The Design Conference Brisbane 2017 // PART 2

The Design Conference was a two-day experience for us Salty designers!
{Read more about Part 1 here!}

Gemma – Designer, Salt Design

Mike Rigby
Mike Rigby delved into client projects just enough to keep us interested and wanting more. The highlight was watching the videos from his project titled ‘love has no labels’. These videos captivated the audience and pulled on our heart strings. If you haven’t seen them – I recommenced you do!

Lauren Hom
My favourite speaker of the day was Lauren Hom. Her presentation was polished and motivating. She showed empathy throughout her speech and connected with the audience by telling honest stories and not glossing over the strife in her life. Lauren’s pitch was to believe in your passion projects as these are the projects that have won in her life. I made note of many of her inspirational slides – such as ‘everything is design’ and ‘drunk conversions are creative goldmines!’. I was so inspired that as soon as I got home I read everything I could find on her – even purchased one of her prints!

Prue Jones
Prue Jones presentation was unexpectedly interesting. Prue works in Service Design (ie. design we all use but don’t own like Spotify and Netflix). A big part of Prue’s job is research, which meant she wanted to research us – her audience. She asked us all to visit the same website and we proceeded to answer questions on the large presentation screen by using our phones. We watched the data tally right in front of our eyes, it was great fun! Prue then went on to discuss the scary topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It was super-intriguing and made me realise how important it is to keep up to date with AI developments.

David Leavitt and David Torres – Cyrcle
Just as the audience was left shaking in their boots… out walks David Leavitt and David Torres from Cyrcle. I thought to myself “wow, this is either gonna make or break the wrap-up of this conference *wince*,” but it totally MADE it!!!

Imagine two typical LA artists, who look like they have never left the 90s and who love their cat dearly!

This duo was entertaining, funny, confusing and informative all at the same time. I appreciated their honesty as the pair scrolled through an endless number of photos, giving us a sneak peek of what their living / working lifestyle has been like. I will always remember watching as they told us when the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air attended their first art show and then proceeded to sing the theme song and dance around the stage, as if they had done this many times before!!!


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


The Design Conference Brisbane 2017 // PART 1

The Design Conference (TDC) 2017, had us excited to hear the future role of design in our world. With an awe-inspiring line-up, 680+ guests and a great location, we knew we were in for one hell of a ride!

Hannah – Senior Designer, Salt Design

Representing Salt Design, I shared in the event with my two salty colleagues, two of our Salty clients and a (new) friend I made at last year’s TDC – which made it all the more enjoyable!

A key theme throughout TDC which resonated with me, especially as a Senior Designer looking to inspire our team, was epitomised by a single slide in Mike Rigby’s presentation (ECD – R/GA): “Design is a movement not an industry.”

So, what is it that drives this movement? Designers who have the hunger, the right attitude, the ability to amplify their creativity through technology, and understand the answer to the ‘why’. That’s what!

It’s never too late to discover our creative journey, play more to develop our creative identity or take our side projects to the next level. As designers, we should always be learning, or as the guys from UsTwo put it –”shlearning!” (share learning). Working as a collaborative team who are willing to “give the world a wobble, ay” (Dean Poole, Alt Group), and solve design through human connection.

Dean Poole – an extraordinary mind, full of creative twists! Such a wicked talk and not surprisingly the People’s Choice awardee! New Zealand designers seem to have a creative edge I find fascinating and Dean had us captivated within seconds. It was such a pleasure to meet Dean on Day 2 and thank him for blowing our creative minds!


Bree – Designer, Salt Design

Camille Walala
What a great way to kick off The Design Conference for 2017!

French born, London based commercial artist Camille explained how she went from selling cheese, to failing to sell her work at market stalls, to partying in London, to collaborating and travelling the world creating murals, collaborating with fashion labels, restaurants, shopping centres and much more!

Camille gave a great insight into the importance of creating opportunities for yourself – even if you have absolutely no idea what you are doing. That taking those opportunities works to your advantage and create even bigger and better opportunities – all you need to do is say YES!

“It’s never too late to have fun.” Listening to her journey made me realise the importance of persistence and to keep creating even when things don’t work out as planned.

Dean Poole
Creative Director, Dean Poole gave a really engaging, interesting and inspiring talk. Some of his work was on the more weird and wonderful side, while others were more deep, spiritual and full of meaning.

