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Meet Hannah :: Senior Designer, Salt Design

Hannah DonaldsonMeet Hannah! Our Senior Designer at Salt Design. 

So much of our Salty brilliance stems from Hannah’s drive to achieve great things for our clients. Her passion for great design is at the heart of everything she creates!

Hannah is methodical in her processes, which results in a calibre of design production that has our print suppliers in awe. Her eye for detail is second-to-none (just you try getting that a mis-placed apostrophe past her eagle-eyed proofing!)

When it comes to the new and exciting design directions Hannah is no follower – she’s our trend-setter! Yet it’s her considered approach which truly illustrates Hannah’s creative maturity. Brand development, corporate literature, product packaging, even the simplest social media post – all benefit from Han’s focus on achieving visual gorgeousness which meets the brief spot on! And Hannah’s personal style exudes her confidence, capability and genuine love for design and client service.

Hannah is such an authentic, trusting and caring soul. She’s the glue that binds our creative team!

Tasty morsels about Hannah . . .

  • Hannah is the studio’s dedicated sports fanatic!
  • Hannah is a tea lover and expert biccie dunker – an early morning cuppa tea on the farm at Nan’s was a perfect start to the day!
  • Hannah enjoys late night blog exploring, getting lost in links and spending far too long on Pinterest.
  • Hannah loves all things creative, and can’t get enough of Fox & Fallow greeting cards and stationery, Three Birds Renovations YouTube and Joanna Gaines.

Quick-bites

Favourite colour: Navy blue
Favourite food: White chocolate & raspberry muffins
Favourite sport: NBA, Motor Racing, Rugby League {all sports except golf!}
Favourite escape: Countryside with a view to the ocean
Cat or dog person: Dog.

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

Meet Daile :: Director, Salt Design

Daile DrevinsMeet Daile! The face, founder and Director of Salt Design. She’s the glue that holds us all together.

Daile has almost 30 years experience working in the Brisbane design and printing industries.

Daile mentors, guides and directs the creative output of the Salt Design team to ensure the delivery of contemporary, high quality, cost-efficient solutions. She combines her understanding of the requirements of corporate reporting with her knowledge of typography, creative design and production techniques.

Daile’s affable nature and ability to translate even the most complex design briefs into real-world solutions makes her an invaluable asset when engaging with our clients.

Daile’s work has won a number of design and print awards including National Print Awards; Public Sector Management Annual Report Awards; and Printing Industry Craftsmanship Awards.

Tasty morsels about Daile . . .

  • Daile named the studio based on her love of all things salty and in homage to her childhood experiences living on Stradbroke Island.
  • Daile is a self-confessed animal tragic!
  • Daile’s dream is to set up a luxury B&B farm-stay which will also be home to many, many animals including dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, pigs, cows and an alpaca!

Quick-bites
Favourite colour:
Fluro lime green
Favourite food: Seafood
Favourite sport: Cricket!
Favourite escape: any where I can hear the sea! (definitely Straddie!)
Cat or dog person: BOTH!

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

 

Meet Daile Drevins - Director, Salt Design

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Worth your salt // Part 2 – Crafting your resume

Following on from our post about Applying for a design position, we’ve listed a few handy tips on crafting your resume!

Reading between the lines

Often it’s what we don’t read or see that speaks volumes in an application.

If there is a gap of time in your work experience or a quick succession of positions – explain this time. Don’t leave it open to interpretation. Explain what you did during that time …

  • did you volunteer at an animal shelter?
  • help a sick friend? or
  • just sit on the couch watching multiple episodes of GOT or Ellen?

Spell check!

Even after you have spell checked – read everything you have written out loud. Be certain it makes sense and reads well. Ask a friend or see if the cat is free to listen to you present your portfolio!

Also be sure you’re addressing the right person at the right place. (Yes we received an application letter which was addressed to another studio!)

Understanding the company you are applying to may also inspire you to develop a different approach for your presentation – everything tastes better with a sprinkle of Salt!

Getting it write // handy links

  • Check out grammarly – Grammarly helps you to write better by finding and correcting up to 10× more mistakes than your word processor.
  • Type it Write – A lovely pocket sized guide to preparing your documents professionally.
  • Hub Spot Blogs – Think Grammar Doesn’t Matter? It Could Be Holding You Back From a Promotion.

Our next post in this series will focus on your Designing your portfolio and how to best represent your work.

