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Cat How: Using Head & Heart To Build Brands for the Better

How&How is a branding and digital design agency in London & Lisbon. We use head & heart to build brands for the better. We call it leftright thinking.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m Cat — Creative Director and co-founder of How & How. I studied at the University of Bristol and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design — where I was awarded a First in MA Communication Design.

I have worked as a journalist for The Guardian, The Observer, Metro and the BBC; and as a graphic designer in agencies around the world. I founded and sold an e-Commerce business and coworking company alongside my husband, Rog How. We launched How&How in 2020.

I was a Creative Business columnist for Computer Arts Magazine and have spoken on design, entrepreneurship and creativity at Web Summit, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design and the London College of Communication.

I love combining words and visuals and bringing strategy to life.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

I’ve found that if something seems impossible, it never normally is. The more you are able to push your own boundaries, the more you realise that you can achieve more than you thought you would be able to, because you set yourself new parameters.

Then once you grow into those parameters you realise that you can do ‘even’ more than you thought you could before. For example, I never thought I’d be building my own house… but then we took the plunge and now I don’t just want to build one house… but 5! So I suppose my advice would be… never underestimate yourself and your ability.

What problem does your business solve?

Our business is 100% about problem solving. We are approached by companies who have a problem communicating and articulating themselves, or who are finding that they have outgrown a current brand and don’t know how to readjust and realign themselves.

We help to reposition them visually, as well as through messaging, positioning and tone-of-voice. We solve their communication problem with a number of different tools depending on their needs.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

We set up How&How as a way to use design to make a difference. It sounds cliche but as designers, it is quite difficult to feel like you are able to use your natural skills to embetter the world and work towards solving some of our biggest climate problems. We wanted to create an environment where people could use their creativity for good.

What is your magic sauce?

I think our magic sauce is what here at How&How we call “leftright thinking”. It is the combination of using head and heart to amplify brands. Essentially it is using analytical thinking, combined with deep creativity to make create beautiful designs and digital products which are future-proof… and also beautiful to look at hopefully 🙂

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

In the next 5 years we want to grow both our teams in London and Lisbon to have two separate but intrinsically linked squads that can work on combined or different studio projects. We also want to work with more and more companies in the #greentech sector — so anyone whose business is based on using technology to solve environmental problems. I think this is something that excites everyone in the agency, so we definitely want to do more of this and expand on this sector further.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

It’s difficult really as there are always lots of different difficulties that pop up along the way — but I suppose it is difficult to hire the right people at the right time and in the right location, and as we’re growing very quickly, our main problem is recruitment as we just can’t hire people fast enough.

Then working on retention and wellbeing with our team members is something that we think about a lot too. But yes, I think it is more the fact that we always are needing more and more people and trying to work out how the dual location element of the team works.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

For us, we’re always on the lookout for any company that need help amplifying their brand and telling the world a better, and more complete, story about themselves. These companies can be in any sector, but we have a particular softspot for anyone working in environmental or sustainability sectors.

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Photo by Rodeo Project Management Software on Unsplash

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