MGL is an offshoot to the Meiklejohn advertising and publishing illustration agency.
The firm was formed in 1983 to produce collections of original artwork for licensing to manufacturers. Its first deal was for posters with Athena, and today, MGL Licensing develops and creates a continuous stream of commercial images for licensing worldwide.
The licensing deals coming out of the company span a wide range of categories including apparel, homewares, cosmetics, puzzles, stationery, toys and sporting goods.
In 1995, the firm began to create character concepts which it hoped would compete with entertainment and sports properties in the licensing arena. Adam Meiklejohn, MD, explains: "This has led to the development of a number of intellectual properties that, even without the support of film or television, have gained worldwide recognition with proven retail success."
MGL handles all the worldwide rights to its art, meaning there is just one point of contact for all territories. Meiklejohn adds: "Secondly, there is no licensor to give approval (or disapproval), the MGL team are able to instigate a fast approval process, ensuring a very smooth turnaround."
He continues: "Another distinct advantage is that, unlike multi-national entertainment licences, with MGL's art, there isn't the pressure to create ever more thinly sliced categories.
"Therefore licences for broad product ranges, with a large degree of exclusivity, can be offered to manufacturers across wide territories."
One such licence is the firm's most successful to date - Reilly. The design based property has a unique style, which appeals to a wide target audience. Meiklejohn explains: "The property also benefits from international vig name clients such as Jimmy Choo, Coke and countless others."
Properties like this have meant that MGL was robust throughout the economic downturn over the last year. Meiklejohn explains: "Fortunately, MGL did not feel the full force of the economic downturn in 2010. The company benefited from increased licensing revenue therefore has had the opportunity to expand its work force and bring on new artists and develop new properties.
"Increased sales are not only due to our reputation and flexibility, but could also be attributed to licensees looking for alternate options to expensive TV character licences."
Over the next 12 months, the company plans to rebrand and refresh its corporate identity with a new fully interactive website and print shop in order to continue its success.
And to create that success in the first place? Meiklejohn says you need: "Great art which is distinctive from the competition. Keeping ahead of trends and fashion. Being flexible and working jolly hard."
Once the properties are in place, MGL operates a multi-faceted marketing programme, which includes traditional ads and trade shows, including BLE, Surtex and Licensing International Expo, along with monthly newsletters and email flashes promoting new activity, as well as inviting cross marketing and sales opportunities.