HGV founder Pierre Vermeir is closing the consultancy he founded 21 years ago, to take a job in Thailand.
Vermeir, creative director at London-based HGV, is joining Bangkok-based branding and integrated communications consultancy Keen as creative director next month.
Belgium-born Vermeir says, ‘I suppose I felt that, having run HGV for 21 years, it was time for a change. I’m a bit of a nomad – before I worked in the UK, I also worked in Dubai, Cyprus and the Caribbean. I have always been interested in Asia and this offer is too good to resist.’
He adds, ‘It was never my intention to grow the business to a sellable size. I also don’t get very emotionally attached to things. It’s easy for me to close one chapter and start a new one in Asia.’ Vermeir says he has been planning the move for some time, and HGV currently employs just four people, with those who left the consultancy not being replaced. One is Vermeir’s wife, managing director Barbara Brown, who he jokingly says he ‘hopes’ will be following him over. The other two employees are designers, and Vermeir says he is currently calling his contacts to try to get them work.
Former HGV senior designer Tommy Taylor is about to return to the UK after going travelling. Vermeir says, ‘I am happy to hand over my client contacts to him.’
HGV was founded in 1988 as Halpin Grey Vermeir, with Geoff Halpin and John Grey, and was renamed HGV in 1996. In 2004 the consultancy merged with Felton Communication to form HGVFelton, although the two consultancies demerged five months later.
Recent work completed by HGV includes the new identity for Roast restaurant in London, and the design of ten stamps celebrating British design icons for the Royal Mail.