Design Work

Music Graphics

We have been doing some music graphics for a client (see if you can work out who they are). These are some of the more recent pieces of work. Obviously they are for jazz gigs so we have been trying convey the vitality of contemporary Australian jazz.

Gig poster for The Sound Lounge.

Gig poster for The Sound Lounge.

Gig poster for SIMA 25th Anniversary, developed from a concept by Alice Wilson.

Wayfinding System

This is one element of a new wayfinding system being developed by us in conjunction with Spackman Mossop Michaels. It is for a network of shared paths for pedestrians and cyclists. While existing symbols exist and are used for shared roads (motor vehicles and bicycles) it was felt that a different set of symbols would better indicate the unique set of conditions and priorities that users of these shared paths would encounter.

Logo for Plumber

A simple piece of design for a start-up company, so a single colour for low cost applications.

A rounded face (VAG rounded, originally) to suggest pipes with a bit of careful spacing and distortion (of the ‘e’) afforded an opportunity for wit. In this way it possible to employ a cliche (the plumbers mate) in a way that worked (and avoid the usual taps and running water – something that has occurred on the website because the client bought a pre-fab template for that). One of the applications was a van:

We angled the logo on the side, principally to allow space for the additional information and keep the logo nice and large and dynamic. The result is quite striking, was very cost effective to apply and the additional information is not at gutter height. Here is the side view:

The whole effect is quite utilitarian without being dull, which sums up the client really.

Four Promotional Posters and an Odd Booklet

Almost every year one client produces a self promotional item. Here are some of them.

I like designing posters so many of the items have been actual posters or poster-like solutions. This one is a stock image modified and printed CMY only and accompanied by a poem by W B Yeats.

Two versions were produced one year. They client liked them both. The top one was printed in three spot colours on recycled stocks and sent to clients. The other was digitally printed and displayed in their office. The kangaroo in the lower poster is saying, ‘Oh, Harry what have you said?’ and refers to a comment made in the press by a real estate developer about the value of trees and parks in cities (he appeared to say they were a waste of good building space).

Often the purpose of these promotional items was not to say very much at all, as in the case of this fourth poster. They just needed to be eye catching and/or memorable. However, I always tried to bring something of what they do, even if only tenuously, into the design brief – they are landscape architects. This poster was printed CYK only.

The most interesting example of this ‘not saying anything’ policy was the above. This booklet was produced the year they did want to talk about their work but, because there was some controversy surrounding much of it, couldn’t. The result is a visual ‘wall of sound’ made from relevant drawings and some of the newspaper articles generated by the controversy.

Newsletter Masthead

This was a redesign of a newsletter that a local council produced to keep residents informed about what was happening in one of their precincts. It is one of very few interrogative mastheads I have seen, let alone worked on.

Identity for an Architect

In this we attempted to move away from the standard Modernist approach that many architects employ, so there are no greys, reds, blacks or san serifs anywhere.

Logo for a Consortium Pitching for Government Tender

A simple logo made using manual techniques – lino prints – one for each colour, printed roughly with deliberately inaccurate registration, though the smaller type was added digitally.

Book Design

We designed this Landscape Architecture book from the scratch for a Chinese Publisher, a very interesting working experience.

Exibition Catalogue

A very low budget catalogue for an exhibition about private art collectors and their favourite works. The catalogue was not really a catalogue as such. The works in the exhibition really only appeared incidentally in photographs as the background behind the collector and the text was also more about the collector than the artwork.

Many of the images were not particularly good, being shot by non-professionals but the collectors themselves were a quirky bunch. The result was a small booklet sized catalogue intended to work as a companion to the exhibition rather than a record of it. It was printed in two colours onto bond to keep costs down.

Annual Report

For one year in the 1990’s the NSW PCYC sought external designers for their Annual report. This was the result.

A very tight budget allowed for full colour cover and only two internal colours. But by using only two process colours internally (yellow & black) we were able to trade two process colours on the cover (cyan & magenta) for two spot colours, to give us the colours of their logo to use.

Identity for Writers

The name, Abnorm, comes from the names of the two members of the client company. They were professionals writers writing mainly for print media. One of their key requirements was that the identity not look like all the other writers around, that is, no pens, pencils, quills, typewriters (or typewriter typefaces) were aloud.

So we took a printed approach and (artificially) created some woodtype – reflecting where their writing appeared.

In applications, the name bled off the page to suggest more than writing for print media, they were moving into providing on-line content, and to reinforce the name as it was generally not normal for companies to have their logo, bleeding off the page.


When Kate had a milestone birthday, we won’t say which, Felix designed this invitation to her party. A simple one colour, eight page booklet.

A Couple of Personal Projects

We like designing posters and as you can see from this history rarely get to do them. So every now and then we design them for ourselves. Here are two, both with a message of sorts.

The first was produced in response to the sale of an Australian icon, Arnotts Biscuits, to the Campbell Soup Company. These were pasted up around the city and it was gratifying to see that may were stolen within hours of them going up.

The second is a personal response to the first outing of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party in Federal Politics.

Poster for Synergy Percussion

Synergy Percussion is a long standing percussion group. We designed a number of posters for them over the course of a year. This was probably the most successful. Their name appears twice at their request. They felt is had to appear horizontally, though they also did not want the angled one taken out.

Identity for Scrapbooking Retailer

The retailer operates out of a South Coast NSW town and a lot of business comes from holiday makers. She wanted something that reflected the more casual style of people on holiday and to avoid many of the cliches that abound in the industry but still maintain a handmade feel. Some of the applications are, shopping bag, letterhead and newsletter/course brochure:

Sign for Boutique Hotel in Sydney

Custom type (based on an existing face) developed for a sign for a boutique hotel in Sydney, back-lit and cut out of stainless steel so any counters had to joined to the surrounding surface (always seems safer to do this then to glue them on to an acrylic underlay). The risk was that it would look too stencil-like, but this has been avoided. Above is the initial drawing and this is how it was realised:

The words were stacked by the client to save on materials. The street numbers underneath are just off-the-shelf. We would have loved to get the sign when the hotel closed after a few years but we missed the opportunity.

Logo for a IT Consulting Company

The company specialises in the development of custom designed software for it’s clients. It also has a lot of skills in integrating these new programs with the client’s legacy, or pre-existing software. The client needed the logo to show this, and also to reinforce that the name was not pronounced ‘spirrus’.

Logo for an Art Conservation Company

An interesting brief; find a solution that suggested art conservation, which was their business, but not environmental conservation, which was not in a non-clichéd way. Also make it complex but keep it simple too (yes, these were actually the words of the client). The solution is, of course, geometry to suggest (perhaps) a stained glass window. The geometric shape suggests a larger complexity but being highly ordered is simple none-the-less.

Logo for a Software Company

This is a redesign of their logo. This is just the base logo before a colour was selected It was intended that each division (they all had ‘Object’ in their name) would have it’s own version and colour. This version of the logo is the last one approved by the client before they canceled the project due to a major internal restructure.

Wall decoration in our studio

We changed offices about half through the life of Yellowfork Design, into a space with nice white walls, after we had painted them. To show that we were principally interested in typographic design we put these up. The letters were found in a junk shop and apparently originally came from a factory in Seven Hills (in Sydney) and are over a metre high. We cleaned and then painted them to look like this.

The logo for our first company.

Most logos are basically horizontal or vertical. There are practical reasons for this – space, ease of reading being some. With ourselves as clients we had to opportunity to try something different. This was translated into the website as well with the result working well and nor more difficult to implement than horizontal elements.