Tag Archives: Graphic Design

Fiats graphic design flair

The Design Institute of Australia is proud to announce their endorsement of the 2013 Fiat Nationals. The event hosted by the Queensland FIAT car club – a Non for profit organisation, provides the opportunity to highlight the beautiful graphic designs that have accompanied the beautiful cars designs – time after time.

The FIAT nationals will be held on the weekend of the 18-20th of January 2013, drawing Fiat Car Club members, design enthusiasts, and motoring devotees from the Asia Pacific to gather in Ipswich, Queensland. The weekend encompasses a variety of competitive and social events that will include a timed sprint at Queensland Raceway, the 50th “Fiat of Italy Cup” Autokhana, a Show’n’Shine, participation of by other car clubs such as Alpha Romeo car club as well as a Presentation Dinner.

As a the centre point of the Nationals, a vast collection of graphic design, marketing and advertising material and memorabilia will be on display at the Fiat Nationals DIA lounge. The DIA lounge will have activities for people to explore automobile graphic design first hand – a must do for kids looking at becoming designers of the future.

The DIA lounge will be a chill-out spot for adults and children to enjoy the 2013 FIAT Nationals. DIA board member & Designer Marina Kozul says, “The FIAT nationals not only represents a celebration of FIAT cars and the fiat group which includes (Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, Jeep, Chrysler) but also represents a celebration & acknowledgement to the huge body work made by fiat designers since 1899. The contribution of graphics designers for the automobile is immense.

Since the beginning FIAT graphic designers have been giving a voice and visual communication to FIAT automobiles. As the DIA is a professional body for designers, founded by the design professions, and run and funded by designers;. The DIA is delighted to endorse The FIAT Nationals which shows appreciation for good design. There is nothing more convincing than an example or good design because good design prevails – and FIAT has certainly proved that.

DIA Queensland co-president and Graphic Designer Peter Florentzoz says the fiat posters represent ideas of heroes and crossing frontiers. Those messages accompanied the bold fiats designs – the hero being the everywoman, man and every child looking to cross the next frontier smartly.

Communicating a smart message about an automobile/design/product is just as important as the smart automobile itself. In many cases sometimes the poster was the only way to plant a seed in people’s minds about the possibility in owning a FIAT. The information graphics designers deal with not only requires a sound understanding of text based communication but also requires them to skilfully use the communication properties of symbols, colours and pictures.

FIAT has relentlessly provided that communication worldwide capturing life’s romantic, heroic, and vivacious moments all though graphics design, some say the FIAT campaigns were at the art of graphic design.

For more information on graphic design as a profession visit: www.design.org.au
To see the FIAT graphics design portfolio at the 2013 FIAT Nationals register at: www.fiataustralia.com


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A bit of Japanese inspiration

I recently visited Japan and came across these striking posters in a subway station. I believe the posters were part of a campaign promoting the Tōhoku region as a place to visit. This is the region including Sendai, that has recently been effected by natural disasters and in typical Japan style, they are getting straight back to business!

The campaign caught my eye because it incorporates some timeless graphic design principles, taking inspiration from Bauhaus designers like Wassily Kandinsky. It focusses on simplicity, limiting the amount of text and the number of colours for maximum impact. The posters use striking angles, directing the eye and creating a dramatic effect.

The campaign was applied to various posters, ads and flags in transport stations throughout Japan.





Brio Talks: Beautiful Pages + Giveaway (Updated)



Beautiful Pages is the newly launched venture of Tiana Vasiljev who, as someone working in the creative industries, always had a self-confessed “out-of-control obsession with books.” When I saw the site I instantly set about making a “wishlist” of books and wanted to know more about how the online store came to be. Tiana was only too happy to answer my questions!
BrioDaily (BD)What was the idea behind Beautiful Pages?

Tiana Vasiljev (TV): Like many creatives, I have always had an out of control obsession with books. A substantial amount of my annual salary over the years was dedicated to purchasing new books and magazines. Beautiful Pages was initially a selection of 75 design books that had inspired me as a graphic designer over the years. They all had a positive and inspiring impact on my work, attitudes and design knowledge. They were books I felt every designer could benefit from having in their design library.

