— Studio news

Vote for our hellraising 2010 AGDA Poster entry

Shock! Designer stops moaning.

Read on, if you agree vote for our poster here, many thanks for your consideration and potential vote.

Some background…

The Australian Poster Annual was a project dreamed up by our studio when we were working with the National Design Centre in Melbourne. The first annual was launched at the first Melbourne Design Festival in 2005 – the first theme was – In light of recent events. Our response can be seen here

It was always our intention that this action is designed to inspired people with the poster as a medium to powerfully communicate big ideas, as our fellow designers in Europe, Japan and the USA do so successfully.

Our response to this brief…

We were troubled by the latest Australia Poster Annual brief, the first paragraph in particular, as it seems to be again – too design sector focused – and not aligned with big picture issues such as:

  • discovering Australian identity,
  • the idea that everyone is now a designer,
  • addressing public perception of design and their designers
  • bringing about a discovery of the ways in which Australian designers solve design problems,
  • helping clients tune into a locally developed product rather going overseas for creative outcome,
  • the proliferation of the designer idea
  • developing an Australian creativity position.

It is no secret that we feel that designers moan about on about how clients should understand design more, etc. We, as a practice, strive to find the balance between making work that works for clients, along developing a product that excites, inspires audiences and looks good.

It is concerning that our industry feels the need to write such briefs, and we believe that to bring about a positive change might be found by taking a lead from fine artists, fashion designers, chefs, coffee, wine makers, writers and musicians – who create, lure, attract, clarify, excite and challenge people with the an exciting product. Allowing then, the key drivers such as business innovation, thought leadership and cultural change will make sense to people who use it.

This situation reminds one of that old adage – quality relationships come about from inspiring respect rather than commanding respect.

This year’s AGDA Poster Annual brief is as follows…

In 2010, during Icograda Design Week in Brisbane, we have the opportunity as an industry to break stereotypes and show the Australian public that we are creative communicators, design thinkers, and that we belong to a profession that is a positive contributor to the economy and a catalyst for social change.

Following the Design Week theme of Optimism, the 2010 AGDA Poster Annual asks you to challenge the notion that design is only about beautiful things and show that design has a greater value and it is in this value that design can effect real change.

The Objective

To promote the role of graphic design as a key driver for business innovation, thought leadership and cultural change.

There are so many great and some very successful Australian designers focused upon, having a great product, client relationships and ongoing success. Is it any surprise that many of these studio’s didn’t enter a poster in this annual?

Your constructive comments; good or bad, are as always most welcome. Many thanks.

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Studio Pip and Co’s international sell out

In the coming months this website is undertaking significant change, which in effect reflects much of the changes required by this studio and practicing designers to define new meaning in the future.

One of our many activities has included bringing our design product to the public. Our activities started in 2004 when we dreamed up Australia’s first boot market for design – The Ready Made Market (which we named) with the National Design Centre, it was then renamed The Melbourne Design Market. We have taken this idea further by now taking our products to the internet, via global community shopping cart site for musicians, artists and fashions designers – bigcartell.com

Visit our shop, tell your friends, suggest new products here

Another initiative is to use existing internet media channels to communicate ongoing studio initiatives and activities. We have brought together existing channels such as Twitter, Linked In and a Facebook fan page. We will be using less of this website to document our daily chatter, and continue to create more resolved and lasting content from the findings and feedback uncovered in our work and day-to-day experiences.

All of the pages on this website are linked to FaceBook. If you like a post, hit the “FB like” button at the end of the post, which with then communicate your ideas and feedback back to FaceBook.

– Facebook members can become a fan of Studio Pip and Co Forever here
– Twitter members can follow the Studio Pip and Co here

Why? Some open thoughts…

The concept of design is enjoying unprecedented community interest. Our televisions are spewing from its bowels entertainment that charges people to go forth and design. Across the world hundreds of design schools are being created which in turn are churning thousands of design students inspired by a wealth of design reference. There are also brigades of international design mentors, mainly from the UK and the US, who crisscross the world presenting their version of design at conferences, design love ins, or out performing each other on Ted TV. To top off design TV, the design student glut, design celebrity, there is also new inexpensive hardware and software technology, marking what was once impossible and specialised, quick to learn with infinite possibility. In 2010 everyone can be a designer, backed by the will and technology, a body work of inexpensive and convincing communication awaits.

The net result is that in twenty short years, the highly specialised profession of graphic communication and design seems to have lost it’s specialised quality. At the design sector’s extremes, there are a handful of established studios commanding respectful design fees and profits, and at the other, there thousands of creative service providers scrapping for awareness and client share. In market flooded with so many options, clients are also prepared to accept a lesser quality of work to cut costs, as long as it look good – even if the look compromises the brand’s value

Longevity and loyalty in design services are off the agenda, in a market flooded with choice because clients can :

– afford to jump from studio to studio without effecting the quality their marketing, in the short term
– the quality of the design work is high, the design fees are inconsistent,
– there are many new players in digital and media offering new and exotic products
– there are an abundance of studio’s willing to undercut each other and keen to work with jumpy clients

Designer seem to be in a strange uncertain place. In our supply and demand world a good carpenter, plumber and lawyer are rare and therefore enjoy enough demand for their work to create certainty. In comparison a good designer in market of many designers, finds they are competing aggressively to win a good reputation, yet even at this end, there is no guarantee of having enough certainty to sustain a stable career.

