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Category Archives: Media

AWARD WINNING DESIGN | Graphic Design Students working with Inner City Winemakers

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” When I was first asked if I would like to talk to Hunter Design School students I didn’t really know what to expect. I was asked to talk to the students about what we look for in a wine label and to give them a wine label design brief.

I gave them a brief for our 2016 Tumbarumba Pinot Noir. I made the brief very broad to give the students a very wide scope.
When I was given the finished designs it was quite overwhelming! Every Student produced a label that was very unique and refreshingly original. The only issue I had was choosing which label to use. They were all of a quality that you would expect from a professional designer.

I would like to congratulate Hunter Design School for producing such talented and capable graduates”.

Rob Wilce – Director/Winemaker.
Inner City Winemakers Wickham


Through Rob’s thorough review of each design, a design was chosen as the winning design to be used for the Pinot Noir label in 2017.


Congratulations to Mel Craig with her award winning label design.

Mel has been working wholeheartedly, experimenting with new techniques and styles to create an artistic design that reflects both the Inner City Winemakers and the Newcastle lifestyle. Below is her wine bottle label with suggested re branding design ideas.


We would also like thank Carl Morgan from Zoocraft for encouraging our graphic design students and commending them on their hard work.

Working from the inside out, Carl Morgan designs and administers creative events. Primarily working with his partner Lara in design studio Zookraft, the pair orchestrates custom graphic design, illustration and typography, strong on personality and thoughtful in concept. Additionally, Carl undertakes creative festival Look Hear. The festival invites leaders in the creative industries to help create platforms for creative professionals, students and creative-curious folk, through workshops, conferences, exhibitions and more. In his spare time, Carl likes to pass on what he knows, to up-and-coming designers in local creative institutions.

GREENERY | Pantone 2017 Colour of the Year

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A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.

Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally. A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront – it is an omnipresent hue around the world.
A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.

Read more about the colour of the year

FIBRE LOVER : Miriam Ragen

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I can remember as early as 5 years old sitting at our big kitchen table at home cutting crepe paper to make flowers and other general crafts with my mum.

This was a regular occurrence in our household as we grew up in almost country (blue mountains) where we weren’t close to the beach or shops for entertainment. My mum was a really talented quilter and completed her sewing studies at Tafe in the 80’s when the course was still on offer. I was use to seeing her knit and sew and crochet and she often gave me little projects to do with scraps of wool or material so I could learn what she was doing.

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When I was a teenager and then a young adult I lost sight of these hands on crafts and focused on my career in visual merchandising and styling until one day I came across the weaving work of Australian fibre artist Natalie Miller. She was running workshops at Alexandria’s famous design hub Koskela. With my passion for fibre arts re-ignited I ended up doing a couple of Natalie’s classes…even an intermediate weaving class at her studio in picturesque Robertson south of Sydney. I loved weaving for its chance to handle rich hand dyed wools and experience the texture of raffia and cotton. This led to another class at Koskela in Macrame. A lot of people cringe at the idea of Macrame but the style I’ve adopted is so modern I hope it changes peoples perspectives a little when they see my work. At first I wasn’t that into it…maybe its because my hands were use to the repetitive back and forth method of weaving but once I realized the potential that rope has to make so many designs with only a few knots i have persisted and developed my own style. I am a modern macramé artist. As much as I appreciate traditional macramé and without it I wouldn’t have found this art, I am definitely not satisfied by knotting traditional style macrame myself.

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I am always looking for inspiration and new ideas to make designs that are original. I love working with chunky soft cotton ropes that are so tactile and textural in my hands. I find so much enjoyment in working on big pieces that make me feel small standing next to them. To be able to physically create something that is bigger than me is so exciting! I draw some inspiration from international modern Fibre artists like Belensenra and Tanya Aguiniga but really I try to make things that I would like to see in my own home. Like most stylists I have my favorites…i’m in awe of the work of Australian stylists Glen Proebstel, Karen McCartney and Kara Rosenlund who take advantage of the natural environment and its imperfections to put together beautiful textural images.

GET CREATIVE with Miriam at her upcoming macramé workshop on Saturday 28th May : Learn 5 knots to make and take home a large macrame plant hanger using soft cotton ropes. Click here to find out more and spot.

