Human After All opens its doors

The new creative agency from the directors of The Church of London sets out to work with “smart people at progressive organisations”

After almost a decade together as TCOLondon, co-founders Danny Miller, Rob Longworth and Paul Willoughby have joined forces with digital director Alex Capes to launch Human After All, a new creative agency devoted to building on TCOLondon’s creative work. We sat down with Longworth and Willoughby to find out more...

What do you want to achieve through HAA that you couldn’t with TCOLondon?
The TCOLondon brand had always comprised two distinct organisations – a design and creative agency; and a publishing company. We’ve worked together for eight years, during which time the aspirations of each company have evolved independently.

Over the years we’ve found that the most challenging projects are also the most rewarding. We like to go headfirst into things and we learn by doing, so our goal is to fully develop our agency and creative output.

What’s your aim as a creative agency?
Our mission is to connect people with their passions. The bulk of our work is in creative execution – branding, apps, magazines – but we’re also passionate about strategic thinking in marketing communications. This is something we were able to develop with Little White Lies, which over the years progressed from a magazine into a brand – with parties, film clubs and exhibitions – before evolving into a service, via a geolocated app and website. At a time when magazines are facing enormous challenges, it was remarkable to think that we’d made the magazine into a brand, and then a utility that could enrich the lives of its audience.

Last year we mapped everything out in an engagement strategy diagram, and came to realise that this holistic strategic thinking was core to our work. So now, as Human After All, that’s what we want to do.

You’ve launched with a 17-strong team – that seems fairly substantial?
Our team includes designers across print and digital, strategists and project managers, and support and creative development staff, who look more at our own personal work. We have a broad range of skills in-house, spearheaded by our project management team who run the company like a detailed project in itself, and every client project with meticulous attention to detail. We’re as big on Google Docs and Excel as on Creative Suite.

As co-founders, how have your day-to-day roles changed?
It’s going to be more important for us to learn, and to help our staff learn and develop. Days after launching, seven of us set out to SXSW to fill our minds with ideas and inspiration – and to remind ourselves of how many tools there are at our disposal when solving communication problems.

What will happen to TCOLondon?
TCOLondon Publishing has a team of writers and editors busy working on their magazines, as well as content for external clients. It’s run by co-founder and former publishing director Vince Medeiros, with new management. Both companies can now focus on what they’re best at.

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