From Workshop to Concept Development and a New BrandThe creatives, Johanna and Calle, about life at KAN

KAN is a full-service agency, which means we work on all types of communication projects, from web development to marketing and brand work. All projects have one thing in common: they need both textual and visual elements. Two people who have experience working on most types of projects together are copywriter Johanna Ströberg and art director Calle Blomqvist. To get more insight into what it’s like to work as a creative at KAN, we sat down and talked to them about their experience working together.

Calle has been at the agency for 15 years, and Johanna for almost eight years. When we ask them how many projects they have worked on together over the years, they both laugh and say, “It has to be a few hundred at this point.” From web projects and digital marketing to big brand work, they’ve been through it all together.

Creating It All – From Brand to Communication and Concept Development

When we ask them what type of projects they enjoy the most, they both agree that they prefer working from a 360-degree perspective – doing everything from branding to web and marketing.

”I particularly enjoy working with the entirety of a brand in that way because it allows you to get to know the client more in-depth and make a real difference from the inside out. And I personally like the variety that a project like that entails,” says Johanna.

Calle nods and continues:

”I like being on the client’s journey with them and seeing them grow into their new brand. It’s also a lot of fun when you can tell the client is proud of the new brand you’ve created for them.”

What is the process like when you work on a project together?

”We always start with some type of research phase, usually with a workshop with the client, where we get to know the client and their customers better. The insight phase is the most crucial part of the work because it gives us insight into the client’s challenges,” Johanna explains.

”We then compile all the insights from the workshop and put together recommendations and a plan based on those insights. We usually try to involve the entire team for this part so that we get everyone’s perspective and ensure that everyone has a good understanding of the project before we get started.”

Calle nods and contintues:

”In this phase, you can usually discover new needs that the client wasn’t aware of when they came to us. Part of the challenge then becomes convincing the client to prioritize those needs, which sometimes might mean focusing on something else than they planned to. This is why the initial workshop is so important: it helps the client see what their needs actually are. Our job isn’t to decide what they need, but to help them realize it themselves.”

”What we then create for our clients depends on the type of project. The more strategic projects are usually about creating brands or communication platforms and developing ideas and concepts for different communication efforts. Other projects might involve creating design and copy for websites, ads, or social media posts.”

”Since our job is to help our clients reach their goals, collaboration is essential. Usually, we get the best results when our clients are involved in the project and contribute with their knowledge while also giving us creative freedom,” Johanna adds.

How does the collaboration between the two of you differ from when you started working together eight years ago?

”Over the years, we have found a way to create the best possible preconditions for both of us to be creative. We both need a chance to create separately before joining forces and working together,” says Calle.

Johanna nods and then continues:

”We have found our pace. And after having worked together so much, the process feels very safe. I can do my job knowing that the visual parts will strengthen my copy and make the end result even better than I could have imagined.”

What’s the best part of your job?

”I’m driven by doing good creative work,” Johanna says. As a copywriter, you get to use creativity to problem-solve, which is fun. You also learn a lot about different subjects all the time. And since the industry is constantly changing, you need to stay updated on the latest in copywriting, marketing, and communication. I really enjoy that part as well.”

”My favorite part is seeing the clients start to live their new brands and how that improves their communication. To see the results of our work and the difference it makes for the clients is what I enjoy the most with our job,” Calle adds.

”It’s also cool to see how working together creates something bigger than just a logo or a font. Building on each other’s ideas creates a sum greater than the idea.”

Are there any challenges that come with working together?

“The challenges of working together are more related to surrounding factors rather than the work itself,” Calle answers, and Johanna nods. When we, for example, are working on different projects simultaneously and are in different phases, the balance can be a bit harder to find.”

“It’s also always a bit of a challenge to relate to another human being,” Johanna adds. “Mostly because what we do is very subjective, and people like different things. I do think that we have turned that into a strength after working together for so long because now we can speak openly and honestly about our work with each other without anyone taking it personally.”

A little while ago, the two of you did a big brand and concept development job for the law firm Kahn Pedersen. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

”Kahn Pedersen came to us because they wanted to update their website; they felt that it didn’t reflect how they were anymore. However, when we had the initial workshop, it became clear that they needed help with more than just the website,” Calle explains. “We ended up creating a new look for the entire brand as well as a communications concept.”

Johanna nods and continues:

”I feel like we had a smart approach when working on this project. We used target audience insights we found while also reusing parts of the brand’s identity that were already in place, and created a brand that truly will last for many years.”

Before we wrap up, I need to ask: Do you have any tips on how to collaborate better? Are there any pitfalls to avoid?

They both think a little bit before Calle answers:

”The most important part is giving each other time to create. Give each other space for the creative process, which can mean different things for different people.”

”You need to feel safe to be creative,” Johanna continues. “So getting to know each other is important in a successful creative collaboration.”

”Dare to challenge each other. Give and take feedback often. And trust the process. Don’t be afraid to let things take time. It’s when things fall into place mentally that the good ideas are born.”


Let us help you