Examples of Design Work

Atomic Coffee Roasters | with Nathan Baird

Atomic Coffee had originally found fame as an iconic Ponsonby Cafe hosting gigs, but after a couple of decades the gloss had become somewhat worn. After observing, talking with, and being staff, competition and consumers none of the truly rockstar capability and philosophy was being expressed internally or externally. On that thought, an identity was rebuilt to match the culture. A logo based on guitar and amplifier brands screamed like a frontman from the takeaway cups telling all within eyeshot there was an Atomic cafe near by. Bags took their cues from beer rondels in an espresso head way. The culture joined in and colours became inspired from (E)’61 Muscle cars. The concept of a brand guideline defining logo clear space didn’t seem to fit, which worked well with everyone involved.

Les Mills International | with Nathan Baird. Product design by 4ormfunction.

As part of the innovation team creating a better experience for the LMI Pump classes, I spoke with and learnt how gym owners made the most of the space they had and the equipment taking up that space. Weight equipment were expensive in terms of cost of product and use of floor space. Excercise classes were the main income producer of their businesses by a significant margin. I then both joined in and watched the classes. Like any class, all the smart kids were up the front, and all the naughty kids were in the back row (mainly watching the smart kids bending down).

Amongst these strengths and weaknesses of a varied group, one thing held together all the awkward moments. There was a scramble and battle for the weights a participant needed, and an aggressive declaration of the floor space to use them in. There was a repetition of equipment required and a difficulty of adjustment that defined how much space one needed to occupy, and time between sets. The clear requirement was a bespoke weight system designed to match the needs of the class.


As a brand Smokai is about battles won and trophys taken. It’s about hunting out the good food, using sharp tools, starting fires, and recounting the effort while you stand with your mates around the bbq, the story growing with the flavour until both become the stuff legends are made of.

As a product it is a hot and cold food smoker and range of smoking woods. As a culture it sits within a true passion for both the act of smoking but also how you got what you are smoking - the fly-fishing, the hunting, the diving - or the legend of it - and reliving all the best moments.

Harvest Cider

Harvest shows the hand crafted tradition of Gisbornes finest, and one of New Zealands oldest amongst the flood of new cider makers. For those who appreciate the originals and the authentics, the cues of a more unprocessed product reigns with Gisbornes sun as the quality mark of the regions beautiful purity.

Design Thinking Resources | for Nathan Baird

Designing the tools for how great organisations think forms a very strong pillar for an innovative culture. For a designer interested in the content it is a joy.

Cookie Time | for Dow Design

There is nothing like a big cookie to bring a smile to your face, but one does need to have the appetite to match such greatness.

Alvin Infant Formula | for Dow Design

Many kiwi produced baby formulas enter the chinese market as a tourism brochure of how beautiful New Zealand is. Alvin was designed to fit in New Zealand first, allowing nature and growth for Alvin to be styled for us. It presents each stage as part of a wider pattern, and the nature of science as part of that pattern. Each blossoming flower a cog driving a greater system. Nature’s science feeling at home in your nursery while sitting on your kitchen bench.

Thomas & Rose | for Brother Design

Before we had pharmacies, we had apothecarists who crafted concoctions both weird and wonderful. In the fine heritage of magnificent elixers and beautiful partnerships we have Mr Thomas, the curious scientist with a penchant for experiments, and Miss Rose, who tells Mr Thomas when he’s on to a winner. The collection of experiments is continuous, and each success a work of art.

ARA Wine Estate | for Designworks

An origin mark showing the provenance of the many wines produced from the single estate of ARA. Ara can mean pathway - the mark representing how the estate was formed from a river flowing between two mountains. The mark itself designed to work as logo, seal, and texture.

Logo Design | for various

The simplest mark to group an organisation and present itself to customers and competition.

When to lead and what to follow | for various

From many varied and wonderful projects comes the undertanding some need to break the rules and some need to follow them. Printed money needs to look like money or it’s not trusted. A project from 1999 to celebrate the turn of the millennium. A mainstream positioning was a premium offer in our market. Tiger beer was underground cool in 2010 NZ.