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Untitled. {The Design Conference 2018}

We attended this year’s event showcasing designers and graphic artists from Australia and around the world – two days of being fully immersed in design thinking. Held at the Powerhouse, the Design Conference was attended by over 500 delegates (local, national and international designers, industry peers, students and people who just love design!)

Design has the ability to extend, express and engage. It can communicate beyond perceived boundaries – geographically, culturally, politically and ethically.

It was a sensory delight seeing these designers’ works and hearing their journeys (both personal insights and career highlights). With the theme to this year’s event being “Life changing moments”, each speaker presented their own perspective on how they do what they do, and more importantly WHY they do what they do. As both personal and professional yardsticks, we found ourselves inwardly exclaiming “yes!” “me too!” and “oh wow!” many times! We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet other designers, discuss design topics in depth, be creatively inspired and awed by the achievements of such stand-out creatives!

  • It’s cool to be a kiwi and wear jandals on stage
  • Dyslexia is no obstacle to great design
  • Design can be a powerful driver to effecting change in humanity
  • Beautiful normal is a wonderful state of being!
  • Typefaces can be exceptional in themselves – when incorporated into brilliant design – the result AMAZING!
  • By guided by your own passion. It’s not a competition.

Each speaker was insightful and empowering in their own way.

Absolute standouts were…

It is so important to be challenged and inspired by learning from others.
And TDC provided us with such a brilliant opportunity to do this.

So when can we purchase tickets for next year’s event?

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

 

World Ocean’s Day

So where’s the connection between a design studio and World Ocean’s Day???

It’s all in the name . . . SALT.

Over thirteen years ago Salt Design began. What had been a lifelong passion to design well and to create, solve, challenge, question and produce great, beautiful effective design – needed to find a home.

To start, we had one huge question to answer – what would the studio be called?
It needed to be something catchy, memorable, slightly off-centre and unpredictable – with an ‘ahah!’ moment response.
But it also need to be something meaningful to us. A name/word which captured life’s journey thus far, encapsulated our approach to service delivery, whilst holding a subtle reference to the things most important to us.

And so ‘Salt’ became our name.

It’s a word which epitomises all that we are – ‘Salt of the earth’, ‘worth our Salt’, humble, unassuming designers who add that vital ingredient to projects which enhances flavour and taste – bringing out the best in all that we create!

Stradbroke Island
Like so many Aussies, we have many childhood memories of times spent fishing, swimming and beach-combing during many endless summers. The ocean is a special place where solace is found, calm restored and creativity revitalised. Our special place was and always will be North Stradbroke Island. We recently traveled there and saw whales, dolphins, fish and sea birds. We also took some amazing photos to share… {see below}

Recognising the value of our oceans
Fisherman lament to living with a ‘deep respect for the sea’ – they value all that it can give and to recognise all that it can take away. Sadly, we are guilty of not always giving the oceans the respect they truly deserves. Pollution, over-fishing, mining and climate change are having devastating impacts on our oceans and its creatures.

The significance of our oceans should not be overlooked, nor taken for granted. Sure, we are but humble designers – however we can make changes in our daily lives to help our oceans remain safe and the abundance of life they sustain remain plentiful for generations to come. Consider the amount of plastic and toxic cleaners we use; support a local environmental group; get involved in the next local ‘clean up day’; buy sustainable, farmed or line-caught fish and seafood; DON’T buy shell product unless you know they have been fished sustainably…
There are many ways we can help make a difference.

Additional links

Small changes may seem like a tiny drop in the ocean – but the wave of change begins with a single ripple…

‘Swimmingly yurs Dudes! (channeling our inner Nemo!)
salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!
SALT.Shaker

 

 

Images: Turtle + GhostNetsAustralia // What goes in the ocean goes in you // Albatross by Chris Jordan // Coral Brooch 1 and 2 (recycled debris)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Design Conference – Day 2

After an awesome first day of TDC – Day 2 was set up to be a hard act to follow! But it did not disappoint – as our newest Salty Designer discovered . . .

As this is the first conference I have attended since transitioning from a student to fully-fledged design professional . . . I felt like I was listening a little differently than what I had done in the past. As a student attending these events I would listen with stars in my eyes and my imagination running wild when I’d hear the speakers talk about ‘the real world’. Now that I’m in it, I listen with just as much enthusiasm, but it’s just different. I can relate a little more to the speakers now – which is awesome!

