Branding, Graphic Design, Website design

Four essential elements of a good design brief

A design brief should primarily focus on the results and outcomes of the design and the business objectives of the design project. Most designers will have a briefing template for this purpose, however here are 4 important elements every brief should ask.

1. What are the objectives of the design?
Understanding your goal is important in achieving the right result. Communicating the end game to your designer is critical for the design process. Know what your goal is and communicate that in the brief as best you can.

2. Who is your target audience?
You need to know who you are trying to appeal to, and trust me it’s not everyone. Narrow down your target market and you will have better reach. If you’re not sure of your market then define your ideal client and design for them specifically.

3. What is your budget?
Disclosing your budget at the onset can save time and work for both parties. It also means that services can be tailored to meet the budget. Every brief needs a budget.

4. What is the timeframe?
The schedule is almost as important as the budget. Good creative design takes time, and rushed design creates panic and generally costs more money. The more notice you can give a designer the better the result.

Having a meeting with a designer will tease out the answers to these questions and other questions that will inform the brief. We have developed some templates to aid this process. Please download here and then give us a call to set up a meeting, we’d love to design for you.

Download | Brief Forms

Branding, Featured Client, Website design

Featured client: FECCA

Recently we launched a brand new website for the Federation of Ethnic Commmunities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA). Along with the website, we also gave their existing brand a much needed freshen up, developed an e-newsletter, style guide and various stationary.

The website is fully responsive for tablet and mobile devices. A comprehensive database and social media live feeds are amoung some of the bells and whistles the website entailes.

The new branding and website is vibrant, contemporary and professioanl while reflecting the organisations core values.

Visit |

Branding, Featured Client

Featured Client: Sassafras Wines

Sassafras Wines came to us in 2014 to develop their business identity with the goal of producing a classic, yet unique local wine brand. Sassafras Wines is a Canberra-based producer of ancestral method sparkling wine (as well as some table wines from Italian grape varieties).

Inspired by the print technique of linocutting, we designed a logo using the shape of a Sassafras leaf. In addition, we developed a colour palette to suit each individual variety of wine. The labels were designed to be clean and elegant, ensuring they stood out against noisy competition on the cellar shelf.

Their first release is an ancestral method sparkling wine made from Gamay grapes grown at Tumbarumba. It is available for purchase here.

“The name ‘Sassafras’ comes from Australia’s two native species of Sassafras tree: Doryphora sassafras and the Southern Sassafras (Atherosperma moschatum). Purchasing a Sassafras wine helps us donate to Bush Heritage Australia for their practical work in habitat conservation.”

Visit |

Photograph | Rebecca Doyle Photography

Branding, Featured Client, Graphic Design, Typography

Featured Client: The Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint celebrate their 50th anniversary this year in conjunction with the opening of a new exhibition area. The Mint were after branding that reflected this new exhibit and shone a more exciting, youthful light on this veteran tourist attraction. We designed a brand along with exhibition graphics, signage and a brochure to compliment their new exhibit and 50th anniversary.


The new exhibit featured bright, primary colours, which we reflected in the new branding. To represent the journey of the coin, we created arrow graphics that lead into images surrounded by bold colourful strokes. The final solution is bold and inviting.




Branding, Featured Client, Logos

Featured Client – BurraBee Farm

BurraBee Farm is a market garden, providing vegetables, herbs and of course honey. Vikki and Andrew are down-to-earth, progressive, farmers who look after their land, animals and food sovereignty.

Their motto is “care + earth = honest food” and they live up to this dictum by producing tasty, nutritious food in a sustainable and ethical manner.

We applaud their ideals and have loved designing their brand. We designed a range of stationary, labels and a large banner for their market stalls.


Look out for them at the Canberra Farmer’s Market!

Branding, Graphic Design, Inspiration, Paper, Printing, Typography

Vintage Graphic Design

I came across this wonderful old ANSETT–ANA brochure in my Mum-in-Law’s belongings and thought I’d share. It’s about A4 in format and opens up to a map on the back showing the Ansett flight routes.

What I love is the simplicity and use of colour. I think the brochure dates back to the late 60’s given the style and print process. The combination of illustrations and photography is quite innovative and refreshing in form.

This brochure would have been created before there were computers for design. Graphic designers used scalpels, drawing boards, typesetting machines and darkrooms. Each element that belonged on the final page of the design concept was either illustrated or cut out from actual pictures.

Once the final design layout was placed correctly, large cameras were required to create negative film of the final design for the stripping process. Stripping is the process of arranging the film negatives into a pattern to create an order of pages. Each color requires it’s own negative when using a printing press. These processes are rarely done anymore, as they are too time consuming.

In our hasty world we design and print overnight to meet demanding deadlines. Oh, sometimes I wish for slower times when design was more appreciated, care was taken in creating and there was less room for error.

Ansett Brochure

Branding, Graphic Design, Logos, Papercut, Typography

What is Visual Communication

This month at Papercut we’ve been talking a lot about branding, and how essential brands are for businesses of all sizes.

It’s been good to be reminded of those key elements that make up a brand identity toolkit, components that supplement your logo and form the graphic ‘face’ of your business.

It might help to think of your logo as the ‘boss’ of your brand, and the visual communication elements as the ‘employees’. In most of your communication materials, your logo won’t appear by itself, it will have the help of all of these visual elements to accomplish its job of communicating and connecting with your target market.

Some of the key design elements include font styles, colours, shapes and layouts.  They all work together to create the impression of your business, and the way your business presents to your customers.

Visual Communication Poster

Your Visual Communication can include design elements such as:

  • Font styles: You should have a small collection of typefaces, font weights, and styles that you use regularly in your materials. Consider fonts for both print and web use, and specify styles for headlines, subheads, and body copy in each case.
  • Colours: Creating a colour palette for your business can add flexibility to your marketing materials and give you an easy resource to go to when choosing colours for illustrations, graphics, or any other part of your Visual Communication. If you keep your colours consistent and limited, then you’ll develop a more focused palette that will be easier for your audience to associate with your business.
  • Shapes: The shape that you use for your bullets, break-out boxes, colour-blocked areas, and even borders in your materials can create a strong visual component that will contribute to your brand memorability.
  • Layout: The layout of a marketing piece covers elements like the number of columns and the placement of all of the other Visual Communication elements. Remember that white space allows the eyes to rest, white space in any layout is crucial.
  • Backgrounds: Using background screens or shapes, or even a specially designed watermark, can give your materials extra flair. You can also develop a special background that will make your materials stand out.
  • Photographs: Photos can add a lot of personality to your materials and really help you to connect with your target audience. Stock photography is easily accessed; buy a few shots that are compelling and really match the rest of your Visual Communication. Make sure that you buy the highest resolution and the largest possible size to ensure you have images for both print and web.
  • Paper type: Printing your materials on a special type of paper can make them look even more interesting. Papers come in different colours, textures, and thicknesses that can contribute to the uniqueness of your brand.

Crafting a tool kit for your visual communication and then using it consistently will define your business in the marketplace and create a strong brand.