Strategic brand consultancy The Engine Room has welcomed an established creative professional who has worked on global projects for Electronic Arts – including FIFA and The Sims – as well as Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Universal Pictures.

Joining the Yorkshire firm as a senior artworker, Natalie Smith brings with her more than 15 years of professional design experience and project management expertise.

Her appointment marks another milestone in The Engine Room’s recent growth trajectory which – despite Covid-19 – has seen the award-winning organisation expand its headcount by 50% after securing a number of new business opportunities since March 2020.

Natalie will play an integral role in helping to deliver compelling campaign assets for market-leading brands spanning sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, tech and the public sector.

Speaking about the latest appointment, The Engine Room’s managing director Lesley Gulliver said: “Natalie has a vast amount of experience and has worked on some major creative projects in B2B sectors, but also gaming, television and film that will really bolster our service offering.

“We’re already beginning to see the impact she’s making on our clients’ projects and collaborations with employees. This is an exciting time to be a part of our sector as organisations continue to develop their propositions and review how their identities are perceived by customers.”

Following a challenging climate, Natalie also believes brand has an important role to play in not only helping businesses to move beyond the pandemic but become more forward-thinking.

“There have been some really positive movements in terms of enterprises embracing modern-day society and tackling issues that have an impact on us all – in particular, how vital it is for us to build more diverse and inclusive workforces,” she said.

“Although there’s still a long way to go, brand can be the catalyst for societal change because it has the power to make us think differently and truly challenge what was once considered ‘the norm’.”

And when commenting on her new surroundings, Natalie added: “Everyone has been so welcoming. There are no egos and colleagues are encouraged to provide valuable input, and a personalised, expert touch to all projects. I think that’s what makes The Engine Room so special when it comes to true design thinking.”

Established in 2001, The Engine Room is based at York Mills – a 19th century refurbished mill once owned by an employer of Anne Brontë. A six-time DBA Design Effectiveness Award winner, the Mirfield-based consultancy’s has list of notable clients both in the UK and across the world.