Callen Neasmith

The wonderful Callen Neasmith, Monash University student, recently won our TDK instagram to support Bushfire Help by designing a logo for the new startup organisation. He chatted with us about finding work in university, how he sees design growing for Melbourne and for students, and how being creative sometimes means wasting a bit of paper.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I am currently studying at Monash, just got to the halfway point actually! I got my first design job at a community centre where I made posters and social media posts, but also was kind of the centre's handyman, as they always had me fixing stuff. At the moment, I work as a graphic designer for a real estate company which has been a really great step into the industry for me; I’m just coming up on 8 months.

Any hilarious stories about you as a kid being creative?

I actually wanted to be an architect when I was a kid. I used to get the huge 200-piece paper stacks and design a floorplan on each page. I’d end up with my dream home which had a tennis court and swimming pool on all 100 floors, so I have quite high ambitions. Needless to say, I wasted a lot of paper because my houses have been since lost, but eventually I found movie making to be more interesting. I abused Windows Movie Maker as a kid making about 3 videos a week until I was 14. This included a series called ‘Bazza’ which wasn’t too appropriate and was eventually found by my high school and parents. My directing career started to slow down from there...

Design work by Callen Neasmith The Design Kids interviews Callen Neasmith work-2

How did you name your practice and what does the name represent to you?

I really only have an Instagram account where I share my work, but when I was naming this I didn’t want to just put a “.design" after my username. I had a lot of different ideas but they were a bit cringy... I’ve kinda always found it a hassle explaining how to spell my name to new people so I thought I’d drill it in from the start by just using @callencallencallen. To this day I’ve only met one other “Callen”.

What are your three must-read design books, blogs or podcasts and why?

There’s this Instagram page called @morejanda that provides really useful design tips, including real industry problems that designers face, such as automation, and how we can work around these issues. Another one I really like is @kalypsodesigns who provides similar content. I love AIGA too — their website is stunning as well.

Design work by Callen Neasmith The Design Kids interviews Callen Neasmith work-4
Design work by Callen Neasmith The Design Kids interviews Callen Neasmith work-4

It has become more common that businesses not previously open to in-house designers have been more welcoming to student designers.

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

I recently teamed up with Bushfire Help after joining their logo competition. This was not only a great project for me to be selected for, but also a cause that I was really happy to get behind. There’s nothing better than doing work that fulfills you as well as provides you with experience that helps you grow. The Bushfire Help team is doing some amazing stuff and their new website has just launched, every bit of support helps and it’s been amazing the amount of support Australia has received internationally during this time!

Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?

I think design as a practice has been gaining a lot of attention recently. It has become more common that businesses not previously open to in-house designers have been more welcoming to student designers. It’s been a great way for university students to start building a folio and for business to pretty up their appearance! I think with this attitude our city will become better known for its design culture.

Design work by Callen Neasmith The Design Kids interviews Callen Neasmith work-6
Design work by Callen Neasmith The Design Kids interviews Callen Neasmith work-6

Where to find Callen Neasmith online.

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