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Graphic Partners and Pointsize Wolffe close


By The Drum Team, Editorial

June 15, 2009 | 4 min read

Two of Scotland’s longest running and best respected design consultancies, Pointsize Wolffe and Graphic Partners have closed their doors.

On 1 June, Glasgow-based design agency Pointsize Wolffe chose to enter voluntary liquidation after 11 years in operation.

Andrew Wolffe, founder of Wolffe and Co, which acquired Pointsize in 2007 when Pointsize founder Ken Cassidy chose to step away after 21 years, said that the closure was the result of the ‘poor timing’ of the acquisition.

“We signed that deal on 3 August and on 4 August the credit crunch was announced, so our timing wasn’t immaculate from that point of view,” explained Wolffe.

“We increased the expense of running the business just before the major downturn happened. Pointsize was actually in good shape before that moving forward and no one saw it coming quite as badly as it has. In 2008 we took major cost cutting measures to try and get us through it. We had to close our Dumfries and Galloway office and we retrenched to a Glasgow studio, we cut staff dramatically and had actually moved the business back to profitability at the start of this year but the debt and borrowings were just too much.”

Wolffe continued to say that he had several clients who will continue to work with him personally and that he hoped to do something else ‘in some form’ in the future.

“I am very sad personally that staff have lost their jobs, it’s not something I wanted to happen but because of personal issues and the bank’s unwillingness to lend to us, we had to close the doors. The timing of the acquisition was rubbish and if I could turn the clock back I would but we did what we did and as director of the business. I’m sad for my staff and my suppliers who have lost money as it wasn’t something I wanted to happen. I wanted to look after them but there was only so much I could do.”

Liquidation company WD Robb is handling the administration process.

Meanwhile Graphic Partners, the Edinburgh-based design agency has also closed.

A Petition was presented to the Court of Sessions on behalf of co-founder Ken Craig on 28 May for the company to be ‘wound up’ and for liquidators Grant Thornton to be appointed.

The company was launched in 1971 by Craig and Graham Duffy and grew a reputation for highly respected design.

That high regard was well reflected by the community in paying tribute to Duffy following his untimely death in December 2007.

Graham Walker, creative director of Size Design and former creative director at Graphic Partners, commented: “Graphic Partners going into liquidation is a real shame for Ken, the team and their families. Both Ken and Graham we’re real gents when I worked there, and they always did their best for their clients and staff. I think it will be a real loss to the industry.”

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