Hello, I’m Andy Cowles, founder of Inventive.media, an international design consultancy.
My passion, as both creative and content director, has always been to design for the audience first. In over 20 years of directing some of the world’s biggest media brands, I have seen that understanding people and how they relate to content is the key to creating successful business outcomes.
Wherever they are, strong brand stories need clarity, consistency and compelling ideas behind them. My mission is to create impact, build trust and deliver engagement that really makes a difference.
I love to work with progressive businesses committed to growth. Current clients include Cisco PLC, Ascential PLC, Centaur Media PLC, Time Inc. Bauer Media and Phaidon. Full-time roles have included editorial development director of Time Inc. UK, global creative director of Ink Global, creative director of Mademoiselle for Condé Nast and art director of Rolling Stone in NYC.
The enormous range of audiences I’ve worked with has shown me that identity is key to understanding how and why people connect with content. It’s not who you think you are, but who you want to be that counts. In short, how an audience feel about a brand is always more important than what they know.
I take great care over brand documentation, the key to making sure stakeholders are engaged throughout. I embed early and iterate quickly – maintaining momentum and ensuring learnings from every project are fully retained within your organisation.
Good design is good business, and always has been. My 360° approach and attention to detail delivers to Steve Jobs’ view; ‘The interface is the product’. Expect brilliant logos, outstanding typography and robust templates.
I have a strong record in new product development. I’ve designed twelve successful launches in both print and digital along with over thirty major brand reinventions, winning multiple awards along the way.
The Economist, Time Inc., Bauer, Future plc, DC Thomson, The Media Briefing, The PPA and Reed Business have all commissioned design training. Every brief is different, so every course is individually created.
‘Andy brings a laser focus and bold thinking to the task of better sales and happier readers. He delivers the triple benefit of graphic power, editorial intelligence and superb management of the strange creatures known as editorial staff.’
‘One of the best-known and most highly-regarded Creative Directors in our entire industry. I trust him like I do few others to get the job – any job – done to the highest standards.’
‘An extraordinary creative talent, Andy is also versatile – able to work in fashion, celebrity, food, shelter and news with skills spanning print, digital, mobile and video. ‘
‘Andy Cowles is a creative and commercial genius, the magic star dust we needed.’
‘Thank you so much for such a brilliant session. The team are still talking about it and we continue to use material from it to this day.’
‘After many years in the industry it’s become a less frequent event for me to see talks that are as enlightening and as engaging as yours yesterday. So thank you!’
‘We hired Andy to help us transition Farmers Guardian from tabloid to news magazine. He lived the project; our team loved working with him and learned a lot. The feedback to our new look has been overwhelmingly positive.’
‘Andy fixed all our logo development problems and many more. He gave us lots of options and listened to everything we said. He ‘got us’ as a business instantly, so the process was short, to the point and on budget.’
‘Andy empowered and guided the major players on the team so they can, and are, continuing the project’s evolution’
‘Andy Cowles had arrived, the brilliant designer of Q magazine.’
Keynote presentation on content trends at the Marketforce 2017 annual conference. More short videos of this talk can be see here.
Keynote presentation on content trends at Belgium’s annual publisher conference.
Keynote presentation on audience behaviour and cover trends.
Curator of UK’s biggest magazine conference. Co-ordinating over 60 separate speakers across six stages
Host of an all day 2015 PPA festival content stream focussing on digital trends, apps, mobile, freemium, vlogging, social sharing, digital watermarking, and more.
Sold out workshops at The Media Briefing’s International conference in both Spring and Autumn 2015 and 2016.
Keynote presentation at the 2015 editorial conference: ‘How to get more emotional engagement with your digital audience’.
Host of the 2016, 2015 and 2014 multi-platform content stream.
Keynote presentation at the 2015 PPA Independent Publisher conference.
Keynote presentation at the 2015 editorial conference.
Guest speaker at the 2014 session of The Future Of Publishing.
Presentation at the 2014 PPA Conferences in both London and Edinburgh.
Keynote speaker at the Content Marketing Association’s 2014 breakfast briefing on digital design trends.
BSME Mark Boxer Award
BSME Launch of The Year for Know Your Destiny
BSME Launch of the Year for Pick Me Up
PPA Designer of The Year
PPA Title of The Year for Empire
SPD Silver medal for illustration for Rolling Stone
SPD 20 Merit awards for Rolling Stone
D&AD Chair of Judges for editorial design
PPA Final judge for the publishing awards
PPA Final judge for the PPA independent publishing awards
PPA Scotland final Judge for the PPA Scotland awards
Final Judge for Immediate Media’s internal awards
Final judge for the BSME New Talent Awards
Managing and judging Time Inc. editorial awards between 2007 and 2013. Co-presented the ceremonies with Omid Djalili, Rob Brydon, Connie Huq and others.