Surya Prasetya launches Studio SP—GD

Published:  April 22, 2014

It’s been a full two years since desktop sat down and fired some questions at Surya Prasetya in the aftermath of his victory at the 2011 Create Design Awards, winning the Emerging Talent category. A freelance designer then, Prasetya has come a long way, having just launched his own business, Studio SP—GD, with a load of new clients and subtle, confident work. We catch him for a short catch-up interview:

What urged you to open up your own studio?
It’s what I always wanted to do. To have a nice space for working on your own projects. I think freelancing meant having to get comfortable instantly in new environments, and this just wasn’t for me.

Do you prefer working with a few people around you or alone? What impact do you think this has on your work? 
I like working with people around me, it’s more of an open environment but keeps it enjoyable and I think this helps with the way we work and to keep you upbeat.

Viewing invitation for Thursday Sunday’s AW14 clothing line

Lookbook for Thursday Sunday AW14

What is the structure of the studio?
I’m the only graphic designer, but I work with both my brother Ari and friend Mick, who works in the digital development side of things. We all take on various roles where needed.

Since completing your degree, what has working within the industry taught you that university never did?
I think the main thing that university doesn’t teach you is the business side of design. That was a big learning experience.

Wedding invite for Adrian and Iris

Can you describe your transition from study to practice?
After university, worked in the industry for just over a year before taking on my own projects.

When you’re stuck or have hit a wall, what do you do to feel inspired or productive again?
Don’t force it. Completely move away and do something different. Things always pop in you head unconsciously.

Print materials for the Magic Johnson Designer Sale event

Print materials for the Magic Johnson Designer Sale event

What are you hoping to work on, or with?
I’d like to continue working on projects with good people. I am not necessarily concerned about the project’s scale, but rather the interest the project holds, and how rewarding it would be to work on.

In our last interview, you spoke of a desire to get overseas. What draws you to continue working in Melbourne, and more so, establish your studio here?
It’s always been home, so it’s naturally where I wanted to establish myself.

Identity for photographer Samm Blake

Subtle detailing within the dentity for photographer Samm Blake

Do you plan for SP-GD to speak with one cohesive voice, or do you hope for it to act as a platform for individual styles and practices?
A single cohesive voice. It is nice to be able to portray a sense of familiarity through all the work you produce.

Are there any principles or ideas that influence the way you work?
I like to experiment within my own rules. This helps give a unison to our work. I think it’s about trying to create the right system, then adding the extra embellishments that support — and give beauty — to the idea.

Annual review publication for Fifo360

Check out Studio SP—GD’s new site and projects (including a collection of older archived work) at

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