Featured Studio

TwofromTwo

June 2019

We caught up with Owner/Creative Director of TwofromTwo, Brett Layton, to chat about everything from a typical working day — to his top 5 global design crushes right now. We learn, that the name TwofromTwo is also a basketball term that references making two free-throws; why the quote 'Comparison is the death of happiness' really resonates with Brett, and how to use all the tools at your disposal to promote the sort of work that you want to be doing.

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

Our business name TwofromTwo refers primarily to the partnership on which our business is based. I am a graphic designer and my partner Emma is a marketer who straddles copywriting and digital. We are two people with two unique skillsets working across two coasts (we currently work with clients in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane as well as Perth and overseas). The name also references our shared interest in basketball. TwofromTwo is also a basketball term that references making two free-throws. Like sweating over typography, fussing over layouts or writing a clever social media post, free throws are important. We want to hit two from two every time.

Talk us through what a typical working day includes for you right now.

On any given day I split my day between emails, telephone calls, client presentation meetings, putting together proposals, bookkeeping, site visits, press checks, directing our designers and working on design projects of my own.

I work into the evening most nights when the phone has stopped ringing and the email has stopped dinging - when there is silence. At this time, it feels like the pressure is off and I can be more creative, taking my time fussing over the details and thinking everything through without distractions.

With our team growing gradually (we are currently a team of 5) we are trying to implement better systems, using technology where we can to make life easier and finding ways to keep everything in balance.

What qualities and skills do you look for in a graduate?

There are two clear things that we look for in a graduate. The first is that they are a good fit for our studio. We work in a small studio with a relaxed environment. Most days are spent chatting or sharing common interests. So the graduate needs to be someone that we want to share our time with.

The second thing is a folio of interesting work with really strong ideas. So we want to see how a particular project solved the problem and why the chosen style, layout, type treatments and other graphic elements have been chosen to target the intended market. We are looking for potential and for creative thinking over latest trends and styles. If we can imagine you doing work similar work to what is in your folio for our clients then we will be interested in having a chat.

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The advice that I was given is to keep looking ahead and not look too far left and right.

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Whats the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

“Comparison is the death of happiness.”

We are swamped by design every day from every angle. So it is easy to feel self-conscious when you scroll through Instagram looking at designers or studios who are doing bigger, more creative projects for clients that you can only dream of working with. It can really rock your confidence and takes your focus off the projects you are working on and what you should actually be trying to achieve. If you can solve a business’ problem with Design, then it has been a great project. If that project ends up being folio worthy then it is high-fives all around. So the advice that I was given is to keep looking ahead and not look too far left and right.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2019?

The advice I would give to students is to use all the tools at your disposal to promote the sort of work that you want to be doing. So if the projects you created at university don’t accurately represent you or your passion then fill your folio with other things. Fill it with projects that show who you are and how your passion can add value to a potential employer. When your folio is ready, you can then promote yourself in every possible way using tools like Instagram, Behance, Pinterest, and Dribble to get the word out there.

Who are your top five design crushes globally right now?

Pop and Pac

Melbourne, Australia

A Melbourne-based studio that is producing world-class hospitality and packaging work

Koto

London, Great Britain

Founded by designers who were part of Designstudio when the Airbnb re-brand was created. They bring the same ‘out of the box’ approach to each project they tackle.

Glasfurd and Walker

Vancouver, Canada

Phoebe Glasfurd studied at Curtin University and is now a founding partner at Glasfurd and Walker, a brand identity studio in Vancouver and New York that specializes in high-end restaurant, café and venue branding.

Collins NYC

New York, New York USA

A branding studio in New York that leans heavily on typography, animation, and video to bring their brand identity work to life. Projects of note are the Dropbox rebrand, Mailchimp identity, and projects for SONOS, Chobani, and Nike.

Marx Design

Auckland, New Zealand

For such a small island country, the work coming out of New Zealand is outstanding. Marx Design is no exception with each brand and packaging project having unrivalled attention to detail and craft.

Website: twofromtwo.com.au

Instagram: @twofromtwo

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