Creative thinking &

Brand communications

+64 (0) 21 190 2220

I’m a thinker but not a procrastinator. I like notebooks made of paper more than microchips. Give me a wipe board over PowerPoint any day and I’d rather have face-to-face time than ‘Face time’. My best work comes from understanding and forming strong relationships with clients, colleagues, collaborators and connections (make that friendships – I like to have a laugh with the people I spend time with).


I believe in simplicity and despair at the over intellectualising of what we do. In my experience 99.9% of clients I’ve worked with are just human beings, like you and I, who want to talk openly and honestly about the work we create – we all just want creativity that connects with us.


I put my faith in the human connection to words, pictures, sounds, feelings and the power of design to influence decision making, build brands, develop cultures, influence behaviours and change the world – if only just a tiny bit.


In a rapidly changing world embracing the digital explosion has been a passion of mine from my early days and I continue to learn with every project, allowing me to stay energized and challenge my inner old-schooler, while remaining all about the brand. I’m as comfortable talking about the subtleties of letterforms on a crafted logotype as I am designing digital experiences, advertising concepts, annual reports, presentations… and most other things, although packaging has alluded me to this day. I’m a rare breed creative that loves the drama and theatre of presentations – that moment you unveil the big idea all the way to the adrenalin of the last word.


As a creative ‘leader’ I have a proven track record in developing award winning teams and fostering cultures that allow creative expression without becoming a style-dictator (I didn’t enjoy it as a designer). Having worked in medium sized teams as well as big beasts I appreciate the importance of drawing upon differing skill sets to help shape a project and deliver excellence – building a collaborative, client centric team that can build meaningful creative solutions across channels.


My past roles and diverse experiences have given me invaluable insights on the business of creativity, from leadership skills and guiding teams, to client relationships and ensuring expectations are exceeded more than the budgets – essential qualities for agencies today.



2016 - 2017


Creative Director

Geyser Creative

Auckland, New Zealand

2008 - 2016


Creative Director

Scenario Communications

Wellington, New Zealand

2007 - 2008


Creative Director

Navyblue Design Group

Leeds, United Kingdom

As Creative Director at Geyser my role has been a help align the creative communications to the engagement or culture strategy. Helping better connect people to purpose and building cultures through comms that support organisations to deliver their promise to customers.


Working alongside CEO’s, people and culture experts, communications and marketing teams we  help our clients tell the stories that can inspire people and create meaningful conversations that can build their brand from the inside out.


I also have responsibility across all stages of the creative process from business development, resourcing, scoping and costings, to helping develop creative strategies and building client relationships that allow us to truly integrate as a highly effective partner to some of New Zealand’s biggest companies.


Key clients:

Southern Cross Healthcare, Transpower, Contact Energy, Auckland DHB, Constellation Brands, IAG, Mercury, Cushman Wakefield.

My time as Creative Director at Scenario has seen the agency transform from primarily a public sector design services provider to a creative agency working with some of New Zealand’s biggest corporate brands, winning awards and surprising a few people along the way.


Central to that journey has been my changes in the company’s culture, focusing more on effective creativity and building client relationships, restructuring the our ‘old ad agency’ approach and modernising our processes in order to give the design team more client contact, more influence on their projects, clearer procedures throughout a project and much more.


My role is perhaps a little broader than the traditional Creative Director title suggests, touching all aspects of the day to day management of the company; finances, account management for

specific clients, overseeing all projects throughout their progress, reviewing work, developing the design team, dealing with suppliers, you name it!


Key clients:

Westpac Institutional Bank, Prime Minister’s Science Prize, Greenstone Energy (Z Energy), Master Builders Association, FX Networks, Summerset Group, CentrePort, MTA.

Establishing the Leeds office for Navyblue’s (one of the UK’s top 5 branding agencies) expanding group of companies was a great challenge, one that exposed me to many new areas

of the business and management, from recruitment to meeting financial targets and developing new business, to the day-to-day running of the team.


I continued to work with a number of clients from Edinburgh, their desire to work with me remotely than start new working relations was very flattering and speaks volumes for the relationships I’d built with many of them.


I continued to do design work (although not as much as I would have liked), allowing me to have a hands-on role in the majority of projects in the studio whilst guiding the team in developing creative presentations, writing pitch proposals, estimating projects, ensuring resources were used efficiently across the group and working alongside our new media and 3D teams.


Key clients:

Windrush Fud Group, Aggreko, Kenmore Property Group, Prozone, University of Leeds, CTP St James, Keeble Hawson, Rautomead, Sport England.

2002 - 2007


Associate Design Director

Navyblue Design Group

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

2001 - 2002


Senior Designer

Maxx Design Limited

Newbury, United Kingdom


1997 - 2001


Senior Designer

Splash of Paint Design Consultants

Reading, United Kingdom

Having progressed from Senior Designer to Associate Design Director I was responsibile for a number of major clients, including the day-to-day running of Navyblue’s largest account, Miller Homes, seeing them through the biggest brand review in their history. This included all Head Office marketing requirements, regional developments and Group level Annual Reports and CSR materials.


I was also responsible for the brand direction on a wide range of other clients, working with them from initial client briefing, to concept presentations and on to final delivery, adding my writing skills to projects where needed.


Key clients:

Hilton Group, Ladbrokes, Tottenham Hotspur FC, New Balance, Miller Homes, Miller Group, The Royal Scotsman, Abbot Group, Health Scotland, Newcastle International Airport.

Brought into an established design team as the most senior creative to add experience, fresh ideas and creative direction to a team of three designers.

My remit was to foster innovative and creative practices and to develop a more ‘team-focused’ approach on all projects.


Key clients:

Tri-Direct, Highclere Thoroughbred Stables, Amey, TPT Fire Protection, Provek, Printwell, RW Armstrong & Sons, Bracknell Forest Borough Council.

I began as a Middleweight Designer working across many disciplines, from traditional print; Brochures, Sales Literature, Customer Magazines, Mailers, Corporate Identities and Guidelines, to

TVC story boards, Press Adverts, Websites, CD Roms and developed
a keen interest in copy writing.


In 1999 I was promoted to team leader with responsibility for two traditional print designers and two new media designers. Guiding team members during projects,

allowing them to work freely whilst understanding the need for content and styling to work together for maximum effect. Reviewing work and adding substance where needed.


Key clients:

Honda Motors (EU), Panasonic, DaimlerChrysler, 3M, SGI Worldwide, Anacomp, Guilbert Niceday.

1994 - 1997


Middleweight Designer

Kokoro Design Consultants,

Newbury, United Kingdom

As part of a larger PR company (Mmd),

I joined as a junior designer working my way up to Middleweight in a small team that allowed me to gain excellent experience in many different areas,

sink or swim style, including Annual Reports, Corporate Brochures, Newsletters, Mailers, Press Adverts and Radio Advertising.


Key clients:

British Tourist Authority, Pioneer, Genus, Cyanamid, Blick.

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Richie Hartness

PO Box 33766


Auckland 0740

New Zealand


Te: +64 (0) 21 190 2220


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