It was a “natural” move because the two companies have been collaborating on projects for the past three years, said Tabula principal and now Eastern Standard partner Mark Gisi. Recently, the two firms were working on Al Dia News‘ new website. The pair has also built websites for Temple University and Love the Arts in Philadelphia.
The move is also a practical one.
“Running one company with a few partners who have demonstrated great management skills is certainly easier than running two companies,” Gisi wrote in an email.
It’s another in a recent trend of dev shops merging with marketing and design agencies. This year alone, Callowhill software shop DmgCtrl and Newtown, Pa.-based Tonic Design merged, and so did Old City software shop Arcweb and Old City design firm GUIwerks.
No money changed hands in the Context-Tabula merger, Gisi said, but both companies contributed equal funds for operating costs, as well as start-up funds for the new agency, like legal, accounting and new office fees.
Context principal Jim Keller will become partner at Eastern Standard, as will Tabula Creative principal David Wolf.
Eastern Standard now has 12 employees and is looking for a Center City office to move into in the fall, Gisi said.
Eastern Standard is also hiring an open source web developer.
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