About Inventive

Andy Cowles

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.

Clients and roles

I love to work with progressive businesses committed to growth. Current clients include Cisco PLCAscential PLCCentaur Media PLCTime IncBauer 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.

What’s in it for you?


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., BauerFuture plcDC ThomsonThe Media BriefingThe 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.’

Scott Mowbray, Editor-In-Chief, health.com

‘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.’

Barry McIlheney, PPA CEO

‘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. ‘

Evelyn Webster, EVP, Time Inc. USA

‘Andy Cowles is a creative and commercial genius, the magic star dust we needed.’

Inca Waddell, Marketing Director, Phaidon

‘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.’

Sally Shelford, Editor-In-Chief, Loose Women, ITV

‘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!’

Andrew Mills, Operations and Buying Manager, Tesco

‘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.’

Neil Thackery, Media Briefing CEO

‘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.’

Lynda Newland, Marketing Director, Puzzler Media

‘Andy empowered and guided the major players on the team so they can, and are, continuing the project’s evolution’

Steve Newbold, Managing Director, Centaur Media

‘Andy Cowles had arrived, the brilliant designer of Q magazine.’

Mark Ellen, from 'Rock Stars Stole My Life'



Keynote presentation on content trends at the Marketforce 2017 annual conference. More short videos of this talk can be see here.

UPP, Belgium 2017

Keynote presentation on content trends at Belgium’s annual publisher conference.

PPA Retail forum 2017

Keynote presentation on audience behaviour and cover trends.

PPA Festival 2016 and 2017

Curator of UK’s biggest magazine conference. Co-ordinating over 60 separate speakers across six stages

The Buzz

Host of an all day 2015 PPA festival content stream focussing on digital trends, apps, mobile, freemium, vlogging, social sharing, digital watermarking, and more.

Monetizing Digital Media

Sold out workshops at The Media Briefing’s International conference in both Spring and Autumn 2015 and 2016.

William Reed Business Media

Keynote presentation at the 2015 editorial conference: ‘How to get more emotional engagement with your digital audience’.

PPA independent publishers conference

Host of the 2016, 2015 and 2014 multi-platform content stream.

Four trends and a truth

Keynote presentation at the 2015 PPA Independent Publisher conference.

DC Thomson

Keynote presentation at the 2015 editorial conference.

Guardian Masterclass

Guest speaker at the 2014 session of The Future Of Publishing.

Building trust in content

Presentation at the 2014 PPA Conferences in both London and Edinburgh.

Digital design trends

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.