All posts filed under: Graphic Design

Urbis Designday 2012 is tomorrow!

Urbis Designday is back and it’s on all around Auckland city tomorrow. Online ticket sales end tonight but if you still miss out, you can get door sales tomorrow morning at Mini Garage, Ponsonby Road. General tickets are $30 each or if you bring a buddy, it’s $50 for two. There’s a big group of us going this year and I can’t think of a more worthwhile all encompassing event. This year, Urbis Designday is in it’s 7th year and I think I must have been to 4 or 5 Urbis Designdays already. Yep, I guess I’m a Designday groupie. I had a great time last year and I’m excited about this year’s event. Still haven’t made up your mind? You can view my photos from last year and read a write up of the event here. Urbis Designday encompasses many facets of design including architecture, fashion, photographic, graphic, spatial, product and one of my favourites: food! This year’s theme is Colour in Motion and I’m looking forward to to seeing how the collaborators work it …

Tattly – Complete Kitchen Set

I like tattoos but I’ve yet to settle on any design long enough to get one for myself. Temporary tattoos Tattly have brought those stick-on-while-chewing-on gum treats to the internet age. Their Complete Kitchen Set is a cute gift for the cook or chef in your life. Available for $20US from

Geek Out on Code Cards

These letterpress egg nog holiday cards by Code Cards will tickle web developers. “This set of greeting cards features an egg nog recipe in four popular languages: Python, Ruby, PHP, and Javascript. Send them to a fellow web worker or keep them for yourself as a handy liquor cabinet reference.” $14USD for a set of 4 from Code Cards Etsy store.

Advent Sausage

I admit, I’m not much of a sweet tooth. My fondness for umami has me deemed as a “meat tooth”. So when I saw this design by German ad agency Butter for their client, Koenecke – a sausage company, I laughed out loud for real (while squealing with delight on the inside). Move over boring old Advent Calendar, here comes the Advent Sausage. *ok, it’s actually rather old news, this project won an award in 2008. Why on earth hasn’t this concept taken off?

RAW: AUT Grad Show

This week, 7 years ago, I had just completed an illustrated children’s book and had set up for the AUT Grad show for the Bachelor of Art and Design. It happened to be the same week as my 21st birthday and I was so busy with the exhibition that I flagged a formal 21st party. Instead, I opted for a spontaneous knees up at Rising Sun bar on K Road where The Koala worked. We lived on K Road back then so it was an easy choice. It was a good party, not that I remember, but for the next week, random strangers told me that they had met me my birthday and that I was really happy. Good to know. Well, this year’s AUT grads are on show and I’m going to visit tonight for the preview evening of RAW. I love going to grad shows. Something about the naive enthusiasm, the relief that it’s all over and the general buzz, is great to be around. It’s always inspiring and a little daunting to see …

CreativeMornings AKL #2

I’ve been following CreativeMornings in the US for a few years now, after seeing it at Swissmiss. I have watched many of the back catalogue of taped sessions from the comfort of my own home. I think of it as a TED aimed at designers. “CreativeMornings is a monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types. Each event is free of charge, and includes a 20 minute talk, plus coffee!” Art, coffee and pastries make me a happy girl. More info in CreativeMornings at their website or the Tublr site for CreativeMornings Auckland here. I took the morning off yesterday to be inspired at CreativeMornings at Alleluya Cafe at St Kevins Arcade. Jade Tang and Elise Sterback are the powerhouse duo behind Creative Mornings in Aucklad. The second edition of CreativeMornings Auckland, it followed a similar format to the first one last month at Box Cafe. Considered the best graffiti artist in NZ and one of the world champions of his craft, Askew One a.k.a Elliot O’Donnell gave designers and creatives an insight into his processes and inspirations. …

Glenn Jones does foodie tees

Glenn Jones a.k.a. GLENNZ is a local designer and illustrator based in Auckland and you may have seen some of his work floating around the interwebs. He has designed a lot of shirts that ended up on user submitted T-shirt design site Glenn now has his very own store and website at where you can buy right from the horses mouth (so to speak). He does all sorts of fun designs from animals to futuristic to pop culture. One thing they have in common is the characteristic Threadless style. You’ll know when you see it. Here are some food related designs by Glennz.

