Learning the right way to be a Wayfinder

AGDA Afterhours – Conversations with Despina Macris – 27 April

On Wednesday night our newest Salty team member (Gemma!), listened intently as Despina Macris, Managing Co-Director of Dotdash, presented a snippet of what it is like to be a Wayfinder.

Despina held the attention of the AGDA community as she described Dotdash’s creative process, the variety of professions which are employed to work together and the incredible projects her team has worked on. By the end of her presentation, it seemed everyone in the room wanted to adapt their Graphic Design career to become a Wayfinder!

Having a ‘scaffolding education’
To produce wayfinding systems that work well and stand the test of time, a range of professions must work to together; such as Visual communicators, Interior designers, Architects, Industrial designers and Urban planners to name a few. Despina pressed the importance of having a ‘scaffolding education’, which is reflected in the qualifications the team at Dotdash boasts.

Finding your way around Brisbane
Despina described a wayfinding system that I see on a daily basis, and am sure most Brisbanites would recognise – you know the yellow pedestrian street signs plotted around Brisbane’s inner city? This is a Dotdash award winning project! It is a Multilingual Pedestrian Wayfinding and Signage system produced for the Brisbane City Council. Have you ever noticed there are five different languages on each sign! FIVE! It’s a typographic nightmare, but necessary to help locals and tourists navigate their way around our beautiful city. All Dotdash had to begin with was the already standing street poles, the rest was up to them. With design precision Dotdash produced a system that is clean and understandable at a glance.

How to move millions from A to B everyday
For everyone who has hopped on a form of transport in Sydney, you would have definitely been directed by the next project Despina spoke about. Dotdash worked with Transport for New South Wales to design the Multi Modal Wayfinding System. On a daily basis millions of people rely on this beautifully designed wayfinding system and train signage to navigate around the HUGE city! Maybe that’s why I don’t get lost when visiting Sydney!

Good design takes time
One of the longest running projects the team has worked on was Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, which was 7 years in the making. Despina explained how important it was to get the wayfinding exactly right − especially to enable patients and family to find their way in a short space of time.

Wayfinding design plays a part in all our lives, to make our life easier – sometimes without us even realising. Imagine a world without this form of design – it would be a pretty confusing place.

AGDA Queensland holds these free, short and sweet speaker events monthly. Keep an eye on their Facebook for upcoming events and follow on Instagram.

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!


To view a previous presentation by Despina visit The Society for Experiential Graphic Design Chicago 2015.
Wayfinding images credited to Dotdash. Event image taken by AGDA Queensland.


Lest we forget

Lest we take for granted how fortunate we are to live in this great southern land.

Each year, as ANZAC Day approaches, we are reminded how we should remember the fallen. Those who fought courageously for our countries – Australia and New Zealand. Upon reflection, perhaps we can also use this commemoration to remember what we have and how lucky it is to live in countries where we can feel safe and able to live the lives we choose to live.

At Salt, we’re drawn to visually beautiful things – awesome design, brilliant typography, brilliant new styles and trends in all areas of design. So we would like to take this opportunity to recognise and be grateful for the freedoms we are provided to create and inspire, to achieve and strive for new and beautiful designs.

Design ‘across the ditch’
We are inspired by the freshness and ingenuity happening in all areas of New Zealand design. The nation’s approach to life, respect of nature and ‘genuine’ personality are being translated into many design disciplines including graphic, environmental, interior, fashion, industrial and architectural. Whether it is the natural beauty of the landscape, the purity of New Zealand’s oceans or the remoteness of the country – there’s definitely something about kiwi design!

Our Great Southern Land
Not to get too swept away by the talents of our nearest neighbour – we’ve got some pretty clever and crafty folk here in our own back yard! The ability to step beyond the norm, willingness to stand out from the crowd and true blue Aussie resourcefulness are the qualities of young designers leading the way here in Oz .

So here’s to great design, to our ability to express ourselves creatively and stand proud as Aussie and New Zealand artisans.
We truly are grateful – for who we are, for what we have and for what we can create!

Lest we forget.

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!


All images and biographies below are from the creative’s website – be sure to check them out!
You can also see their work on our Pinterest board!

Aussies // Edith Rewa, Brooke Holm, Brown Paper Lemon, Olivia York.
Kiwis // Fancy (featuring Design by Makebardo + The Neighbourhood Studio), Hello Polly, Inject Design, Klim Type Foundry, Think Packaging.