Thursday 10th October 2024
Showground, Wadebridge

Crimp-ly The Best for Pasty Presto and Absolute

Absolute’s Rebrand for Pasty Presto has won a DBA Design Effectiveness Award 2016.

This is Absolute’s fifth Design Effectiveness Award in nine years, positioning them as The South West’s most
consistently effective design agency.

Founded in 1994, Pasty Presto began in the Cornish fishing village of Mevagissey, when owner Steve Grocutt saw an opportunity to employ a local butcher’s wife to make and sell pasties to tourists from a small shop. From early success, the company enjoyed steady growth over 20 years, reaching 30 shops nationally. However, following the introduction of the ‘Pasty Tax’, the mass of press coverage on obesity and healthy eating, as well as London 2012’s effect on tourism, turnover dropped, with many stores making a loss. Pasty Presto was faced with either shutting up shop or investing.

Steve Grocutt enlisted the help of creative agency Absolute, who thoroughly reviewed products, brand and customer attitudes, and strongly recommended a customer research strategy. Absolute’s creative team then brought together the brand styling and tone of voice. A new colour palette and brand ethos along with a strapline – The Cornish Bakery – gave the company a new focus and helped them differentiate themselves on the high street.

Commercial impact has been instant and staggering, allowing this relatively small company to punch well above its weight. Owner Steve Grocutt says: “The success of three trial shops gave us the confidence to invest heavily in transforming the whole business. Our new design and tone of voice has also stimulated us in to rethinking our culture and the way we do business. Now this has been rolled out, our staff are not only seeing positive sales growth but are also experiencing a totally different relationship with the company and its customers.”

Barnstaple’s shop, previously penciled for closure, was the first of three trial cases: it went from loss to profit in three months and has continued profitably since. In all, 60 jobs were saved in the six shops at most immediate risk of closure. In less than a year, the investment in brand redesign has seen failing shops open and thriving, jobs saved, a newly-focused team and increased staff morale and motivation, not to mention an overall increase in turnover of 12% on the previous year.

The compelling new brand is winning fans nationally; as a direct result, the company is undergoing major product development, rapid growth and plans to open a further eight shops. The DBA (Design Business Association) exists to promote professional excellence through productive partnerships between commerce and the design industry to champion effective design which improves the quality of people’s lives.

The DBA’s Design Effectiveness Awards reward the very best examples of design that have had a tangible and measurable effect upon business success. They are the industry standard for assessing the true impact of effective design. Winning agencies differentiate themselves as a company that clients can trust to understand their business objectives, joining a small and elite group of agencies whose experience and expertise is demonstrated through their unique approach to solving business issues through effective design. By using commercial, behavioural, societal and broader business data to measure the effectiveness of design, the awards highlight the role of design in business and play a critical role in proving to business and government that design is an investment, not a cost.

Established in Cornwall in 1991 by Helen Stephens, Absolute is a dynamic creative agency with clients across the UK and beyond. Absolute’s Interior and Graphic Design Teams deliver successful campaigns and projects for a wide range of clients and industries. Whether you need to refurbish a bar, rename a product, rebrand a college, make a video or create a website, Absolute’s expertise and experience means work is memorable, creative, compelling and effective. While their roots are firmly in Cornwall, the agency have recently worked from Newcastle to Cirencester, and from the Lake District to Stratford’s Olympic Park. Absolute have always been about much more than purely cosmetic design – it’s vital for them to get to know the client, and the product or service from the core, to deliver a design solution that not only looks great, but which really performs and delivers a financial return.

Absolute and Pasty Presto will collect either a Gold, Silver or Bronze award at the black tie Awards Ceremony on Thursday 11th February at Tobacco Dock, London. For information on The DBA and the awards, visit and For all further questions and requests, contact, or call 01872 264775.