He explained many of his eccentric personal projects – which left the audience in hysterics! Dean has inspired me to want to consistently create, as he demonstrated that almost anything can be a creative personal project – if you want it to be.

It was fun to get a small glimpse inside the mind of someone so interesting and creative. Dean encouraged me not to take your life too seriously and to start creating and doing the things I want to do NOW.

Nadia Hernández
Much like her work, Nadia’s talk was bursting full of passion, colour and energy. She focused on the theme of freedom and fear and explored the subject of “To be free, is to have no fear” and how she integrates that theme in her work using text, illustration and colour.

Having graduated with a degree in Fashion, she then went off to pursue a career in graphic design. Nadia confessed that she didn’t actually have any drawing skills, that she couldn’t pattern make or even sew!

Sharing this fact made me realise the importance of experimentation and how it’s helpful to finding what kind of style and practice of design especially works for each individual designer. Much like Camille’s talk, Nadia explored the advantages of taking any opportunities that come to you – as they can lead you to many unexpected creative ventures . . . even something as wacky as Youtubing how to paper mache a life-size baby elephant!

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

The Design Conference – Day 1

Wow! One day down, one day to go…

This year’s Design Conference (TDC) is being held in our hometown, Brisbane and we sent along two Salty designers to marvel in the exceptional line-up of national and international guest speakers – making for one impressive design event! **insert squeals of excitement!**

Finding your way to awesomeness!

There was a feeling of excitement and anticipation as well-over 700 people entered the Brisbane Powerhouse main auditorium. A huge screen flashing the TDC branding and pumping tunes greeted us to kick-off the conference.
(Image profiles below from TDC Website)

Feature Talk #1
Jessica Hische, Letterer

Jessica Hische is a lettering artist, illustrator, author, and self-described “avid internetter” working in San Francisco and Brooklyn.
Read her full profile on TDC website or visit her website. (Images above far right from Jessica’s Website)

As one of our all-time favourite creatives, Jessica was one speaker we couldn’t wait to see! And her presentation did not disappoint!

Stemming from the idea ‘More about the letterform, less about the decoration’, Jessica told her journey from earlier works to where she is now, going into detail of the process and production behind the end result. Her lettering is about substance and style, and really knowing the story behind what you are creating. Creating her Penguin Drop Caps Cover series certainly meant she needed to value the content and perspective of the readers.

Jessica continued discussing her process through a number of examples including those for Starbucks, MailChimp, Eventbrite, Penguin and Johanna Basford. We agree with her, that client’s love to see the process work or reasons behind things you changed on their existing design and it’s important to be sensitive to a client’s existing brand (who knows the client may have created it in the first place!!).

She also acknowledged that while we can all be immersed in and experiment with different creative paths, it’s imperative to have a trustworthy relationship with other creative people to help you when you need it. Her historical-feel café wall design was a good example, where she created the Illustrator file but left it up to a production team to bring it to life on the wall.

We loved her honest, funny and intelligent talk, which also highlighted how ‘you have to love the day to day, not just the end result’. It’s not a race to the finish line, as you discover more about yourself, improve your process and find your style… your awesomeness!



Feature Talk #2
Branden Harvey

I’m a storytelling photographer with really goofy hair. I used to think my dream was to be a photographer. Sure, that’s my job, but I’ll let you in on a secret: My dream isn’t to be a photographer anymore. Right now I’m telling stories with a camera, and that’s fulfilling for me. But I’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve. And in 10 years, I hope to have a few more.
Read his full profile on TDC Website or visit his website.

Branden focussed on ‘pivoting’ through life to become a better you. While it’s important to have goals, it’s also fantastic to experiment and build on who you are. He spoke about writing down your top five inspirational people and finding ways you can take a piece from each of them, to pave your journey.

Don’t try to mimic someone else’s journey – choose your legacy.

Wow! Branden’s presentation left us full of good vibes and inspired to make a positive contribution to our community through our work.



Feature Talk #3
Emily Woollett, Creative Director – Paper Stone Scissors

Emily loves to create powerful brand stories that engage, resonate and inspire a response. It’s not just the story of the product, place or service, but uncovering the juicy bits, the ideals, the personality that captures the true essence of the brand.
Read her full profile on TDC Website or visit the Paper Stone Scrissors website.

‘Superawesomeness’ was the first slide of Emily’s presentation which delved into taking her approach to building brand stories and applying this to real life. We could resonate with the stage of life Emily is in and how looking back on her processes and life values was important to shape what she is doing now. That is, we all get busy with life and sometimes forget to take time for ourselves.

