A couple of months ago I presented a talk on 'How to Pitch Big Ideas' for AGDA ACT in Canberra. The talk was a roaring success and following that event I was asked to present it again to the marketing team at Facebook Sydney. This week I was invited by AGDA SA to give the talk again to a sold out crowd in Adelaide.
The event was very well received by an enthusiastic crowd. It's the first talk I've been to where the Q+A questions came thick and fast. It certainly got people talking.
Thank you so much to all the lovely people at AGDA SA, for their kind hospitality and for taking me to dinner afterwards. Special thanks to Irene Previn for looking after me and Rita Siow who picked me up to go to the airport at 6.30am!
Since it gets chilly in the winter months, July is the perfect time of year for Australians to get into the winter spirit. Cool Yule runs until mid-July and features an ice rink, European market stalls, a giant inflatable slide and a Christmas decorated indoor enclosure thingy.
The branding features the signature Darling Harbour balloon typography, this time covered in snow. We also retouched Darling Harbour to be completely covered in snow. Just like that feeling when you wake up in the morning to a snow covered world.
I managed to get down their at the weekend and take some photos of the event and branding in action. Get down there if you can, especially if you've got kids.
On June 7th, I took part in The Loop's Portfolio Masterclass as part of Vivid 2014. The masterclasses offer a unique opportunity for students, graduates and blossoming creatives to sit with industry leaders and receive honest feedback on how to improve their portfolio or showreel.
There were individual masterclasses for Graphic Design & Illustration, Photography, Styling & Fashion, Film, TV & Animation, UX, UI & Digital Design. I was in the Graphic Design & illustration session, and my good friend and Interbrand colleague, Mike Tosetto took the Film, TV & Animation session.
Semi-Permanent is an annual three day conference on all things art, design and creativity. There's a very strong bias towards counter-culture including graffiti, skateboarding and all things 'cool'. In June, I had the pleasure of attending the Friday and Saturday sessions.
A total of 46 speakers spoke over the three days including Tony Hawk and the infamous Mr. Brainwash. Highlights included:
Billy Sorrentino – Creative Director, Wired Magazine
Wired Magazine's creative director spoke about where Wired and the future of publishing are heading. His fascinating talk touched on how magazines need to become cross-platform brands rather than magazines, offering different content on different media.
Tara McPherson – Illustrator
From Brooklyn, New York, Tara is an amazing artist who paints dream-like fantasy scenes, usually involving female characters. She's living in her own little universe and it was great to be able to visit it for an hour.
Ben Briand – Film maker
Ben Briand is an Australian film maker. He chose Semi-Permanent to showcase his new short film Blood Pulls a Gun. The film stars Josh McConville, who I first met at Griffin Theatre Company. I also used Josh as the voice talent of the Telstra Our Connected Future video.
Jeremy Fish – Artist/Illustrator
What a character! He walked on stage sporting an enormous thick beard and wearing a brown patterned matching safari suit and hat. His talk was hilarious as he walked us though his life as an illustrator living in San Francisco, and crazy anecdotes of hanging out with Snoop Dog! An absolute one off.
Andrew Denton – Producer / Writer / Media Personality
Andrew Denton gave the best talk of the day. He spoke about his seven tips to be creatively satisfied. Very insightful and very entertaining. Gold!
Mill+ Carl Addy – Design / Animation
Carl Addy from The Mill gave a great presentation of some of his philosophies own work and of his colleagues. Beautiful and innovative motion design of the highest class.
Mr. Brainwash – Artist
The drawcard for me was Mr. Brainwash who found notoriety in Banksy's film Exit Through The Gift Shop. The documentary was about how a crazy French man who made it his mission to interview the man who can never be interviewed – Banksy.
The jury's still out whether Mr. Brainwash is the real deal or an elaborate artwork from Banksy. Judging by the talk he gave, I tend to favour the idea that Banksy is having a good old laugh at the idea of fame, and the joke's on us.
He didn't have a talk actually. He was just winging it. He repeated three themes over and over. "You have one life!", "make sure you live it!", and "you can do it, like me!". And repeat.
