? 

“It was never intended to be a business. I started it as a joke from the back of my beat-up ’89 Toyota Camry,” Earle admits. “I was given random nicknames at work almost every day – I guess ‘Johnny’ is an easy name to throw a word onto the end of – so one day I made a couple of random t-shirts that said ‘Johnny Cupcakes’ for the fun of it. Everyone at work wanted one, and most of the customers did too.” 

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Julia Sagar
Editor-in-chief retail

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.