Through Beautiful Pages we wanted to create an online graphic design store where Australian designers (and designers all over the world) could go to be inspired. A creative online space that both students and professionals could visit any time of the day and easily purchase products that would fuel their imagination. We hope Beautiful Pages serves as a reminder to designers about the beauty of real ink on paper, the importance of the printed page and the pleasures and benefits of owning these beautiful books, magazines and printed pieces.

BD: What have been the biggest challenges launching the site?

TV: The biggest challenges with the site were setting up accounts with all our distributors and managing the finances and cash flow. My education is in graphic design so it was a little hard in the beginning juggling other aspects of the business. But I’ve been lucky enough to have some wonderful help along the way and all the orders and emails that keep coming through from designers all over Australia have been amazing and very motivating.

BD: Where do you gather your inspiration? (books, websites, shops, people)?

TV: Just visiting my own design library! Most of the books that are now sold on the website I first became familiar with over my first few years of being a graphic designer – and I have managed to build up quite the collection. There are many publications that I used to read years ago while studying at Enmore TAFE, books and magazines that my previous colleagues introduced me to and publications I have seen and purchased along the way.

I have travelled a great deal over the last few years and also lived in London for a year. I was always visiting galleries, museums, exhibitions and bookstores. I compiled a wish-list (I have over 50 pages now) of all the products I came across during my travels that I found to be either beautiful, beneficial or both. Beautiful Pages is a small (but growing) collection of the products that have turned out to be both.

BD: How do you select what goes onto Beautiful Pages?

TV: Beautiful Pages offers a very carefully curated collection of design books and products, selected by graphic designers – for graphic designers. The store carries a collection of both classic and new publications. Every product on the site needs to be beautiful – but most importantly – must be well written, inspirational and carry an important message.

Typography is a crucial topic in most of the featured publications and we do tend to place special emphasis on (but not limited to) modernist graphic design. Swiss graphic design and typography plays an important part in the collection, as does the work of many influential graphic designers including Alan Fletcher, Otl Aicher, Wim Crouwel, Armin Hofmann, Jan Tschichold, Herbert Spencer, Wolfgang Weingart, Emil Ruder, Josef Muller-Brockmann and Milton Glaser to name just a few.

BD: How important is it to you to promote Australian design and how can we foster a greater design industry?

TV: Our most important long-term goal is to help promote and support Australian design. We have started investing funds into purchasing a range of books and magazines created by Australian designers. These currently include the work of Thursday Design, Michael Hall, The Initiative, David Pidgeon and Half Court Press. We look forward to seeing this collection grow over the coming months and encourage designers to submit their recommendations or published work.

We can all help foster a greater design industry by building ties with like-minded creatives, collaborating on projects and promoting each other. We need to start advertising and exporting Australian work to overseas markets and with the boom in online sales there’s no better time to be doing it than now.

Beautiful Pages is 100% Australian owned and operated. When designers purchase products from our website they are also helping to support the Australian economy.

BD: Lastly, future plans for Beautiful Pages?

TV: We have lots of plans for the future. Our wish list is very long, our product range is expanding every week and we’re aiming to have the full collection up by mid 2012. We are also looking at the possibility of opening a small shop space in late 2012, but this is still at very early stages.

If designers have any requests, suggestions or would like Beautiful Pages to stock their merchandise, please email us: info@beautifulpages.com.au

We look forward to getting to know you over the coming months and hope that through the site we can spark a bit of inspiration and creativity in all of you.

Beautiful Pages: Twitter | Facebook | Website


As a special treat for Brio Daily readers Beautiful Pages are giving away two books by Paul Arden, ‘It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be’ and ‘Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite’

Winners will be chosen at random. To enter, email your name and postal address to lani@briogroup.com.au 

Entries close COB on Tuesday Oct 18, 2011 and open to Australian residents only.


Thank you to everyone who entered our very first competition. I’m delighted to say that two winners have been drawn, at random. We used random.org to randomly generate the winners. Congratulations to Mathew H and Deanna H. We’ll be in touch very shortly!







