WElcome to

Vicki Thomas Associates

A Unique Research and Design Consultancy

What we do

We research and design products that people value and yet often choose to give away.  Intrigued? Read on…


The practice grew out of research on the designers’ role in the gift industries. Vicki has continued to advise individuals, firms and social enterprises.


We create value through our design work and we license rather than sell our intellectual property outright. We represent design archives and license that work for today’s markets.


We are an multi-disciplinary design group; with experts in ceramics, surface pattern, textiles, graphic and packaging, toy, fashion, furniture, product and spatial design.


We design new brands  from scratch and develop established brands. We create characters and extend brands  so that they can find new markets.


A picture speaks a thousand words.  We create images that are used to tell stories and express emotions. We also work with picture archives to enhance their story.

Social Research

Participant research continues so that we can understand what is valued. We monitor trends and undertake user and market research on behalf of our team and clients.

Our Story

In 1984, Vicki undertook an MA at the Royal College of Art and Victoria and Albert Museum. It was here that the consultancy grew from a historical study; Gifts: The Designers Role in the Commercialisation of Gift Exchange. It looked at how designers in the Victorian and Post War eras created products for all those special events in our lives.

A number of firms and organisations asked Vicki to continue to research and several design colleagues asked her to represent and work with them.

Now in 2018, a social and historical approach still underlies much of the work we do.


Satisfied Clients

Social Enterprises

Cups Of Tea

Why we are different

We design with a social purpose. We generate income for ourselves and others by adding value and creating the special. 

We are a multi-disciplinary practice with a range of design skills. We work across cultures, disciplines and industries such as; publishing, ceramics and textiles.

We license rather than sell our artwork and encourage others to do the same. We value intellectual property and nurture creativity.

We are participant researchers. We like to understand changes in social needs. We seek to understand the user’s experience and involve them in the design process.

We look at design a little differently.

Our Latest Work

Our designs for interiors at Clerkenwell, a Christmas Card Illustration for Glyndebourne Opera House, research for the Silk Museums in Macclesfield and ceramic designs by Jane Jones for the National Parks. Partnership.

Our Skills

We work as a team to meet out our clients needs
Most projects require a variety of design  skills. Most project start with research but at least 30% have a report element. Most require a management overview to make sure they run to budget and deliver on their aims. We are a design consultancy, so all projects have elements of visual and design creativity.
  • Research – 30%
  • Design Managment- 90%
  • Design and Product Development – 70%
  • Surface Pattern & Textile Design – 30%
  • Illustration – 30%
For us successful design often comes from watching and listening to clients and their customers.  It also comes from being inspired and taking opportunities to create something new and getting the concepts to the right audience.


Since research at the Spring Fair in 1984 exhibitions have been important to the Consultancy. We find them a valuable to meet people face to face and learn about their design needs. When we are designing we like to touch materials, find out about new components and processes in our designs.  Exhibitions provide a great opportunity to meet, to discuss and test out new designs.

Upcoming Shows

Brand Licence

1-3 Oct 2019

Stand B413

International Spring Fair

3-7 Feb 2019

Stand 9D13

What others have said
It is wonderful to get a good review….
“Vicki Thomas Associates have been awarded registration with the Design Council by virtue of their consistent high standards of project management and design capability.” Ivor Owen, Director General

John Benson, Assistant Director, Industry

“Whether you are a potter, a jeweller, a silversmith or a giftware manufacturer of any kind,  you will be better prepared to meet the future if you beg borrow, (or steal) a copy (of her dissertation).” Morris Janis, Vice-President

British Jewellery & Giftware Federation

Let’s Start Something new
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