She gave us her top ten tips:

  1. Dare to begin (little and often)
  2. Make friends with fear (versus excitement)
  3. Value your values
  4. Phone home
  5. Focus on your super strengths (collaborate)
  6. Find your story
  7. Understand your process
  8. Don’t blame others
  9. Make work you love (even if it’s on the side)
  10. Work it out by doing.


Feature Talk #4
Kitiya Palaskas, Artist & Designer

Kitiya Palaskas is a designer specialising in the creation of props, installations, sets, and artwork using craft-based techniques.
TDC profile sums her up well. Check out more of her work online.

Now she is one rad chick! And we’re not just talking about her fabulous outfit today, or when she was a rapper!

Kitiya’s vibrant, fun personality shines not only through her work but her presentation today, showing how she embraces creativity and turns her limited experience into a dream job!
She’s a jill-of-all-trades, not necessarily fitting into the proverbial ‘box’, but that’s quite ok with her (and us!!).

She wasn’t afraid to mention all the things she didn’t know at first and how she googled her way through some questions in client meetings. Explaining her approach and process provided us with an insight into finding your craft and knowing how to rock it!

Her final statement was ‘success through gratitude’ and we couldn’t agree more!


Feature Talk #5
Lisa King, Visual Artist

Lisa King is a self-taught designer and artist based in Adelaide. Her imaginative and stylish portraiture crosses mediums – oil, acrylic, aerosol and computer-generated imagery.
Read her full profile on TDC Website or visit her website.

Art is life. It was great to see photos of Lisa’s exterior and interior murals, however, perhaps the most intriguing part to her talk was the time lapse of her Photoshop process. Her technique was amazing and watching the video provided insight into how she creates her digital pieces. The tone and detail in her work is impressive.


Feature Talk #6
Timba Smits, Art Director / Illustrator

Timba Smits is an award-winning designer, visual artist, illustrator and part-time crime fighter living in East London.
Read his full profile on TDC Website or visit his website.

This is one cracking illustrator and creative dude. His talk titled ‘Paddle against the flow’ covered illustration and its integration with typography and layout… oh and his love for Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Who remembers Wooden Toy magazine?! We certainly do! Hunting down a free printed copy whenever they were released was a must! Well it was actually some of Timba’s first works.

He is passionate about editorial layouts and creating a typographic headline to match each featured artwork.

We were shown a detailed illustration of a ‘made-up’ cityscape produced for an Amazon campaign, promoting that they deliver anywhere. And what made it even more awesome, was how he included many hidden elements such as the Ghostbuster building, a DeLorean – even himself with his girlfriend! Best of all – his client was totally cool with it!

While he is well recognised for his retro style illustration, Timba has taken new directions to further his style. One aspect he’s been working on is “taming the beast” – don’t go overboard with the design – strip it back and keep it simple.

Timba had the opportunity to move to London and now works for The Church of London as Creative Director, working on iconic magazine Little White Lies and Huck Magazine. His creative process to produce the cover illustrations is incredible!

If you live in Melbourne, be sure to check out Timba’s solo exhibition ‘Role Models’, inspired by cinema and movie culture, which reference his magazine covers.

T’s number one top tip ‘Good things take time. Great things take a lifetime.’

Cheers for awesome presentation Timba!


Feature Talk #7
Jonathan Calugi, Artist

(Note to all readers – this bio is to be read with a deliciously gorgeous Italian accent!)

It all starts with two dots and a line •• –

Jonathan Calugi is an illustrator from Italy and it is from his self-proclaimed chaotic workspace, that he creates clean illustration and pattern works. Each piece is a take on his quirky child-like doodles with minimal lines and simple, uncomplicated colours.
Read his full profile on TDC Website or view his work on Behance.

We loved how he introduced himself through his gradual illustration of his two cats, to which he then added his parents, then himself and his partner – this was his story in a way only he could portray so creatively!

It’s the energy he creates with a single line that makes Jonathan’s work so fascinating! His ability to create many viewpoints through the telling of a story from one perspective through to another in an array of patterning – all with a single line was awesome!

He was very passionate in his talk about taking his doodles (which he said we may think are ugly, but he simply loves) and turning them into stylised artworks.

Jonathan’s work for Nike and his development of typography by a continuous line were but a select few of our favourite works from his presentation. Truly exquisite!

Cheers TDC for a truly awesome day one!

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