Design means business: a series by AGDA

Published:  July 1, 2015

Let’s assume, for a moment, that the following is the undisputed truth — for the sake of argument. Businesses need designers to create an identity and make them visible to clients in order to flourish. And designers need businesses to employ them for their skills in order to make a living and to pay their staff.

In order for this to happen, designers and their clients need to be able to communicate clearly with each other: you’ve all probably got your own tales of miscommunication and the subsequent woe and failure which resulted.


So whether you’re a graduate, design studio director, or a client of design services, come along and join AGDA Victoria to discover emerging design trends, how successful businesses function on a day-to-day basis, and how insightful design can transform your product, brand, or business into whatever wonder you so desire.


The AGDA Design Means Business series will explore case studies, and provide thought-provoking presentations and seminars as a means of delivering to you the collective wisdom of our talented and diverse range of presenters. Four events in four months, focused on the business of design and the value design brings to business.

And here’s the first exciting event of the series.


Whether you’re starting your own design business or looking to improve your current one, come along and hear five design-business owners discuss the lessons they have learnt from the past and how they’re gearing up for the next five years. You’ll learn the secrets of success from industry leaders, how to avoid failure, and the challenges they see bearing down on their design practices. Individual presentations will be followed by a panel discussion on what the future holds and how to deal with it.

How do I avoid failure? How do I bounce back from the challenges I face? How do I grow my business within the rapidly advancing environment of tech. growth? How do I adapt my business to counter the many changes the design industry is facing?

These are the questions which will be answered at this intimate sharing session, to be held on July 13, at the Wheeler Centre.

The speakers are:

Quentin Brown
Canyon Brand

With an international career that spans 20 years, including time with top agencies in the UK, Asia and South America, Quentin has established a reputation as one of Australia’s leading creative talents. Specifically, that talent is creating, rebuilding and growing great brands in almost every category of business imaginable – Metlink, Sustainability Victoria, Grocon, RACV, Channel 7, TRUenergy, Richmond Football Club, Sacred Heart Mission,, and Our Watch, to name just a few.

Helen Watts
Watts Design

Helen’s been creating meaningful and resonant communications for 25 years. Multi award winning Watts Design’s creative approach and conceptual focus puts ideas at the forefront to create compelling brands and designs. Working closely with clients, Helen oversees every aspect of the creative process to ensure the right market outcome. And she loves clients that are passionate about their work. Over the years, Helen’s designs have gained attention from clients, colleagues and judges. Her and her studio’s work is published in prestigious peer journals, and she writes on design for national and international journals.

Helen’s determination to give back to the industry saw her serve on the Council of the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) for five years, with three years as State President. She regularly sits on design award panels and guest lectures at universities and institutions, and has served on various education and government advisory groups.

Nick Davis

Nick is GM of Interbrand in Melbourne. He is responsible for managing the studio and its outputs, as well as heading up new business and brand strategy. Nick has 14 years experience across brand consulting, advertising and design. He started his career as an account planner with McCann-Erickson in the UK before moving to Sparkler, a media and tech brand consultancy. There, he worked on brands including Nokia, Microsoft, Virgin Media, and the BBC. Nick moved to Melbourne in 2010 and after a short stint at SapientNitro joined Interbrand as Strategy Director. His main clients include Medibank, Australia Post, Telstra, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, and Museum Victoria.

Andy Sargent
South South West

Andy Sargent is Co-Founder and Creative Director of SouthSouthWest, which delivers creative, intelligent outcomes for clients and industries, from local start-ups to Nike and Google. Andy listens intently and reflects deeply to drive the creative process with energy and purpose. He is a true collaborative thinker with strong industry links, having been a councillor of AGDA (Vic), an Australian Africa Business Council board member, and a prolific public speaker on all things design and creativity.

Laura Camilleri
Grosz Co.Lab

Hyper-curious and pragmatic, Laura Camilleri is a founding Director of Grosz Co.Lab. Her ideation-led practice is characterised by rigour, inspiration and expression. Her career to-date has seen her in creative direction and facilitator roles with local and overseas brands. Laura’s collaborators include Australian Red Cross, The Arts Centre, Girl Guides Victoria, MISF, GF Smith, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, CFA and Deakin Motion.Lab.

Discussion Host
Vincent Lazzara – Bluetorch

Vincent is a brand strategist, marketing consultant, and current AGDA (Vic) Vice-Chair. For over 20 years he’s been developing brand, marketing and creative strategies across most industry sectors. From luxury brands to bluechips, SMEs to start-ups, he has developed brand platforms, repositioning strategies and strategic marketing plans for organisations like the AFL, Museum Victoria, Deakin University, Gymnastics Australia, Nobody Denim, Parks Victoria and Ansett Australia. Coming from a creative background Vincent understands the importance of a brand’s visual expression, and proudly collaborates with some of Australia’s best design studios, agencies

To purchase tickets or find out more, click here.


AGDA Design Means Business – FUTURE Five


Wheeler Centre
76 Little Lonsdale Street

13 July 2015
6:30 – 8:30pm

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