Virgin Group expansion offers up opportunities

Virgin Group is looking to expand its record label, drinks, retail, airline and new media interests, and there are design appointments yet to be decided.

New record label V2 Records has no designers yet but “may appoint soon”, says a Virgin spokesman. V2 is expected to be running by the end of this year.

A new Virgin store is opening in mid-July at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Two. Design work is by Leeds consultancy Watson Design and Design Clinic, which has also been appointed to oversee the design for a Virgin Stores magazine launching later this year.

“There will be no other designers involved. We need to ensure the magazine fits well with other retail publications,” says another Virgin spokesman.

Meanwhile, the company is considering a change in store format. “Design Clinic and Watson design will be involved if alterations are necessary,” adds the spokesman.

Design Clinic is also involved in a pitch to design packaging for Virgin Beer, a project which “may not go ahead”, says a Virgin spokeswoman who would not comment on other pitch participants.

Rodney Fitch and Design Clinic’s umbrella firm The FM Group are awaiting the results of a pitch to design the identity for the newly-acquired renamed airline Virgin Express.

On-screen design for Virgin’s Internet service Virgin Net, due to be running by December, is by in-house art director Rik Gadsby.

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