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

 

Images // Type it Write // Grammar quote

 

The value of paper + print // Brisbane Event

This week we attended a breakfast event in Brisbane, as part of an industry-wide campaign providing knowledge and resources to help print & design businesses promote paper and print to our clients and potential clients.

The presentation confirmed what we believe – that the printed word is a critical part of multi-channel communications. And that print on paper is innovative – inks, paper ranges, embedded technological devices – it is most definitely NOT the ‘poor cousin’ that many in the social and digital spaces are trying to convince us!

During her presentation, Kellie Northwood (Executive Director of Two Sides Australia (TSA) Limited) detailed how print and design companies can make better use of paper and print.

Attendees were provided with the results of qualitative research into marketing efficacy, brand recall, return on investment and sustainability. Research that confirms the power of print in today’s diverse communications environment.

Supported by research, data, and case studies highlighting the effectiveness of print – we need to promote the strengths of print. The creative effects and return on investment that can be achieved through paper and print cannot be replicated solely by electronic communications.

At the conclusion of the presentation we received a copy of The Industry Report – a 72-page toolkit that we can use to educate our clients about the success and relevance of print as a critical part of multi-channel communications. Certainly a compelling read . . .

Proof that print rocks!

Experience the power of the bookbook – IKEA

Direct Mail targets your kitty

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

Images: Speech bubbles // Goodie bag materials

Worth your salt // Part 1 – applying for a design position

Thanks to the wondrous powers of social media – we’ve hired ourselves a new creative to join our seasoned professionals! Narrowing down the design candidates to join our Salt team proved to be an enlightening learning opportunity.

Over the next few blog posts we’ll be reviewing a few key ways to improve your resume and portfolio, because as fellow designers we know it’s sometimes harder than it seems to show others just how creative we can be!

What we encountered

When applying for a position as a designer, it’s an opportunity to showcase your creativity and skills. Every form of communication will be viewed and critiqued – from your email applying for the position all the way through to presenting your portfolio.

Even how you write an email to apply for a position will be judged. So writing “Heya…” may feel cool and casual to you – it doesn’t instill confidence and may cloud an employer’s perception of you. This may seem straightforward – but apparently it’s rocket science to some!

Part 1 – Your resume & getting started

Sure – You’re passionate about design, You’re a team player, You have an attention to detail, You love challenges, You can work to deadlines – but doesn’t everyone?

As a candidate for a design position, try thinking of more creative and innovative ways to express your confidence. Just what is it that makes you different/more creative/more passionate?

Be creative with your resume. Try presenting it like an annual report, journal or a magazine interview. You can still include all of the relevant historical information – AND you can include examples of your work, your opinions, experiences in life – all the things that make you, you.

Give your resume the edge // handy links

  • Purple Goat – We agree with Purple Goat – there are plenty of hints and tips out there for designers, but we too were also shocked at how some experienced designers presented themselves. They provide a good summary of tips on their blog.
  • Creative Bloq – 20 brilliantly creative resumés
  • Australia Internships Blog – for tips on crafting an amazing cover letter!

Our next post in this series will be Part TwoCrafting your resume and how to best represent your work.

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

 

Images // Creative Bloq – Brilliantly creative resumes // The Style Files – Creativity takes courage

Our humble beginnings

How do you come up with a catchy memorable quirky name for a new design studio?

This is the very question I was confronted with almost 10 years ago when I decided to start up Salt Design.

So – why Salt?

Firstly, salt is a flavour enhancer. It’s used in cooking to bring out other flavours. Ever wondered why salted caramel taste so good? The sweetness of the caramel is actually amplified by the salt. In a similar way I saw how design can bring out the best in our client’s business, to accentuate their appeal to their own customers.

On another level, I believe we are the ‘salt of the earth’. We’re humble people who just love what we do and love doing it well – providing good service and quality design to our clients.

Another reason for choosing ‘salt’ is a very personal one. For my entire life I have loved and lived for the sea. Swimming, fishing, diving – it’s my special place. Over the past 10 years Salt has become my ‘other’ special place where I have come to share a love for design with others (both staff and clients). It’s where I have gained a sense of pride and sense of self. As much as the sea epitomises who I am – Salt now represents what a team of dedicated, passionate people like everyone at Salt can achieve!

And lastly, I should probably mention that when there’s tequila and lime on hand – I’m a tad over-zealous with the saltshaker!

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

Image :: Stradbroke Island