INTERIOR DESIGN - FIT OUT - BRANDING
THE BACK STORY.
I started working with Naomi Mckinnon one of the owners and head marketer at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort around 10 years ago. The multi award-winning 'frog park' was one of my favourite design clients.... I remember her telling me years ago; one day Jo all I want is to have a little cafe, I'm calling it the Fat Frog, I said to her immediately YAY! That means one day I'll get to create toadstool seats for children to eat at. Naomi always had this habit of keeping ideas in her tray, accepting that it wasn't the right time. But one day they would always happen!
9 years passed and we were in a marketing meeting. When it closed she looked at me and said I have something to tell you... I knew at that moment it was time, all she said was 'fat frog' and all I said was 'toadstool seats'!
We embarked on a journey together, my job to get inside Naomi's mind, have a true sense of her vision for the new beachfront cafe on Cannonvale foreshore on the Whitsunday Coast.
She wanted it to look like it had been there for 50 years, but have a modern and funky appeal... Excellence in atmosphere, service, food and of course coffee was paramount. Naomi takes coffee seriously. Her baristas make Campos coffees daily with the help of Delores the custom colour-matched coffee machine that everyone loves!
My closest friends know I was born in the wrong era, so working with a vintage theme was a dream project for me to embark on! Naomi, her husband Greg and even his retired parents, Rod and Jan, were hands on hunting for the treasures we'd repurpose.
DESIGN + HUNT.
I specifically wanted old soft drink timber crates to clad the main service counter... No stencils or repro's allowed. We really did hit pay dirt when Rod & Jan heard there was an amazing antique store in Bangalow Forest FULL of old crates!
All of the tables in the cafe are repurposed VJ doors from Queenslander homes around Brisbane, shipped up the coast and brought back to life by amazing antique restorers. Their brief was to reveal the original timbers, leave a splash of old paint for colour and history, honour the patina of the timbers, but make sure everything you do meets food grade standards! It took 3 men weeks to breathe life into those preloved doors and make them tables... Fitted with new adjustable cafe legs they were ready to live a new purpose.
The shelving to display all the vintage treasures was custom designed, the treasures were sourced from my private collection, eBay and a buying trip to Brisbane.
The children's area features an antique cedar dividing wall, on the kids side it's a pigeon hole storage system, which lived for years in the shed at Villa Botanica, then years in my shed... Though its original origin was an old stores building on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. Perfect for kids toys and dress ups!
The play area features the toadstool chairs, custom made steel extrusions powder coated white with digitally illustrated and printed red and white mushroom tops.
The lily pond cabinetry started in Adobe Illustrator with the drawing of the lillies and the DWG shape file handed over to the cabinet makers, the structural braces doubling as a storage shelf for endless crayons.
The graphical Fat Frog brand itself is whimsical, with a muted retro colour palette and enchanting illustrations of toadstools, leaves, butterflies, tea pots and of course thongs!
Fat Frog has recently turned 1 and it amazes me every time I visit, the broad demographic that the cafe attracts.... The travelling grey nomads enjoy the nostalgia of yesteryear and recount stories based on the memorabilia. The local parents bring their children because they feel special with their own dedicated enchanted space. The dog lovers that frequent the beach tie up their best friends and order from the doggie menu... And the cool people love this place for no other reason except it's damn awesome and has the best coffee!
CONTACT FAT FROG.
44 Coral Esplanade, Cannonvale Qld 4802
Ph: 0417 979 960
Become a fan on Facebook
BRANDING - CREATIVE SERVICES
I met Steven (with a v) Di Pietro when I was running late for a 2 day mind session hosted by the infamous Leela Cosgrove & Gulliver Giles. A group of corporate misfits assembled oceanfront at the Gold Coast to learn to face our sales fears and come from a place of love. Steven was sitting to my left and had every Mac gadget known to man. After I introduced myself to the room he looked at me and said, "I like you, you're just like me... No bullshit."
To this day we do business together. Steven and his business partner Felecia Bramble own Service Integrity, Australia's leading mystery and neuro shopping company with 1000's of contractors nationally. The pair did an acquisition of the company by buying out the 'older generation' of business partners. My brief for the rebrand was done via phone... So simple... "We want to look like lucky strike cigarettes, love Buick cars and anything retro. But we are also a serious company dealing in the corporate sector!"
I love working with the Service Integrity brand that I have created, it's a huge gift to me... I get to learn leading information that shapes how humans think and buy. I'm immersed in the content I'm designing from words into sales collateral! Every project gets me excited.
