Surf Gypsy (2017)

Part of one of my last assignments – I really enjoyed this one 🙂


Ahhh, sooo… I’ve just submitted the last assignment for my course!!


Three years of study – done! I can hardly believe it! It’s been such a long process and there’s been so many life changes along the way… like moving house four times, my 9-5 job constantly changing, going through all the sickness in the build up to the autoimmune disease diagnosis – just to name a few…. but I made it! OMG!

So now what?

Apart from deleting the 4:45am ‘wake-up to study’ alarm, I’m going to give myself a few weeks to do nothing except read and catch-up on my Netflix list lol 🙂 It’s going to be a really strange feeling to not have that little voice in the back of my head telling me I should be studying!

I may post on here in those few weeks… but I also might not and you might not hear from me till later next month – I’ll see how I go.

Have a great day every one!! 🙂

How to be an Explorer of the World

One of the books we are using for a text book this study session is Keri Smith‘s “How to be an Explorer of the World“.

I was a little confused initially why we were using this, my study brain left over from my uni days says study is serious business – this book looks too fun – ha! But working through it there are lots of ‘exploration’ activities and other bits and pieces to get your creative mind working.

One of the opening pages lists a whole heap of different ways to be an ‘Explorer of the World’, here are some of my favourites…

  • Always be looking.
  • Notice the ground beneath your feet.
  • Everything is interesting. Look closer.
  • Notice the stories going on around you.
  • Notice patterns.
  • Make connections.
  • Observe movement.
  • Trace things back to their origins.
  • Use all of your senses.
I’ll post my findings from some of the activities as I work my way through them 🙂

Getting Paid

Flying Notes

Made with the Patternator iPhone app 🙂

Hi All 🙂 Just a quick little check in before today’s post… you’ll notice it’s been over a week since my last post and that’s because I’ve been sick – again! It’s a bit of a repetitive thing nowadays but I’m off to see a specialist next week so hopefully it all gets sorted out soon, anyway, just wanted to let you all know I’m still here and I haven’t forgotten about the blog 🙂 So here’s what I’ve been up to with my study lately…

Yay I got to read a section in my textbook that I hadn’t read before! Lol 🙂 It’s a bit sad when that makes me happy haha.

It was a pretty interesting section too, it was all about setting up some business documents and how to get paid for the design work you do when you have your own business and/or are working as a free-lancer. Interesting stuff, especially considering that this is more than likely what I’ll end up doing.

Here are some notes from this section of Graphic Design: Australian Style Guide

  • “Before you get paid you need to work out how much to charge. This is determined by your experience, what other designers are getting and the prevailing economic conditions. It should increase over time, but may need to dip now and then.” (Barnum et al, p326)
  • “The base rate is the rate for actual design work (conceptualisation or layout). It is used to calculate the charge-out rate and need not be disclosed to the client.” (Barnum et al, p326)
  • “The charge-out rate is (the) rate that includes designing, overheads, profit, etc. It is 3 1/2 times the base rate and is used to calculate the cost of design to the client.” (Barnum et al, p326)
  • “Contracts are legally binding for both parties. If a designer promises to have something completed by a certain date, in a certain form, and then does not fulfil that agreement, they could be breaking a contract and therefore be liable for damages.” (Barnum et al, p326)
  • “The three main documents that form the basis of the contract between client and designer are the initial proposal, the quote an d the invoice.” (Barnum et al, p327)
  • “Under Australia law, any piece of written communication that involves money and/or contractual arrangement must display an Australian Business Number (ABN).” (Barnum et al, p327)
  • “Terms and Conditions of Trade (T&Cs) are the conditions under which a designer trades, including payment terms and any confidentiality, copyright or contract issues.” (Barnum et al, p328)



Barnum, A., Haddock, S., Hicks, S. and Oppen, F. (2012) Graphic Design: Australian Style Guide. Sydney: McGraw-Hill Publishers Australia

The Role of the Designer


Course textbook

I mentioned in an earlier post about the repetition in my course and it doesn’t just apply to the subjects covered in the theory, it also happens with the readings we are supposed to do from the textbook.

The textbook for this course is “Graphic Design: Australian Style Manual” and I just went to pages 14-20 to do the reading for this section of study, and I’ve already read it – I’ve already highlighted the bits and pieces I thought were important. This is kind of frustrating, getting ready to get into reading and I’ve already done it.

