Graphic Design, Papercut

Sex, Drugs & Helvetica design conference

At the beginning of the month Jess travelled up to sunny Brisbane to attend the annual SD & Helvetica design conference. It was a day jam packed with inspiring projects and speakers who had travelled from far and wide to deliver talks on cool projects they had played a major part in.

A highlight of the day was London based creative director James Greenfield, who led the re-branding of worldwide tech giant Airbnb (see a slide of the presentation below). It was awesome to see how a fun yet simple approach led to such a well rounded brand solution. It was also interesting to note that on the day of the launch the rebrand was the worldwide top trending topic on Twitter for ten hours – it definitely made a big impact!


Graphic Design, Inspiration, Papercut

Turning your words into money

Do you have expert tips, coaching strategies, a how to guide or even your own success story that you want to share? Well now is the time to blow the dust off those words and let us help you create leads with your new eBook!

Papercut have teamed up with Writing Words to package up an eBook offering like no other.
You will receive:

– one 45 minute content strategy session with two industry experts
– authentic copy writing of up to 12 pages
– professional graphic design in your brand style, and
– eBook creation (PDF)
– Two week turnaround
$997 + gst

This package is on offer until October 30th and numbers are limited to 7 only!

Book now | 6162 4045

Graphic Design, Inspiration, Papercut

Making time for creativity

When I started Papercut I imagined I would always be designing for my clients. Nearly eight years later, my role as director has grown in responsibility and business skills yet not so much in design. These days I’m off the tools and in some regard not as confident to be back on them.

Last year I decided that in order to feed my creative juices I needed to give myself some time and space to do so. I booked into an art class at the ANU Art school on Mondays, and it’s there that I lose myself in watercolour and gouache and feel creative again.

My art teacher is a talented lady for whom we have just completed a website ( Her work is detailed and layered and inspiring.

As a business owner and creative person the best decision I made was to go back to my art and feed my passion. This important time out from the business allows me to maintain my energy the rest of the week, and bring renewed ideas to Papercut.

Here are a few of my artworks.




Featured Client, Graphic Design, Marketing Campaign, Papercut, Printing, Typography

Making laundry sexy!

Recently, a dear client of ours entrusted me with creative freedom, and a decent budget to launch a large advertising campaign. If there is something that makes my creative juices flow – it’s marketing. This stuff really floats my boat.

The client: Ainslie Laundrette
The brief: Raise awareness of the brand and services. Do it with some fun, cheek and a good dose of quirkiness.
The challenge: A non-sexy business servicing a domestic main street everyday need.
The outcome: A series of advertisements to be launched across Action buses depicting a pin-up 50’s style model and some tongue-in-cheek slogans.

This was a team effort involving my client – Jennifer Lanspeary who supplied props and most of the slogans, a fantastic model – Miss Kitty Coco, creative photographer – Andrew Sikorski, fabulous designer – Jess Lenehan, the team at Go Transit and me as art director and ideas girl.

2220 Ainslie Laundrette Banner-1-DirtyDonnas


The Ainslie Laundrette advertising campaign included a series of six bus advertisements that are designed to create awareness and recognition of the Ainslie Laundrette brand. The bus ads focused around “Miss Daisy” and the services Ainslie Laundrette offers including but not limited to leather care, ironing, tailoring, doona cleaning… the list goes on.

The 1950’s pin-up style and cheeky slogans create fun and captivating ads that appeal to a broad audience. Keep your eyes peeled for these advertisments that will be popping up on the back of Action buses.

Graphic Design, Papercut

Free Pitching is costly 

Have you ever been asked to do work for free? We have, and usually by Government departments or organisations who should know better. In the design industry it’s called ‘Free Pitching’ which is a client asking to see creative concepts before they sign a contract or pay for the work. Recently Papercut were sent a request for quote including a free pitch request from a government body. The project had a large budget that was enticing, but I stood by my business ethics as I’ve always done and said No! I also took the opportunity to let the client know that what they were asking was unreasonable and attempt to educate them as to why:

“Papercut does not endorse ‘free pitching’, but supports the Australian Graphic Design Association Code of Ethics on the issue. Any presentation to a client requiring the production of original ideas and concepts visual and otherwise must be reimbursed, either with a pitching fee or the signing of a design proposal. The practice of free pitching grossly undermines the value of our industry, destroys the professional standing of designers, and delivers short term financial benefit to the client at the direct expense of the designer which can only result in an exploitative business relationship.”

What happened next was a mini triumph. The client has listened (to hopefully more than my little voice) and chosen to update the tender request – minus the creative pitch!

This was almost equal to winning the job as far as I’m concerned, as I think this is a win for our industry. It pays to voice your opinion and stand up for what you believe is right. Let’s stamp out free pitching for good and work ethically together respecting skills and creativity are worthy of always being remunerated.

Graphic Design, Papercut, Typography

Case Study: Varilaku for the National Gallery of Australia

Today we are looking back at project we are very proud of here at Papercut.

‘Varilaku: Pacific Arts from the Solomon Islands’ was an exhibition at the Australian National Gallery in February 2011.

The National Gallery commissioned us to design and typeset the catalogue for ‘Varilaku’ at the end of 2010.

The brief was to create a design that included two brands – the Gallery’s style and the exhibition’s identity. It had to be clean, legible and showcase amazing images supplied by the NGA. The bulk of the images also had to be shown in entirety, as cropping an artwork can change it’s meaning.






Our solution was to use the exhibition branding colour of bright coral with a soft grey and plenty of white space. A combination of large and full-page images were featured throughout the book, to break up the text and add interest. Graphic elements from a variety of artworks were traced and used as motifs on the section breaks. Typography and logo placement from the NGA style guide were adhered to.

The typesetting was undertaken in a very tight time frame and involved staff working during the Christmas break.

The finished product is beautiful – it displays the artwork to best advantage and conveys a sense of the exhibition and the gallery.

Featured Client, Papercut, Print, Printing

Featured Client – Great Grandpa’s Cars Childrens Book

We had the pleasure at Papercut to design a childrens book – something that we don’t get to do too often!

Our client came to us with a beautiful story she had written about her father and his myriad of cars (plus a plane) for her grandson. She wanted to produce a professional book that would be loved and cherished and possibly published in the future.

Knowing how cherished this book would be, made this a memorable project to work on. We designed the graphics to be bright and appealing, with halftone dots adding a retro feel that reflected the old cars and family photos. The text was arranged to enhance the natural flow of the story and some of the more exciting lines were enlarged to make reading fun and interactive.