Merger signals design boost for Elmwood

Leeds consultancy Elmwood is absorbing one-man product consultancy Sinclair Industrial Design to boost its product work. The merger comes just weeks after Elmwood’s launch of an interiors division (DW 21 April).

Barry Sinclair, the Ilkley-based designer who was Sinclair Industrial Design, brings a portfolio of clients with him, including Black & Decker and Schindler Lifts.

The merger was inspired by Elmwood’s successful takeover of industrial design group Palmer Lynch in 1993. “We increased their turnover from about

40 000 to 150 000 in the first year,” says Elmwood managing director Jonathan Sands.

Sinclair joins the consultancy this week. He is expected to head the product division, which currently consists of the two ex-Palmer Lynch designers. “We’ve got so confident we’re starting to patent our own designs,” says Sands. In the past year the consultancy has designed “everything from urinals and bedpans for hospitals to avant-garde furniture”, he adds.

Further expansion for Elmwood’s industrial design arm is planned, along with its interiors division.

“We want to grow in physical size and do more international work, but will stick to design. I’ve no desire to move into advertising,” confirms Sands.

Jonathan Sands is to take over as chairman of the Design Business Association in August.

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