INTERIOR DESIGN - FIT OUT - BRANDING
This is a special building that had been sitting partially dormant for more than a decade... smack in the middle of Airlie Beach. The building is 4 levels with 2 of them (over 2000sqm of space) sitting vacant with no tenant the entire time the current owners had the building.
This led owner Paul Wellard to start thinking he needed to create something that is missing in Airlie Beach... something the town needs. I have been personally watching the building for years and my overactive brain has constantly thought up random ideas of what would be perfect to suit the space!
Pre-GFC, a cinema chain had wanted the rooftop space for a cinema... something Airlie Beach has needed for a long time. Paul started having conversations with everyone... we identified what was missing on the mainland and set about creating a multipurpose space.
The WACC aka Whitsunday Arts & Cultural Centre opened late 2014. Spread across 2 levels, The WACC features 2 bars, a rooftop cinema, 2 main function rooms with fully-equipped stages, excellent audio visual facilities and 2 break out meeting rooms.
The WACC is the largest purpose designed space for all types of events on the Whitsunday mainland. The building is an arts and cultural precinct, the interior design innovation in spatial planning is unconventional and fun. The space is fluid and its core business is weddings, functions, parties, conferences and events including the rooftop cinema.
The WACC stirs conversation and the venue is purpose designed to create plenty of photographic backdrops for weddings and events.
You enter the building via the discovery space that captures the stories of the region, the bars are styled from relics that represent the tropical lifestyle and tapestry of the local community throughout time.
Ground level is home to the DeMartini Room & Bar. The DeMartini Bar has a warehouse chic feel, it’s an intimate space with an industrial edge featuring a re-purposed bar from a vintage caravan, beautiful concrete polished floors, dance floor and a combination of new and classic antique furnishings.
The concept is to start your event in The DeMartini Bar, the plantation shutters open up to flow seamlessly into the Demartini Room with modern, clean lines and a natural palette, the room can be dressed with decor to suit any theme.
Level one is inspired by tropical Queensland life, featuring the Porter Bar and the signature Harper Room. The Porter Bar is a quirky and interactive room, with murals, wallpapers, dance floor and live music area.
The Harper Room is an outdoor space with rooftop cinema, it features a terrace balcony with ocean views overlooking the main event space. The room has beautifully restored rustic features with a contemporary edge, covered in a canopy of fairy lights and vertical gardens framed by the backdrop of gum trees and a star-filled skyline.
The most humbling part of this project was the warmness and generosity shown by the local community. Homes were opened up, roast dinners cooked, photos got shared and stories told. Farm paddocks were roamed and many historic relics were recovered and generously donated by local businesses and families. Janet & Ralph Hogan even gave me access to Villa Botanica to propogate cuttings to create our vertical garden from the largest private cacti collection in Australia.
Hayman Island and Lindeman Island donated barge loads of old fittings and fixtures, the truck would be unloaded and we’d get to work figuring out how to re-purpose the old treasures!
Tips and salvage yards were scoured... simple items like old scaffolding planks were converted into dry bars and bench seating. Pallets were converted into vertical gardens, planter boxes and a mini grandstand for kids to enjoy the cinema.
My favourite relic is the vintage neon sign from the roof of the iconic bar Charlie’s that featured on Airlie's main street for years. My former partner and I salvaged the iconic ‘Round the Bend’ sign from the roof 10 years ago and it sat hidden under our deck waiting to have a use. It was always meant to become our bar but was way to big for residential use! I love it when a local walks into the entrance of the WACC and they instantly smile at the nostalgia of seeing this sign with its new purpose as the meet and greet entrance feature.
PAINT A BOX.
I felt we needed to bring as much ‘art’ as possible into the space, so I initiated a ‘paint a box’ campaign to create seating for the rooftop outdoor cinema area. The boys on site fabricated plywood box seats as cubes and we did a call out to local artists to paint a box and express themselves. It was so much fun watching the boxes come back daily with all styles of artwork!
The WACC is what it is today, because of the generosity of the community, and this is reflected in the stories told within the walls.
Planning phase is now underway for the final collation of the history and stories of the pioneers and people that have shaped Airlie Beach into the town it is today. The entire completion of the cultural centre and art space will take more than a year.
So many people donated free time or worked for less than minimum wage to get this business ready to open its doors. I learnt more about giving, honesty, authenticity and integrity working on this site than any other project.
A huge thank you to these two photographers!