I believe each time I attend these events my perspective will evolve as I gather more experiences along the way (which is pretty exciting!).

I didn’t feel I specifically connected to any one speaker – instead, I took from each one what I needed. This was exactly the way to go, after all – as designers we will flourish when we let our lives flow.

The Design Conference 2016

 

The Design Conference 2016

 

 

Erin Smith

Erin Smith was one of the first presenters. She’s an artist from Ipswich who loves drinking glasses of milk! I admired Erin, for regardless the amount of knock-backs she received, she never was knocked down by her experiences. She also took a massive leap to study in New York city, where she studied two different art courses. Erin contacted artists she admired in the City, asking to meet for coffee and then became friends with them! I find networking in Brisbane intimidating enough!

I went along to Erin’s art exhibition held after the event to see her painting in real-life. It was a totally different experience to having seen them on screen – the textures and colours were just beautiful.

The Design Conference 2016

 

Nicole Phillips

I knew Nicole would be a highlight of Day 2! She’s a local typographer/designer who I’ve often seen at events but never actually met . . . something I definitely hope to do after hearing her presentation!

Nicole is one designer I found myself relating to now that I am in the industry and working with clients. Nicole explained how she worked her butt off to the point of burning out! At which point she realised just how important it is to have your own personal creative outlets as often client work just can’t cut it.

This is so true. I feel we are always being told this, but for a lot of us its not until we live it, that we do anything about it. Nicole encouraged the audience to ‘invest if yourself’ in order to create ‘crops of awesome work!’

The Design Conference 2016

 

Matt and Tim from Sons & Co

Matt and Tim from Sons & Co. are web designers from New Zealand (or as they put it – “from the island off the coast of Australia!”). These guys had the whole audience in fits of laughter. Their presentation was natural and comforting as they delved into telling tales of client work. They too have their own creative outlet – printing t-shirt designs which they approach well-known artist to contribute for. The boys have no branding, no business card, no social media and no website – they are the ‘website guys’ with no website . . . Go figure!
(Check out Sons and Co.’s work featured above at Boundary Breaks website and Crane Brothers website)

The Design Conference 2016

 

Todd Francis

The last presenter for the day was Todd Francis, an artist and illustrator from the States. Listening to Todd explain his art (which was mainly on skateboards) got me appreciating this style of illustration more than I have before. To be honest, his style is nothing like me, I’m more florals and happiness and Todd is more San Fran pigeons and dark humour. Todd told of the ups and downs life has brought him. It seemed like his outlet to illustrate assisted him in finding his way. Musicians have music, writers have writing and Todd has illustration… which made me think – what do I have? I really must work that out . . . watch this space!

As the event wrapped up, I felt inspired – but in a different way to what I’m used to. No longer was I trying to be just like the presenters. Instead, I listened to their experiences and took from them what I hope and believe will help me along my design journey. As I said before – watch this space!

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

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!
SALT.Shaker

 

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!
SALT.Shaker

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We go together like pen + paper!

We go together like… Pen and paper, Sans and serif, Salt and pepper, Digital and print, Branding and guidelines, Style and substance, Letter and press, Widows and orphans, Black and white…

With a love of typography, design and sweet treats, we couldn’t resist sharing a few creative pieces by our favourite designers to get you in the mood for l-u-r-v-e this Valentine’s Day! {p.s you’ll find even more beauties on our Pinterest board!} Be sure to check them out and send them some love this Valentine’s Day!

  • Wallpaper // Salt Design – download your FREE typographic calendar.
  • ‘For someone special’ gift tag // In the Daylight – illustrated stationery range, based in Brisbane {image by @eleanor_landford_photo}.
  • Stunning bouqet // A Small Bunch – a local Brisbane florist.
  • Snail Illustration // Hip-Hip stationery and gifts featuring quirky critters, cheerful colors and clever quotes!
  • Together embroidery // Rachel Castle & Things – Colourful creations for your home.
  • Pencils // Miss Poppy Design – Graphic designer with an online shop full of goodies!
  • ‘Sunsets, salt water & you’ print // Harley Quinn & Co.Graphic designer + lover of lettering {be sure to check our her amazing new collection!}.
  • DIY ‘You’re dynamite!’ gift tag // Sugar & Cloth – Blogger, crafter, baker + creative of all pretty things!
  • ‘King Protea Giclee’ print // Edith Rewa – Textile designer and illustrator {image by mimconcepts}.
  • ‘You Legend!’ card // Fox & Fallow Creative Ink & Dust – Custom and ready-made chalkboards, timber signs and stationery.
  • Strawberry desserts // Nectar & Stone – Dessert designer. Enough said!
  • Card + Brownies // I Heart Brownies – an artisan Gluten Free bakery, located in Bakery Lane, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. We heart the peanut butter & jelly brownie! {image by Karen Fitnatic}.

