Moves and changes: design industry news

All the latest moves and changes across the design industry


Wolff Olins has been on a hiring drive to bolster its creative, strategic and culture offering. Among the eleven new creatives, four new strategists and three additions to the engagement team, the global brand consultancy has hired Instagram global brand strategy lead Kwesi Blair as senior strategy director in New York. Joining this month, he will be working across strategy for US and global clients, focusing on deepening the studio’s culture and employee experience offer.

James McNaught – who has previously spent time at Zag, DixonBaxi and Koto – has been appointed as Wolff Olins’ associate creative director in London. There have also been three internal promotions within the creative team, including Jess Yan in New York and Matthew Haysom in London becoming creative directors. It is also looking to hire a new creative director and senior designer in London.

Studio North’s new hires from left to right: Tanya Fox, Daisy Whalley, and Lola Banks

Manchester-based strategic brand and design consultancy Studio North has made a trio of new hires as it looks to expand both of its teams and develop new business in North America. Lola Banks joins as senior account manager, with Tanya Fox recruited as junior designer and Daisy Whalley coming on board as account executive.

Krow Group’s youth specialist agency Livity has appointed Gorgia Brewer as head of strategy and Rachael Kendrick as creative director. The additions will look to strengthen Livity’s capabilities and drive business and social impact.

JDO business growth manager Steph Dove

Strategic brand design agency JDO has announced the appointment of Steph Dove as its new business growth director. Having previously worked at Bulletproof, Brand Union (now Design Bridge and Partners) and Elmwood, where she worked on brands such as Heineken, and Unilever, Dove brings a wealth of experience to the role.

Independent brand strategy and design agency CBX has promoted Satoru Wakeshima to partner. He started at the agency as head of client services and most recently served as managing director and chief engagement officer.

Agile Studio executive creative director Daniel Canetti

Agile Studio has rebranded with a new visual identity, rolled out a new website and appointed a new executive creative director. Daniel Canetti’s appointment will require him to steer creative direction and lead on projects in collaboration with Agile Studio’s portfolio of directors, animators and digital creative artists.


Thompson Brand Partners has rebranded to ThreeTenSeven as it moves to become a specialist brand transformation consultancy focused on health and wellbeing. The agency is currently the brand guardian for NHS England and is also working within a five-year strategy following the 2018 management buyout to build upon its reputation in the health and wellbeing sector.

Global cultural consultancy Barker Langham has completed its transition to an Employee-Owned Trust (EOT). The new framework means that Barker Langham employees now own a majority of the company, while co-founders Darren Barker and Eric Langham will continue to lead the business on a day-to-day basis, alongside an experienced team of global directors in offices around the world.

Special Projects’ new studio. Photo credit: Colin Ross

Special Projects has relocated its headquarters to Richmond, west London, leaving behind its previous space in Shoreditch to be among the more natural surroundings that inspire its design work. The studio’s new building is home to an eclectic mix of creative businesses, from artists to tailors.

Havas has acquired a majority stake (51%) in Uncommon Creative Studio. The Uncommon founders will retain a material stake in the business (49%), “maintaining their entrepreneurial zest, growing their brand globally and sharing best practice across Havas and parent company Vivendi”, according to Havas.

Dutch creative studio From Form has adopted a new brand identity and website for its 10th anniversary. From Form was founded by husband-and-wife team Ashley Govers and Jurjen Versteeg in 2013 and has since taken on commercial and independent projects including short films, campaigns, commercials, film titles, graphic design, photography, and animation. Its new look seeks to capture the founders’ love for colour, film typography and nostalgic aesthetics.

3D visualisation expert Chaos has acquired animation software provider AXYZ design, which specialises in the creation of 3D/4D models of individual people and crowds. Chaos is known for its portfolio of real-time visualisation tools, photorealistic rendering software, and 3D asset libraries within the architecture and design industry, but its customers had been requesting services with AXYZ can now provide. AXYZ’s anima 5 software aims to help to make designs more real and credible by giving stakeholders an idea of how people would use the spaces.

Hide Comments (1)Show Comments (1)
  • Andrea Foster August 2, 2023 at 10:22 am

    Exciting news in the design industry! It’s inspiring to see agencies like Wolff Olins, Studio North, and JDO expanding their teams and bringing in talented individuals to drive innovation and creativity. Congrats to all the new hires and promotions, and kudos to consultancies like Thompson Brand Partners and Barker Langham for their transformative journeys. I can’t wait to see the amazing work that will surely come next! ????????????

  • Post a comment

Latest articles