back on board

29Jul10

It has been crazy busy in the tdub studio but I’m back on board with lots of precious posts up my sleeve. I promise never to leave you so long without some inspiration to feed off again.

Closing off our little postcard theme for now, and what a way to end it than with the ‘mother’ of all postcards. Or should I say the ‘grower’ of all postcards.

Take a look at these little beauties.

A card that not only brings a smile to your face when you open your mailbox but can sit on your desk for the next 2 weeks, making that white sparse area just a little greener.

Here is what the makers wished to achieve.

“For our first product we looked at the most universal gift – the greeting card. We felt that this conventional card lacked surprise, bringing only a momentary enjoyment. The arrival of a greeting card or letter in the post can always brighten up your normal mail and bring pleasure but once opened its role becomes commonplace and static.”

Our response was PostCarden.

“It can be sent easily in the post with room to write a personal greeting. PostCarden was created to be more playful, curious and interactive. It encourages you to bond, live and grow the greeting on a day by day basis. Over time the card reacts to you and your environment evolving in beauty and charm.”

Sadly, they do not ship to Australia as yet.

All we have left to do is dream of that ‘mini living garden’ and hope that one day it will furnish our desks, bring a smile to an unsuspecting friend or even garnish our dinner plates (the spouts are edible!).

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no words needed

08Jul10


I could colour all day, and as Samantha would say,” I like to use every crayon in the box”…literally.

Growing up, Dad used to buy us sketch pads on Sundays and I was forever jealous of  kids who had the full set of Derwent pencils, only every making it to the pack of 24.

As such the left half of my brain is a lot more fertile than the right and I decided to choose a career which includes using a lot of colour and let’s face it, people still think that all I do now is colour-in all day.

As a graphic designer, you become very aware of colour, how to use it, how not to use it. Every so often you can challenge yourself within the stereotypical world of colour. Try representing a hospital without using blue, showing strength without red or creating a logo for a landscaper without green.

IDN have had a lot to say about colour:

“Colour is at once both the most subjective and the most universal of design elements. For most of us, there is no particular rationale behind what we regard as our ‘favourite’ colours – but for a designer, making the right choice of colour combinations can mean the difference between success and failure.”

As a designer always wanting more, I like to ask the question, “what if there were more colours in the world than we have today”?

Imagine that! What would it be like to discover a new colour? What would it look like and what would you call it? Imagine all the new emotions and characteristics you could represent in that new 1 colour logo?

OK GO‘s new video seems to be stretching the boundaries of colour (for those of you who have been living under a rock, these are the treadmill guys).


Colour can lift our mood. It can excite us, relax us, make us angry, tense, frustrated, happy and even a bit blue.

While we wait around for someone to discover that amazing new colour, I’ll be happy with my favourite, PMS 376C to be exact.

Photo by: Christine Macabuag


There are lots of things I love in life, but right now, I want to be ‘frank’ with you,.. or should I say ‘frankie’ with you.

This time last year I set off on a trip to Alice and Kakadu with a few friends. Just the 6 of us, hanging out and getting out of winter in Sydney to warmer weather and a bit of adventure. Little did we know that a bond would be made that would last,.. well, let’s say 1 year so far. 🙂

That trip, franklets were born, and thus, the frankies.

Friend- anklets, we called them Franklets. Bought from the Mindil Beach Markets in Darwin, the 3 strands represent the 3 of us, and we’ve been close ever since. Frankies have spent the last year looking out for each other and basically holding each other’s heads above water. We’ve been through some tough times, but we’ve made it so far.

The other Frankie that I love and race to meet bi-monthly is the magazine ‘Frankie‘. This little gem has graced the shelves of newsagents for a little while now and is my ray of hope amongst the sex ridden, female angst, consumer shelves of Cosmo, Cleo and whatever else has Sarah Jessica Parker on the cover.

Here is why the mag was started:

“Back when it all began, frankie magazine founders editor Louise Bannister and creative director Lara Burke could think of nothing better than spending their days op shopping and drinking cups of tea. One day, they put together a plan to start a magazine. They were uninspired with what was being offered on newsagency shelves and felt nothing could relate to them. Both firm friends with similar tastes, they wanted a magazine that spoke directly to the reader, contained great affordable fashion, sweet art, interesting reads and pretty photography.”

And this my friends is why I have picked up Frankie and run with it ever since.

Funny articles on everyday life situations. Vintage art and crafts that are affordable and can be bought on the internet, interviews with non-mainstream bands, real people with real views and real women wearing new clothes, hand-me-downs and whatever they could find in their bottom drawer. There is an amazing sense of authenticity flooding the pages of this mag and in a world full of facelifts, diets and passing fashions, it’s nice to have something that feels real.

I added a new mag to my  collection today. Issues 36 is out now, and who would have guessed it, it features an article on postcards! Wow! Two great minds think alike Frankie. 🙂

In the centre pages is a feature on ‘Postcards to Alphaville‘, a project dedicated to film characters featured in guest-made illustrations.

“Everyone participating in this adventure has to watch a film and make postcard portraying specific character from it. It is love-letter to films and those characters that brings us, the viewers, moments of joy, sorrow and revelation and sometimes seems more real than the neighbor next-door.”