Pretty Flash Images Facebook page
COOK BOOK - GRAPHIC DESIGN & PUBLISHING
I first met Sue Wilson when she moved in next door to me, she quickly became my first life coach and guided me through the early years of starting Zest Design. After the first few months of trading I remember she threw me a ‘zest’ party where it was a 7 course feast with every dish containing lime. Her kitchen always smelt better than mine!
Sue has come from a 20 year social work background working with children and families from abuse backgrounds and learning behaviour disorders, she has now complemented this work with alternative therapies and nutrition working with the complete system of Mind Body and Spirit to heal and balance people's health. She owns Bottoms Up Colonics in Mackay and an online business called Cultured Cuisine.
Designing a cook book has been on my bucket list for a long time! I’m friends with a few chefs and wasn’t sure who’d be the first to market. I was so excited when Sue approached me to create her first cook book Belly Talk.
Love daily life with naste and nutrition… Belly Talk is an everyday cookbook featuring gluten free and sugar free recipes. The food is trendy, the recipes are simple, fun to make and taste sensational… not to mention the photography by Annalee Jane Howard is beautiful!
BUY BELLY TALK.
Belly Talk retails for $29.95 + P&H and is available online here
BRANDING - CREATIVE SERVICES
Smile Makers is a new dental clinic in the Whitsundays. The design brief was open... with such a clever name it was obvious that the logo needed to include a smile!
The creative process included researching all the cliche ways of communicating smiling and happiness. Being proud to show your teeth when smiling is something most humans desire :)
The company provides a fresh approach to dental with affordable cosmetic work available, being based in the Whitsundays the clients wanted a fresh tropical feel to their logo to match the lifestyle reasons people choose to live in paradise!
The iconography is fresh and simple to reproduce... I wanted it to communicate family with the multiple faces. The colourways are vibrant and synonymous with tropical life, the typography is contrasting with clean solid grey fonts and a casual script for Whitsundays.
CONTACT SMILE MAKERS.
Suite 2 / 121 Shute Harbour Road Cannonvale
Ph: (07) 4946 5007
I’m a fun and cheeky human with a no-nonsense approach to business and life. I love sharing my ideas and create relationships with people easily.
I like to work with people like me.... open minded and full of integrity and passion. I only do business with people that have respect for the value of quality products and services - you must have a dash of confidence and no fear of failure!
I have an abundance of gratitude for the opportunities, success and lessons I've experienced in my 20 years as a designer.
THE PROPER WORK STUFF.
A multi award winning art director and entrepreneur; my background is diverse. I started my career in advertising agencies, design studios, printers and prepress houses. Personally as a designer I was the art director for Hog’s Breath Cafe Australia at the age of 19 and by 22 a Marketing & Communications Officer for Queensland State Government. I started my first company at 23 and have never looked back!
I'm based in the Whitsundays and service clients from any area of the globe. I owned Zest Design for 12 years and art directed a team of creatives... after a head injury in 2013 I closed my business and had a year of complete rest.
These days I spend my time working on a small range of select projects... connect with me and let's have a conversation about your business and future plans.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE.
Development of brand identity and creative solutions for small - medium enterprise across all industries.
Franchise systems and deployment of automated creative tools.
Product development - from concept to global markets.
Tourism product / experience design & marketing.
Local and state government marketing & communications.
Development of online business utilising e-commerce & content management systems.
All facets of the print and signage industries, digital, offset & large format.
Extensive knowledge of building and construction industry.
Interior design of commercial sites, cafes, bars, multi-use spaces.
THINGS THAT FLOAT MY BOAT.
Working on start ups.
Walking into an empty commercial shell and creating spatial planning that is unconventional and fun.
Watching how effective my conversation style is at teaching people to think differently.
Getting my geek on with systems and business process management (I blame my time working in a franchise system for this obsession).
Learning new ways of thinking.
I have what’s referred to as a Dr Seuss personality. I flip everything on it’s head and develop my thinking from a dual perspective.
I am wise beyond the average human, I am constantly put in a position of mentoring / coaching and have a passion for helping businesses communicate effectively using heart, intuition and removing ego from decisions and processes. One day I think I’ll become a corporate mediator and be used as a bridge as opposed to litigation.
BUCKET LIST GOALS.
• Help start businesses and build big ideas.
• To do design fit outs all over the world.
• To write lots of books.
• Travel endlessly.
• Stay inspired.
• Earn money while I sleep.
On this occasion I proudly didn’t design this logo! It’s a digitised version of indigenous artwork that represents the main ancestoral events from the Tjukurpa that are recorded on and around Uluru.
My brother is the head of Uluru Aboriginal Tours, the Anangu people refer to him as 'white wise man' as he dedicates his life to helping the Mutitjulu community keep their stories alive and providing cultural tourism products to the 1000’s of people that visit Uluru from all over the world each year.
