“When I first work with clients, I get them to forage for natural items that represent their brand or ask them to bring me something they’re drawn to. It’s really insightful. For example, someone might choose a straight stick from a beech tree and then talk about the way they want their messaging to be straight to the point.”
In the last five years, Charlotte has developed and delivered branding for more than 100 ethical and sustainable companies, most of which she has branded from scratch.
Finding balance as a business owner
When it comes to running Creative Wilderness, Charlotte aims to take a holistic approach. “Rest is just as important as work, especially because if I don’t take time out, I’ll start resenting my work and it will show,” she says.
“I don’t have my emails or social media on my phone, I take regular holidays and I give myself creative days. For example, I go for a big hike followed by a wild swim and then do some writing or journaling in a notebook. When we have space, creativity thrives.”
Charlotte usually spends four to eight weeks working with each sustainable brand, with a few design days for smaller projects in between. “Instead of working all hours and trying to grow really quickly, I try to follow an older way of doing things, as if I were someone spending time whittling down a piece of wood into an instrument - there’s a real beauty in that.”
From bass guitar to branding
Before becoming a graphic designer and brand strategist, Charlotte was a musician. “I played the saxophone and bass guitar and trained in Liverpool at the college Paul McCartney set up,” she says.
“As a musician I had to create gig posters so I taught myself how to design things. In 2006, I got a job at a newspaper in the advert design section and then went on to work for an advertising agency.”
When asked why she didn’t continue with music, she replies: “The people who went on to do music full time after graduating were obsessed. I loved music but I wasn’t obsessed.”
So what is her obsession? “My campervan - she’s bright orange and she’s called Autumn.”