The problem with Avatar….


Beautiful Scenery
Beautiful Scenery
Over-used font
Over-used font


Everyone knows that Avatar is a great movie. It really is a breakthrough in filmmaking technology, for its development of 3D viewing and steroscopic film making with cameras that were specially designed for Avatar’s production. The acting is wonderful and the scenery is beautiful. The official budget for the film was $237 million. It took four years to perfect the alien language ….. WHY THEN has James Cameron allowed the use of PAPYRUS for the entire movie’s subtitles?? Papyrus is without a doubt the most over-used / improperly used fonts of all time. Even the person who designed this font agrees that is is over-used. Surely the budget could have included time for a custom font design. Why go all out in every aspect of the film, but totally overlook the hideous font floating in the foreground of Pandora’s lush, intricate jungle…

The Grid… wow.

It’s Internet evolution – super-savvy scientists have designed an extremely fast information network capable of downloading data at 10,000 times the speed of a typical broadband connection.


CERN has designed the network – The Grid – to cope with the staggering amount of data it’s new particle accelerator will produce. CERN’s particle accelerator – the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – has been built to shed light on the origins of the universe, and will produce enough data each year to fill 56 million CDs. The scope of the task meant scientists at CERN needed to create a network capable of handling and analysing enormous amounts of data. An epic task.

The Grid is a kind of parallel Internet, consisting of 55,000 servers connected to each other using fibre optic cables and modern routers. The Internet, in comparison, relies on technology originally designed for telephony, which slows the transfer of data. Fibre optic cables run from CERN to 11 other research institutes around the world. Each of these centres connects to existing high-speed academic networks. Computers on the grid are able to send entire movies to personal computers in seconds, rather than minutes or hours, and could enable holographic video calls and online gaming involving hundreds of thousands of people.

The Times quoted David Britton, a physics professor at Glasgow University, as saying the grid technologies could “revolutionise society” .

“With this kind of computing power, future generations will have the ability to collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot imagine.”

Want to know more? Click here.

Yours in design,


Browser happenings….


The world of web-browsers is an exciting domain of intrigue and drama.*

And I know you want your fill! Wait no longer as I divulge the some of the more juicy happenings with web browsers…

Microsoft continued their almost comical free-fall from relevance with Internet Explorer declared unsafe by governments in Europe, the U.S. and Australia.

Australian security companies that make a motza off cleaning up after Microsoft’s incompetence predictably defended their livelihood by sprouting industry cliches: ‘You don’t achieve security simply by switching. That’s security through obscurity…” hmmmmm not quite! There is a massive, gaping divide between the impoverished internet explorer and the innovative, industry-leading browsers in Firefox, Chrome, Safari + Opera.

In other browser news, Firefox and Google Chrome continue to borrow ideas off each other. Mozilla Firefox released their latest version, 3.6, with one new feature being the ability to skin your browser, ala Google Chrome while Google Chrome has released its latest version, 4.0, with more support for extensions, ala Mozilla Firefox!

Working within the browsers like the little warrior it is, javascript usage in today’s web environment has received another boost with the latest release of the ever-popular, accessible and standard-compliant-enabling javascript framework, jQuery (version 1.4).

Something probably happened with Opera too. I just don’t have time for the Norwegians and their creations at this point in my life.

* I am NOT a nerd.

Yours in design,


Air New Zealand Cougar Campaign

I know this advert for Air New Zealand’s cut-price website is pretty un-PC, but it sure is funny. From a marketing perspective I think it works: it was memorable, I was entertained and consequently showed it to my friends. Before this advert Air New Zealand wasn’t even on my radar. It just shows how hard advertisers need to work to get your attention these days and how it’s often about entertaining first and selling second. And with viral campaigns the ‘sell’ needs to be so subtle you can barely see it. The more controversial the better, people love a banned advert! Enjoy!

Yours in design

Gadgets garbage and gorillas



Australia is one of the top countries in the world in terms of spending on communication and IT as a percentage of income. In short, we love spending money on gadgets. It’s out with the old and in with the new, with mobile phone users changing handsets on average every one-and-a-half to two years.

