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 |

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.

Recipe of the Month

Recipe of the Month: Provolone and Eggplant Toasts

Its still freezing outside so how about some warm toasties – gourmet style!

6 thick slices sourdough bread
500gm Provolone, grated
To serve: green leaf salad
Eggplant chutney:
100ml vegetable oil
400gm eggplant (about 1), coarsely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10gm ginger, finely chopped
1 long green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp eachblack mustard seeds and ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
400gm canned cherry tomatoes, drained
150ml malt vinegar, or to taste
2tbsp brown sugar, or to taste

For eggplant chutney, heat half the oil in a frying pan over high heat, add half the eggplant, fry until golden (2-3 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon, drain on absorbent paper. Repeat with remaining oil and eggplant. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, garlic and ginger, stir until tender (5-7 minutes). Add chilli and spices, stir until fragrant (1 minute). Increase heat to medium-high, add tomato, vinegar, sugar, simmer until just starting to thicken (3-5 minutes). Return eggplant to pan, cook until combined (2-3 minutes), season to taste, keep warm.

Preheat a grill to high heat, grill bread until golden (1-2 minutes each side), spread with chutney, top with Provolone, grill until golden and melted (2-3 minutes), serve hot with salad.

Source | Gourmet Traveller

Recipe of the Month

Recipe of the Month: Salted Caramel Brownies

This months recipe is all about comfort food for those cold winter days…

200g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
100g chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
100g chocolate, 50% cocoa solids
397g can Carnation caramel
1 tsp flaky sea salt, plus a little extra for the top
200g golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs, at room temperature
130g plain flour
50g cocoa powder

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease then line a 23cm square traybake tin with baking parchment. Melt the butter in a medium pan, break in all the chocolate, then remove the pan from the heat and wait for the cubes to melt.

In a small bowl, mix 175g of the caramel with 1 tsp sea salt – it will loosen up. Put the rest of the caramel in a large bowl with the sugar and eggs, and beat with an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk until even.
Whisk in the chocolate and butter. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and a good pinch of table salt, then sift this on top of the chocolate mix. Beat briefly until smooth.

Pour half the brownie batter into the tin and level it with a spatula. Using a teaspoon, spoon half of the salted caramel on top of the batter layer in 5 thick, evenly spaced stripes. Spoon the rest of the brownie batter on top and smooth it out, trying not to disturb the caramel beneath. Top with the rest of the caramel in the same stripy fashion. Drag a skewer or tip of a knife through the caramel to make a feathered pattern on the top.
Scatter with a little more sea salt, then bake for 25-30 mins or until risen all the way to the middle with a firm crust on top. When ready, the brownie will jiggle just a little when you shake the tin. Let it cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.

Source | Good Food

Featured Client, Graphic Design, Logos

Featured Client: Fidens Arbor

Fidens Arbor is a small consulting company specialising in business analysis, project management and change management. Fidens Arbor came to Papercut looking for a brand identity that communicated their values and point of difference as a company.

Fidens Arbor roughly translates to courageous or without fear (Fidens) and  Tree (Arbor). This encapsulates the philosophy of the company to grow strong, but in a sustainable manner that gives back for everything it takes. We reflected this idea through the use of vibrant colour and form to represent growth, innovation and sustainability.


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.