Designing magic: Disney continues to capture the imagination

At Brio Group we pride ourselves on innovative, exciting, memorable and magic design solutions for our clients. As we continue to push boundaries for your brands and create truly engaging experiences for your clients with our unique brand of Brio magic, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne is celebrating Disney’s timeless magic. ACMI is hosting Dreams Come True, a unique exhibition drawing on the archives of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library.

Lella Smith, archivist and curator of the exhibition, says “Dreams Come True is an exhibition about the art” and as such you would expect it to showcase the illustrations of Mary Blair, Kay Nielsen, Eyvind Earle and Glen Keane – some of Disney’s much loved and award-winning illustrators. However this exhibition is more than just a showcase of a brand’s development and legacy. It highlights that as technology encourages designers to push their creations into new interactive realms, we sometimes forget that once upon a time the most magical of designs come from the painstakingly hand drawn illustrations and ideas grown from the essence of a story.

While it’s somewhat of a trek for Brisbanites, Dreams Come True is a rare opportunity to see an exhibition containing about 600 original concept art, story sketches, final frame cells and of course the films from what is essentially a design studio that has contributed more to our collective memory than any other in the world, all while consistently weaving its own brand of magic for 70 years.

Dreams Come True includes art from Disney’s most loved films such as Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast alongside two of their newest animations, Princess & the Frog and Tangled. It runs until 26 April 2011 at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, Australia

For details visit the ACMI exhibition website.

Yours in classic design,


Excuse me, that’s private!

With the recent leak of confidential customer information by a certain large telecommunication network in Australia and the slightly less recent privacy policy controversy of a certain large social network, it comes as little or no surprise that privacy policies and protecting your identity online have taken a step into the spotlight lately.

In this day and age, it’s not uncommon to come across tasty internet treats (or website) that asks you to sign up/register/create an account before granting you access to the delicious contents that await you within. So what do you do? Well like the majority of people out there (myself included) you would fill the form out, be frustrated by that little box that asks you to type the disfigured letters to make sure you are in fact human, scroll through a bunch of terms and conditions and finally click accept. Success! We’ve done it, the content is ours! But at what cost? posted this info-graphic that shows us exactly why as a society it’s easier for us to zoom past this boring necessary evil that plagues our browsing experience, and in my opinion, highlights how obviously broken the typical website privacy policy system can be.

It shows that the policies are long in almost every aspect, taking up to or over 10 minutes to read, and if you do want to opt out of having your information shared, it is a complex and frustrating process.

What’s the solution you ask? While there may be no way around the problem the one thing we can do is browse smarter, be careful about what we are signing up to, and make sure we at least try stay up to date with what we can do to protect our information.

For tips and tricks, the Australian Government hosts a website full of information that can be useful for protecting your information, yourself and your family from the internet nasties! Visit the Stay Smart Online website.

Yours in internet health, safety and tasty treats,


Internet state of play 2010

The internet and its technologies is something that we as a community sometimes take for granted. Now more than ever, the internet is being embraced by companies worldwide. Discover how Brio Group can help harness your company’s digital capabilities.

While many of us are aware of our own internet use, such as the number of emails we receive a day, how many friends message us on Facebook, or how many websites we visit and what they are – it’s sometimes hard to imagine what these numbers would equate to if multiplied by all of the internet users worldwide.

Focus is a website which provides loads of information for business professionals and has most recently produced a graphical data representation titled “The State of the Internet: Summing up 2010“.

The image draws data from a number of sources including Facebook, Verisign, Twitter and Flickr and compiles it into a snapshot of the number of internet users in 2010 and what they have been doing.

Some of the numbers are quite phenomenal such as 3000 images being uploaded to Flickr every second, 2 billion videos being watched on YouTube for the year and 100 million new accounts created on Twitter.

The image is really quite impressive, to take a look at yourself, CLICK HERE to be taken to the Focus website to view.

How much do you contribute to the figures?

Yours in Digital,


Adobe Design Achievement Awards 2011

It’s on again! The 2011 Adobe Design Achievement Awards is back for the year and calling for entries. There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs including a trip to Taipei and cash!

The awards are designed to give higher education students from across the globe the chance to lay down some solid foundations for their future, and get their name out there. Unlike the colouring competitions of old, the ADAA’s allow for a submission of a wide range of media into an equally broad pool of categories. Along side the traditional categories of illustration, photography and print communications, entries can also be submitted into Interactive Media classifications such as browser-based design, mobile design, game design and application development.

