About us

We are a disarmingly friendly bunch. Our clients tell us they really like our straight-talking approach, our global experience and our commitment to their vision. We like that.

Our manifesto

branding, creativity, ideas, design, authenticity

1. Find what's special

We believe every human and every organisation has something at its core that has the power to attract others. Whatever it is, it must be authentic; it cannot be faked. And it should be unique. We make it our job to find it.

branding, creativity, ideas, design

2. Aim true

We follow our curiosity to the very end. Who are we talking to? No guesswork, no assumptions, no short cuts. Curiosity – with intuition and experience – leads to insights. Insight gives you the chance of striking with unerring accuracy when it counts. Sometimes you only get one shot.

branding, creativity, ideas, design, originality, wrecking ball

3. Challenge everything

Market, brief, audience, preconceptions, client, ourselves: question the lot. Imagine everything anew from the bottom up. Seek out discomfort, it provokes creativity and can be a sign of innovation. It’s a cluttered world, so if you want to build something meaningful, you’ll need to make some space.

Ideas, magic, craft, simplicity, branding, creativity, design

4. Be memorable

The best ideas are dead simple, unexpected, and able to concentrate everything that matters into one place. They can go anywhere. They collapse resistance and replace it with wonder. And they stay with you. No project starts without one.

5. Move people

Emotions run light years ahead of reason, we’re wired that way. They control decision making. So, to change the way people behave, change how they feel. No communication or brand will work without engaging feelings – the best use them to build long-term relationships. Cupid’s bow, be true, none has more clout than you.

What we do

We help organisations understand what their brand is and what it could be, why, and how best to express it.

We can analyse your brand’s performance to show you how it can work harder. We can create a new brand from scratch, or take your existing one somewhere new. We can captivate your audiences through powerful, integrated communications and campaigns. We can give you the tools to manage your brand and teach you how to do so. We can help build support and understanding for change internally.

And we value long-term collaborations with our clients because this depth of understanding leads to the most effective creative work.

That’s what we mean when we talk about the difference between “okay” and “oh my word”.

Brand strategy
Brand audit
Brand architecture
Market research
Naming
Proposition development
Positioning

Brand design & communications
Logotype design
Visual identity creation
Print and digital campaigns
Marketing collateral
Websites
Animations and films
Internal engagement
Messaging and tone of voice
Brand guidelines


Brands we've worked with

Brands we've worked with

From global brands to tiny start-ups, from insurance to charities and technology to the arts. We love people and organisations who are open to change and the power to change things through creativity.

Aggregate Industries, Akzo Nobel, Arts Council of Wales, Association of National Park Authorities, Atradius, Balfour Beatty, BBC, bigHead, Boots, Born Free Foundation, BT, Carbon Law Partners, Clifton College, Co-Operative, Design Council, Dixons Group, D&AD, Doorstep Library, Dutco Hotels Group, First Direct, Flow&Ebb, GAM, Getty Images, Hft, Hogg Robinson, ISS, Innovation Group, Knight Frank, Land Securities, Lawrence Graham, Mansell, Milestones Trust, Mind, Mothercare, Proxima, Principality, Reckitt Benckiser, Reuters, Sabre, Sainsbury’s, Syngenta, WDA, WPP


What some of our clients say

What some of our clients say

Tom Lawrence

Clout has exceeded my expectations in areas like creativity, advice and challenge. And in less obvious areas that make a huge difference: project management, cost efficiency, high attention to detail and a really conscientious approach.

Tom Lawrence

Founder, Flow&Ebb

Go to project
Katie Bareham

The new brand has enabled us to communicate the marvel and magic of stories, and the way in which they can quite literally, change lives – thank you.

Katie Bareham

Director, Doorstep Library

Go to project
Bernard Galton

They pushed us creatively and led us towards a great narrative and the best outcome, whilst remaining mindful of the brief.

Bernard Galton

Non-Executive Director, Capita plc

Go to project
Virginia McKenna, OBE

Perfect design – congratulations!

Virginia McKenna, OBE

Founder, Born Free Foundation

Go to project
Miles Toulson-Clarke

You get big agency creative capability with none of the big agency bullsh*t

Miles Toulson-Clarke

Commercial Director, Innovation Group

Go to project
Matt Stevens

The project became their baby which is precisely what you want from your agency.

Matt Stevens

Chief Executive, bigHead

Go to project

Founders

Founders

Mike Smith

Creative Director

I’ve been…
…at some of the world’s top creative agencies for over twenty years, leading and working on projects for clients from First Direct to Reuters, Mind to Akzo Nobel. My work has been recognised and awarded by D&AD, New York Festivals, Design Week, Benchmarks, Transform and the International Society of Typographic Designers. I also believe strongly in giving something back, so I’m an associate tutor at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s School of Art & Design.

I’m often found…
…running long distances.

I’m happiest…
…if you hand me an ice cold cider.

Jo Lilford

Strategy Director

I’ve been…
…in-house for twenty years, nationally and internationally, managing brands, marketing and communications in some diverse places. Getty Images. National Parks. The High Street. Financial services. B2b and consumer. I understand how organisations work and what makes them tick - because I’ve been there. Our shared diversity of experience, client side versus agency side gives us helpfully rounded views of each project.

I’m often found…
…taking an hour to write someone’s name on an envelope. Fine gold leaf. Indian ink. A little unexpected pleasure.

I’m happiest…
…in the sea. Or scoffing chocolate I don’t have to share.

The world is full of brilliant raw material: some we like, some we create. Some of it is here.