LONDON, UK — Creative transformation company WPP has announced the creation of a new company, Design Bridge and Partners, formed by the merger of Design Bridge and Superunion. Launching in January 2023, the new company will enable clients to leverage a full range of industry-leading design expertise, driving growth and transformation through consumer, business, lifestyle, and experience design.
The complementary skills and client bases of Design Bridge and Superunion will make Design Bridge and Partners an industry leader in design, with centers of excellence in key locations worldwide and a client roster of leading brands. John Morris, currently CEO of Design Bridge, will take on the role of CEO of the new global business, in partnership with Jim Prior, currently CEO of Superunion, as Chair.
Design Bridge and Partners will bring together experts in every aspect of brand strategy and design (including graphic, motion, digital, physical, and communication design) with a shared creative philosophy of using the power of exceptional design to solve business and societal challenges. The new company will also have a strong cultural focus on collaboration and nurturing talent. For existing talent there will be new growth opportunities such as upskilling across all areas of design, working with a broader range of leading clients, and increased mobility across a larger global company and the wider WPP network.
Design Bridge is recognized globally as one of the leading design agencies for consumer brands and counts among its clients Diageo, Unilever, Mastercard and Fortnum & Mason. Superunion is a multi-award-winning agency renowned for its expertise in corporate branding and brand experience work for clients such as NASA, Bank of America, Intel, and the BBC.
The two agencies will continue to operate as separate entities until the end of the year and the structure and market-facing brands of the new company will be assessed in each market over the coming months based on client and local needs. The full management team and creative leadership will be announced in due course, comprising current leaders from Design Bridge and Superunion.
John Morris, CEO of Design Bridge and Partners, said, “It’s absolutely fantastic to be able to bring together two creative powerhouses in design. Marrying the ‘best of both’, Design Bridge and Partners will be truly formidable, offering greater benefit for our clients through shared expertise and, importantly, many more opportunities for our people to grow.”
Jim Prior, chair of Design Bridge and Partners, said, “This is a perfect fusion of creative excellence that will deliver extraordinary results for our clients and our people. It is an exciting opportunity for us to take the lead in delivering the true power of design as a force for positive change in the world.”
Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said, “Design Bridge and Partners will be a leader in design and an important part of our simpler, future-facing client offer. Formed from two successful companies in Design Bridge and Superunion, it will create new growth opportunities both for our people and our clients.”
Emma Follett, chief creative officer of Design Bridge, and Greg Quinton, chief creative officer of Superunion, said, “It’s a pleasure to be working in partnership with creatives we have long admired and we’re delighted that we now have the opportunity to collaborate, combine our shared values and use the power of our creativity to make a difference for our clients.”
The move follows the successful combination of other WPP agencies to create AKQA Group, BCW, EssenceMediacom, VMLY&R, Wunderman Thompson, and most recently FGS Global. Addressing client needs for simpler, more integrated, creative, and technology-driven solutions, these agencies have been among WPP’s best-performing companies.