Top Aussie designers come together to support Aussie kids

design federation

The Peter Pan Op Shop Summer Sale is on again and features some of the biggest names in Australian fashion at bargain prices with donations from: sass & bide, Bianca Spender, Nookie, Danielle Tabet, Jets Swimwear, Good Day Girl and Arrli.

An institution in the Eastern suburbs, the Sale is a must-do on any Sydney fashionista’s calendar. Pre-loved and vintage clothes, shoes and accessories from some of Sydney’s most fashionable wardrobes are up for grabs, as well as the brand new designer wear and end of season stock.

All proceeds go directly to Barnardos Australia to help abused and neglected Aussie kids. So take a long lunch break and find yourself a guilt-free fashion bargain.

  • WHAT:                 Peter Pan Op Shop Summer Sale 2015
  • WHY:                    Raising money for leading child protection charity Barnardos Australia
  • WHEN:                 Wednesday 28 October – Friday 30 October 2015
  • HOURS:               Wednesday – Thursday 10.00am-3.00pm, Friday 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • WHERE:             Club Rose Bay:  1 Vickery Ave (Cnr New South Head Rd and Vickery Ave) Rose Bay, NSW
02.10.15. filed under Fashion & Lifestyle. No Comments →

Let’s Celebrate Western Sydney’s Fashion Designers


Calling all fashion designers, supporters of local business and people who like to wear something original to help promote the work of Western Sydney’s designers.

I’ve booked a spot in the Parramasala Parade and a double stall at the three day market in late October to showcase fashion designers from the local region.  I’m picking up the costs as a personal contribution to raise the profile of what fashion designers we have in the area. This invitation is open to fledgling designers as well as the more established local fashion labels.

Designers – Are you interested in being in the parade and/or stall? Email me and I’ll be in touch in the next week to talk through your involvement.  There is no cost for the stall.

Supporters of local business – We can always use expertise in marketing and branding and spreading the word through your networks.

We need people to staff the stall, people to be active on social media AND people to wear local designers around town or in the parade. Email me and I’ll be in touch.

Retailers – If you stock local designers, let us know so that we can promote your work too. We don’t want to take your customers; we want to send you new ones.

Customers – Do you want to know more about our wonderful Western Sydney designers? Email me and I’ll add you to the mailing list.


Opening Parade – Friday 23rd October (evening)

Market stall – Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta

  • Friday 23 October : 12pm till 10pm
  • Saturday 24 October: 10am till 10pm
  • Sunday 25 October : 10am till 9pm

For more information, please contact Julie Owens:

18.09.15. filed under Fashion & Lifestyle. No Comments →

Canadian comic by Ad Astra Comix chronicals the slaughter of Inuit sled dogs… by the Mounted Police!

A new, kid-friendly comic by Toronto publishers Ad Astra Comix illustrates the tragedy of Inuit sled dogs that were killed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The script was written and edited by Hugh Goldring and the comic was storyboarded and illustrated by Nicole Burton and tells the sad story of the slaughter in beautiful imagery and words. The artists are currently working to have the crowdfunded comic incorporated as part of the Canadian school curriculum as a way to bring this history to a new generation.

Design Federation caught up with Canadian storyteller, poet and, now, comic writer, Hugh Goldring, to discuss this, his latest project, and maybe glean some wisdom on indigenous storytelling that may inspire local artists and writers here in Oz.

What was the inspiration for this project?

Originally conceived as part of a larger series of unheard Canadian histories, ‘Dogs’ took on a life of its own. I had worked as a researcher for the Qikiqtani Truth Commission and was familiar with the story of the dog slaughter. Originally discussed as a satire, we decided it deserved to stand on its own.

Why was it important for you to make this project happen?

The story of the dog slaughter throughout the north is a traumatic one, not only for the Inuit but for all feeling people. The events of the slaughter caused enormous harm to Inuit communities. In spite of this, very few people in southern Canada know the story. We wanted to help make this history accessible to Canadians who might never otherwise encounter it.


Did the vision for the project change during the process?

The comic was originally going to have a somewhat snarky tone but in telling the story, we realized that the facts were stark enough and that attempting to be satirical took away from that seriousness. So we changed it to let the events of the story stand on their own. The text on the final panel was removed to allow the reader to confront the image on their own terms.

Was this a learning curve for you as artists?

Considering that this was our first project together, things went remarkably smoothly. The work proceeded quickly and the end product was everything we could have hoped for. There were a few moments of tension during the creative process. As a historian, I would sometimes take issue with minor details in Nicole’s drawings, forcing Nicole to redo entire panels! Needless to say, we have learned to consult carefully with each other during the scripting stage so that Nicole doesn’t end up drawing the whole thing twice.

