icoEx is born

​icoEx was born out of cutting edge work that ico Design has been doing for over ten years. David Rogerson explains why it made sense to create a spin-off.

When I arrived at ico Design some two years ago, discovering their back catalogue of leading edge interactive work from the past 10 years was like uncovering some lost treasures. They have been at the forefront of bringing exciting technology and most importantly powerful ideas to life.

The bulk of this work was for museum and galleries. At the time, this sector was perhaps the only one with the ability and appetite to continually commission exciting digital work, beyond websites. Over the past several years though, things have changed. As austerity began to bite, budgets shrunk and commissioning became more conservative, this area began to shrink. Couple this with overly bureaucratic and time-intensive tender processes it became obvious this wasn't a viable path forward. (To read an insightful article on this phenomenon, Alex Fleetwood gives an account of why Hide & Seek is closing its doors).

However, alongside this decline in the culture sector, commercial companies have begun to wake up to the opportunity and power of what technology, coupled with creative thinking, can do. It isn't just the likes of Nike and Burberry who are lighting the way but entrepreneurial startups and brand challengers who want to leverage not just the tech itself but the stories that being innovative can generate.

We began to shift our thinking to being focused on creating powerful brand experiences; using digital technologies as our toolkit.

Meanwhile, ico Design's profile as a leading brand and design agency has continued to rise and it became clear, that for this offer to really make sense, it had to have space to spread its wings. It was decided that icoEx would be formed as an independent sister company to ico Design. Both would support and compliment the offer of the other but both would be able to grow to meet their full potential.

So here we are, at the start of 2014. icoEx has been born. Our aim? to create amazing brand and customer experiences using digital technologies in ways which make people stop and take notice and most importantly, take action.

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David Rogerson