Elmwood acquires London-based immersive experience agency

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

Leeds agency Elmwood has acquired Framework Creative, a London-based agency specialising in the design and production of virtual brand experiences.

Elmwood says the deal will boost its immersive experience design capability with the adoption of AR and VR set to grow exponentially over the next years.

Framework Creative was founded by Roddy Robertson and Sam Fazakerley and has worked with clients including Ikea, Virgin Holidays, Dell, Airbus, Philips and SAP.

Steve Gatfield, chairman of Elmwood, said: “AR and VR are the new frontiers of immersive experience. Adoption of AR alone is expected to grow to over two billion users by 2020. 

"As designers of brand meaning we are hungry to harness their immense potential to redimensionalise experience and deepen engagement, especially as physical products transform into interactive media. The impact of AR and VR on product utility and memorability will transform the scope to design in new levels of engagement that can shape a brands iconic status."

Framework Creative has become part of Elmwood’s London studio and will continue to operate as a standalone business to service the specific needs of their existing clients. 

The acquisition is part of a bigger plan to build a strong digital offering across all of Elmwood’s global studios.

Elmwood owner, Jonathan Sands OBE, added: “As one of the few remaining independent global design consultancies, I am incredibly proud that Elmwood – in its fortieth anniversary year – can continue to invest in its own future through targeted acquisitions.

"The guys from Framework have actually been living in our London studio for several months as a sort of courtship to ensure we both like one another. The energy that they have brought us is infectious and we are actively collaborating on a number of high profile projects.”

Roddy Roberston and Sam Fazakerley, from Framework Creative, added: “We strongly believe that our skills will compliment each other, and enable us to unlock the power of brands through designing experiences that make a meaningful and impactful human connection there where they are.”

Elmwood, which works with clients including Aerospace Bristol, Ann Summers and Royal Mail, numbers 132 staff and saw sales jump to £14.8m in 2016. It was listed ninth in Prolific North's Top Integrated Agencies 2017.

Pictured: Steve Gatfield (chairman, Elmwood), Sam Fezerkeley and Roddy Robertson (Framework Creative) and Elmwood owner Jonathan Sands