Creative agency Blue Kangaroo has almost doubled its workforce after securing a lucrative list of new clients since moving into new premises.
The Gateshead-based brand licensing and product developers, which specialise in children’s brands, saw work trail away during the recession prompting director Jason Knights to research new markets closer to home in the UK as well as maintaining regular work from further afield to build up business.
The company’s small team of four, which moved into the Northern Design Centre last year, has won no fewer than 24 new clients in the last 12 months, including a Qatari children’s TV channel and London’s flagship retailer Harrods.
New clients have come from an impressive variety of sources, with local firms Tyneside Safety Glass and Esh Group among the latest to add to a list that also includes Disney, Vue cinemas, Sega, Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network, Vue Cinemas and Cartamundi, the world’s biggest playing card manufacturer.
Specialising in packaging, point of sale and exhibition stands and brand development, Blue Kangaroo was also involved with the media launch of the latest Pixar blockbuster Monsters University.
The firm helped to turn animation into real life, creating a host of props based on features of the film for a press junket for the release of the blockbuster.
Demand for Blue Kangaroo’s work has seen three new staff join the ranks at the firm’s headquarters in the design centre on Gateshead Quays. Designer Deborah Swindle and sales manager Deborah Hannant are being joined by administrator Sarah Bright.
Director Jason Knights said: “We did see business tailing off in line with the economic climate.
“But we’ve built it right back up again now. We diversified and went looking for clients.
“We’ve always worked with big companies from across the World, but traditionally we haven’t done much business with companies in the North East. That’s changing though as the Esh Group and Tyneside Safety Glass deals have proven.
“I’m really proud of the fact that we’ve expanded when the economy is so tough. We’re a bit of a best kept secret.
“We’ve been beavering away getting huge name customers for the North East. We’ve won projects with Harrods, Doha-based Jeem TV and Sega. It’s hard work but it’s rewarding.”
Knights added that working in the £10.05m Northern Design Centre has aided the firm’s creativity.
He added: “Northern Design Centre is a great working environment, our staff love it. The facilities and the quality of the broadband connectivity are great. Gateshead is becoming a hub of the creative industries.”