Here are a few  jems I found:

So Frankly, for a Thursday, I’m feeling pretty inspired to create my own postcards.

Who knows, it might be sooner that you think, with a bit of help from some Frankies. Wink Wink.


In my post ‘get carded‘, I toyed with the idea of being inspired by postcards. You know those old tourist cards, or the free avant card stands. The truth is I collect them, along with many other bits and pieces that other people may think are rubbish, or in today’s world, recycling. I keep them around for those moments in a designers life when they need to be inspired. When the creativity is running low and you need a certain shape, colour, font or image to get you going.

Sure websites are taking over in terms of searching for inspiration. You can spend hours trawling through sites, looking for something that catches your eye. One site I have found to be ace at this is www.stumbleupon.com, try it out sometime. But when your eyes are tired and you need some pixel free time, there’s always good old tangible paper.

Over the years, my inspiration boards have become places where I also keep nostalgia. Call me a hoarder or an over emotive gal, I like having this stuff around.

A taxi card from the Hotel in Bangkok, a ticket stub from Neighbours night at the Koolabar, the London Underground map, tickets to the Dave Matthews Band, boarding passes from travels, album covers, greeting cards, restaurant business cards.

So why do I like to keep my life in frames? I’ve never really thought about it too much. It’s nice to look back and think how you felt at that particular time in your life. Who was close to you, who were you far away from, who you did you love, or for that matter, who did you hate, what were you listening to, what drove and motivated you, what were the goals of your life, your year, that one day? And maybe most importantly, how have you changed since then?

Tickets to the footy, menu from the burger joint in Crows NEST, ticket to the theatre in London, stubs from Coldplay and Jose Gonzalez, Christmas cards from friends, postcard from the Monet exhibition, 318 (something close to my heart).

All these little pieces that I frame have made me who I am today. People talk about having no regrets and living life to the fullest and I can honestly say that I don’t regret much. When I look at these frames, all these little pieces of graphic design, whether it be a computer generated ticket or an intricate artwork, they remind me of a part of myself.

Maybe I’m just a tragic creative. Inspiration or nostalgia? Somehow, they both work.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

email team@tdub.com.au
visit www.tdub.com.au


Found, carded at the Argyle.

Hate to say it, but I think they really do card everyone on entry. Picked up a coaster while chatting at the bar with old friends. Like the nice wintery feel to this one though the words around the edge of the back speak of the death of many convicts when the Argyle Cut was completed in 1867. Not sure I need to know about that.

To continue our night out we headed to Pony. A lovely little restaurant just up from the not so lovely Orient Hotel. They have great food, great service and most important, a great atmosphere. Love it here and can highly recommend it: www.ponydining.com.au

I also really like their logo and branding. It brings a real warmth and gives you a little insight into how you would feel within their restaurant. The logo is relaxed yet stylish, seating outside is on padded benches and one long communion table. Although a simple website, it brings a nice user experience with dark brown tones in contrast to great food imagery and an easy to navigate side menu bar.

You can read more about the user experience of websites and how they can inspire at the Vanilla Spin blog, by one of my fellow co-workers, Christine. Visit blog.vanillaspin.com

What websites have you found lately that have caught your eye?


get carded

12Jun10

Since turning 30 this week, I have come to the realisation but I will probably no longer have the privilege of fumbling around in my wallet when asked “ID please”. The days of my youth have come to an abrupt end and I’m sure the bouncers at the door will notice. Getting carded is at most times annoying. I always try and take it as a compliment.

I recently attended GO FONT UR SELF*, a typography exhibition at Peer Gallery in Glebe. This was the 4th installment of the exhibition. Check out the full gallery and details @ www.gofonturself.com.au

An exhibition of type based artworks

These events can be a little intimidating at times, for a designer that is. You want to look cool, have the latest fashion and of course stare at the artwork for a really long time, hand on your chin making loud “hmmmm’s” so the people nearest can hear. Each opening is free, you get a free drink on entry, a free squish into the small corridor where the artwork is hung and of course, free postcards!

Having strolled past the security at the door with no mention of an ID viewing, I decided to card myself.

Free Postcards on Offer at Peer Gallery

Have you ever walked past an Avant Card stand and grabbed as many cards as you could within 10 seconds, the time it takes for something to work out you love free stuff? I love to keep these around for inspiration. I have a frame that showcases some of the best and I keep it by my desk to help with those moments of lost creativity (more to come on this). Their free, their colourful and they can inspire.

Artwork at Peer Gallery you can card yourself will

So next time your out, see what you can pick up and make a collection of cards. Be it Avant Cards, free postcards at a gallery, or even a cool looking coaster at a bar. Stick them on a pin board at home, frame them up as artwork, or even send them via snail mail to that long lost buddy of yours.

Go on, spread the creativity.

email team@tdub.com.au
visit www.tdub.com.au

The next installment of GO FONT URSELF* in Sydney is on Wednesday the 18th of August at 6 Lacey Street, Surry Hills. Check the website out for more info on Melbourne and Brisbane Dates. www.gofonturself.com.au

I’ll be there with bells on, and sticky fingers for those free postcards.