Featured Design Director / Graphic Designer

Yarron Frauenfelder

November 2018

One of our favourite things about Yarron Frauenfelder is how he details his process on his website — from wireframes, to sketches, to test prints, it's a little glimpse behind the scenes that we love (and you can learn a lot from)! We chat with Yarron about the balance that studying at both University and Design college created for him, his time in London with design studio Ascend, plus we get the lowdown on his favourite podcasts and publications.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I am a design director and graphic designer who creates brand experiences through clear, relevant and idea driven identities and visual communication. I’ve been lucky enough to work with clients around the globe which have given me an insight into some really interesting industries. I’ve just completed five years working at a London based design studio, Ascend. I had a fantastic time working with the team and I'm really proud of the work we created! – keep your eyes peeled as they have got some exciting stuff in the pipeline. After spending time overseas I’ve now moved back to Australia to continue my career in Melbourne, and I can’t wait to get started.

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

I studied at both QUT and Shillington college and I’d say both had a very different way of teaching. I think the combination of both was really worthwhile and was a nice balance of theoretical and practical. After college I was working in the music and hospitality industry which very much felt like the dream job at the time. In 2008 I founded a studio called ’This is Neu’ which I ran in Brisbane for five years. Working for clients across music, fashion and corporate sectors, made for an exciting and energetic workplace. This is all before moving to London and working with Ascend.

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

Font Review Journal:

A side project from design director Bethany Hicks. Font Review Journal is a website that reviews typefaces in a really in-depth and analytical format. I haven’t seen much else that reviews as extensively as she does and as a real type geek, I appreciate the level.

Open Manifesto:

I’ve recently been going through the back catalogue of 'Open Manifesto’ a design publication by the Aussie design legend Kevin Finn. It explores design in an informed and educated way. In an era when so many design books serve as little more than a physical Pinterest feed, this publication series dives deeper, and becomes a compelling discourse with graphic design as the common thread.

Hurry Slowly:

A podcast created by Jocelyn K. Glei, the founding editor of 99U. Described in her own words – 'Hurry Slowly is a podcast about how you can be more productive, creative, and resilient through the simple act of slowing down’. It’s a fantastic listen and features interviews from Paula Scher and Scott Belsky to name a few. The first series was completed this May and the second October – it's a good time to get on board!

What do you look for in a great client?

Design and especially branding needs to be a collaborative effort between client and designer/studio. I’ve found that a client who knows their business inside-out and is willing to engage in the creative process leads to a stronger creative output. This collaborative relationship ensures that the project is relevant and engaging with purpose at its core. Sometimes the key decision makers on the client side are out of reach for whatever political/ business reason and this can make the whole process 10 times harder.

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

An openness and ability to follow the creative process. I believe that sometimes graduates get quickly caught up looking for reference and stylistic direction without having any basis to ground their findings. It is much more important to pick up the pencil and work through an idea, instead of jumping online to track down the latest trend blog. In other words: a creative thinker and not just an aesthetic stylist.

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

Start with why — Simon Sinek

2018 for you in a sentence.

Challenging my norm.

Website: yarronfelder.com

Instagram: @yarronfelder

Twitter: @yarronfelder

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