Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

This Is Leeroy

This is Leeroy.

Beautiful, regal and dangerously powerful, he is the Werribee Open Range Zoo’s very own white rhino. Born in September 1980, Leeroy is the oldest white rhino at the zoo and now too old and unsociable to mingle with his fellow rhinos, he roams the back paddocks of Werribee, out of public view and peaceful in his solitude.

Searching for our hero, we felt Leeroy embodied the very essence of what we stand for at WhiteRhino. Strong, fearless, and utterly breathtaking he stands alone as one of a kind. Captured on film by the talented Scott Newett during a memorable day of shooting, Leeroy has become our mascot and icon.

Quick to become moody in the presence of others on the day of filming, it wasn’t long into shooting before Leeroy revealed the antics which earned him his solitude. Snorting wildly and pawing at the ground, Leeroy repeatedly prepared to charge at the quaking camera crew.

Gathering speed and fury with each attempt he hurled himself violently towards the single electric wire separating him from the photographer. A two and a half tonne cannonball flying wildly towards us only to pull up short in a cloud of dust at the last possible second.

Though temperamental in his old age, Leeroy is nothing short of magnificent and the memory of our incredible experience with him still takes our breath away. Native to Africa, white rhinos are believed to be extinct in the north, and thrive only in protected wildlife sanctuaries in the south.

Top Free (or almost) Design Apps


1. WhatTheFont
Sourced from My Fonts’ comprehensive font library, WhatTheFont allows you to identify fonts directly from your phone. Snap photos from within the app or choose from saved photos in your photo library.

In-phone image processing optimises upload for speed and accuracy. You can then view font details in your web browser or share a link. This app is fast, accurate and extremely handy for any designer.

2. Shillington Design Reference App

Designed by a pair of graduates from international graphic design institution Shillington, this app covers useful design basics in a clean, functional layout.

Features include helpful Adobe CS keyboard shortcuts, international paper sizes, typography definitions and tips, artwork checklist and pre-press terminology.

A great reference app, this is a must-have for students and old hands alike.

3. myPANTONE™ X-Ref

A portable swatch-book, Pantone’s colour reference app is the ultimate guide to cross system matching.

Simply enter an RGB, CMYK or Hexadecimal value and to find the closest Pantone Color match sourced from the following colour system libraries:

  • New PANTONE PLUS Formula Guides Solid Coated and Uncoated with 224 new colors
  • New PANTONE PLUS Color Bridge Coated and Uncoated
  • PANTONE Goe™ Coated and Uncoated
  • PANTONE Goe Bridge Coated
  • PANTONE FASHION + HOME (paper and cotton)

4. Classic Color Meter

Found the colour but need the name? Classic Colour Meter measures and displays the colour values of pixels displayed on the screen, giving you a direct means of identification.

A drop-in replacement for Apple’s DigitalColor Meter application, the app restores all functionality previously available in Snow Leopard’s DigitalColor Meter.

Whilst not free this is definitely a valuable cheapy to have in your back pocket.

5. Ruler 2

Finally the most analogue tool of all – the ruler – has been digitalized. Simply drag the pointer for precise, fully formatted measurements with fractions for inches, decimals or centimeters. Convert between US and metric systems with one tap and save measurements on LED scrap paper to see what you measured and when.

Ruler 2 is a handy tool, not just for designers and at a dollar, is definitely worth the spend.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the team at WhiteRhino


Bet you didn't know we could swim


See what other tricks we’ve got up our sleeve in 2012.

We’re all heading for the beach as of 24 December 2011 and we’ll return on 9 January 2012, ready to dive back into the next creative safari.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the team at WhiteRhino.

Andrew, Jeremy, Nadia, Jason, Karen, Grace, Jacqui, Liz & Susan – who all can swim!

Illustration by Jess McGeachin

QR codes make Christmas giving as easy as window shopping.

eBay and Toys for Tots have teamed up to launch an animated shopfront with The GIVE-A-TOY Store. The interactive storefront launched in New York and San Francisco and invites passers-by to window shop ‘for good’.

Passers-by can select the toy they wish to donate simply by scanning the accompanying QR code, making the donation directly from their phone.

Collecting Christmas gift donations for disadvantaged children, the virtual store engages passers-by making it easy and fast to donate while creating a feel-good experience with the animated window. The clever use of QR codes and the digital window adds an exciting new element to traditional shopping and is perhaps a precursor of things to come!

The Design Files Open House

The Design Files Open House

Nadia and I popped into The Design Files Open House in Fitzroy Saturday morning to be inspired and eat cupcakes… Here are a few quick snaps we took in between swooning over cushions, bowls and Beci Orpin prints.

THE CD COVER NO-NO – Presentation Tips for Design Students

It’s important to design things you love. Working with ideas and concepts that inspire you is what makes designing fun and that’s the best part about this job, it can be really fun. Design tutors often use this technique to get students thinking and engaged in the wonderful world of design…

When showing your portfolio to a potential employer however, it’s important to show diversity so often it’s these pieces that will bring your work down. They stand out in a portfolio like a beacon – so much so that we’ve coined the phenomenon the ‘The CD Cover No-No’.