Anyway, I thought this might be a good a time as any to make share some notes from this section of the textbook which is all about the role of the designer…

  • “The role of the designer is to work within a design process to fully understand the scope of the client’s communication problem and to clearly identify the target audience they’re speaking to. This means understanding the audience’s age, gender, media preferences, culture, lifestyle habits and ethnicity.” (Barnum et al, p14)
  • “… it is important to recognise the distinction between art and design. The clear difference between the process of design and the making of art lies in the objective.” (Barnum et al, p15)
  • “Designers are not artists in the pure discipline sense. Designers might simultaneously engage in both art and design practices, but designing involves both the analysis and the validation of ideas…” (Barnum et al, p15)
  • Graphic designers are after “…a communication solution that contains aesthetic harmony, inspirational graphic techniques and a voice that’s appropriate to the objective within the brief – something looks good, sounds good and generates the right reaction.” (Barnum et al, p15)
  • “The mission of the designer (is) to identify and isolate the most fundamental objectives that (the client is) trying to communicate.” (Barnum et al, p19)
  • “…(the) first step on the path to understanding what makes a successful designer: fully understanding and digesting what the brief requires… reducing all the data provided to the most potent points.” (Barnum et al, p19)



Barnum, A., Haddock, S., Hicks, S. and Oppen, F. (2012) Graphic Design: Australian Style Guide. Sydney: McGraw-Hill Publishers Australia

The Design Brief

My desk

Where I study… apparently I’m a fan of pink and bright colours… who knew, lol

Something I’ve noticed in this course is that there is a fair bit of repetition on the theory side. Right now I’m working through some theory on design briefs… but I know we’ve done work on these before too. The theory isn’t exactly the same though and it seems to go into different detail each time. I wonder if this is intentional? Is the plan maybe for us to learn more by repetition? Maybe… I don’t know…

Anyway, here are a few notes on design briefs from my study this time around…

  • The design brief outlines the project.
  • It usually covers these areas:
    • Project Overview
      • Information about the client
      • Competitors
      • Target market
      • Market strategy
      • Details of the project
      • Goals of the project
    • Communication Objectives
      • Goal of the graphic design piece
      • What is the message that needs to be communicated?
      • What is the ‘call to action’ that the audience needs to receive?
    • Project and Technical Specifications
      • Budget
      • Costs
      • Timeframes
      • Output format (paper, billboard, web, installation…)
      • Materials
      • Distribution
    • Content and Style Guidelines
      • Logo
      • Fonts
      • Colours
      • Current brand identity

Hopefully on to more practical ‘design-y’ things soon 🙂

Study Notes: What is a Graphic Designer?

Seeing as this is a ‘Graphic Design Student Blog’ I thought I’d go back through some of my older study notes and assessments and post a few bits and pieces up in case it’s of any use to other students…

These notes here are some of my very first notes way back a couple of years ago when I was thinking, what exactly is this Graphic Design thing I’ve signed myself up for ??

My course study notes, referring to The Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA), said a graphic designer was:

“One who has the artistic sensibility, skill and experience and/or training professionally to create designs or images for reproduction by any means of visual communication, and who may be concerned with illustration; typography; calligraphy; surface design for packaging; or the design of patterns, books, advertising and publicity material, or any form of visual communication.”

First thing I thought was ‘wow, that’s one long sentence!’ agh. haha 😉

My study notes also had some other links to what a Graphic Designer is and what they do…

AGDA: “What is a Graphic Designer”

The Design Council: “What is Graphic Design”

Designeinstien: “What sort of Graphic Design interests you?”

It was actually kind of funny going back through my notes too because I’d written down thoughts and things that I’d had and at this time in my studying I was leaning towards wanting to work in the Identity Design or Package Design areas… possibly even Environmental Design… Now though, I have my sights set on fabric and textile design… although I don’t really have a huge idea of what exactly that involves lol :-/ More research to be done there!

Copyright Links

Onto a not quite as exciting or interesting, but still important, study module now – Copyright.

It’s something that can seem a little confusing to begin with so I thought I’d share a few helpful links…

Australian Government: ComLaw (Copyright Related Documents)

Australian Government: IP Australia (Intellectual Property)

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

World Trade Organisation: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

Australian Copyright Council

The Copyright Agency

Copyright Act 1968 (Australia)

Arts Law Centre of Australia: Copyright and Moral Rights