I want to put a ding in the universe

By now you have probably heard that Steve Jobs, at age 56 has passed away. Am I an apple whore? Maybe. Do I have an iPhone or an iPod or a Macbook? No. Do I have an iMac and an iPad? Sure do! I like apple products because they work exactly like they were supposed to. In high school, I had an after school job and when I was 18, I bought my first imac. It was the alien looking, long necked imac that would serve me for the next 7 years. I have to say, that neck made a robust handle. I know this because it moved house 7 times with me. I would pick it up by it’s neck and take it to the next place. 10 years later, I’m only my second imac and more recently, an iPad too. Steve Jobs designed products that are fun to use. The fact they look good too is a nice bonus. At least the iPad and iMac I have are fun to use. I can’t vouch …


Being a creative person, I often need to do turbo charged brainstorms. I call these brainfarts. I sit and focus, often with The Koala and we nut it out. Top 5 brainfarting tips: Start with a big fresh piece of paper Write down anything that comes to mind (don’t hold anything in) Go wild (you can always reign it in later) The first ideas you have are often too obvious Revisit brainfart sheet later on in the process in case things have changed and ideas that you dismissed earlier can be dismissed.

The Dutch Have Two Words for Design

Decoration vs. Engineering Often our clients give us design-decoration problems. When in fact they need to pose an engineering problem so that we can better give a design-engineering answer. Maybe then, as a designer, we need to ask our client engineering questions when they hand over decoration projects. Instead of “make this brochure pretty”, it should be “make this brochure sell a lot of products”.

An Inkling

The latest buzz around the design and illustration forums and sites is the upcoming release of the Wacom Inkling. With this teched up pen and receiver, all your drawings on paper are recorded to later be plugged by usb into your computer. You can record drawings in layers as well as outputting them to vector. This is great for those that are used to drawing with ball point pen, but those who are addicted to pencil (and eraser) might find this hard to work with. I suppose the next step up from this pen is a pencil with an eraser end that records both drawing and erasing. I’m totally looking forward to its release this or next month.

Your first typography book

Do you recognise this book? Did you spend hours painstakingly tracing it’s characters for school project headers? You my friend, were not alone. You probably didn’t know back then but you were once a typography geek. This book single handedly turned a whole generation of school kids into font admirers. It was the typography bible for those too young to contemplate what a typography bible was. The cover design makes me giddy with happiness and when I showed The Koala, he got the same feeling. His favourite was the bubble lettering. What was yours? Do today’s kids know the dedication and the joys of hand lettering? It makes me sad to think kids these days might create their assignments on the computer and print them out. You don’t get intimate with fonts that way. No sir. The Lettering Book by Noelene Morris was published by Scholastic in 1988. I can’t find any information online about Noelene. Where are you? What became of you? Did you know when you wrote this book that it would studied …

Frank Kozik is coming to NZ speak to me.

…and some other people…in August. Since Semi-Permanent has postponed their event until 2012, We Can Create will be the only big design event this year. What a relief! I was torn on whether to go to SP or WCC and after they announced a batch of amazing speakers, I quickly bought an earlybird ticket. The real attraction for me is Frank Kozik. Kozik’s client list includes MTV, Nike, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Melvins, The Offspring and Butthole Surfers. His lowbrow illustrative style is distinctive and has been imitated once or twice. Kozik is an illustrator/graphic designer/toy designer. He deals with bunnies among other things. The Koala bought Kozik’s Happy Labbit toy for me as a gift once upon a time. Here is the Happy Labbit hanging out with Sharmi a few years ago. The Koala painted the Labbit to look like Tofu and the Labbit attended our wedding in Christchurch in place of Tofu. The Labbit sat at the head of the table right in front of  The Koala and …

Semi-Permanent and We Can Create

For the past 8 years, Semi-Permanent has been THE design conference to go to if you live in Auckland. Originating from Australia, it’s been going strong since I was a first year design student all those years ago and I’ve been to so many I’ve lost count. I know I’ve missed at least one but it was with a very reluctant, heavy heart. SP began as a one day event of creative industry speakers from around the world, but now it’s ballooned into a two day event with a myriad of side events (art exhibitions, after parties, subtle mobs) running alongside the conference. It’s a super inspiring event and one that no creative should miss. I swear I come home super charged and ready to explode with things to explore/make/research. This year, the New Zealand organisers of SP, The Church have branched off from SP to do their own conference called We Can Create. The two design conferences are 2 weeks apart. SP is 12-13 August and WCC is 26-27 August. With limited WCC earlybird …

What’s the deal with Urbis Designday?

Last Saturday we went to Urbis Designday where 12 showrooms collaborate with 12 designers from fashion and design industries. We had an awesome day, saw some interesting things, drank some yummy things and tasted some wonderful things. Good value at $30 per ticket (or 2 for $50). We figured we ate and drank an average of $10 each at each of the sites and including the taxis in between, we would have enjoyed $150 worth of Urbis. Here are some of my photos and a bit of a run down… 0. Media Design School / HP Future Designers at MINI Garage (HQ) This was were picked up their wristbands for the day if they hadn’t received them in the post. While this wasn’t considered one of the exhibits or a number on the circuit, this was actually one of my favourites. We spent a while here watching the Media Design School 3D projects. As you enter a big inflatable room you are given headphones and a Kapiti white chocolate and raspberry ice cream. Similar concept …