Manifest hires branding and design director

Manifest has named IlK’s Martin Farrar-Smith as branding and design director, as the agency further bolsters its executive committee for growth and international expansion plans.


Martin Farrar-Smith

Farrar-Smith is the third senior appointment at Manifest this year. Previously, he was art director at Ilk, an integrated agency based in Leeds.

A school-friend and long-time collaborator of  Alex Myers, group CEO at Manifest, Farrar-Smith has more than a decade of experience as a senior brand and design consultant, delivering work for brands including BrewDog and Panasonic.

Based in Manifest’s London office, he will work on global briefs and drive best brand and design practice at Manifest New York.

Myers said: “Martin’s appointment demonstrates our commitment to breaking the traditional agency mould. He doesn’t just add creative design to our service offering, his arrival means we’re able to fuse strategy, communications, content and design expertise within a new agency model.

“In a traditional agency structure, these disciplines are kept separate, but Manifest is forging a new structure built around true integration and the changing shape of the media. Martin isn’t just building a design studio, he’s merging design thinking and visual communication into everything we do – from brand development to media relations.

“He’s also pretty quick with a Simpsons quote and can recite Mean Girls in its entirety, so his talent really knows no bounds.”

Farrar-Smith added: “Manifest is the only agency laser-focused on innovation, partnership and creativity above margins or outputs. This doesn’t just make it successful, it makes it significant, and I couldn’t be prouder to join the team. Our unique integrated approach means we go way beyond just delivering exceptional work; we’re constantly challenging expectations of the industry and the stereotypes that can hold comms agencies back.

“In just a few weeks I have already been involved in work that not only breaks new ground in the client’s industry, but redefines marketing in general,” he added. “It’s incredibly exciting to be a part of something so ambitious.”

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