What are your creative backgrounds?

I have written poetry, short stories and even an embarrassingly adolescent teen novel when I was 19. Nicole has been drawing for herself since she was a child and has always known she wanted to work as an artist. Both Hugh and Nicole have applied their creative energy to their work as activists since they were teenagers – making posters, writing fundraising appeals and generally doing their best to inspire the people they have organized with.


What has the reception to the project been?

The reception to ‘Dogs’ has been universally positive. We were a little worried how the Inuit community would respond, since the project was undertaken without direct consultation – a mistake we won’t repeat. But the response has been phenomenal! People really connect to the project, which expresses the trauma of the dog slaughter in relatable, human terms. We are very proud of our work and think that for our first joint project, the response has been more than we ever could have hoped for.


Why should this project be in schools in Canada?

Although curricula are beginning to recognize the importance of indigenous narratives, they often place too much emphasis on the positive. Colonialism has been traumatic for most indigenous nations and including materials in the classroom that help students to understand that trauma is absolutely essential to building a Canada where people understand where they come from, as well as where they are going. ‘Dogs’ is short enough to be put on a poster but contains the essential facts necessary to help students learn about and understand the dog slaughter and its impact.


How can people help?

People can help in all kinds of ways! The most immediate thing that anyone can do is order a copy of the posters for themselves by e-mailing us at The posters retail for $20CAD plus shipping, so be sure to include an address.

Most importantly, everyone can head over to the Qikiqtani Truth Commission’s website and learn more about the experiences of the Inuit.

dogs_canadian_comic poster_feet

18.08.15. filed under Blogs, Illustration, Interviews. No Comments →


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Thanks to Madman Entertainment to celebrate the release of IRIS, in cinemas August 13 (other states) & August 20 (VIC) we have 10 double passes to giveaway!

Enter the IRIS ticket competition →

03.08.15. filed under Featured Giveaway, Giveaways. No Comments →


UNA is a new Melbourne based design studio launched by Andrew Archer and Kelly Thompson. With over 20 years cumulative experience working as freelance artists and art directors UNA grew from their combined desire to expand and challenge themselves creatively, but also in response to client demand.

Archer and Thompson are both internationally renowned illustrators and art directors. Archer has created graphic work for Nike, Audi, ESPN, Bombay Sapphire, Red Bull, WIRED, Random House, French Vogue and the BBC to name a few. Thompson’s feminine approach has been utilised by, for starters, Escada Paris, Maybelline NYC, Nintendo, The London Sunday Times, and Covergirl.

Kelly has hosted Nintendo Master Classes, art classes for Maybelline NYC and guest lectures at RMIT (Australia’s leading university for creative disciplines). She has spoken at Semi-Permanent numerous times (Australia’s premier creative conference) and previously worked as a Project Manager at The Jacky Winter Group – Australia’s leading illustration agency. @weareuna

17.06.15. filed under General. No Comments →

Best Packaging Materials to use in 2015

In 2014, we saw a large number of brands experimenting with and adopting flexible packaging to market their goods. Flexible packaging has an association – one that isn’t necessarily deserved, as we’ll see later in this piece – with being environmentally friendly and is often cheaper to produce than traditional packaging, so it’s very likely that this trend will continue in 2015 and beyond.


So-called eco refill packs, popular among coffee manufacturers, may use less packaging but the fact that foil can’t be reused at all recycling plants complicates matters slightly. Materials like glass and cardboard can widely be recycled, sometimes even in a closed loop–meaning that it can be recycled endlessly with no reduction in quality. Of course, there is still a cost–both financial and to the environment–associated with transporting the materials, powering recycling plants and so on.

Elsewhere, brands are taking radical steps to improve their carbon footprint. Carlsberg determined that 45% of their total greenhouse gas emissions come from packaging, and are working on an eco-friendly fibre bottle that’s completely biodegradable. One problem is that such options aren’t necessarily very visually appealing–this means that it’s less likely they’ll be adopted by luxury brands, at least not in their current state.

Personalisation remains popular, with variable printing used to customise anything from university prospectuses to catalogues or charity appeals. This helps businesses to stand out in the sea of junk mail that potential customers receive every day, and isn’t prohibitively expensive. With 3D printing on the rise, the possibility of personalised packaging and products is closer than ever before.

Can packaging ever be a deciding factor when it comes to purchasing products? It may seem unlikely, but positioning flexibly packaged food and drink as an ‘on the go’ option is one way companies are capitalising on this. After all, it’s far more convenient to slip a squeezable tube of soup into a handbag than it is a bulky can and tin-opener.


