BLE announces 2021 Kelvyn Gardner License This! shortlist

Published on: 1st November 2021

The final will take place Friday 19th November at Excel London when Brand Licensing Expo returns for its long-awaited in-person event. 

Rosie Roars, SeedFolk and Eat Dirt are all finalists in the 2021 Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition.

Brand Licensing Europe has unveiled the nine finalists who will battle it out to win one of three Kelvyn Gardner License This! awards. BLE takes place in person from 17th-19th November at Excel London, followed by an online event running from 30th November to 1st December. Register for free at

There are three categories for 2021, including a new Product Design award launched in partnership with Mojo Nation which sees designers tasked with inventing a desktop accessory inspired by Aardman’s Morph IP. The Character & Animation and Brand & Design categories are both aimed at unlicensed brands and properties. The judges look for new creative concepts which have the potential to spread across multiple product categories.

Chair of the judging panel, Ian Downes, director of Start Licensing, said: “The standard of entries this year for the Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition was very high. It was encouraging to see so many original ideas and concepts. The entrants put a lot of effort into the competition crafting some compelling entries and it was tough to draw up a shortlist. Based on the quality of entries it is clear that there is no shortage of creativity in and around licensing at the moment and the industry can be assured there is plenty of fresh thinking going on.”

The nine finalists are:

1. Brand & Design Category

  • Pencil & Tie – Designer Mark creates onefold and witty stationery, which manifests itself in the (paper) product design and/or the illustration(s) used. With a lifelong passion for stationery, years of design experience for A-list brands and an attachment to Japanese culture, Pencil & Tie produces lovable and sustainable stationery products in its lab in the Netherlands.
  • Tea for Tattoo – Sophie Jonas-Hill brings together two great British passions – drinking tea and getting tattooed. Tea for tattoo is a series of hand-drawn motifs which bring together the colour palette and style of traditional blue and white ceramics, with the aesthetic and cheeky edge of old school tattoos.
  • Aline Cervo – Aline Bea is a surface pattern designer, illustrator and digital nomad. Inspired by nature, simple things in life, and her own journey, she draws everything from flowers to buildings and abstract compositions. The stories embedded in her designs talk about bravery, courage, love and connection, about noticing the details, and abundance and presence.

2. Character & Animation Category:

  • Els Doodles: Rosie Roars – Els Morris. This illustrated story book follows three-year-old Rosie. Her favourite animal is a lion: she even wants to be one when she grows up. Her family helps her to discover different animals and she decides that being a ‘buzzy, hopping, rainbow roaring me’ is the perfect person to be. This book teaches little ones that it’s good to celebrate who they are, while learning about others along the way.
  • Eat Dirt – Stacy Moore. Eat Dirt is a series of humorous stories and poems for children aged 2-5 years old, designed to inspire a love of veggies, gardening, and outdoor play, served up with a big dose of pure silliness. The lovable main characters include Grumpy Bean and his seven vegetable friends, plus the Green Thumb Chums and Toad.
  • Seeding Cards & Gifts – Joel Mercer. SeedFolk has been developed by the innovative creative team behind Seedlings Cards & Gifts. This lovable range of characters care for native habitats and wildflower seeds.

3. Product Design Category

  • Jon Morse – Tomato Source
  • Chris de Junien – Imagine8
  • Wayne Lindsay – Imaginnovation

The three designers in this category will pitch their concepts to the judges during the live final.


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