In today’s Meet The Team, hear from Cam Agnew, Creative Director at Catchy, about his creative process and how he shapes brand identities for Catchy and our clients.

After graduating from Azusa Pacific University, Cam has lived in Seattle for the better part of a decade. A Southern California native, this former beach kid now calls the Pacific Northwest home. As part of his responsibilities at Catchy, Cam defines the creative message for Catchy and our clients. He helps develop a cohesive look-and-feel for campaigns and user experiences that meet developer marketing objectives.

Can you describe what you do at Catchy? 

My main priority as creative director is to lead, inspire, and support our creative team to provide world-class visual storytelling to our clients. I have the fortunate privilege to hire and lead an incredible team of creatives, who delight and surprise our clients every day. A crucial part of this job is ensuring my team has everything they need to be successful. A lot of times, creative work exists in the abstract, so finding elegant solutions can be challenging, but that’s the fun part. That’s what drives me to be the best creative I can possibly be. I’m also Catchy’s resident Tolkein nerd and spend much of my free time in Middle Earth.

What is your favorite part about being a creative director?

This one’s easy. My favorite part of being a creative director is leading the creative team. I take a lot of pride in working with some of the most talented designers and copywriters every day. The more time they spend being creative and inspired the better, and I like to be intentional about creating that space. Also, I really love working in internet technology. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by the evolution of technology in our world. Working with clients that push the boundaries of what’s possible keeps me inspired.

Which Catchy value do you strongly resonate with and why? (collaborative, fluid, inclusive, accountable)

As a creative, I thrive on collaboration. Working at Catchy has given me the opportunity to work with some of the most intelligent minds in the industry. I’m constantly learning from my coworkers and I think it’s a fundamental part of Catchy’s continued growth. We naturally attract people who are empathetic and thrive when working towards a common goal. One example of this was the web experience we created for the Algorand ACE program which was an entirely new category of work for us (higher education). We all had to get out of our comfort zone, juggle dozens of stakeholders and a brand-new design system to create a successful landing environment and campaign.

At an agency, your job is never the same every day. There’s a lot of mutual respect and empathy for each other’s personal lives. Not only do we push each other to provide the highest level of service to our clients, we also care about each other. I’m a part of the Culture Club at Catchy and our goal is to make the experience of working at Catchy better for all humans. We send out regular surveys and provide a transparent channel of feedback to our leadership team to be able to affect positive change. Overall, Catchy feels very human, which isn’t typically the case at other agencies or “fast-paced workplaces”.

How does Catchy allow you to express your creativity and individuality?

I’m a naturally expressive and creative person at heart. Catchy is the perfect place for nerdy, heavily-tattooed, queer individuals like myself. It makes a huge difference in my mental and emotional wellness to be a part of such a welcoming and encouraging work environment.

What are some challenges you have faced with designing campaigns?

The modern digital landscape has made it incredibly difficult to stand out. We are constantly bombarded with advertising and content so the most challenging part of creating compelling campaigns is breaking through the noise. It’s no easy task and requires bespoke and thoughtful considerations for each and every project. The digital world moves fast and changes every day so it’s more important than ever to be on top of trends, innovative software, and best practices for digital marketing. It’s very easy to be left behind and fade into the background. 

How do you measure the success of design?

There’s an old saying that good design is invisible. Good design is intuitive, elegant, and guides the viewer through the experience without obstruction. I think successful design operates at the subconscious level, which is sort of counterintuitive being a visual medium. The goal of any designer is to turn ideas into pictures, which is a highly introspective process. I think the most successful designers are highly empathetic and attuned to other people’s feelings. Translating those feelings into something visual is the magic. That’s what makes design so valuable.

Any advice for any aspiring creatives? 

Working as a professional creative can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Design is everywhere in the world and there are so many amazing opportunities in basically every industry. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming or a particular career path might feel too daunting or abstract. I tell young creatives that their creative fulfillment is more important than their job. You need to find something outside of work that brings you inspiration and creativity. At the end of the day, work will feel like work, so it’s important to hone your creative skills for things you are passionate about without the promise of a paycheck. For me, cooking and playing music are my primary creative outlets outside of my day job. I’m always looking for a new and exciting challenge or project.

What do you do in your free time?

I spend a lot of my free time being creative. I feel the most inspired when I’m cooking or writing music so I’m constantly looking for new recipes and techniques and songs to write. I also really love the outdoors, so skiing in the mountains in the winter, and backpacking in the wilderness during the summer. On the nerdy side of things, I love playing video games, Magic the Gathering, and reading all things Tolkein. 

Who are some of your biggest influences in the world of art and design?

As a musician, I’m really inspired by artists who are associated with my favorite bands. They help create another dimension to the music, and oftentimes they feel like additional band members. At the moment, I’m a huge fan of Jason Galea who crosses so many genres of art, design, video, and technology it will make your head spin. Every time I see his work, it’s new and innovative and I think to myself “how the hell did he do that”. It’s amazing. I could say similar things about Rob Sheridan (Art Director for Nine Inch Nails). Now that I think of it, anything that blends digital technology with psychedelic style is right up my alley. Really cool things are happening with AI-generated art right now, especially with how MidJourney is doing it. 

As a graphic designer at my core, I love great typography. Oh No Type Company is probably one of the most important type foundries in decades. I’ve also always loved the world of Americana design and hand-lettering, so anything LAND does is amazing.