My brother has translated in ceremonies between Shaman's from around the world and Indigenous Elders, he's translated for Oprah and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge . He is humbled daily by the people and their knowledge.
I have always loved doing the creative work for the community. Though when I finally made it to the the rock in early 2014 I wasn’t expecting to feel such a strong connection with the people, their stories and the truth.
Without a doubt Kata Tjuta National Park and the rock known as Uluru are sacred, the energy can be felt.
My work with the community and the elders has only just begun.
A WHEELIE COOL IDEA.
Established in 2008 Wheeliedesigns.com created a new trend that swept the streets of Australian suburbia. Now when bin day arrives neighbourhoods come alive with wheelie cool bin stickers curb side!
As chief colour-inerer for this business it has been such a wonderful journey.
Ruth Tomas first approached me with the idea to paint wheelie bins, back then I owned a signage business so it made sense for her to seek creative advice and see if other people also thought her idea had potential. Potential?…..@#$!%!!!
THE EARLY DAYS.
Can you imagine the fun in planning the design ranges for launch! We created shot lists and commissioned a brilliant photographer to shoot all types of pavers, fencing, stonewalls, and extensive varieties of flowers and plants that flourish in the Whitsundays where the business is based. We got to work illustrating beautiful girly artworks and set off to the Airlie Beach markets to start testing our product.
The great part about a markets environment in a tourism town is we got plenty of global feedback about our idea… and we learnt very quickly that we didn’t have enough blokey/masculine designs in our range. So we went back to the drawing board and that’s when our best seller ‘Howzat’ cricket stump sticker was born.
THE QUIRKY GIFT FOR THE FRIEND WHO HAS IT ALL!
The company was started just before the GFC hit and we knew that we'd struggle to get customers to pay $34.95 to decorate their bin so we decided early on that we'd market our product as a gift item.
The logical step was to roll the bin stickers for shipping and the closest existing packaging we could find were the rose tubes that florists use!
Fitted with a gift tag and instruction sheet we were ready to go!
On a research trip to a Reed Gift Fair we went to a free workshop on getting products from idea phase to global markets…. it truly felt like the workshop was made for us! We instantly gelled with presenter Federico Re from Creative Entrepreneur and contracted him as our business development coach. The knowledge and training we received in a year of working with Federico will stay with us for life.
Early on thousands of dollars was invested in search engine optimisation… back then no one was searching for bin stickers as they didn’t really exist. But today we reap the benefit of this investment with most of our business being driven by google.
INNOVATION V’S IMITATION.
When we were comfortable with our website and product range we started a national PR campaign. We generated over $100,000 across newsprint, magazines and radio. Within less than 24 hours of having an article published in the Courier Mail finance section we had our first competitor.
A guy in Brisbane registered every variant of our domain name and had a pop up stall at a Brisbane Home Show within 2 weeks of seeing our business. As an artist it hurts when someone copies your idea, let alone when they act as though they actually are you! Luckily for us on this occasion the plagiarist didn’t put in enough effort and breached so many counts of copyright laws we were able to demand he cease trading.
It didn’t stop there though… sign shops around Australia started making versions of us, some of them even blatantly stole art files directly from our website!
I still remember at our first wholesale product launch at the Reed Gift Fair when a cheesy looking business man in a suit walked into our booth, he grinned from ear to ear, he was wearing no visible trade tag and took all of our marketing collateral without making eye contact. I’m certain his job was to source all new innovations then head straight to China for mass production.
We were a small company and these guys are used to ripping off people's ideas ‘legally’. Thankfully the $2 shop bin sticker fad has almost passed, but it’s still disheartening to see the occasional faded stickers deteriorating over bins. Their lifespan is less than 3 months in outdoor sunlight, our product lasts for up to 5 years… it has definitely had a negative impact on our business. I use the phrase ‘character building’ for every time we hit a hurdle and we've had to learn quickly to pick and choose our battles.
We’ve come a long way and maintained market position as the official wheelie bin sticker company. The business is based online, with 100’s of designs to choose from for gifts. As a designer I love it when someone gets my humour and buys one of my favourite artworks. Bin stickers really are a form of self expression and we have lots of fun creating designs to suit all tastes.
To this day we still get surprised by the custom orders we get, a woman just ordered an I LOVE MY GARBO sticker for a christmas gift!
Heading into our 7th year of business we have redeveloped the website 5 times… and it’s due for another make over. Keeping up with technology especially in the areas of e-commerce, mobile devices and consumer engagement is an ongoing job.