If you’re interested in seeing what the judges deemed worthy of a mention or prize last year, visit the website which has over 400 submissions.

Entries can be submitted as an individual, team or faculty so if you’re interested, tell your friends or faculty and get them involved (even if it’s as a competitor), this opportunity is not to be missed!

Yours in design,


Social media for business

Social Media is fast becoming a must-have for every business moving and expanding forward in the online space. Brio Group helps clients with full social media packages and the expertise to maximise social media impact.

Businesses are fast learning their presence in social media networks is now an important part of their marketing and communication plans. To help businesses take the first steps for social media success, here we share a preview of our top 6 tips.

1) Select your Social Media Sites
You could spend weeks wading through the sea of social networking sites, only to return to the top five. Some businesses use just one, others use a mix. Select the best sites that fit your strategy, audience, and your dedication to update each site with regular, fresh content. You may like to consider: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or My Space.

2) Look, Listen and Learn
Instead of diving head first into social media, it’s best to look at what your competitors are up to and how the big guns get it right. Look at how your competitors are engaging with their followers. What information can you gather about how their audience interacts with them? Some companies fail by simply using social media as a soapbox to promote their company 100% of the time. It’s vital to remember that social media is not about blatant promotion; it’s about connecting with your audience with engaging content.

3) Social Media Strategy
Social Media is fast becoming a must-have for every business moving and expanding in the online space. Did you know that 60% of businesses who use social media do not have a strategy – simply because they don’t have time? Don’t follow their lead! Without a strategy you’re not getting the best return on your digital investment. Your strategy should align with your business’s objectives and goals, and be a living document.

4) Social Media Policy
A social media policy is your business’s internal rulebook for using social media responsibly. Your policy should feature accountabilities, responsiveness guidelines, brand reputation management plans, and a risk analysis. Your staff will refer to this guide to ensure consistent communication and timely actions and engagement. And importantly, to ensure they follow procedure to water down any negative comment fires.

5) Clever Content Creation
Content is king; it helps drive conversations and inform. Without regular content, your audience will soon forget about your brand. Therefore regular content that is carefully targeted to your audience to encourage interaction, or to spark action, is the lifeblood of your social networking page.

6) Monitor, Measure and Reporting
One of the benefits of social media is that it’s completely measureable. This is why it’s so important to establish your goals early on in the game.

If you found these tips handy and would like to explore the FREE full article, complete with helpful Brio Group expert tips, visit our website.

Yours in social media for business success,


Graphic design work experience – a real account at the Brio offices

I just just finished my first semester of uni where I study Applied Design and was about to embark on four months of summer break. After immersed in a full time schedule of schooling since July, coming to an abrupt halt was a little daunting because I had this restless thought that I may slowly start forgetting the majority of ‘skills’ I had learnt during this lengthy time off.  So when Belinda Vesey-Brown, managing director of Brio Group and one of my uni lecturers, offered me the opportunity of work experience at Brio Group, I snapped up the chance.

I’ve been predominantly working within the hospitality industry since I graduated from high school. I’ve worked at bunch of places, from pretentious cafes to wild night clubs, so entering an agency environment was, for the lack of a better word, ‘intimidating’. On the way to my first day I was starting to feel like I had bitten off more than I could chew. Walking into the boardroom at 8.30am, my nerves had mustered up the idea there would be all these corporate scrooges who would look at me like I was a burden and these successful designers would all see right through me, as if the ‘Fraud Police’ were going to bust through the door and say “Aha! You don’t know what you’re doing!”

But this thinking was a little off-track (thank God!). So the first two things I learnt:

1. ‘Fraud Police’ a metaphor I learnt from Belinda for feeling intimidated.

2. Brio Group isn’t the 1987 movie Wall Street.

I couldn’t have been more wrong about the people at Brio Group, everyone here was pretty awesome and they’ve all been really helpful and encouraging. I was given two briefs to work on, which was pretty exciting as after working on assignments in which you strive to get a great mark, these were the real deal – and could actually lead to working with a client. The briefs explained that two small businesses needed branding.

So here’s what learnt about creating a business’s brand identity:

1. A good concept is great but giving that concept a personality with a great concept story will bloom your concept idea so much further. Being able to tie your every move (i.e. logo design, typeface, colours and novelty notion) together will create a powerful fundamental for an identity.

2. Your tag-line alone needs its own brainstorming session; it’s the only quote your logo can say, so keep it snappy, original and something that will stick.

3. Your typeface should complement your concept. A good font is exactly that, but not necessarily the best one for your design.