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MAY GIBBS: More Than Just a Fairy Tale

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Following the adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie is a rite of passage for Aussie kids (hello nostalgia, old friend). But what about the creator of these iconic – and let’s be honest; seriously cute – gumnut babies?

You can call May Gibbs many things: author, illustrator, responsible for your irrational fear of banksias.  However, in their book “May Gibbs: More Than Just a Fairy Tale,” Robert Holden and Jane Brummitt show us that Gibbs had a life as rich as her artistry.

Gibbs is one of those rarities who managed to appeal to both children and adults. “More Than Just a Fairy Tale” gives incredible insight into her motivations, her personal history, and the social and cultural influences that trickled into her illustrations. Not to mention, it has pages and pages of her beautiful work.

If you need a little inspiration or you see book illustration in your future (or, quite frankly, you just want more cuteness in your life), this is definitely one for your bookshelf.

Purchase from MacLean’s Booksellers here. And mind the banksias!

Text and photo by Jane Hollier Brown

EVENT : Satisfaction

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Satisfaction is a photographic exhibition & auction featuring images from East Africa.

On returning from an assignment with Baptist World Aid in Kenya & Uganda, Shane couldn’t help but feel incredibly challenged by what he experienced. The best word he could find was “satisfaction”, and how despite the situations and experiences of the East African people, they are able to find joy and freedom in their daily life.

Shane will be auctioning these beautiful, large format, limited edition photographs as a part of his charity challenge to raise funds for Baptist World Aid

When’s the Exhibition  |  Who’s the Artist  |  See the Gallery

Inspiration : Living amongst the trees

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As all kids do, they dream of an incredible tree house, way up high.  So high no one can see you, but you can watch the whole world, sort of like a spy. It’s a place where the wind blows your hair, the sun warms you on those crisp mornings, and you can smell and hear all those little wonders around you.

However, in reality my childhood didn’t consist of the amazing big tree high up in the sky, but rather a dirt patch under the small Cyprus Pines on our property, marked out by a couple of old bricks. My brothers were a little more creative, digging tunnels in the side of creek banks, carving the sand and dirt to form dwellings and secret places where they couldn’t be found.

They dreamed BIG and WILD,  nothing stopped them from experimenting and ‘just doing’ the crazy ideas they collaborated on.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF.  Consider how to use the environment within your design?  How can you take the shapes of things you love and use them?  What about texture or colour?  You may not have the big tall tree, but you have an opportunity to create the dream in a unique and different way with what you have.

What did you dream about when you were a child?  How would you turn those imaginary ideas into reality?

farrow-partnership-architects-treehouse-1.jpeg.662x0_q70_crop-scale redwood throncrown chapel

frank loyd   Chris Tate’s Forest House photograph by Patrick Reynolds for New Architecture Magazine   Villa NM a stunning residence designed by Dutch architect Ben Van Berkel of the firm UN Studio

tree-shaped-homes-forest-suburbia-konrad-wojcik-2 524faae435561 Juvet Landscape Hotel West Norway

Rule Breaker: Florence Broadhurst

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It’s an accomplishment in itself to impact your time & generation, but to have enduring popularity and style, which exceeds trends and decades, is an incredible feat. Imagine if the work you created today shaped the industry you work in 50 years from now. Such a remarkable achievement can be claimed by the influential Queensland born designer, Florence Broadhurst, best known for her recognisable wallpaper designs.

Florence’s story began in rural Queensland, where she was born and raised on a cattle farm. Although Florence did not let this stop her from making a name for herself; trotting the globe as a flamboyant performer, a music & dance teacher in Shanghai, socialite, an influencer and an international business and studio owner at the age of 60!

We believe there’s a lot you can learn from the trailblazer that is Florence Broadhurst and the power of being a creative rebel!

Florence shook the Australian design industry in more ways then one. After Declaring “Australia to be afraid of colour” she set out to revolutionise the conservative design industry of her time. With notorious ambition, Florence launched her handprint wallpaper studio in Sydney, going on to produce over 500 top-selling wallpaper designs.

Florence revolutionised wallpaper design, by abandoning the conventions of mass production and traditional. Her prints known as ‘vigorous designs for modern living’ launched the industry into new horizons, transforming spaces into luxurious, timeless and artistic living areas.

