A dispute over the future direction of graphics consultancy Ptarmigan Design has led to the sudden departure of creative director Gary Parfitt after eight years. Parfitt is to form his own design consultancy, Halo, in the New Year and may take a number of Ptarmigan clients with him.
Parfitt says he was asked to leave Ptarmigan immediately after announcing his plans to quit, although he offered to stay until the launch of Halo. “It’s been a bit nasty,” he says.
Parfitt says his decision to leave is based on differences with fellow directors at the London consultancy: “I feel I’ve been misled over where the group is going.” He had previously specialised in corporate identity and accounts work, but says that Ptarmigan is becoming increasingly involved in publishing.
Parfitt would not comment on which clients are likely to follow him to Halo. But those he has worked with include Aquascutum, Prudential, the Institute of Directors and The International Herald Tribune. Halo is likely to be based in Chelsea, and will initially be a one-man show. Depending on client numbers, Parfitt intends to recruit three or four staff.
Staff at Ptarmigan were surprised by Parfitt’s resignation, says director Mark Hodson: “No one knows where he is or what he is doing.” Julian Pertwee, the third director at Ptarmigan, says the company was protecting itself by insisting Parfitt leave so soon.
Ptarmigan is recruiting two new junior designers and promoting Jonathan Cottam to senior designer, effectively replacing Parfitt.