Yours in design inspiration,


Trend spotting: Cinemagraphs

Where I once saw GIFs flooding my RSS feeder or Tumblr feed, I’m noticing a new breed of image sauntering its way into internet culture. The Cinemagraph looks like a still image on first glance but feature a subtle area of movement. From hair blowing in the breeze, steam from a coffee cup or the sparkle of a sequin on a high-heel; the motion is “blink and you miss it”.

In an article with The Atlantic, one half of the duo behind this trend Jamie Beck says they are “something more than a photo but less than a video”. Beck (a photographer) and her partner in crime Kevin Burg (a web designer with a background in motion graphics) are based in New York and believe “there something magical about a still photograph – a captured moment in time – that can exist outside the second the shutter captures.”

What fascinates me is the subtlety of the movement. Often you have to look at the image for a moment before realising what elements has been animated. It is simple in it’s beauty. What excites me is the potential cinemagraphs have for branding and advertising for use on websites or digital campaigns. For example, look at their use during New York Fashion Week. I see it lending itself quite nicely to food, lifestyle, travel websites.

You can view Jamie and Kevin’s creations on their Tumblr, From Me To You or on their official website.


For more cinemagraphs visit:

Tripwire Magazine

Stanley Kubrick Cinemagraphs


Yours in cinemagraph,


Typography under foot

Lovers of typography lend me your ear.

Australian graphic designer and artist Linus Dean has married his love of design and keen eye for style to create this savvy and on-trend range of rugs. Hand loomed in Tibet and Nepal from silk and wool Dean draws upon global typography inspiration to create this bright and bold range.

From New York, Barcelona, Melbourne, Sydney, and my two personal favourites in the collection, London and Paris the rugs are bold and definitely a statement of style.

Linus Dean's 'London' Rug
Linus Dean’s ‘London’ Rug

Yours in rugged typography,


Accessible food for thought

If not now, then when? If not me, then who?

These two interesting questions come from a TED Talk by Mick Ebeling, an entrepreneur who did something amazing and helped “unlock a locked-in artist”. He helped give a paralysed artist who had only the use of his eyes a way to express himself artistically again.

[TEDTALKS MickEbeling_2011A-320k.mp4]

It got me thinking about accessibility, designing and developing for an open and accessible web, and what designers and developers can do to improve user experience today.

While we design our public transport systems and our buildings to be as accessible as possible where ever possible, it’s not always something that always springs to someone’s mind when they ask to have a web page built. So I thought I’d share a couple of important tips and tools, plus some questions to ask yourself when having a website designed or built.

1) Would someone with a hearing or visual impairment be interested in what my website has to offer?

When your website is getting designed or built, it’s important to factor these people into your target audience. Your website or content could be a valuable source of information for this broad demographic and ensuring that it’s accessible could be advantageous to the community and to your business.

2) Have I ensured that my design is readable, logically structured and presented in a way that those with any disabilities or impairments can still enjoy an insightful and meaningful experience?

It may not be applicable in every design you produce but some small seemingly obvious points should be considered when producing a design for web. For example, the use of high contrast navigation for readability. This is important because screen readers read content in a linear fashion, meaning the structure of your content should be designed to flow logically. Sighted users are advantaged in that they can discern content from layout much easier.

3) Has the site been tested during and at the completion of its build to ensure that it has valid HTML, CSS and Web Accessibility tools such as Bobby or WAVE?

There are a multitude of tools to ensure that the sites you build are accessible, but even a simple HTML and CSS validation could dramatically improve the user experience and accessibility of your website.

These simple guidelines share some helpful basic tips. If you’re interested in accessible design and web, please contact Brio Group to discuss or implement web accessibility practices into your site, and help us move toward an accessible and enriched digital experience for everyone. Regardless of how much or little you know, you can help make changes for the better.

Yours in web accessibility standards,

Cleanse and refresh your creative soul

The Dalai Lama is coming to Australia next month, and I managed to score a ticket to see his seminar in Melbourne. I’m really looking forward to dosing my soul in clean, refreshing perspective. So this month, I’m getting ready by cleansing my creative soul, and came across this great blog with some truly beautiful, simple poster designs. To refresh your creative soul, check out some more designs in Francesco Mugnai’s blog.

