Northcross appoints new design director

Scottish group Northcross has appointed a new design director, Charles Barr, to its board in preparation for further expansion.

His appointment to the new position comes just weeks after that of Direct Line founder Peter Wood as the design group’s non-executive chairman (DW 3 April).

Northcross chief executive John Slater says the group has acquired additional space next to its Edinburgh base, which will allow its design team to double in size. “It will be a gradual increase over a period of time,” says Slater.

The group has also bought a site with planning permission, next to the offices of York consultancy Ideas, which it acquired last year. Prototype-making facilities are to be developed to allow the company to move into product development work, says Slater.

He does not rule out further acquisitions. “If we come across like-minded people there is no reason why not,” he says.

Barr has previously held positions at Design House, Smith & Milton, Tayburn and Singapore group Batey Ads. “My experience is in brand development and graphics, and that is the area I will be working in,” says Barr.

He will work alongside creative director Graham Russell and graphic design director Kay Smith for clients including Direct Line and The Scottish Rugby Union.

Northcross also acquired Edinburgh manufacturing group Isys last year. It now employs around 60 staff and has a turnover in the region of 6m per annum.

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