How to work with clients who micro-manage

Written by Sarah Ritchie You’ve created a masterpiece of an event poster for your client. Your client asks you to make the headline bigger, move an item from the bottom to the top, change out the picture and – while you’re at it – change the colours too. All of a sudden your poster (lovingly…

3 weeks ago by

Saving money on print

Written by Sarah Ritchie Your client has come to you saying they have to cut back their print budget, and can you help them? Without a moment’s hesitation you should say “yes”! Why? Because there is always a way you can save money on printing. Let’s explore some of those ways. Print on demand How…

2 months ago by

Alternative Routes: An Interview with Katie Kerr

Written by Lana Lopesi Supported by Creative New Zealand Lana Lopesi is the editor of Aotearoa Design Thinking 2018, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. This article is the final in a four part series of future focused articles canvasing prominent conversations within the design community.…

3 months ago by

Ideas on Diversity

Written by Lana Lopesi Supported by Creative New Zealand Lana Lopesi is the editor of Aotearoa Design Thinking 2018, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. This article is the third in a four part series of future focused articles canvasing prominent conversations within the design community.…

3 months ago by

A Few Choice Voices: Different Ways of Talking About Design

Written by K. Emma Ng Supported by Creative New Zealand Emma Ng is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2018, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. This article is the last in a four part series on design and its support structures that enable us to nurture,…

4 months ago by

The emergence of Modernism: an etymology of beauty, harmony, excellent and good.

Written by Kelly Gilchrist. Starting with the term beauty, this four part series, explores the use and interpretation of the terms beauty, harmony, excellent and good. With a focus on the texts and journals collected by Robert Coupland Harding, Kelly will explore Harding’s understandings and intentions behind his late nineteenth century use of the four…

7 months ago by

Showing, Sharing, and Beyond: Design Exhibitions in Aotearoa

Written by K. Emma Ng Supported by Creative New Zealand Emma Ng is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2018, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. This article is the second in a four part series on design and its support structures that enable us to nurture,…

7 months ago by

Hot air: A Monthly Rotating Roundtable — What is Aotearoa New Zealand design? 

Hot Air: A Monthly Rotating Roundtable, is a new monthly series where a number of designers take on big design conversations. To kick it off we start at the only place rightful place to start, interrogating our national design culture addressing the question. This month we asked Tyrone Ohia, Emma Rogan, Johnson Witehira and Luke Wood,…

8 months ago by

Censoring Colors: Did the New Zealand government stop a famous image of Queen Elizabeth from being published?

Written by Emma Rogan Supported by Creative New Zealand Emma Rogan is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2018, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand.  In 2015 the New Zealand government stopped an image from appearing in a new book about a famous magazine. At least, this…

9 months ago by

Looking Back: BackStory the Journal of New Zealand Art, Media & Design History

Written by Lana Lopesi  Graphic Matters is a monthly column on issues and ideas related to New Zealand Design Culture The lack of written local design history is one constant concern I hear from graphic designers in Tāmaki Makaurau and Aotearoa as a whole for that matter. While there have been concerted efforts from key…

9 months ago by

Puncturing Mythology: Looking beyond the shiny myths that distract from the complexity in design in Aotearoa

Written by K. Emma Ng Supported by Creative New Zealand Emma Ng is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2018, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand.  This article is the first in a four part series on design and its support structures that enable us to nurture,…

9 months ago by

Baby Steps: Building the Aotearoa Conversation

Coming into the design world as a trained critical thinker and writer, I was struck by how young and non-existent critical conversations were. In my own critical writing practice, I work from a position of believing that critical feedback, public conversation and the building of discourse is key to the health and development of any…

10 months ago by

Broadsheet, New Zealand’s Feminist Magazine Goes Digital

Written by Lana Lopesi Graphic Matters is a monthly column on issues and ideas related to New Zealand Design Culture Covers of Broadsheet Issues 1 – 15  “…I became pregnant because I wanted to have a baby; my motives or reasons are no one’s business but my own…”  — Anonymous, Broadsheet Issue 1 On January 19,…

10 months ago by

Aotearoa Design Thinking: an opportunity to revisit 2017

Created by Lana Lopesi Supported by Creative New Zealand     In 2017 Design Assembly introduced Aotearoa Design Thinking — a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. Our intention was to actively discuss New Zealand graphic design practice by celebrating, growing and challenging current thought. By…

11 months ago by

Summer Reading

Summer holidays are the perfect time to catch up on your reading… Here are some top picks from some of our DA Friends to help you brush up on your design theory, along with a bit of rest and relaxation this summer: Paul McNeil “The Visual History of Type” The Visual History of Type is a…

11 months ago by

Being Human: Notes and Reflection from Xin Cheng

Written by Layla Tweedie-Cullen Supported by Creative New Zealand Layla Tweedie-Cullen is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2017, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. This article is the last in a four part series of long-form interviews with interesting, exciting and innovative members of Aotearoa’s design…

1 year ago by

On this Wednesday: DA film event: Helvetica 10th Anniversary Screening, Hastings

Rachel and Jason Juno will be hosting the first ever Design Assembly event in the Hawkes Bay region with a screening of Helvetica on Wednesday, October 18th. It’s been 10 years since Helvetica the film was released. Join us in this special 10th Anniversary film event showing on the big screen, to celebrate and debate…

1 year ago by

Civic Lessons

Written by K. Emma Ng Supported by Creative New Zealand Emma Ng is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2017, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand.  This article is the final in a four part series on design and politics that was published over the course of…

1 year ago by

Finding a mentor

Written by Sarah Ritchie The most successful agency people are those who care about developing their career, and who want to become the best possible version of themselves. One way to achieve this goal is by asking for professional guidance from others. There will be a stable-full of people whom you can talk with over…

1 year ago by

DA Conversations Podcast with Grant Alexander, September 2017

Welcome to Design Assembly Conversations. In this series we talk to New Zealand graphic designers, hear their stories, and celebrate their work.

In this episode I spoke to Grant Alexander. Grant is currently the Design Director at Onfire Design in Auckland. He started his career in 1969 at Designscape magazine, co-founded Designworks with Ray Labone in 1982 and in 2000 formed a partnership with daughter Kate to create Studio Alexander.

1 year ago by

Design and Documentary: An Interview with Ella Sutherland

Written by Layla Tweedie-Cullen Supported by Creative New Zealand Layla Tweedie-Cullen is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2017, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. This article is the third in a four part series of long-form interviews with interesting, exciting and innovative members of Aotearoa’s design…

1 year ago by

Printed Matter and the Document: A Conversation with p. mule

Written by Layla Tweedie-Cullen Supported by Creative New Zealand Layla Tweedie-Cullen is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2017, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. This article is the second in a four part series of long-form interviews with interesting, exciting and innovative members of Aotearoa’s design…

1 year ago by

Cultural Relevance in the Digital Age: Emotiki

Written by Lana Lopesi In 2015, The Oxford Dictionary named ‘emoji’ the official word of the year, revealing a major shift in consumer behaviour towards mobile and visual communication. Emojis are still and moving image characters, used in text and social media platforms to express emotion. While emojis were first invented in 1999, in 2016,…

1 year ago by

Fresh from the field — Marx’ self promotion

This week’s Fresh from the Field celebrates 2017’s three-dimensional gift package from Marx. If you’ve got new or recent work that you’d like to share in our weekly Fresh from the Field series email Zoë for details. Christmas is a time for giving. So… on the first day of Christmas, our clients got for free, a daily planner…

1 year ago by