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

Join our creative team // Junior Designer position

We’ve hired!
We’ve found a new creative to join our team!

We received an amazing number of applications – which made for a tough challenge to narrow down just one talented junior designer.

Having viewed some impressive and well thought-out applications and portfolios, our faith in the quality of young designers graduating from colleges has also been restored.

We wish to thank everyone who applied. It may be a big world – but we’re sure there’s a special creative space out there for us all. Oh, and if it’s ok we would like to hold on to your applications. . . just in case even more exciting opportunities come our way.

Cheers,
The Salty Team

// APPLICATIONS CLOSED //

Overview

We know it can be difficult to get a foot in the design industry door. As a new designer you have loads of passion but little experience. And how can you get that experience if no one is willing to give you a go!

Here at Salt we believe the right team member is more likely someone with the right attitude rather than the perfect portfolio – so we’re looking for a junior designer to join our team.

Essential skills

  • The right attitude
  • Tertiary qualification
  • Willingness to learn
  • Ability to take direction (and do something with it!)
  • JPEG, PMS, EPS, GIF, PNG, CMYK, AI, PDF, OT, OK, DPI, PPI all mean something to you!
  • Not shy to ask questions – the more questions you ask the more answers you’ll discover!
  • Willingness to learn
  • Tough skin – ability to take critical, constructive feedback and learn from it
  • Strong knowledge of Adobe Creative CS – Indesign is a MUST, Illustrator a close second and Photoshop right behind
  • Willingness to learn

Who are you?

  • Perhaps your portfolio consists mainly of assignments – but the creative process is obvious and spot on!
  • You’re obsessed with all things design including social media, digital marketing and editorial design trends
  • ‘Keen’ is your middle name
  • You are passionate about typography, layout and design skills
  • You love the creative challenge of working within specific guidelines and under strong direction of a more senior design professional
  • You’re goal is to become an InDesign genius, an Illustrator whiz and a Photoshop guru!
  • You communicate your ideas and present well to any audience (eg. designers, clients, your mum/cat!)
  • You’re demanding of yourself
  • Your sense of humour is apparent (just make sure you laugh at the Boss’s jokes even when they’re stinkers!)

About us

  • We’ll provide a positive and creative environment where you can learn and develop as a designer.
  • At Salt, we use a very collaborative process which involves input, feedback, critique and direction from ALL team members. We believe it’s a process which results in even better results for our clients!
  • Our studio is located in Fortitude Valley with access to public transport and (limited) street parking.
  • Please don’t just flick us your application. Do some research first. Find out a little more about us. Read our blog, check out the work we do from our website. Then really consider how you can stand out from the crowd of creative newbies! Make sure your CV tells us who you are and what you can bring to Salt. We understand you may not have any real-life design samples. Just make sure we can see your potential – how you research, design and execute your ideas. And tell us about WHO you are – What drives you? What motivates you? Why you want to be a designer? And especially why you want to join Salt?

We certainly do NOT want to see any standard CVs. If you think that will get a job in our industry – please think again! The creativity you show us by how you apply for this position is part of the challenge! So prove to us you have read this advert and know what it takes!

Check out our blog mini-series ‘Worth your salt’ for inspiration!

Join our team
Please email your CV and digital portfolio to info@salt-design.com.au
Applications close 5 February 2016.
Word documents will NOT be accepted. No agencies please.

 

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

Worth your salt // Part 4 – Industry experience

Following on from our post about Applying for a design position and Crafting on your resume + portfolio, we’d like to inspire those who perhaps don’t fit the industry experience criteria.

So the advertised position requires minimum of three years industry experience! Unfortunately, that means if you’re a graduate or you currently work in IT but dream of one day being a graphic designer – we can’t consider you for the position.

However. . .
Rather than scream “how can I gain experience if no one will give me a job?”, why not write an application as someone to be considered for the position you can fill.

