Perry Haydn Taylor, founder and creative director of big fish®, shares some favourite sites.

Perry Haydn Taylor is founder and creative director of London brand, design + marketing consultancy, big fish®. He has spent the last twenty-five years specialising in helping entrepreneurs to develop challenger brands.

At the tender age of 47, he has extensive experience in helping start (and has personally invested in) a range of businesses including, Biscuiteers, Cornishware, Tom&Co, Chesil Smokery and a new premium Cuban coffee brand called Alma de Cuba. He is also an advisor to the British clothing company, Boden, who were one of big fish’s first clients.

Perry is best known for developing commercially successful brands that have subsequently been sold for significant sums of money such as Gü (£33m), Dorset Cereals (£47m), Clipper (£35m) and, most recently, Tyrrells (£100m).

He’s a firm believer that life’s too short to settle for second best and that typography should be part of the national curriculum.

Perry lives in Somerset with his wife, Vik, and his three daughters all of whom he named after typefaces.


My all time favourite website… Without question, has been the most challenging and most successful digital project I've ever worked on. I was lucky enough to be part of the startup team with founders Rohan Blacker and Pat Reeves who decided to create a game changer in online retailing. Six years ago no one believed anyone would buy a sofa online. Pat flew to America and gave some bloke in a bar the price of a small house for the domain name. Rohan started designing and making sofas and I looked after the branding and website with my team at big fish® . The rest is history. Today we sell nearly £20 million worth of fabulously designed and beautifully made sofas online each year.

Most exciting online tool… FontStruct - It was my eldest daughter who introduced me to this site when she was designing a new font for her award-winning children's book review blog, BookometerBookometer.

Ok, so I admit, I'm a tad obsessed with typefaces, but for those people who go wobbly at the knees at the thought of creating a perfectly formed font for themselves, this site has it all. Amazing graphics, incredibly simple, easy-to-use interface and it's free!

Most useful alternative to flowers… Biscuiteers - Another one of ours I'm afraid. "Why send flowers when you can send biscuits?" This website is perfect for anyone who doesn't know what to send that person who has everything. They make incredible iced biscuits decorated in all sorts of crazy themes, which you can browse simply and easily and send the same day. Perfect for forgetful people like me.

Most visually stunning web typography… Fontwalk - Another type site I’m afraid. This beautiful and slightly bonkers German site takes you on a scrolling journey through three typefaces: FF Mark, Feine runde Linien, and FF Kievit Slab. Commissioned by online font retailer, FontShop and coded by German digital agency null2, the result might be taxing for slower computers but proves an amazing showcase for the typefaces in question.

Most technically inspiring… PatternSketch - Rob, our digital guru at big fish® showed me this experiment in creating a browser-based music tool. It's a drum sequencer written entirely in HTML and Javascript. As a result, it feels like something created for the web: beats can be exported directly into SoundCloud, for example, allowing you to share ideas and collaborate. Although only an experiment, PatternSketch offers a glimpse into a future in which capable web apps actually derive an advantage from their status, rather than being poor relations of their native counterparts.

Most absurdly brilliant… Lexican - The typography might hark back to the days of Web 2.0, but the words hark back even further: this site offers some hidden gems of the English language, antiquated words that well deserve resurrection. From "pettifogger" to "jirble", from "gobemouche" to "ragmatical", drop them into everyday conversation to amuse and surprise — or just convince people you've travelled in time from the 17th century. (Also thanks to Rob!)

My wife's favourite website… TG Green - When we had our third child, I wanted to buy my wife an amazing present to mark the occasion. I went looking for her favourite thing in the world, which is Cornishware, but sadly the business was going into liquidation. I managed to find the guy who was buying the company out of bankruptcy and did a deal with him to become a partner. We now jointly own it with Charles Rickards and a few others and my wife is a very happy bunny and our house is now full of the stuff!

Most simple but brilliant use of the web… - This childrens’ project site is a cracking example of what the web does best, which is to allow people to share, learn and inspire others. This site allows children to upload, share and evolve projects and learn new skills. It's actually too difficult to explain how it works, but trust me, it's any eleven-year-old's dream site, so parents check it out now. We're doing something similar for our client Yeo Valley.

Most useful app… Hailo - If, like me, you've spent many hours standing in the rain waiting for a cab only to be pipped to the post by someone standing ahead of you with longer, more eager arms, then this app will bring you tears of joy.

Thanks to Hailo with it's super simple interface, you can get a cab in just two clicks. Not only that, but it tells you the name of your driver, where he is, how long before he'll get to you and allow you to pay by credit card. This app is pure genius, and like all of the examples above, I wish I'd created it.

9 October 2013