Yours in refreshed perspective,


Choose your words carefully – they could change your world

Words have more power than people give them credit for. In fact writers often scroll through hundreds of words before finding the perfect one, the one word that encapsulates their message completely and correctly.

It’s no surprise then, that effective cut-through communication relies on the mutual understanding of those words and their intended meaning by both sides in the communication equation – sender and receiver. We often forgot that with the rise of social media it’s not enough to simply send your message out into the world; it needs to be understood quickly so it can be processed and acted upon even quicker.

I saw a video recently of a homeless man on the street, his sign saying “PLEASE HELP, I’M BLIND”. He had a few people stopping by and giving money, but nothing that would greatly ease his suffering. He had the right message, but the wrong words to create action in his audience.  His message wasn’t cutting through all the other market place noise.

The clip continues as a professional woman comes into shot. She pauses, picks up his sign. You see her hastily writing something, but you’re unsure what. The homeless man touches her shoes as she puts the sign back into position beside him. The scene changes and more donations are being given to help, the homeless man scrambling to capture all coins in his tin. The professional woman returns after some time and the homeless man recognises her by her shoes, which he’s felt again. He asks with genuine sincerity and appreciation, what did she do to his sign and her reply? “I wrote the same, with different words”.

She used the right words, in the right context to create cut-through communication and connection between sender and receiver, and the effect in this demonstration was profound. Imagine if all your communication was received this way.

Brio Group can help you find the right words to achieve cut-through communication in the busiest of marketplaces. We also offer helpful hints on writing better Press Releases, creating copy for your ads and understanding the rapidly growing business benefits of social media.

Yours in 355 specifically chosen words,


Generating creativity

I woke up this morning bursting with blog article ideas – weekend outings, upcoming events, social media trends, mind blowing marketing campaigns – but then I got to work, and the words disappeared like water droplets in the desert.

I was stuck at a creative roadblock and regardless of the subject I started on; I failed to find the flow. I started searching online, frantically trying to find a theme that could inspire readers, inspire creativity and give me a topic all rolled into one. But alas, nothing was found. Until that is, I employed a little technique I learnt during a Copywriting course with Ad School last year.

The technique is easy to learn and simple to perform. All it requires is a piece of paper, pencil, a few words (maybe a dictionary will help) and 100 blank boxes on a page.

So I took a deep breath, opened my dictionary and based on the first word that appeared (pineapple) I started drawing whatever came into my head. For one whole minute I let my stream of consciousness flow, and it was refreshing not to have to get it “right” first time around.  I continued doing this, randomly finding words in the dictionary and drawing whatever idea, thought, or image came into my head until 10 minutes had lapsed.

Until that is, I arrived here, telling everyone about the 100-box technique and how it’s a lifesaver for anyone in need of a creative solution.

In times of creative droughts, how do you find and cultivate your creativity?

Yours in creativity,


Seven with another

Pecha Kucha was on again last night at the Brisbane Powerhouse. The name “Pecha Kucha” comes from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat” which reflects the idea behind the inspirational night – concise speakers who have 20 images x 20 seconds to present their ideas. The stand-out speakers for me were Jessica Huddart and Monique Kneepkens, two graphic designers who collaborated to come up with the idea of “Seven With Another.” They selected creatives who were well established in their own creative field and paired them off with each other, ensuring that the pairs were from highly contrasting creative backgrounds. For example, a graphic designer with a sound designer. The pairs were given the theme of Firsts and had to come up with an artwork that would form part of the Seven With Another exhibition.

Web developer, David Novakovic, was paired with illustrator, Steven Rhodes. Novakovic developed a program to monitor the world’s tweets for any mention of ‘firsts’. The two then collated the data and the most interesting firsts were illustrated by Rhodes.

Product designer, Neil Davidson, was paired with motion designer, Joyce Ho and they looked at the origins of the very first motion design, which came from a 5 stage goat illustration. They created candle holders with these images, so that the candle would flicker to create movement.

Photographer, Skeet Booth, and sculptor, Tony Powell, created a moving sculpture that tackled the question “Who came first, the chicken or the egg?”

See photos of the other artworks on the Seven With Another facebook page.

The next Seven with Another exhibition opens on 27 May 2011.

Yours in design,