Believe it or not, this is highly relevant to the wellbeing of gorillas in Africa. To understand where gorillas come in you have to look at the life story of gadgets. Today we ask where do your mobile phones come from, where do they go when they die, and what on earth does this have to do with gorillas?

Mobile phones are complex devices with many different components made from a wide range of materials. A typical mobile phone is made from an assortment of plastics, ceramics, copper and copper compounds, iron, nickel and its compounds, zinc and its compounds, silver, flame retardants, and even gold. In fact recycling 50,000 mobile phones reportedly yields one-and-a-half kilograms of gold. Other materials used that are under 1% by weight include tin, lead, cobalt, aluminium, tungsten, antimony, manganese, lithium, phosphorous, beryllium, palladium, and tantalum. It’s this tantalum that brings us closer to the gorillas in question.

Tantalum is a rare, hard blue-grey chemical element. An estimated 64% to 80% of the world’s coltan reserves are in the Congo, right in the midst of natural gorilla habitat. Coltan mining, trade and smuggling has been a major contributor to war and conflict in the Congo, and this conflict and mining in habitat areas, along with poaching and disease, are having a major impact on gorillas, destroying their forest habitats and threatening the survival of the species.

Recycling programs are being developed for many types of e-waste, both to prevent pollution and to recover still functional second-hand devices or the useful and valuable component materials such as rare metals. Re-use and recycling programs are already established in Australia for computers, toner and ink cartridges, and mobile phones. With an estimated 14 to 16 million inactive mobile phones stored in cupboards or drawers around the country, the real challenge is getting people to actually use these programs.

Think of the gorillas in the Congo and answer the call to recycle your old mobile phones.

Yours in Design,

Read more about it at
More information on recycling your mobile

Semi-Permanent: Design Conference


Semi-Permanent 2010 is already shaping up to be an awe-inspiring event with a wide range of professionals from all over the globe: visual artists, photographers, illustrators, graphic designers, typographers…


The latest to be enlisted for the Sydney event is Craig Schuftan who is actually a Sydney local. He is an author and broadcaster specialising is 80s music. This is a new style of speaker for Semi-Permanent but I’m sure it will be an interesting topic to be engaged in as he takes a journey through the history of album covers.

Watch out for the line-up for the Brisbane Semi-Permanent which will be held on Friday 4 June:

Yours in Design,

Chalkfest – get excited!!


Chalkfest and Youngcare join forces

Brisbane entrepreneur and owner of the Chalk Hotel Jason Titman has always believed in making a contribution to society aligning himself and the Chalk Hotel with many local, Brisbane, and national charities. Towards the end of 2009, Jason had the vision of putting together a music event called Chalkfest, that is designed to bring together some great Brisbane bands in an indoor festival environment. Along with this idea he saw the opportunity to involve Australia’s largest growing charity Youngcare. Jason says “I saw the opportunity to assist raising awareness through live music whilst working to raise funds to aid Youngcare in its goal to deliver quality care for young Australians. Youngcare gives back dignity and hope and that’s why they have our ongoing support”.

Chalk Hotel is offering an experience that no other hotel in Brisbane is offering in 2010. Chalkfest will be located within the 4 zones of Chalk Hotel, featuring 3 stages of music with turf laid out throughout the venue to create that true festival experience, “We are going all out dirt & all, just to make your festival experience come alive”. ChalkFest off with kick off with a bang! Literally! On Sunday 24th January Philadelphia Grand Jury, Numbers Radio and many more Australian artist’s will perform a booming set and come together with Youngcare to help raise funds for young Australians with high care needs. Jason says “music is about celebration of life and what better time than the Australia Day weekend for us to come together in support for this vital cause”. Chalkfest is set to be a regular event on the Chalk Hotel calendar and has some impressive line ups set to blow you away in 2010 “it’s going to be rock solid full of Brisbaneand Australia’s best rock bands, as well as some of the country’s hip hop, breaks, funk and dance acts”.

