Dutch design consultancy Una has joined forces with London graphics group Bell with a view to both parties extending their reach across Europe.
For now the deal focuses on collaboration between the two groups, working on relevant projects under the name Una and Bell, with both retaining their separate identities and clients.
But according to Hans Bockting, co-founder with Will de L’Ecluse of the ten-strong Una, this “preliminary arrangement” is expected to result in a formal tie-up in the next one to two years.
Amsterdam-based Una has attracted interest from UK clients, notably at London’s Design Shows of 1996 and 1997, but the fact that it has no UK office has proved a drawback, says Bockting.
Nick Bell, whose four-strong consultancy is creating the identity for the prestigious Lottery-funded Harbour Centre for performing arts in Bristol and works on CD covers for Virgin Classics, says he was “wanting to grow a bit and look European, rather than British”.
Bockting and de L’Ecluse have known Bell for ten years and the three have collaborated on some projects over the years. According to Bell, they bring together two cultures and share the same design values.
They will work alongside each other on projects, rather than handle work exclusively in Amsterdam or London.
Nick Bell has been appointed art director of quarterly graphics magazine Eye by its publisher Quantum. His consultancy, Bell, will design the next 88-page magazine under his direction, due out in March. He takes over from founder art director Stephen Coates.