Simplify well

We are strategic designers. Our approach to your brand is clear and methodical. From discovery to design to delivery, we put creativity in a framework.

It’s how we find the strongest expression of your rich history, and help you achieve more than you thought possible.

Our Process

We apply our approach of simplifying well to everything we do, whether you’re looking to create a new brand, refresh an old one, or produce a tactical marketing piece.


We begin by listening to your stakeholders and your audience. This gets us to the heart of your challenge.


We use our research to focus on what makes you distinctive and relevant. We clarify why you matter now, not just what you do.


We design all the elements that capture and express the essence of your brand.


We deliver the whole suite of marketing materials. Your brand’s newfound relevance can now drive growth.

The Team

Gary McIlwaine

Gary McIlwaine

Creative Director

Gary started out at a design studio in Belfast in the 1990s, after training as a graphic designer. He came to London to work for a new media company in 1999 and established Sparks as a professional design studio in 2003.

Tom Cross

Tom Cross

Senior Designer

Tom graduated from Falmouth University with first–class honours. Since he has worked with several design studios across the country, creating idea–driven and distinctive work for global leaders and local start–ups. He joined the Sparks team in November of 2020

Tony Waghorn

Tony Waghorn

Digital Projects Manager

Tony’s interest in web and design started while graduating and working for a software company.
He took this interest into the charity sector, managing media and digital projects, including a web infrastructure serving 14 global office centres in multiple languages. Tony joined the Sparks team in 2022.

Claire Aston

Claire Aston

Strategic Writer

Claire trained as a print journalist, reporting and researching for national newspapers. After a fascinating press trip with Christian Aid, she joined the media team and worked her way up to be global Head of Communications. Since 2020, Claire has been supporting various companies and charities with their communications and brand strategy.

Jonny Barker

Jonny Barker


Jonny is a full–stack web developer with 18 years of experience. With a first–class MSc in computer engineering from Southampton, his interests extend from web and app development to embedded software and electronics. He also plays keyboard in the folk–rock collective Flight Brigade.

Andrew Crick

Andrew Crick

Digital Analyser

Andrew specialises in search engine optimisation (SEO). Since 2003, he’s worked with a wide range of clients, such as Kingsley Napley, to help them achieve top rankings on Google and other search engines. Andrew has a first–class MSc degree in theoretical physics from the University of Exeter.

In Print

Sticky Graphics

Glaser & Knight

26 Treasures

John Simmons

A Grassy Knoll

Icon Issue 053

Sight Specifics

Miser & Now Issue 10

Step on the Grass

Sublime Magazine Issue 4

Our use of cookies

This site relies on cookies to work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it.

You can read more in our Cookie Notice


We use cookies to protect our site and users, and to enable necessary functionality.

Analytics cookies

We would like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it.