For tickets visit MoshTix at or through Moshtix outlets such as Rocking Horse Records, Butter Beats, Kill The Music, The Music Shop & Atlantis. Tickets are selling fast and a limited number of tickets will be available at the door on the day.

Or to learn more about Youngcare or to donate funds and support please go to

Yours in design,


Follow me


I had a great conversation recently about leadership and how my role as the leader in RED-i Design has really changed over the years.  When I started my business I was the one that set the goals, talked to the clients and gave the direction. Now I have a few more leaders in the team running different areas and team, my role has changed and I find myself helping them more and more to become better leaders than actually doing much of the leading myself.

It is interesting that I never noticed this transition happening until I stopped and reflected on the year. I now realise every business leader will transition through similar steps, it is a result of growth. It really is exciting!

I am now mastering how to cast the vision of where I see the the business going in the future to my leaders and team, how to encourage my leaders to tell me things that I need to hear not what I want to hear and how to ensure that all my leaders are fulfilled and challenged in their role,s so like me, they can look back on the year and see how far they have come and what they have learned.

Business really is so incredibly rewarding, on so many levels.

Yours in Design


Ditch Internet Explorer

Ok so let me set my intention here… I am a dedicated Apple Mac user and could never bring myself from using anything else! Steve (Jobs) and I are on a mission to convert the whole earth over to using Apple! So when news comes to hand that helps our cause I have to share it.

Today in an article on the SMH website (link here) is the mention of M..M..M..Microsoft self confessing that its very own, loyally used, beloved Internet Explorer has a major security flaw. Apparently this only applies to version 6 of the program (according to Microsoft) but on all operating systems including the new W..W..W..Windows 7. Microsoft reportedly said, “that the hole could be closed by setting the browser’s internet security zone to ‘high’.” If you do this you would be lucky to get Google to even display let alone anything else!

The German Government has issued a statement to its citizens to stop using Internet Explorer due to this latest security flaw discovery. According to the statement even running Internet Explorer in ‘protected’ mode is not enough to prevent a hacker from exploiting this security flaw. This is an amazing step which I think Kevin Rudd and his government should follow suit and issue the same warning but with an addition of fining or arresting offenders!

UPDATE 19/01/2010: France have now also joined in advising its citizens to look at using alternatives to Internet Explorer.

UPDATE 19/01/2010: The Australian Government has issued a warning about Internet Explorer on its Stay Smart Online website.

With that said I should clarify that there is no perfect solution to being totally security risk free, but according to security site Internet Explorer 7.x is has about 13 times more vulnerabilities and advisories than Firefox 3.

Now I’m not sure about you, but if it were my computer there was no way that I would be using Internet Explorer as my default web browser when there are many other programs, also freely available, that are far more secure and compatible with web design and coding standards. Such programs include Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari are all web standards compliant which means that they display web pages the way they should be and all look the same. But then there’s Microsoft Internet Explorer, the only kid on the block that needs its own special files to make the page look the way the designer/developer intended. Try it yourself, download Firefox and install it and then look at a site in both browsers and you will see a difference.

While I am at it, all versions of Outlook and Microsoft Mail are just as bad as its internet browser cousin! It’s rendering capability of html emails is about 5 years behind other products. If you are using outlook can you view videos or flash animations? NO! But if you were on Apple Mac Mail you could!! If you’re not prepared to join the cool kids and make the jump to Apple just yet, the same people that produce Firefox also produce an email client called Thunderbird which I would recommend changing over to as a minimum.

Why you’ll love a Mac!

Posted from my iPhone


Yours in design,


Golden Globes fashion


Fashion enthusiasts – including myself – weren’t disappointed with the spectacular frocks on display at the Golden Globes. Despite the rain, Hollywood’s finest showed off their dazzling style on the red carpet. Some of the stunners were Emily Blunt, Toni Collette, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, and Penelope Cruz.

For a list of the night’s winners, and more photos, visit the offical Golden Globes website.

Golden Globe Awards - Photo Roomjennifer-aniston-ggnicole-kidman-gg59313978


Yours in design,