#12 Time to simplify

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

Hi All, Welcome to our first newsletter of 2019! At the start of the each year we think of a single word as our theme for the year. My word for 2019 is 'Simplify'. It's something I find quite difficult, as my brain is full of ideas and projects and I usually have multiple things on the go so I end up multi-tasking like a demon and getting shit done. I'm slowly trying to unlearn my production-oriented mindset. Over the Christmas break, with the encouragement of Rachel and my mum, and while we were on holidays, I embraced the afternoon nap. OMG, why have I not been doing this? The result was that I woke up feeling refreshed and with far greater clarity. The book Creative Superpowers (we've recommended it in the READING section below), is also helping me realise that experimenting with how and when I work best, and giving myself space and free time, is the best way to live a life full of creativity and happiness. x Mel 

We have plans to design and make some of our own products this year. It's something we've wanted to do for a while now but have never 'found' the time. We decided we needed to do something drastic, so we've stopped watching tv (and yes, that includes Netflix) for at least a month. The days are feeling longer in a good way, giving us more time to create and have fun. The fruits of our first few tv-free weeks are below; the Australian Natives card series. We're reading and exercising a lot more too. Overall we're both feeling much more relaxed in general... give it a try!

Here's to the best year yet, Mel and Rachel


Australian Natives silhouettes

These Australian Natives card designs are Rachel's latest project. Inspired by the silhouettes of gum leaves on an evening stroll, she took photographs of various native plants, made sketches and refined them to form bold graphic shapes. The cards are printed onto earth-coloured matt stock in colours typical of the Australian landscape and the plants themselves. We are currently in production and these babies will be in our pop-up shop shortly. 


Animated brand story

We're loving this delightful brand-story video created by Without design studio. The beautifully written story, coupled with super-simple animation and beautiful music, has left us smiling. This video is inspiration for an animated piece we plan to create this year. Check out the whole brand identity roll out and rationale here.


Posture vases

Behind the scenes at a shoot is not as glamorous as it looks; clamps, fishing line, heavy stands and reflectors are all beyond the crop of the image you see. Photographer Carl Kleiner used this experience to create the Posture series – experiments and methods to control the positions of the flowers in order to photograph them in poses and arrangements that made them look alive. Now Kleiner and Bloc Studios have collaborated to create Posture vases.The flowers, mounted on a construction of metal wires and marble bases can easily be positioned in different angles to create sculptural shapes. It looks like a contemporary take on Japanese ikebana flowers. 


"I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed, embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all, become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good." Roald Dahl


Studio Kate

We recently worked on the brand identity for Kate Nixon, of Sydney interior design firm Studio Kate. The identity represents the understated elegance of the studio's work. It's classic with a contemporary edge. We are currently rolling out the identity to a new website and EDM template. 


A musical experience

Last year we were privileged be a part of a very special book, Leonard the Lyrebird, an Australian bush animal story set in the Blue Mountains, about friendship, bravery and being yourself. We lovingly designed and published this book, the creation of author Jodie McLeod and illustrator Eloise Short. Now, you can see and hear the story come to life in a classical music performance by acclaimed composer Ian Munro, featuring concert pianist Grace Kim, Opera Australia principal cellist Teije Hylkema and associate principal clarinet Phillip Green. Narrated by the composer, this original Australian classical work will enchant audiences of all ages with an imaginative blend of storytelling, instrumentation and illustration. Performance dates are 23th and 24th of February at Scenic World Blue Mountains. A limited number of tickets to Leonard the Lyrebird: A Musical Story are available here. Books available from jodiemcleod.com.


Livvy + Will Lullabies

Mandie Vieira came to us with an idea to teach mums and dads the lost art of singing their bubs to sleep. "Singing is soulful, it's nurturing," says Mandy. The first step was to create an identity, the next is lift-off with the launch of Livvy + Will lullabies this year. Contact Mandie for more information. 

READING Creative Superpowers MUST READ! Hands down, the best book about the future and the importance of thinking creatively told through creative leaders from an array of backgrounds. An exciting, thought-provoking and inspirational read – so enjoyable. Some clients tell me they're not creative because they can't draw or design. Creativity isn't about that, it's about new ideas and making something from them. Photographer Warren Kirk is preserving the beautifully ugly Australian Suburbia one image at a time, check out the photographs online. We're also loving Street Libraries: Books on the Footpath and The 10 Biggest Rebrands and New Logos of 2018.  WATCHING Movies: The best movies we've seen in a while: This Beautiful Fantastic and Maudie, a .99c Independent films special on iTunes.This video, about a barbershop run out of a Western Sydney school to help curb fights and disruptive behaviour.  VISITING Judy Watson exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW.  The Architect's Bookshop in Surry Hills.  LISTENING Design Your Life podcast by Vince Frost and Jackie Alexander, the founder of a yoga studio with a difference. A perfect example of using user experience to build a business that succeeds in a crowded space. Old-style music: James Taylor, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Bill Withers, Bobby Womack. WISH LIST This year we're making a conscious effort to live 'simply' and not bring more things we don't really need into our small house, and lives. :) Check out the KonMari method of decluttering.

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