Catch Design Ltd | A design company’s values create goodwill

It was Hamish Stevenson’s ‘can- do’ attitude that helped launch his career as a freelance designer in 2004. Now he is the director of Catch Design, a digital design agency that has grown to become an award-winning enterprise with a staff of 28 and offices in Wellington and Auckland.

Catch Design clients include Mercury, 2degrees, ACG Schools, Fonterra, the New Zealand Olympic Committee, The Warehouse Group and Wellington Rugby.

Being a designer wasn’t always on the cards for Hamish. He explains, “I meandered through my twenties, having first studied Music and English at Victoria University in Wellington. After that, I travelled, toyed with the idea of becoming a teacher but then got into a band and did sound recording. I also worked for a magazine and while there created them a website.”

It was his mother, who he says, “just before she passed away in late 2003, ‘gently‘ encouraged me to sort myself out and do something with my life.”

“With little money to my name, she bought me a laptop and shortly after, I began working as a contract designer and web developer.”

Being a sole contractor worked well for Hamish for some years, but in 2008 he took on his first employee. Catch Design then became a registered company after a new client requested he become one. Hamish called on Bruce Stormer, director at Moore Stephens Markhams Wellington to help guide him through the process.

The team at Catch comprises UX/UI designers, researchers, strategists, producers and developers who “share a passion for human-centred, insight-driven and outcome-focused digital solutions for our diverse client base.

“We like to find and retain good talent, so we hire from the best in the industry. I am constantly in awe of the people we have working here,” says Hamish.

An integral part of Catch is a dedication to its four core values: empathy, integrity, solution-focused and excellence. “Everything we design and build is based around these principles, consequently we are very selective about the clients we take on to ensure they are the right fit. A lot of the work we do is not only about meeting our customers’ needs but doing well for their customers too.”

Hamish continues to be inspired by the industry he’s in. “In our industry, design and technology are interwoven. There’s a lot of responsibility and opportunity to do good and make people’s lives better. The way we use data, design and technology can create positive experiences and we see our role as educating our clients to do good as well.”

Bruce Stormer has “woven his way through the history of Catch”, says Hamish.  “When I started Catch, I didn’t have a business plan, or funding or anything. I’ve learned what it means to be a company owner and an employer along the way.”

The team at Moore Stephens Markham has also helped Hamish transition from MYOB to Xero and learn how to use SmartPayroll.

“I’ve had challenges and had to learn to trust when things haven’t gone my way; I’ve had career-defining moments when I thought I should give it all away, but Bruce is a gracious and generous advisor and has been a constant presence throughout. He has gone above and beyond, to the point where he knows more than anyone, the challenges I’ve faced.”