We have several business divisions; Business on a Bin is really popular with small-medium enterprise choosing our outdoor product to spread their corporate message, schools nationally get their kids involved in creating environmental education based stickers, even festivals like Splendour in the Grass hide their wifi internet terminals inside bins for ticketing transactions!
The future for this stinky business is more than bright!
BRANDING - CREATIVE SERVICES
Three7 consulting gets businesses focused on the stuff customers don’t see… strategy, staff, sales, back-office efficiency, customer service & supplier management. Yep the boring stuff that you have to get right that’s probably holding your business back!
The branding is edgy, a touch vintage and confident.
Three7 is anti corporate. “They shit us… we simply don’t want to deal with them” co-owner Steven declares that he only wants to work with decision makers.
"Success depends on you, not the economy.
To be successful you have to sort out your personal shit first.
Then you sort out issues with your business partners and staff.
Then you start to worry about fixing your business."
Founded by the neuro experts that own Service Integrity… Steven Di Pietro and Felecia Bramble share their expertise at a whole other level.
Three7 provide an online 6 week program followed by a three day weekend taking your learning to a whole other level and connecting you with people just like you. Doers!
BRANDING - CREATIVE SERVICES
Rock Solid Craftsmen is the dream and vision of a former concrete formwork Tradie!
Tired of doing standard construction work he decided to study the artistic side of working with concrete.
The business now focuses solely on artisan projects, working with builders, architects, designers, shop fitters and home owners to produce bespoke solutions from this ancient medium.
The brand needed to communicate strength, beauty and creativity. I helped owner Daniel Keski-Nummi name the business and developed the communication and design styling from the name.
Light yellow is not a colour I use often but I'm obsessed with the end colour ways in the brand identity!
If you've browsed my website galleries you'll notice I love working with laser cut aluminium. I know that my relationship with Rock Solid Craftsmen will change from client into collaboration... We'll definitely be creating some beautiful interiors and exteriors together.
CONTACT ROCK SOLID CRAFTSMEN
Ph: 0431 348 425
Become a fan on Facebook
CONSULTANT - CREATIVE SERVICES
Author Judith Pannan’s desire to publish a personalised medical journal came about through her concern that many people do not take enough responsibility for keeping accurate records in relation to their most precious asset - their health and wellbeing.
After extensive research online, throughout bookstores, chemists and department stores she could not find a book that recorded one’s personal health issues and their details in a simple, clear, efficient and effective manner that had serious longevity.
With the assistance of Stuart Gibson from Book Design Australia, My Medical Journal has become a beautiful 400 page hardbound book.
As a consultant my role has been helping Judith through proofing/production phase, design services and website creation.
2015 is the year of sales... with goals to increase online sales, have My Medical Journal available in book stores nationally and to promote custom print runs to health organisations and complimentary businesses.
CONTACT MY MEDICAL JOURNAL.
I love room dividers and division screens - they transform your home, office or outdoor environment... partitioning a single space into a design statement.
Over the years I’ve created all sorts of custom residential works and lifestyle products like my herb stix, magazine racks, plant climbers, garden gnomes… even flamingos!
Indoor and outdoor artworks can be made from a variety of of materials… my favourites are 3mm Aluminium powder coated in a variety of colours and 3 & 6mm Coreten (Rusted) Steel for the outdoor aged look.
As designer I thrive in an environment where I can use structural materials. I provide interior/exterior consultation, design/illustration, product development, fabrication and installation for small and large scale projects.
I have beautiful products available for sale, an extensive library of existing designs and can also create a unique piece for any purpose - simply get in touch!
I love laser cutters. I love fabrication. Technology is moving so fast and unique design solutions are more accessible than ever. Moving into laser cutting for decorative works was a natural progression after owning sign writing companies.
Commercial applications are limitless. A few of the images in this gallery are from Mackay Day Spa waiting room, a huge 20 metre long space that needed to be broken into smaller enclaves to service the 8 treatment rooms. I loved being able to design their brochure then use the same design elements and create ceiling to floor versions of the vector Illustrator file out of aluminium.
Mixing beautiful materials like coloured plexiglas panels, custom made stainless steel structures and powder coated aluminium was challenging, but the result amazing!
Division screens completely change the tone of a space. They add an element of expression that constantly invokes conversation and attention.
I have a library of beautiful designs available in vintage, nature, geometric and Morrocan inspired themes... All of my artworks can be sized and coloured to suit your specifications. Obviously I can also create a custom design to suit your vision - simply get in touch!