work blog about search

We Made This loves Howies


Tucked away on the coast of Wales, Howies are one of those brands that just gets it exactly right.

As a brand, they're emminently huggable, which is a pretty good place to be. It comes partly from the stuff they make, then from the stuff they do around that, and then how they communicate it all to their customers.

They've got a great product (a range of functional but stylish clothing that could loosely be called skatewear) with a fairly fantastic environmental policy, and top notch customer service.

But rather than just sell clothes, Howies exudes a loose philosphy; a way of doing things. They have a library you can borrow books from, they run an annual Art Think competition, and have loads of useful and interesting information on their site.

All their writing is done in a human, friendly tone of voice, so that the company feels like the physical embodiment of the character and attitude of David and Clare, the folks who run it.

Well heck, probably best if we just let them speak for themselves:

Back in July 1995, we started making clothing for the sports we loved doing. We also wanted to find another way to do our business so we could ride home at night happy with what we do. We wanted howies to say something, to stand for something, to try to change the things we cared about. Was it so bad to make people think a little? We didn't think so. From a remote part of West Wales, where the air is pure and the rivers run clean, a bunch of us come in each day and try to do just that. It's almost as much fun as the ride home.

It always feels like a good day when their catalogue (shown above) drops through the door (so much so that we can't bring ourselves to chuck the old ones away).

They've just gone into partnership with Timberland, which means big things could be looming on the horizon.

So it felt like a good time to say: Howies, We Made This loves you. xx

posted: 8 December 2006
categories: Shop
recommended reading

Ace Jet 170
One of the finest individual design blogs (it’s been going as long as we have!) from Irish designer Richard Weston. Covering found type, print and stuff.

Casual Optimist
If you want to know what’s happening in the world of book cover design, keep an eye on this excellent blog by Dan Wagstaff.

Creative Review
Covering design and advertising, CR has been running since 1981, under the editorship of Patrick Burgoyne since 1999. Essential reading.

Daniel Gray
Dan writes a column in Creative Review, and this is his consistently entertaining blog about design and suchlike.

Eye Magazine
The best graphic design magazine out there, from editor John L. Walters and art director Simon Esterson.

Flat File
A fantastic collection of online publications based on pieces from the Herb Lubalin Study Centre.

Grafik is the brilliant online magazine about all things graphic design, from writers Caroline Roberts and Angharad Lewis.

Justin’s Amazing World
Justin Hobson, of Fenner Paper, is a bona fide expert on paper & print, and a charming chap to boot. His blog features in-depth analysis of the projects he’s worked on, including a few of our own.
One of the oldest blogs on the web. And one of the best.

Lecture in Progress
An invaluable collection of wisdom from a range of graphic designers, illustrators, photographers et al. From the team that brought you It’s Nice That.

Spitalfields Life
The anonymous Gentle Author of this wonderful blog has promised to write 10,000 stories about the life & culture of Spitalfields in east London, writing one story each and every day.

St Bride Library
The St Bride Library houses one of the world’s finest collection of books (& related objects) about printing and design. It also hosts unmissable design talks and events.

Styling and Salvage
Rupert Blanchard is a mate of ours, and makes great furniture. This blog covers his projects, interests, and life in Margate.
Brooklyn-based designer Khoi Vinh has been writing insightfully about design, technology and culture since the turn of the millennium.

The Ride Journal
A glorious mix of the very best writing and illustration about all types of cycling. On an indefinite break now, but you can download past issues for free.