Designer Ben Haworth on starting again

Ben Haworth, founder of fledgling creative studio Soft Power, discusses how he made the difficult decision to leave The Beautiful Meme behind and start anew

For plenty of designers and creatives, setting up their own studio or agency is the ultimate achievement. That was certainly true for Ben Haworth, co-founder of creative agency The Beautiful Meme which, until its closure, counted D&AD, Nike and the V&A among its clients. The agency was outwardly successful, making interesting work for the right people, winning awards, and getting press coverage. But while the business was doing well, Haworth was battling some secret demons.

“Like most things that break, I suppose it was a gradual build-up over probably the last two years,” he told CR, of his increasing feelings of disillusionment. ”It usually takes a breaking point to realise that actually you want a change, and then you look back and say, ‘wow, maybe I’ve been feeling this for quite a while’.”

Haworth says it was a hard situation, particularly having spent so much time establishing The Beautiful Meme – which he set up with Tom Sharp in 2015. As time went by, he says the two of them wanted to take the business in different directions.