To change this situation designers need to reinvent themselves, to develop new qualities, skills and processes an define new roles, purpose and desire that a skilled computer operator, a design aware audience or client can not replicate. In a way, designers have to reconnect with the alchemy which makes creative thinkers unique, move beyond the “designer” cliche which seems to saturate mainstream past time and interest.

Maybe it is time to call on some age old adages – of finding a new balance, to be less of a conformist and more of a maverick, a wonderkind, or even find one’s zeitgeist.

What did George Bernard Shaw say again? “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.”

If you have ideas or feedback, your comments are welcome here, on FaceBook, or on Twitter

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The Colour Collective has arrived and wants you




The Colour Collective is a project developed by the Studio to illustrate how colour, applications and people, connects, is used, or amasses. The site keeps the words to a minimum and lets the images as an individual or collected outcome illustrate their point, or purpose. A little like a book shop, or library, the collection we are seeking to make is diverse, at all levels of interest and importance.

Our work with Optix paper motivated us to make this project happen. Along with gallery posts for Optix, an ongoing stream of ideas and workings documenting colour in action on our planet awaits.

Register, suggest, look, read and do so often… visit The Colour Collective here

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Been there, bobbed that… at the AGDA Design Fete





Over the weekend the studio participated in the AGDA Design Fete at the Design Made Trade exhibition, held at the Royal Melbourne Exhibition Centre, which is part of the 2010 State of Design programme. One has to say there was nothing like it – while being surrounded by a somewhat austere group of trade exhibitors, with lighting, furniture, product and other design wears and services on offer, a cluster of designers tempted visitors, to rope a horse, watch screen print in action, see the wonders of home science experiments, part take in taro painted tattoos or bob for apples all in the name of design.

The business of design has become a serious one of late, and while the business case for design and the values of the profession are projected to the community and the industry, the discovery, the playfulness and the pleasure of participating in the process of making is being passed over.

We projected that there would be 5,000 to 6,000 visitors and we catered with 600 apples, six boxes of apples. It is sad to report that only a 150 apples where used on the day. And one must be thankful to the children who fell over themselves to breakout out of the “standing back and research mode” and take a little risk and be rewarded with an apple, tattoo, science, a hand made card, a small victory, or a smile.

Follows are our fellow fete crew:

Spencer James’ incredible food cart

Spencer James’ incredible food cart

Motherbird screen prints

Motherbird screen prints

COOP and South South West make Taro Tattoos

COOP and South South West make Taro Tattoos


Chase & Galley science workshop

Chase & Galley science workshop

Lasso a pony by Canyon Brand Crew

Lasso a pony by Canyon Brand Crew

Thanks again to our fellow fete crew for your wit and whim, Simon Mundy for pushing it through under a raft of issues and the bobbers.

Support our terrific apple guy Justin Flowers from Mercatus for providing the A grade apples, visit Mercatus here

We also have a fine Bobbing tea towel on offer, printed in process cyan, magenta and yellow for only $25 or two for $40, plus postage and handing. Email idea ( at ) peoplethings (dot ) com

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The Optix manifesto of printing an interesting project


The first pass at 9.30am – 4 colour process on Viza Blue, printing by Brian


The second press pass – 10.30am. Mr Gunn makes kicking latté 01


The unprinted stock feeding into the printing press


Cleaned plates post print

The third press pass 11.45am – 4 colour on Kula Cream


The forth press pass 12.45am – a make ready sheet



The fifth press pass 2pm – 4 colour process on Copa Green, change of printer, hello Nathan


The sixth press pass 3pm – a gutsy process black on Copa Green, Mr Gunn makes kicking latté 02.


The seventh press pass sees out the last of the process printing, and two colour with a special mix pms colour awaits, Cadi Lilac of course – 7pm


The eight press pass – 8.15pm



The mixing of the special ink



The ninth press pass on Suni Yellow, the second pms seems to jump from the page – 9pm, 12whopping hours later



The final press pass – 10.15

Home 12.20am, blog post up 1.10am (thanks 6821)

With the rise of digital design out shining interesting printing, it is a treat to spend a day passing press. For the best part of 2010 we have been developing a paper promotion for Optix paper. With of twenty images, 2,500 words, seven colour stocks, seven colours, 5000 metres of ribbon. It is special to see ink hit paper over two days and work with printers who love the idea of making print work on coloured stock. There was a lot of on press adjusting required as coloured stock changes the very nature a desired image, as compared to printing on white paper. The possiblities for making a rich communication using coloured paper has endless of possibilities and effects, one has to have a willingness to experiment a little, do some testing at the studio with colour stock and your laser printer and consult your printer where ever possible.

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of being up to one’s elbows in paper and ink, thanks to the crew at Gunn and Taylor for all your elbow grease.

Register your interest in the latest promotion by sending an email optix (at) thecolourcollective (dot) com