As a designer, being creative is only half the challenge. Being creative within the confines of a client’s brief can often be what takes a real stretch of the imagination and this is what we don’t get to see in the example cover art you’ve mocked up for your favorite band. Work like this makes up a very small part of the workload too and is more often than not shopped out to illustrators or artists so instead of showing us how creative you are without constraint, show us how you bring that passion to other things.

Just because you don’t have real clients doesn’t mean you can’t create real briefs. What does your Uncle Frank do? Own a garage. Does your next door neighbor still run a health and fitness business from home? Yes. These are your clients. Create your own brief from here and start designing around it.

Develop Uncle Frank a ripper logo, create some indicative stationery or maybe what his imaginary service car could look like. For your neighbor’s fitness business mock up some brochures, a web splash page or even some social media design. Yes, this is imaginary work but I guarantee it will better show your understanding of what’s involved in being a designer and go a long way towards you actually selling your skills and abilities to prospective employers.

So get rid of the cover art you did for your mate’s MySpace band page. It’s a definite folio no-no. Instead, show work that highlights your ability to come up with inspired and creative ideas no matter what the job. If you can make a family garage or backyard fitness business look just as interesting as your favorite indie band, then you can probably make someone else think so too – and that’s what makes a designer.

Rhino Mania


Image from Mx.

RhinoMania is a Brazilian art project featuring 60 rhinos created by local artists and displayed in an open-air exhibition.

The truly beautiful designs can be viewed worldwide on or

Design across time: MIFF60 Exhibition at State of Design


Towards the end of the State of Design festival, Jeremy and I wandered into the city for some lunchtime inspiration.

The exhibition we chose to view was  ‘MIFF60: The Graphic Art of the Melbourne International Film Festival’. Whilst a very small exhibition, it was a comprehensive array of design collateral across the 60 years that MIFF has been running. What made this exhibition unique was seeing all these items as a collection, given that they were designed by different designers, studios and agencies over the years.

In the beginning, each year appeared to be a separate entity with a different design treatment each year. With the 1990s and 2000s came a marked difference with a more definite brand identity being developed and rolled out and a greater emphasis on sponsor logo inclusion. This also coincided with a change in the early 2000s when MIFF began using advertising agencies – the programmes became more magazine-like and began to heavily utilise imagery from the films rather than simply developing a branded graphic treatment.

Seeing designs from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s gave an insight into the very different design trends of those era. As the State of Design website put it:

“… from the flat geometric designs of the Saul Bass inspired 1960s, through the psychedelic excursions of the 70s and the neo-pop surrealism of the 80s.”

It was very interesting to see how the brand and collateral has evolved over time and the varying approaches used by the different designers. Seeing a complete collection such as this was fascinating, not just in terms of the MIFF brand, but also in terms of the changing trends evident in design.

Archibald Prize at TarraWarra


Above: TarraWarra Museum of Art

On the weekend I headed out to TarraWarra Museum of Art to see the Archibald Prize. Despite the nightclub-like waiting line, the exhibition itself was fantastic, and a great reminder that seeing artwork in the flesh always far surpasses seeing it in a book or online. Definitely worth the trip for the amazing exhibition and beautiful scenic views – highly recommended!

On until 31 July 2011. For details visit the TarraWarra Events Page.


Pecha Kucha in Melbourne

Pecha Kucha is a really interesting concept that has just been brought to Melbourne, largely by the efforts of a local Melbourne studio, HereStudio. It began in Toyko in 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. The beauty of this event is that the presentation format is based on a simple idea whereby each speaker shows and talks about 20 images which each image only being shown for 20 seconds.

Great Idea! Quick! Punchy! Succinct! Pacey! Interesting! Dynamic!

Well that’s not exactly how it panned out. The Melbourne event was held at ACCA on Wednesday 20th July as part of the State of Design Festival. There were six speakers in total, with only one real stand out – Michael Leunig, the well known cartoonist, philosopher, poet and artist. He was funny, polished and showed quality images that more importantly were engaging. The theme for the night was ‘Break, Broke, Brake’ – a nice concept and something to work with. But unfortunately the other speakers were not particularly engaging or interesting. However, the most disappointing aspect to the event was the quality of images being shown on the projector – a couple of the speakers’ presentation visuals included dimly lit iPhone snapshots.

A couple of us who were there – both from creatives with careers spanning a number of years – were really hoping to see quality speakers from various design backgrounds showing slick slides, given that the event was associated with the State of Design Festival. We were thinking Photographers, Artists, Graphic Designers, Creative Directors, Art Directors, Animators, Interior Designers or Industrial Designers, but that wasn’t the case.

The venue was great! The free alcohol was great! The Nathan Coley gallery installation was thought provoking and the general vibe of the crowd was great! Despite the best intentions, it just fell a little flat – an opportunity missed.

Perhaps next time, if its part of a design festival, the organisers could include speakers from a broader range of design disciplines. I would consider going again but will do my research on the speakers next time.