Koto builds brands for the modern world. It combines the rigour of a large agency with the flexibility of a digital one.
It brands start-ups from scratch: giving them a name, positioning and identity that announces their arrival with a bang. Pairing strategic thinking and practical execution, Koto takes established brands to the next level and launches products and services for iconic household names.
Partners are varied in terms of size and sector, from companies with their first seed to those that have been around for a hundred years.
Koto, founded in 2015, is now 50 designers, strategists, writers and client services in Berlin, London and Los Angeles – cities bursting with progressive ideas and creative talent.
From skincare to security software, rideshares to rental sites, diverse clients bring fresh global perspectives. But the agency is careful to approach projects with a beginner’s mind to avoid stale thinking.
Inside Koto's London workspace
From Koto's Culver City LA location
Mission and Values
‘Koto’ is a Japanese word that describes an emotional experience, beyond pure aesthetics. The name drives the agency to build brands with rich narratives. The work might look good, but it needs to make people feel something, too.
Work begins with a big idea, expressed clearly. Then the team brings it to life with expertise and craft. The result is output that directly reflects the optimism and passion shared by both the team and partners.
Founders Caroline, James and Jowey
Each year, the global Koto team come together for an offsite
Culture and Benefits
Positivity, hard work and lasting relationships are key. The team is always eager to meet new partners and colleagues who share these values and apply them in day-to-day life.
Koto operates as one studio, with all three teams connecting digitally on a daily basis. Each year they all get together for a company offsite around the world.
In terms of company benefits at Koto, each employee is able to choose from a selection benefits that best fit.
'Koto' means 'emotional experience, beyond pure aesthetics'
Sharing knowledge and mentoring junior team members is something the team is passionate about.
Design internships and strategy and copywriting internships are available for those looking to get their foot in the door of a branding studio and understand what’s involved in the day-to-day process. Interns are treated as extensions of the team, so they’re often resourced against a variety of different projects supporting full-time employees on their project deliveries.
Koto’s team members are also involved in mentoring and portfolio reviews at a variety of universities across the UK. They are developing a plan to engage different communities about branding, beyond those in higher education.