Getting Under the Hood with… Donna McCort

7 months ago by

Our next Under the Hood is Wednesday the 24th of March. You are invited to join us online as two designers walk us through how a design project worked. At the upcoming event, Donna McCort (CD at Dow Goodfolk) is going to walk us through a recent project; in the lead up we learned more about Dow Goodfolks culture, get insight to what she will be presenting, hear about Donna’s pathway to creative director, and the projects she is juggling right now!


Can you tell us a little bit about Dow Goodfolk, your team and studio environment?

Dow Goodfolk is one of the longest-running design agencies in Auckland – 25 years and going strong!

We design identities, packaging and comms for brands.

Our team is design, production and account direction and we work out of a stunning space behind K Road that is like a zen garden – koi in the fishpond included!

What was your journey to become Creative Director there?

I started out as a freelance designer for Dow, which over a few years morphed into a full-time designer, and then to Creative Director – after the former Creative Director had a breakdown(!). That was a slightly intimidating introduction to the role 😊

What project will you be presenting in Under the Hood? 

The rebrand of Manuka Health


What was the most challenging part of the project and what lessons did you draw from it?

The hardest part of the project was to get a big group of stakeholders and decisionmakers, all around the globe, to drop some of the things on their wish list. There were a lot!

My lesson was patience and to always state your case in a gently supportive way.

Was there an ‘Aha!’ moment in the project when things clicked and feel into place?

When they invited us in to explain the design point of view to the sales team I knew we were making progress.


How has Dow Goodfolk adapted to the challenges of the past year? 

We have got ourselves set up to work pretty seamlessly from home when we need to, and we communicate well with one another. Teams calls help.

What have you been working on recently?

We’ve been working on a New Zealand rum, which has been fun, and also a new organic pet supplement brand in Australia.

Both of those projects are with young business owners who are passionate about brand – which is gold!

And finally, what areas of your professional or personal development are you hoping to explore further?

That’s a hard question because I’m never satisfied with anything I do!

I’m going to go with: Keeping a focus on the other person’s viewpoint. It will hopefully keep me calmer in the face of frustrating situations 😊



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