Original Interview: October 2016

Hum Creative

As a child Kate Harmer would color imaginary ads for commercials she heard on the radio… These days she is the Founder & Creative Director of Hum Creative. Kate tells us the importances for creatives to exercise both types of expressions (art & design), and a passion project that involves Donald Trump’s worst quotes!

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?
As a child I colored imaginary ads for commercials I heard on the radio, drew letters over and over, and built furniture for my barbies out of scotch tape and whatever scraps I could find. In junior high I overheard my dad tell someone that he thought I may go to art school someday, and I was so relieved that my parents just knew. I feel very lucky, I always knew what I wanted to do.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?
After studying illustration at Cornish College of the Arts, I was hired as a designer at the Starbucks Creative Group and also freelanced for years. I went back to school to focus on typography and design while earning my MFA at Rhode Island School of Design. I had a handful of teachers at RISD who ran their own studios. They showed me that you can be a designer on your own terms and inspired me to start Hum.

Hum Creative - The Design Kids

Hum Creative - The Design Kids

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.
Hum Creative is a full service creative agency specializing in strategy, branding, and design.

What does a typical working day include for you right now?
I used to work well into the evenings, but now that I am a mom I’ve learned to be much more efficient with my time. In between a barrage of emails, I meet with my team to strategize, brainstorm, and creative direct our projects. I also spend a lot of time meeting with potential and current clients. I eat lunch quickly in the late afternoon, only after I am completely starving and can’t put it off any longer. 

Hum Creative - The Design Kids

Hum Creative - The Design Kids

What do you look for in a great portfolio?
I look for smart creative thinking, a point of view, flexibility, and great type skills.

Any passion projects you would like to share?
Hum is my passion project! Running this business is a design challenge in itself and I truly never stop thinking about how to do it better. It motivates me like nothing else ever has, or probably ever will. As a studio, we were compelled by the 2016 U.S. election to create hirethedonald.com, a website which presents Donald Trump’s worst quotes and (lack of) qualifications in the form of his résumé. Seattle is a bit of a progressive bubble, so we were thrilled that the site was visited by people from every state and from over 100 countries. 

Hum Creative - The Design Kids

Hum Creative - The Design Kids

What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?
I would tell my teenage self to keep painting and drawing. As my career moved toward design and creative direction, I slowly stopped working with the mediums that first attracted me to art. Design is often about conveying a very specific set of messages to a focused audience. A painting can mean something different to everyone who sees it. I think it is important for creatives to exercise both types of expression.

Website: humcreative.com
Instagram: @humcreative
Twitter: @humcreative

Hum Creative - The Design Kids

Hum Creative - The Design Kids

Hum Creative - The Design Kids