4. Keep all replications of your logo consistent, whether it be displayed on business cards, the website, brochures or products. Branding all material in a uniform way keeps your brand streamlined and instantly recognisable.

5. Be creative with how you get your brand out there.

Above all, what I have learnt out of this experience is your idea is the most important element; it’s not if you’re an Adobe wizard with all the tricks. I only have five months up my sleeve, and when I discussed my work with Belinda, it wasn’t my Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign skills she was impressed with, it was my ideas.

Yours in Brio Group work experience,

Waylon Palmer

Waylon is a first year design student at Billy Blue College of Design.

Hahn Super Dry’s ‘Find a Phone’ promotion


Hahn Super Dry this week launched an advertising and promotional campaign concept that reminds me of those wonderful golden tickets found in five special Wonka Bars in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Hahn’s more adult game of chance is factored around mobile phones hidden in three Super Dry bottles or cans. The lucky finder will be able to use the phone to call a concierge to organise the winning prize: a $20,000 helicopter-chauffeured night out on the town.

This campaign, which has multiple touchpoints like TV, online, point of sale, radio and out of home advertising, is the latest for agency Momentum Worldwide (Australia). To learn more about this campaign, visit their website. Also, to see how they’ve integrated social media for promotional campaigns, look out for the Facebook page activity too

Will this fun promotion be enough to tear committed Tooheys or Coopers drinkers to switch to the low-carb, super crisp, Hahn Super Dry?

Yours in promotional campaigns,


Designer Shark Attack

I’m loving these creative wetsuits designed

The first series of wetsuits released included a simulated shark attack to spook the unsuspecting bikini babes ‘relaxing’ on the beach and an anatomic musculature suit… which brings back fond memories of Robbie Williams’ video clip for Rock DJ. Now we can all look the part on karaoke nights.

The next range of wetsuits includes textures which could aid scuba divers to blend into their underwater surroundings. These seem very appropriate after a study by researchers at the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland stated that sharks can only see in black & white – ‘sharks only have one type of photoreceptor in the retina, indicating they can only see in monochrome’. So the solid black wetsuits with fluoro highlights was a bad idea!

Yours in underwater fashion,
Amber van Sloten

Turning torso building proves sky-high twists

One of the world’s most recognisable skyscrapers, Turning Torso is a building in Malmo, Sweden, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The 190 metre high tower’s design is based on a sculpture by Calatrava called Twisting Torso, which is a white marble piece based on the form of a twisting human being. After a long and sometimes difficult building process, the 54-story tower was officially opened at the end of August 2005.

It is the tallest residential building in the EU, and is situated overlooking the Oresund Straight. The nearby Oresund bridge linking Malmo with Copenhagen in Denmark has enabled Danish commuters to take the train or drive to their home in Sweden.

Turning Torso has been called the saviour of Malmo, a shipbuilding town with no ships to build. Its presence has led to the dockside area being redeveloped as a modern housing precinct.

The building was constructed in nine segments of five-story pentagons that twist as your eye is led up to the 54h floor.

The topmost segment is twisted ninety degrees clockwise compared to the ground floor. Each floor consists of an irregular pentagon shape rotating around the vertical core, and the entire structure is supported by an exterior steel framework. The two bottom segments were designed as office space. Segments three to nine house 147 luxury apartments.
This distinctive style is now being copied in an even taller building in Dubai.

What do you think of this innovative design?

Yours in architectural design,


Australia Day in Brisbane

On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian. It’s the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It’s the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future. Volunteer clean up helpers in the wake of the recent floods in Queensland have truly demonstrated this quality and should feel a sense of pride for their achievements as they helped their fellow Australians in need.

This year, Australia Day in Brisbane will be a subdued event, with South Bank officially cancelling its fireworks after the floods. The park won’t host any of the events originally scheduled for next Wednesday including the free concert, family activities and flag-raising ceremony. The traditional Flag Raising Ceremony will be held at an alternative venue.

The free AusSounds Australia Day Concert will proceed and will be relocated across the road to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Concert will feature local bands Charlie Mayfair and Ball Park Music and Australia’s first Idol and multi-platinum artist Guy Sebastian.

Tickets are free but bookings are essential. Bookings can be made from Thursday at There will also be an opportunity to donate to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal at the event.

The annual Australia Day Lunch will proceed as planned at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday 25 January featuring Richie Benaud, David Fordham and Troy Cassar-Daley.

Lets all help make a difference by supporting this worthy Appeal. Proud to be an Australian.

Happy Australia Day!!