• A designer who builds successful brands with bright ideas, clear thinking and intelligent design.

Tuesday 14th August 2018

Gary Cooke

The DNA of a designer

The creative industry has changed dramatically since I took my first tentative steps through the doors of my local art college back in 1970. 

What hasn’t changed is my desire to still be part of it, and there are some things that never change – great ideas! 

At the Royal College of Art I learnt that ideas are what mattered most. Great ideas do not happen by accident but by exploring different ways of doing things – making new connections. Being innovative and embracing creativity can be scary. Logic and gut instinct don’t often go hand-in-hand, yet fresh ideas and new ways of presenting what you do will help differentiate you from everyone else. 

I am a very experienced hand-holder, that guides businesses and organisations along the potentially dangerous road of creativity that is littered with false promises, hot air and mediocre design.

As a Creative Director for many years my experience has not been limited to sitting down and designing but inspiring and mentoring others, leading brainstorms internally and externally and getting the best out of everyone and every idea.

In the past
I was a founding partner of Horseman Cooke, later to become Open Agency. From the day we started in 1983 we quickly established ourselves as an innovative design agency specialising in packaging, creating award-winning designs for Marks & Spencer, Sainsburys, Tesco, and Boots. We branched out to create a diverse portfolio of work that included an award-winning website for the London Eye, a magical marketing campaign for Disney World, a global communications campaign for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the largest floating exhibition in the world onboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and we became a leading supplier to Royal Mail and the Post Office. 

In 2011 I set up Cooke With An E to create a real difference and positive change for businesses and organisations who want to be special. In 2013 with Cat Townsend I set up the Feelgood Agency – delivering innovative and creative programs that help people and businesses think, behave and believe they can make the world a better place.