Eventually he had to be cut short by the organisers who decided enough was enough. But he kept going! I managed to snag a picture with him and a signed poster. The joke's on me too, but I don't care!
Recently, I gave a couple of lectures at UTS (University Technology Sydney).
The first was about how to sell your work and deliver compelling presentations. The second was to tell the story of the Telstra rebrand, from pitch to launch (pictured).
Late in April I made the trip to the Canberra to talk to a sold out crowd for AGDA ACT in Canberra. The subject was Pitching Big Ideas where I talked about how to convince clients to do brave things, why we need to inspire clients to take creative risks, and how to empower them to solve problems differently.
It was great fun and really well received by an awesome crowd. Thanks as always to AGDA for involving us.
Place is a development program and exhibition that showcases young, upcoming designers visual explorations using the one word brief of ‘Place’. Each designer who is featured has been chosen for their ability to produce culturally engaged conceptual work across various media including information design, print and publication, typography, illustration, design for web and digital.
I was invited to participate in the program, playing a crucial role as an industry mentor. In the weeks leading up to the exhibition, working closely with the designers to help them build on their ideas and visualise and refine their works.
I was also asked to give a short talk on the subject of Place at the opening night of the exhibition. To a full house I delivered a talk on "The place of design", encouraging designers to use their talents to contribute to the value of design in society, and showing how by focusing on the things that matter, design can truly change the world.
Congratulations to all of the designers exhibiting and Joe Tarzia from Zé Studio who also served as an industry mentor. And thank you to Joanna Grygierczyk and Place Associates for involving us. I had a brilliant time.
Sex, Drugs and Helvetica is an annual design conference held in Melbourne, and for the first time this year, Brisbane. Both local and international speakers are invited to tell the story of one project from start to finish. The focus is on process, the up and the downs. This year I was asked to tell the story of the Telstra rebrand from the very beginning, through to launch, and everything in-between.
Other speakers included Moffit.Moffit, A Friend of Mine, Hofstede, BTP and Strategy. The event was an amazing success and offered students and professionals alike a rare glimpse into the realities of commercial design; and in my case, the epic undertaking to transform Telstra from a world of blue to life in full colour.
Feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive with students delighted to have been given an invaluable insight into what life as a real world designer is all about. Thanks to the organisers of Sex Drugs and Helvetica for the chance to tell our story and their fantastic hospitality.
Brandemia is a branding blog in Spain. They've been covering our work for a few years now and got in touch to ask me a few questions about branding in Australia and how we approach things at Interbrand Australia.
Read the full article here.
On Wednesday this week I gave a presentation to an audience of students eager some useful advice about those daunting first steps out of university. The event, which was hosted by our friends at AGDA, was held at The Surry Hills Library and featured four speakers which all took a different take on the brief.
I told a very personal, honest and emotional story of the extremes of rejection, failure and elation, which I encountered on my journey to Interbrand.
Last weekend, I spent two days judging the Brisbane Advertising and Design Club awards up in Queensland. The club has been representing advertisers and designers in the local area since 1974.
It was a fantastic judging jury with some of the countries best representatives from top agencies both interstate and nationally. Special thanks to the lovely people at BADC for putting on such lovely hospitality, and also Dan, Matt and Hugh for being great fellow judges and new friends.
Every year, Australian Creative Magazine release their Power 20 – the most courageous creatives to watch in Australia. In February 2012, I was honoured to be selected.
The criteria for selection was three fold. Firstly, they sought individuals who exhibited a gathering momentum of influence. Secondly, individuals must be in senior position and be closely involved with the creative process. Finally, they looked for those who displayed bravery in their creative process.
This accolade was given to me after one of the toughest and most terrifying years of my life – The creation of the new brave and colourful brand for Telstra. It was also recognition for my work for Alzheimer's Australia which resulted in $300m funding from the government and a change in the law following a protest march on Parliament House in Canberra. The magazine did a four page feature the new Alzheimer's Australia brand in the same issue.