R&D&Co has this week closed its doors and ceased trading.
The east London consultancy – which has been running for five years, and in which time has notched up high-profile clients including The Old Vic and the London Design Festival and won awards for projects including The Writer – will lose its four-strong creative staff.
Both founders Rob Andrews and David Carroll have taken a ‘voluntary directors’ agreement’, according to Andrews, which means that they were able to reach an arrangement before it got to a point where the consultancy ceased to trade profitably and became insolvent.
Andrews says, ‘It was a hard decision to make, and David and I had to take a long, deep breath, asking ourselves, “Do we really want to do this?”‘
The circumstances leading up to the decision, he says, resound with those cited by The Designers Republic. The Sheffield group announced two weeks ago that it was also to close due to a number of factors, including the loss of a client, some pitches, and non-payment that compounded recessionary pressures.
Andrews says, ‘The art of running a business is about sustaining the momentum built up. It’s a balancing act between good design, maintaining clients, good management and luck. We noticed a change in the middle of last year and since then never had quite all those. We’ve done fantastic work, but you have to look forward.’
Andrews is taking time out to ‘consider his options’, while Carroll is setting up his own studio, David Carroll & Co.