Designworks opens southern outpost, unconcerned about Nor’Wester

It wasn’t too long ago that Designworks – and, possibly, the entire design community – was celebrating a big win at the recent 2010 Vero Excellence in Business Support Awards. And now it’s got some more positive news to crow about, with a new branch set to open in Christchurch.

Designworks’ Group chief executive Sven Baker says opening a Christchurch office is something that’s been on his t0-do list for a few years now. It already has a number of clients down south, such as AMI, PGG Wrightsons and Delta, so it will enable the company to better serve them, but he hopes it will also allow them to help more South Island businesses “achieve their local and global ambitions”.

He says it was just serendipitous timing that Designworks won the Vero Supreme Award just before opening this new branch, which he says is an effort to keep the momentum the company has built up recently going. There are now 55 staff across the two Designworks offices in Auckland and Wellington and he says that number grew by 15 percent over the last year.

Odele Rodgers, who at present has the impressive title of account leadership – delivery, will be “first off the boat when we hit the beach” and has moved to Christchurch to head the establishment of the office, which will open in mid June (in case you’re strolling past, it’s situated at Level 2, 122 Victoria Street). At first the southern office will be led by a small core team, and Baker will spend one day a week in Christchurch.

“We believe Designworks has a unique offering, with a range of specialist skills and capabilities not currently available in Christchurch, but vital to driving growth and building value.”

In other designy news, Salt Design, the studio set up by graphic designers Michael Chalberg and Stephen Hurdley ten years ago, is re-branding as Salt Interactive to reference the fact that digital work has now become their main focus.

“Since 2000 we’ve been creating interactive marketing campaigns [including this recent impressive campaign for the National Depression Initiative]and engaging websites for a long list of top notch clients and that has gradually become the core of our business,” Hurdley says.

And Chalberg says: “The name is changing but our formula for great creative stays the same: hard work, more hard work and even more hard work.”

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