Why Little Things

Little Things is Clear on What Really Matters

LBB speaks to Chris Wrigglesworth and James Clark about the reasons behind the audio house’s rebranding from Clearcut Sound Studios, and where this evolution is going to take the team next.

Chris Wrigglesworth and James Clark have always paid attention to the ‘little things’. The managing partners learned early on that getting the details right is the way to success for their independent sound house. The idea to rename the company, which has been in operation since 1993, reared its head soon after Chris and James took over as management in 2012, but the timing wasn’t right. The discussion about it never really went away and the team revisited it every couple of years until, finally, at the end of 2023 it started to feel like a necessary change.

“It was time to have our own identity,” says James. “We wanted to really make it our own.” And so ‘Little Things’ replaces Clearcut Sound Studios, a name that has served the team well over the years but needed a refresh in line with where they are now and looking to be in the future. And ‘Little Things’ truly encapsulates what really matters to the team.

The new name and look are not a break with the company’s ethos or its 30-year old legacy. It’s an evolution. “We’re not interested in losing any of it, we’re really proud of our past. In that sense, we’re not making a new company but renaming the old name to set ourselves up for the next 10 or 15 years,” James says.

Decidedly not ‘little’ is the team’s creative ambition. It’s that, over growth, that the team looks towards. “The concept of growth in terms of ‘bigger is better’ doesn’t sit right with us,” Chris confirms. “We think it’s a misjudgement. We have a lot of ambitions and personal growth is our goal. By no means are we stagnant. What we have is the desire to make great creative work with nice people, and we can do that with the set up we have.” The clear benefit of employee-ownership is in action here: a team that’s defining success for itself, without external pressures to conform to what anything is ‘supposed’ to look like.

For the deliberately-small team, the ‘Little Things’ moniker stands for everything they believe in, embracing and emphasising the boutique set-up. “We realised that our power is our small size. It allows us to focus on creativity,” James adds. “Some people in the industry value size and scale but we really believe that you can get the same, if not a better, job with us because we’re small. We can and do pay attention to the details.” Having engaged with a number of existing clients during the rebranding process, the team is confident that they’ll all see it as a positive change while for new clients, ‘Little Things’ should communicate two-pronged approach from the outset: the deliberately small team, and the lens of attention that everyone brings to even the smallest details on each and every job.

Arriving at the new name wasn’t an easy process for the employee-owned company; everyone pitched in with their views until a consensus was reached. “We’re a creative bunch and everyone has a lot of ideas.” The team engaged the services of a branding agency, who helped them crystallise their strengths: agility, expertise, personability, attention to detail. The agency delivered a lot of really great suggestions and facilitated the discussion around the new name. “Working through the branding process we realised that the only people who could really name us were ourselves, but we needed that independent guidance,” Chris says.

This sentiment was one the whole team could get behind even if the journey there took a little longer than expected. Still, the process brought them closer together and it gave some of the junior staff members a taste of what employee ownership means in action. “It’s not often we have to deconstruct one anothers ideas and give creative feedback,” recalls James of not only renaming the company but deciding on its new aesthetics too. “We really did do it together,” they both agree.

As such, and under the sails of a new name, the team feels freer than ever to pursue their self-defined ambitions; build on the strong creative foundation, legacy, and relationships that have brought them this far; and continue doing what they do best—paying attention to what really matters: the little things.

Little Things