How I Work: Aaron Hinchion, Creative Director, Kano

Aaron Hinchion heads up the creative team at Kano. Here, he discusses building an in-house creative team, using gaming mechanics to teach people about coding and computing and the difference between life in a startup and an agency

Kano Computing isn’t a gaming company, but it uses game mechanics to help people understand coding and physical computing. The East London startup was founded in 2013, and raised over $1 million on Kickstarter for its first product – a build-it-yourself computer. It has since released speaker, camera, motion sensor and light kits and last month, released a Harry Potter coding kit with a wireless wand and Potter-themed app.

Kits are aimed at all ages (customers range from 6 to 81) and each one teaches people about technology through building and creative play. Users have to assemble a device, which arrives in parts, before working through a series of challenges and creative exercises, from coding games and animations to making art. They can also take to Kano’s online platform Kano World to share their creations.

The company has a small but multi-talented creative team, who work across everything from product development to marketing and the user guides that come with each kit. Here, Aaron Hinchion, Creative Director, explains his role in developing the Kano brand and making products that will keep users entertained.

Overseeing all things creative at Kano It’s quite varied at Kano and that’s something I really love. As Creative Director, I take care of both the marketing and comms side as well as the product side, so making sure that the brand and tone of voice are visible from the first moment you see a Kano ad to the moment you’ve finished your 100th challenge [on a Kano device].

I have people on my team who look after content around the products, we look at art and illustration across the board [in everything from user guides to Kano’s website], and then we try and find those moments in the product that can really work in marketing.

Rather than just being focused on the marketing or the product, I try to make sure myself and my team understand and are involved in the entire process and know it inside out.