And let’s not forget Apple. Often praised for their elegant, albeit inflexible packaging, there’s even a market on YouTube for videos of consumers unboxing Apple products–around 1 million videos at the time of writing. This may not be a purchase motivator exactly, but it’s undeniably an important part of the experience for many customers.

With that in mind, the combination of packaging used seems set to become more important. Many consumers appear more interested in buying into brands than the products themselves, so consistency and a coherent aesthetic are important. For example, fitness supplement providers are increasingly using stand-up flexible plastic packaging with foil inners. This gives them a space-age feel, more so than the bulky tubs of years gone by, which fits with the idea that the products are cutting edge and scientifically engineered.

On the other end of the scale, some brands are adopting a ‘back to basics’ approach that fits with their ethos. Fragrance brand Juniper Ridge use packaging embossed with wilderness scenes and rustic wooden caps. The use of cork and wood really helps to give products an ‘old school’ vintage style.

With more choices than ever–plastics, metal, foam, fabric etc. all on the table–companies are spoilt for choice when it comes to packaging. It seems that using forms of packaging that fit with a brand’s ethos or style is increasingly important to customers and, if they happen to be environmentally friendly as well, so much the better!

Elanders UK is part of Elanders Group, which is a company with operations in 15 countries on four continents. Elanders Group offers its customers global solutions for print & packaging, supply chain management and e-commerce.

Article by Jonny Rowntree

28.05.15. filed under Reviews & Editorials. No Comments →

Spectrum – by Mab Graves


Joining us in Australia for the very first time, American pop-surrealist Mab Graves brings with her an imagined world of candy coloured girls, intergalactic cats and supernatural specimens for her newest exhibition of work, “Spectrum”.

On show at Auguste Clown Gallery from 17th April – 3rd May , Spectrum heralds in a new collection of paintings, illustrations, miniatures and sculptures inspired by the prism of Mab’s passions. Mab has taken a beautifully blank slate and unleashed all the pieces living inside her head to explore new themes, shapes and spectrums of colour.

Mab Graves is a contemporary artist and illustrator living and painting in a converted 1800’s tavern in a small corner of Indianapolis. A self-taught artist, Mab has shown in galleries both in the United States and internationally, and had her art published within books and magazines worldwide. Her work has been sold in more than 56 countries.

Mab’s art is deeply inspired by fairy tales and old classic literature. She adores narrative and attributes her creative process to a childhood spent reading stories with three sisters and a very vivid imagination that has allowed her to continue to dream…

“For this new collection I decided to challenge myself. With no planned direction, I had absolute freedom. I started thinking about what I wanted to bring into being. I decided I would unleash all the pieces that had been living inside my head – wanting to come out – but that I’d never been able to grant myself the time to create. I wanted to give myself the liberty to play with inspirations I’d been holding onto for years.” – Mab Graves

Spectrum: A New Series of Work by Mab Graves
Opening Night With Artist Meet & Greet: Friday 17th April, 6pm

Presented by Auguste Clown Gallery
52 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne Australia
Exhibition On view from 17th April – 3rd May (free entry)

About Auguste Clown Gallery

Auguste Clown is a Melbourne underground art gallery dedicated to showing some of the most interesting and notable pop surrealist artists from around the world. To view the full list of represented artists and their biographies, visit

02.04.15. filed under Events & Exhibitions. No Comments →

Never Forget To Play

As part of the ‘Spectrum Now’ Festival, Funkt Creative, Play Bar and Behind the Front bring you an evening of spirited enchantment where imagination takes flight!

Following on from last year’s successful debut group curation, inner city artist Julia Odgers has brought together 6 unique artists that delve into the realm of imagination, breaking down the barriers to provide a fun and adventurous evening under the theme “Never Forget To Play.”

Displaying work from a variety of disciplines including neon signage, illustration, fine and graphic art, the evening is all about getting back to basics when life was uncomplicated and fun.  “It’s a night away from the 9 to 5, a playground full of art, music and spoken word.”  Odgers is always looking for ways to “entice people to forget about the daily grind and have a little fun.”

Keeping with the interactive theme, a photo booth will be on hand for those wishing to embrace their alter ego.  Bravo Child will be performing through the power of spoken word, alongside 10-piece band Bateria 61 and DJ edseven providing the night’s soundtrack.

Launch is on the 20th March 2015 @6pm




16.03.15. filed under Events & Exhibitions. No Comments →


Hugh Goldring

Things by Bourke - Handcrafted Sculptures

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