Five make the grade on to Northwest RDA design panel

Five groups have been appointed to the Northwest Regional Development Agency’s latest design panel.

Manchester consultancies Glorious Creative, Mark Studio, Vivid and Hemisphere, as well as Liverpool group Kaleidoscope ADM have been selected from a shortlist of nine, distilled from 66 initial applications.

The tender for the NWDA’s third design panel, which will provide design services to help promote the region, was issued through the Official Journal of the European Communities last May (DW 30 May 2007).

The five successful consultancies will now be able to pitch for commissioned projects that will span business-to-business, corporate, tourism and place branding categories.

NWDA head of marketing services Nigel Dove, who oversaw the selection process, says that the panel will be in place for a maximum of four years.

‘We’ve deliberately kept the panel small because we want to make sure that all of the groups get work. It’s easier to build relationships that way. We’ll look at pitching out bulk jobs and aggregate pieces of work for a number of years. For example, with our cultural campaign we’ll be putting out cinema and press advertising, but it will be for a considerable amount of time,’ says Dove.

He reveals that the tender process was ‘rigorous’, in that groups were asked to answer two strategic and corporate identity briefs – for the Kendal Mountain Film Festival and the Ancoats Urban Village regeneration project in Manchester – both incorporating implementation.

According to Dove, the NWDA’s in-house design team worked on the brief simultaneously, comparing external entries to its own offerings to test external consultancies’ understanding of key issues and audiences. But although the briefs undertaken by design groups as part of the tender were ‘live, relevant examples’, they may ‘not necessarily be taken forward’, says Dove.

The NWDA is also putting together a new media panel, with groups including Manchester-based Love vying for a place. The development agency has so far received entries from 30 digital groups.

NWDA panel composition

Print – eight consultancies and in existence for two years
Event marketing – currently being put together
Design – just finalised and comprising five consultancies
Public relations – existing panel
New media – under review

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