Featured Studios

Detour Design

July 2014

Abra Remphrey is the Creative Director of Detour Design that was started 20 years ago in Adelaide. Read below to see what Abra looks for in a graduate and how she broke into the design industry even in a recession. Go Adelaide!

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

I studied Visual Communications at Uni SA, graduating in 1991. It was a 4 year course with approx 34 contact hours. There was a total of 38 students and we each had our own assigned work space within a studio environment. It was an incredible course - we were constantly inspired and taught how to think, look at things differently, explore different disciplines, share ideas etc..which pretty much informs how we work today. Graduating in a recession was difficult, there were no jobs so Cathy (my business partner) and I decided to take the plunge and start our own business. We were so naive!  Fortunately my Dad (an architect) had many contacts in the creative industry and we were fortunate to be offered a small space in an Interior Design office - Ranger Design. This was a formidable environment, yet incredibly inspiring...we were lucky to be sharing a space with like minded creatives. Our very first client - Geoff Holdich, was Ranger Design’s Accountant...we designed his identity (with the stipulation that we use British Racing Green!) We are still mates today! Event branding and installation for the SA Chapter of RAIA Architecture Awards - think razor sharp zinc panels with pointy cut-outs! City of Tea Tree Gully branding, including comprehensive style guide and signage - thank goodness we had some mentors in the industry.

What does a typical working day include for you right now?

The morning always starts with a coffee, perusing emails, general studio banter about which child has thrown a fit and refused to go to school... There are a diverse range of projects going on in the studio all the time and at different stages. As a small studio we do everything, from account management, client liaison, production etc.. thankfully we have fantastic systems in place that allow us to track the progress of every job. Currently I’m working on several wine labels, with many for the Chinese markets. I have been talking to experts in this area that have been so helpful in making me aware of cultural sensitivities, of what can and can’t be used and the areas that are often overlooked. I’ll use this information to refine designs and develop relevant and engaging solutions that ultimately will sell my clients product.

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