Founder Tom Lovett leaves Vibrandt

One of Vibrandt’s founding members, Tom Lovett, is leaving the consultancy, Design Week can reveal.


Lovett’s imminent exit, expected at the end of this year, is the latest in a series of departures from the Windsorbased packaging and branding design consultancy, part of holding company 1HQ, which also incorporates divisions Distillery and Vibrandt Form.


Lovett’s departure, due to personal reasons, has been planned for a number of years, says chief executive John Sandom. ‘Tom handed in his notice two years ago, and has been in a role to commercially consolidate the company since,’ he explains.


Eight staff across the group, including art workers and designers, were made redundant last month, while three account directors left the consultancy in the period between July and September.


The company has gone through a period of restructuring following the exits of former managing director Jayne Lilly and chairman Ray Armes, who both left earlier this year.


‘We wanted to have a different regime, and saw this as an opportunity to do things differently and bring in different people. When Ray and Jayne left, we needed to change the culture. Some people want change, and some don’t,’ says Sandom. He hints that the business is looking at expansion next year.


Both Lilly and Armes are pursuing solo ventures, with Lilly moving to Bath to set up marketing and advertising group The Collaborators. Armes is expected to make a comeback next year, with the formation of a new packaging and branding design consultancy.


He has had a long-standing relationship with Unilever, and should be free from contractual client restrictions in January.


Former The Brand Union and Parker Williams designer Pete Hollingsworth has been at the helm of 1HQ as managing partner since the end of June, appointed hot on the heels of the launch of Vibrandt Form, the group’s new product design and innovation arm.


The board currently includes Sandom, director Helen Leeson, comm ercial director Lovett, and managing partners Mary Say and Hollingsworth.

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