PA buys San Francisco design agency ASTRO Studios

23 June 2020 Consulting.us

A year after buying Cincinnati-based 4iNNO, PA Consulting has beefed up its US footprint with ASTRO Studios, adding an 80-strong team to its ranks.

ASTRO Studios launched in 1994 and has since grown into an award-winning brand strategy and product design agency. The San Francisco based firm helps major clients such as Bose, Colgate, Facebook, Nike and Procter & Gamble deliver brand communications, user-centred design as well as creating new brands, products and experiences.

The firm is most known for the development of a few iconic consumer tech products, including the Nike Fuelband, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and the ASTRO Gaming headsets. These and more landmark successes have seen ASTRO Studios rack in a number of accolades, including BusinessWeek’s Design of the Decade Awards and TIME Magazine’s 2018 Best Inventions in Health & Wellness.

Ken Toombs, Head of Americas at PA Consulting, said he is delighted with the joining of forces: “The team of ASTRO Studios is passionate about design driven cultures that blend innovation, technologies and lifestyle perspectives into high impact brands, products and experiences. This fits perfectly with PA Consulting’s purpose of building a positive human future in a technology-driven world.”

Brand strategy and product design agency ASTRO Studios joins PA

As part of the integration, ASTRO Studios will work closely with the US consulting team, and Boston-based Essential Design, which PA acquired in 2018. Overseas, the team will partner with PA Consulting’s innovation and technology centre in Cambridge, the United Kingdom, where the global consultancy is headquartered.

“In a world where strategies, technologies and innovation collide, the combination of PA Consulting, ASTRO and Essential Design’s capabilities will enable organizations to holistically transform the way they bring new brands, products and experiences to market,” said Toombs.

Having operated independently some 25 years now, Brett Lovelady, ASTRO Studio’s founder, said that PA Consulting was the right fit for the firm. “PA’s range of expertise, commitment to client success, and unique ability to deliver innovative physical and digital solutions is incredibly inspiring. Becoming part of PA allows us to magnify the power of design more comprehensively.”

The move comes shortly after Carlyle-backed PA Consulting welcomed an eight-strong manufacturing US expert team from Infosys Consulting. Globally, the consultancy has closed five deals since 2017.


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