How&How is branding four climate-tech start-ups for free

The design studio is assigning £200,000 of its budget to in an attempt to help climate-related start-ups over the next year.

How&How has announced it will be branding four climate-related projects for free as part of its GetSet programme.

The design consultancy – which has offices in Lisbon and London – is putting aside £200,000 of its budget to help four climate-tech start-ups, explains studio co-founder Cat How.

“Brands are like people,” she says. “Good ones stick in your head. You remember what they look like, how they talk and what they’re doing to help fight the climate emergency.”

How&How is defining climate-tech as “technological solutions that mitigate the impacts of climate change and build resilient communities.”

How to apply

GetSet will run over the next year, divided into four quarters. The first application deadline is at the end of March, and further deadlines run through to the end of December.

Over a four-week programme, How&How will help each winning start-up create four “sticky” brands – including a logo, typographic system and colour palette – and a pitch deck for investors. The result should be “four beautiful, articulate ambassadors for change”, says How.

There are plans to make some of the quarters themed, according to How – focusing on female-founded climate start-ups, for example.

To apply for GetSet, start-ups will have to describe their product or service, why it’s important and who the target audience is. The How&How design team will review projects and vote on which one to work with.

Clear branding and communication is vital for climate-tech start-ups, explains the designer, especially when some of the projects are future-facing and not immediately clear. Several applicants so far have been from the Terra Carta shortlist, a design competition where students have been encouraged to find low-cost, innovative solutions to the climate crisis.

“Branding a product that’s never been done before is going to be interesting,” How says. “How do you communicate something when noone really knows what it is in the first place?”

“We saw Mother Earth as our client”

GetSet emerged from the studio’s BeHalf project, where the design team crafted self-initiated campaigns which focused on climate issues. “We saw Mother Earth as our client,” How says. “We felt she needed her own design team to help her visually and verbally communicate.”

One of those was the Deadly Dust campaign, a partnership with student project The Tyre Collective which aimed to bring attention to microplastic pollution caused by car tyres.

How&How also crafted a campaign for Plastic Free July in 2020, based on the statistic that a human eats a credit card-sized amount of plastic each week on average. The campaign used brightly-coloured Pop Art-inspired visual to catch people’s attention.

“Sometimes you see these statistics in dry scientific journals,” How told Design Week at the time. “This was an excuse for making it really loud.”

For more details on how to apply and deadlines, you can visit How&How’s website.

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