Branding group Curious is on the verge of forming an alliance with a Polish group as part of an ongoing programme to form a network of alliances across the globe.
The move comes at a time of considerable expansion in the Polish market, which has created a significant increase in work for UK design consultancies.
Curious development director Ylva Persson says the group has “exchanged documentation” with two consultancies and expects to finalise an agreement with one of them in the near future. She will not name either group, but says both work in branding and share the same philosophy as Curious.
“We have not yet worked out the finer details. We are not thinking of buying shares in any group and have not yet decided whether our Polish partner will operate under the Curious banner,” says Persson.
Curious has previously formed alliances with groups in South Africa and Australia. Both operate under the Curious banner, although each has remained independent. When working on joint projects the lead group pays its sister groups for their input from the client fee, says Persson.
“Poland is a good place to set up because it is a gate to Eastern Europe. It is a growing economy and a lot of its marketing directors are looking to UK design groups to inject an international flair,” adds Persson.
Fitch director Phil Wren agrees Poland is currently a “very, very” good market for UK design groups. Fitch has just completed interiors for Poland’s first multiplex cinema, Multikino (pictured). This includes a popcorn bar, a pick’n’mix area, an ice cream parlour and a film merchandise shop. Lambie-Nairn worked up Multikino’s identity. Fitch has also recently created a new retail concept for Poland’s Bank Slaski.
“Poland is widely regarded by manufacturers as the focal point of Eastern Europe. Over the past five to seven years most European manufacturers have developed some kind of presence there and many of them now have a manufacturing capability,” says Siebert Head sales and marketing director Satka Gidda.
Siebert Head set up a five-strong office in Warsaw earlier this year (DW 20 February).
“Traditionally, Polish ad agencies have done the design work, but the growing economy together with the increasing importance of design have created great opportunities for designers,” adds Gidda.