The well established NSW studio Cutts Creative have done some amazing work in their time, including working for Foster’s. Hannah, the Creative Director/Owner tells us some cheeky folio and interview tips…!
What is Cutts Creative, what do you specialise in and how did it start? Cutts Creative, began as a company, in 1995. LC575 on a verandah of an old Queenslander in a flood zone in Brisbane. We moved to a studio beneath the aforementioned house and then bought a house in another flood zone, that was converted into an office proper.
We started designing brands and posters and business cards for anyone that would give us beer, hairdressing and gig tickets. By 2000 we were looking after Fosters, Brisbane Airport, Brisbane festival, Livid music festival, and QIC shopping centres around Australia.
GFC, 2 kids and 3 floods later… I am back to running the company from a beachside property in northern NSW where I am doing arty/design projects for architects, restaurants and wine labels – but getting paid when I do.
We specialise in personality driven branding.
We will often be called upon to name a product or a space, design a platform upon which they can flaunt their wares, hand over all the given assets and collateral – then leave them to it.
What has been your favourite project to date and why?
We were given a project by a group called URBANE. The job was to name, brand and create a personality for a group of restaurants and bars in the one precinct. The clients were fantastic. Humour, typography, collections and design ran throughout the entirety of the offerings… from menus to signage and environmental graphics. We even created a huge die cut 4mm metal screen that created warped shadows directing the clientele to ‘GIVE HEAD SLOWLY’.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a project for a restaurant in New Farm called THE HIVE. We have created a lovely image based design system inspired by the textile designs of Lucienne Day.
I have a branding job for a retreat in the hills of Victoria.
There is also an art installation/interior design project that will see brightly coloured perspex paper planes hung in a huge light filled foyer of a new university.
Do you have any personal side projects? All my projects are personal side projects. That is the beauty of working your tits off for 18 years – you can downsize and kick overheads out the door and take on everything and anything that’s fun, colourful and design driven.
Apart from Cutts Creative and graphic design, I have some more hats… I lecture at Billy Blue School of Design in Visual Communication.
I also am part of the Edwina Corlette gallery. Each year I put together an exhibition called LOOK WHAT I FOUND, where I travel to some far flung place and collect, curate and create artworks. The last one was LOOK WHAT I FOUND: MANILA. They are always great fun and well received. Artbank bought a great neon typographic piece from the last exhibition (image at top of interview).
I am also working on a silk range of textile designs that will be launched later in the year…late July.
I also recently spoke at the DOlectures in Victoria and that has created a new network of exciting possibilities.
Oh… and my favourite ongoing, definitely side project – Darth & Roger.
What advice do you have for recent graduates looking for work, freelance or in a studio? Say yes to anything and everything and curse bad decisions later.
Be honest about what you can and cannot do, but lie about the reality of any design you are showcasing…if you designed a great ad campaign during uni…send it to the company that it should be for and thus call it a ‘work in progress’.
Learn how to speak well on the phone and how to make tea & coffee and empty bins. You would be so surprised how many great young designers don’t get the job because they sound crappy on the phone.
Where do you get your inspiration? I am too disorganised to follow any particular blogs (although I do get the feed from Design Taxi and Madame Herves, Hoefler).
I google constantly and use forums to ask questions.
I am constantly learning how to do new things. Find people that have what I want and take buckets loads of information from them.
What’s on the horizon? Under 8 soccer, school camp and physio for the older son with a broken collarbone.
A trip to manila and Hong Kong to set the silk thing into further motion.
Talking at a DIA lecture series about design and technology.
Writing a piece about merkins and the history of pubic hair (really) for the Alpine Review in Montreal.
Designing a brand for a desserts based retail development.
Adding some new work to my daggy poetry site. Looking at booking tickets to Accra for the next LOOK WHAT I FOUND exhibition. Reading bad but page turning murder mysteries.