No victor in free pitch

A free creative pitch by three consultancies for graphic design for Edinburgh’s new Museum of Scotland has ended in rancour.

The client has decided not to award the work to any of the groups – Pentagram, Graphic Partners and Tayburn McIlroy Coates.

All three made it to the shortlist after ten consultancies took part in a credentials pitch. The second- stage pitch was unpaid and creative, confirms the museum.

Graphic Partners is being invited to pitch again for the exhibition graphics part of the work but Pentagram and Tayburn McIlroy Coates are excluded.

The client was initially looking for one group to provide a complete 500 000 graphics package, from identity to exhibition graphics. But Museum of Scotland project director Ian Hooper says: “We have had to revise the brief in light of the first round of submissions. We concluded no one could fulfil the whole of that brief.”

The exhibition and identity work is now to be split, with the identity being entrusted with whichever public relations company wins the PR contract.

Hooper says the PR supplier will either create the identity in-house or sub-contract the work.

He says the museum hopes the identity and exhibitions solutions “can be integrated at a later stage. But we feel there are specialist inputs needed for exhibition graphics which don’t necessarily come with specialised experience in corporate identity.”

Along with Graphic Partners, the exhibition pitch will include Blue Peach, Graven Images, Millhouse and Crispin Rose-Innes. Hooper says the pitch – this time paid – will produce a winner within eight weeks. Graham Duffy, partner at Graphic Partners, says that Tayburn McIlroy Coates and Pentagram should also be asked to pitch again: “It’s appropriate if the brief has been reviewed after they too submitted work.”

Tayburn McIlroy Coates creative director Andrew Wolffe says initial pleasure at the thoroughness of the first brief has turned into frustration. “The client has received good work, good thinking – good professional advice. We are very disappointed.”

Pentagram’s John Rushworth declines to comment.

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