Chris Thornley, director of Thornley Creative, at a Surrey Board of Trade logo-launch event in 2016. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

Former branding/marketing rivals unite in Surrey as Studiothink acquires Thornley Creative

Chris Thornley to remain ‘brand ambassador’ with Cloverdale-based company

Two Surrey-based “friendly rivals” in the branding and marketing business are now under one roof.

Operators of the Studiothink agency have acquired Thornley Creative, a company founded in 1989 and directed by Chris Thornley.

Studiothink co-founders Chandra Blouin and Sherry Jacobi opened their business in 1997.

The acquisition, announced on Tuesday (May 1), means the Thornley office will move from Fleetwood to Studiothink’s headquarters in the heart of Cloverdale.

“This acquisition brings the creative and strategic power of two agencies under one roof, giving Studiothink more than 50 years of combined experience to offer clients,” according to a press release.

The release says Chris Thornley has been putting off the question of retirement for years, “asking himself if good things really did have to come to an end. After almost thirty years in business creating successful brands and building relationships with municipal and non-profit clients, (he) wasn’t prepared to close his doors.”

Thornley will stay on as a “brand ambassador” for Studiothink, the release says, “making the transition as smooth as possible for his clients and his team.”

Logos created by Thornley Creative can be seen across Metro Vancouver. Since 1989, the company has created designs for the City of Surrey (including its “the future lives here” tag line), Surrey Food Bank, Surrey Libraries, Surrey Schools, Tourism Surrey and Sources Community Resources Centres, among other organizations. A couple of decades ago, the firm also branded the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair.

“You know, I actually can’t drive through Surrey without seeing something I did – you know, a little triangle sticker from the BC Wildlife Federation with a goat on it,” he told the Now-Leader in 2016. “And things like De Dutch, we did their logo, Bard on the Beach, all that.”

• READ MORE: Logo á gogo: Surrey looks to this man for new looks, from April 2016.

Blouin, Studiothink’s Director of Strategy, sees the acquisition as “more than just a smart business move” and reflects how “growth has always been important to Sherry and I, as long as it aligns with our core values. Chris approached us with an opportunity to grow as a company, but also as a team, and it was an offer we couldn’t turn down.”

• RELATED STORY: Chris Thornley’s urge to play historic blues bar led to annual benefit concert in Surrey, from January 2018.

In addition to taking on Thornley’s clients, Studiothink’s team is welcoming four new team members, including two developers, a designer and a project manager, according to the release.

“With a larger team, (Studiothink) will be able to provide clients with a complete suite of marketing and communications services,” the release states. “The merging of these two companies makes Studiothink quite the powerhouse when it comes to web design and brand strategy, marketing, web development and digital marketing. They are proud to say they will still be doing it all from the same hometown, Surrey, B.C.”

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