Admit the obvious – you lack experience, all you have in your portfolio is assessment pieces. Instead, find a way to prove visually that you have potential and could be considered for a junior or graduate position, should the opportunity arise.

The latest GSM Magazine by BJBall Papers offers some advice for aspiring designers looking to break into the industry:

  • Mentoring – Find a mentor and get involved with the design … resources for inspiration and mental support.
  • Design is a business – It’s not about doing what ‘you want’, you’re not designing for yourself – you are designing for your client.
  • You are your own brand – Own it! Sell it!

A couple more to inspire you

At Salt, it’s important for us to find the right designer to join our team. Equally important though is supporting the many keen, passionate creative minds yearning to work in this industry.
We certainly don’t claim to know it all – but we hope these posts help.

Keep in touch and let us know your ideas, feedback and when you score that dream job!

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

 

Images from our Pinterest boards // Go the extra mile // Excellence // You’ve got this

The changing workplace

Sometimes it’s the obvious which appears a revelation when presented from a new perspective. Like understanding (and actually accepting) that work is but one element of our complicated lives. For most of us it’s a pretty big part – and often one which impacts on other areas of our life and the lives of those around us. Equally we must accept that work can be effected by the other areas of our lives in both good and bad ways . . .

This was the central theme to a presentation Salt attended yesterday to mark the launch of 2015 Mental Health Week.

In many workplaces it is considered ‘unprofessional’ to let our personal lives effect our performance at work – but can we really be expected to leave our worries, hassles, loves, anxieties, highs and lows at the door each work day? Potentially this misguided expectation can compound emotional issues to a point where we may struggle to cope and perform our job.

The challenge to acknowledge, respect and accept that mental health issues may at times affect a person’s ability at work. We would recognise this if someone arrived at work with a broken arm! So why are we expected to ‘suck it up’ ‘get on with the job’ and leave our personal issues at the door?

David Cooke, the first non-asian Managing Director of Konica Minolta (Australia) provided an insight into how he has approached this issue and changed the workplace culture of his organisation. He explained how through even the smallest of gestures we can encourage, empower and support our staff. And by doing so we can enrich their working lives and improve the efficiency and productivity of an entire organisation.

If we can identify a computer not working correctly and take steps to repair it – we need to enact a process to support and assist any member of our team if they are not functioning at their best. The awareness of mental health as a medical issue is increasing. However we appear to still struggle with accepting and dealing with it in the workplace as practically as we would if it was a broken arm or a head-cold. If we value ourselves and our staff, workplace culture needs to evolve to one which is more understanding, supportive and accepting.

Useful links
Human Rights
Open Minds
Queensland Mental Health Commission

Pictured // Our information pack including neon piggy banks!

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

Worth your salt // Part 3 – Designing your portfolio

Following on from our previous posts about Applying for a design position and Getting started on your resume, we’d like to inspire you to be creative and informative with your portfolio.

Seeing is not believing

Your portfolio is the single most important introduction to who you are and what you are capable of.

It’s not just a showcase of pretty pictures – every piece is the result of a process. Explaining your experience during that process is most important element to a prospective employer.

We don’t necessarily want to hear about the client and what they do – unless of course, they were a contributing factor to the result. If they were difficult to work with, set in their ways, insistent with a particular colour or image – explain how you worked with that challenge.

Explain how you created each piece.

  • What design software did you use?
  • Why did you choose a specific font or colour?
  • What was the client brief?
  • How long did you have to develop the design?
  • What was the budget?
  • Was it printed – if so how?

If it’s a branding project – we’d love to see your workings. Tell us the story of how you developed the logo, selected colours, the research you carried out. Include design concepts that worked and perhaps some that did not – along with an explanation of why they were not accepted or why your creative direction changed.

Don’t be afraid to explain who else was involved in a production. Was it professionally written by a copywriter? Were you directed by another creative? Did you brief another designer on part of the production? How did you work with a printer to achieve the particular result?

It’s all part of the story which unfortunately we don’t know unless you tell us.

So our words of wisdom are to consider what to include in your portfolio not for how the finished product looks – but for the story behind it. How it showcases your creativity and ability as a designer.

Give your portfolio the edge // handy links

Our next post in this series is on Industry experience – applying for a position when you don’t quite meet the experience level…

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

 

Images // Book Binding // Talent // Font Pairing like a Pro // Creative book covers

 

Portfolio Items