Significant changes to creative team at Mr B & Friends as it pursues designs for further growth

August 3, 2022

Mr B & Friends, the Bristol-based independent brand consultancy, has made a number of significant appointments and promotions to its creative team as it continues to grow.

Four people have been recruited in a move that builds on the expertise within the agency while a key creative in the business has been promoted.  

The moves come two months after Mr B & Friends announced an ambitious five-year growth plan, including opening bases in London, the US and South East Asia.

The new arrivals are associate creative director Adam Browne, design director Matt French, senior copywriter Sarah O’Connell and senior designer and illustrator Charlotte Clowes, while Nathan Crosby has recently stepped up to senior art director.

The agency described Adam, who has experience at Interbrand, Roundel and most recently at Dyson – where he was creative lead for the haircare category – as “a brilliant brand thinker, art director and designer”.

Among his career achievements is winning awards at D&AD, Design Week and New York Art Directors Club.

Matt has joined following stints at Bristol agencies Nomensa and 3Sixty, where he specialised in travel and tourism brands. Described as a digital native, he has expertise in brand design, user experience strategy, UI and digital branding and will bring his digital knowledge to the full brand journey Mr B & Friends’ clients.

Sarah, who has joined from international outfit Havas, possesses an outstanding pedigree across brand, campaign and copy content, according to the agency, which she had wanted to join since hearing about it from her lecturer at Falmouth University while studying. 

Charlotte will join shortly as a senior designer and illustrator after relocating from London, where she most recently work for brand consultancy We Launch.

The expanded creative team will now be headed by creative director Kate Gorringe, supported by Nathan Crosby who, after six years at Mr B & Friends, has recently become senior art director.

Meanwhile, following 14 years at the creative helm as a partner, executive creative director Steve Richardson, pictured, leaves at the end of this month to return to New Zealand.

The agency said his energy and expertise would be hugely missed, not least by CEO and founder Simon Barbato, who has been a friend and colleague of his for 20 years and.

Steve Richardson said: “Rubbing shoulders with bright people and ambitious clients every day is what makes Mr B & Friends tick.

“I’d like to wish my partner and friend Simon all the best – but he doesn’t need it, the talented bugger. 

“To Kate, Adam, Peter and the whole team – for the past 14 years you’ve made ‘work’ unlike work at all.”

Simon Barbato, pictured, who launched Mr B & Friends 16 years ago, added: “Steve has been a dream business partner. Hugely energetic, talented and humble.

“Moving forward, the succession plan we have put in place ensures that creativity, as always, is our priority and with more talent arriving this month we are in incredible shape to take on future client challenges.”

Mr B & Friends provides brand strategy, identity, communications, internal communications and creative services across some high-growth vertical markets to consumer and B2B brands.

Its clients include Bristol-based utility group OVO, soft drinks producer Britvic, professional services firm Marsh and BMT, the specialist engineering business.

It recently moved to new headquarters in Bristol’s Whitefriars office development to offer more space for its team, which it expects to more than double to 70 by 2026.

Pictured, below: The new-look creative team at Mr B & Friends

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