#21 Design Matters

Ch-ch-ch-changes... hopefully you get the vibe of this newsletter. The over-arching theme for the start to this year, 2020, is change. Things never stay the same and we can all change a little bit to accommodate that fact. This issue looks at how thinking about things differently can make a difference, whether it's putting a note into a loved one's lunchbox, or donating a painting to a good cause; every little bit helps us feel that things are going to be OK. We also feature some projects that are reviving old ideas and turning them into something new, from a broadsheet-inspired EDM, to a flat-pack house for minimal living, a colour to evoke trust and consistency, and an ancient craft with an awesome twist. 

Mel and Rachel


Refreshing a digital presence

The Office Space (TOS) is a serviced-office business that is highly regarded for their tenure in the industry (15-plus years), their beautifully renovated office locations (most notably the Paramount office space, which won Best Office Design at the World Architecture Festival in 2016), their great events and original content.

We were engaged by them to come up with a new identity for their electronic direct mail (EDM), roll-out to Instagram, presentation visuals and marketing materials. 

We started with the EDM by creating a masthead with a nod to the broadsheet newspaper format and strong differentiation between the pillars of their business. We developed symbols for each pillar using shapes that tie in with TOS square logo. Commerce is a triangle for growth. Community is a circle representing coming together, organic and nurturing, and Culture is a hexagon for giving new perspectives and ways of seeing.

The colour element in the design aesthetic is by way of bespoke illustrations byNiki Fisher. They incorporate geometric patterns and black outlines to tie in with the brand. The style guide for imagery also includes low-contrast black-and-white portraits, graphic symbols, and abstract images that represent their story in a non-literal way. 


House in a box

Our latest dream house is a pocket-sized minimal living pre-fab designed by Japanese retailer, Muji. We love the outdoor deck with a modern twist on the 70s sunken conversation spot. At 74sqm, it makes us think about how much space we really need. Read more about this gorgeous house concept here.


Lunchbox zine

We fell in love with this amazing Dad, Austin Kleon (author ofSteal Like an Artist), who adds these gorgeous mini hand-drawn zines to his son's lunchbox.  


Classic blue

Classic Blue has been chosen as the Pantone Colour of the Year. Last year's colour was Coral Pink... maybe you noticed a bit of that around? Navy and classic blue have been at the top of King Street Press' graphic design colour palette as its perfect for a modern classic, professional and friendly vibe. It's also gender non-specific, appealing to both men and women. Symbolically, classic blue also represents trust, consistency and confidence, something you can rely on, which makes sense in a time that requires trust and faith. As designers, Pantone is the colour system we use, as it can be applied consistently across print, web/digital design, signage and fabric, and we're always trying to predict next year's top colour. 


A brand story

Kiama’s historical Barroul House will soon have a new lease on life as a community meeting centre and café. And we were lucky enough to be engaged as part of this beauty's makeover. 

The logo is a simple line drawing of the historical house. We extended the branding to aprons and social media by using household elements as symbols. The mint green colour is part of the house's new exterior colour scheme, breathing fresh life into the beautiful old home and new beginning as a cafe.


Little treasures

NZ jewellery artist and weaver Matthew McIntyre-Wilson taught himself the dying art of Maori net-making by reading Peter Buck's bookThe Maori Craft of Nettingand viewing archival film footage depicting net-making. He weaves miniature traditional kete (baskets) and jewellery in copper, silver, bronze and gold. See more of his work on Instagram@matthewmcintyrewilson


An Australian icon

Mel's late dad was a Holden man through and through, and would be devastated by the recent closure. When she was looking for her first car he told her the best car to get was this very one – a LJ Torana – but she bought a Mini instead. Ben Quiltyhas kindly donated this painting, which he created on the day Holden died, to a fundraiser for Ngunungulla on Gundungurra land, the latest regional gallery in the country, and the first to be run on renewables. This bold new project will be in the heart of Bowral and open to the public in 2021. Follow the progress of the gallery on Instagram at @southernhighlandsgallery

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