We love how Florence wasn’t afraid to question the industry, pushing the boundaries and captivating attention through the bold, brash, scale and colour of her designs, which were far beyond of her time. We believe that you have the creative power to disrupt the industry and fuel innovative theories, ways of thinking and doing for not only this century but centuries to come, if like Florence, you aren’t afraid to step outside of the norm and break, redefine and transform the rules.



Sources: Cover Image, Image 1, Image 2.

Creative Rebel: Ana Saiao

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When your creative confidence is pushed, simply push back harder.

Ana Saiao wasn’t always a jeweler, colour consultant or interior designer. Before moving to Australia in 2010 Ana was living and working in Portugal as a Pharmacist. A career, which she was encouraged to pursuit under the guise of her parents, who believed that she, could never have a creative career. This was mainly due to the high academic and research based education system in Portugal, which places high recognition on careers in medicine and law. Ana found herself trapped between two worlds, her dream of working in the creative industry and reality.

After moving to Australia Ana, decided to dive into the creative industry, defying her family’s expectations, studying a Certificate IV Design in Colour and Design at The Hunter Design School.

This course embraced Ana’s unique eye of colour, texture and form, equipping her with the skills and knowledge to transform her passions into a successful and progressive business in the form of Tuga by KZ and career as our extraordinary Cert IV in Design trainer at The Hunter Design School.

Ana is proof that you should never give up on your dream when someone pushes your creative confidence. You have the power to change the industry, transform interactions, challenge the status quo and shift perceptions, so why give up on your dream because some said you couldn’t do it? We dare you to push back harder, make a difference and convince them they’re wrong!


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Sources: Tuga By KZ

Industry Game Changer: Marcus Westbury

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Marcus Westbury, a revolutionary writer, broadcaster and director is responsible for some most innovative and progressive cultural events and projects, across Australia.

Returning home to Newcastle in 2008 after living in Melbourne, Marcus was horrified by Newcastle’s urban decay, describing how streets that he had previously remembered to be “vibrant, active, and filled with family and friends had fallen into disrepair and despair.”

These experiences lead Marcus to create ‘Renew Newcastle’, the urban renewal project, which is rescuing run-down vacant buildings, scattered around our city into unique spaces for creative enterprises, artists and cultural projects. Check out the images below to discover how our city has evolved over the years with the help of Renew.

We love how Marcus is a catalyst for change. His revolutionary idea has transformed Newcastle’s creative and cultural scene, opening an array of possibilities and opportunities. Like Marcus, you too can change the game, all it takes is an idea and action. You have the creative power to stifle complacencies, which stops creativity dead in its tracks.

Newcastle before Renew:

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Newcastle today:


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Sources: Renew Newcastle & Marcus Westbury

Revolutionary: Harry Seidler

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Harry Seidler, the man who revolutionised Australian Architecture.

Since his passing, Harry Seidler continues to remain one of the most influential and controversial figures in Australian history. Harry based his work on three key principles: social use, technology, and aesthetics. Striving to challenge conformity beyond societal conventions and assumptions.

Harry Seidler’s infamous 81 metre, Blues Point Tower apartment block is a powerful example of this goal. The apartment block thrusting up from McMahon’s Point, Sydney harbor was the first tall building to be registered under the Strata Titles Act. Although continues to be wildly regarded as “one of the ugliest buildings in Sydney” due to modernist design and continues to have numerous calls to tear it down.

A more famous piece of architecture is the Rose Seidler house, the most talked about house in Sydney back in the 1950’s. Again, Harry took architecture to a new level, introducing open plan, large spans of glass and low pitched roofs. Completed 65 years ago, architecture now resembles many of the elements Harry challenged and forged. Ideas that have revolutionised how we design today.

In order to achieve great design, we believe you must challenge perceptions, inspire original ways of thought and revolutionise the standard way people see the world around them. In our opinion, Harry Seidler’s infamous Blues Point Tower and the famous Rose Seidler house are just two of the many designs that have achieved this. Whether you love it or hate it, you cannot deny its innovation.

Like Harry, strive to take risks, challenge your perceptual capabilities and others and become a revolutionary.



Sources: Cover Image, Image 1, Image 2.