The Design Conference 2024

Australia's Favourite Festival of Design.

Finding and owning your creative flow is a life-long pursuit that requires guidance, discipline and an open mind. The Design Conference is a wonderfully confronting experience that introduces you to your dream future, how to grasp it and the connections that can make it a reality. Expand your mind and let the transformation begin.


of Deem Journal
Learn more about Nu Goteh

Nu is the principal of Room for Magic, a studio focused on research, strategy, and design. They work with organisations to foster equitable connections with communities. Additionally, He co-founded and is the creative director of Deem Journal, an award-winning publication exploring design through the lens of social practice, aiming to integrate dignity into the design process. Beyond his roles, he serves on the boards of design organisations like The Society of Experienced Graphic Designers and AIANY.

Nu Goteh speaks about (re)Designing Design: What does it mean to design for dignity?

(re)Designing Design: What does it mean to design for dignity?
We’ve been trained to design with empathy. But here’s the thing: empathy will only get you so far. How can we as designers create means, ways and opportunities for those most closely affected by inequities to participate in creating the change they want to see in the world? In this Talk, Nu of Deem Journal and Room For Magic will demonstrate how centring community and dignity in a design practice can lead to a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable design future. We’ll look at how we as designers can move beyond creating objects, structures, and artifacts to create the conditions for radical change in response to emerging social issues. And finally, we’ll reshape and relook at design as an opportunity — one that creates the conditions for others to thrive.

of Independent
Learn more about Olivia King

Liv is an independent creative director specialising in branding, typography and digital products. She was recently head of design at health tech company Eucalyptus in Sydney, and previously design director at For The People. She has a passion for purposeful, accessible design and helping enrich the lives of others.

Olivia King speaks about Make believe: Creating work you want to see in the world.

Make believe: Creating work you want to see in the world.
What’s it like to design independently? How do you navigate the fears of financial instability, loneliness and lack of confidence? How do you work up the courage to say no to projects and use your skills for good? In this Talk, seasoned independent designer Liv King will walk us through the experience of going it alone. It’s a story of missing and making opportunities, being vulnerable and taking risks, and the surprising benefits of working on things you really, truly believe in. She’ll give us a no-holds-barred look at the practical realities of running your own studio — the good, the not-so-good, and the uncomfortably confronting. We’ll also see how she works as a multidisciplinary designer, traversing branding, type and digital product design, and how she puts her values first when deciding which projects to take on. Packed full of wisdom and real-world examples, this TDC Talk is a must-hear for any designers looking to start their own studio.

of Re Sydney
Learn more about Patrick Guerrera

Pat is the global CEO of Re and a member of the D&AD Advisory Board. As a first-generation immigrant and self-described ‘uncool ageing homo’, Pat doesn’t fit the stereotype of a globally successful CEO. At TDC, he’ll share his learnings as an outsider rising to the industry's top.

Patrick Guerrera speaks about Building an International Creative Empire.

Building an International Creative Empire.
What does it take to start a design business and keep it going (and growing) for 15 years? Pat will unpack 10 key learnings from his time at Re, discussing everything from the death of the old-school creative director, to the challenges of leading diverse teams, to the responsibility that comes with working with brands that reach all of Australia.

of Pennybridge
Learn more about Paul & Kiel

Bi-products of the extreme sports industry, Kiel have tread similar, but different paths throughout their careers. Kiel has taken the more analogue approach, forging his career through illustration, murals and art. With a shared love for brand, the newly assembled team at Pennybridge is merging all their skill sets to create good.

Paul & Kiel speaks about The importance of clear communication in forging a successful creative studio.

The importance of clear communication in forging a successful creative studio.
Running a small creative business is a rollercoaster. We’ll give you a raw, honest, unfiltered peak behind the curtain of running our design studios, the journey from freelance to studio and then to our new partnership. Good design and creativity are crucial but communication, clarity, integrity and resilience have proven equally important in forging a successful creative studio.

of Bare Brand Strat
Learn more about Richie Meldrum

Richie Meldrum - taller than you might expect, the accent you’ll struggle to place, quite a shiny forehead. A brand consultant, educator and founder of the online brand strategy learning program Bare Brand Strat.

Richie Meldrum speaks about The cogs behind brand creation are already turning

The cogs behind brand creation are already turning
You could probably charge double for design projects. We’re not talking about arbitrarily raising your rates. We’re talking about showing your process and giving your clients a valuable business asset to boot. In this Talk, Bare Brand Strat’s Richie Meldrum lifts the lid to see what happens when you put insight, inference and storytelling behind your design projects. He believes good designers are already doing strategic work — they’re just not charging for it. You’ll learn how to pitch, sell and finally deliver brand strategy in a practical and actionable way for your clients. Strategy gives the assist, design scores the goal. But before you can lay it up, you need to see it all laid out.

of Mucho
Learn more about Rob & Dom

Mucho is an international design studio with offices in Barcelona, Melbourne, Paris and San Francisco. Great design is a great idea. It speaks to your head and your heart. It makes you feel different, and think differently. It makes you remember, and respond. That’s what they aim for: to go from insight, to ideas, to design that connects. To craft work with intelligence, beauty and precision.

Rob & Dom speaks about Embracing the power of Collective Intelligence.

Embracing the power of Collective Intelligence.
At Mucho they have two goals: The first is that everything they do as designers must have an idea, it cannot just look nice. The second is it has to look nice. Without visual beauty, even a good idea will not pass. To achieve this we embrace a guiding philosophy known as ‘Collective Intelligence’. Join Mucho partners Rob Duncan (San Francisco) and Dominic Hofstede (Melbourne) as they unveil the driving forces that bind over 40 creatives together globally — crafting idea-centric solutions that resonate emotionally and raise a smile or two along the way.

of DashDigital®
Learn more about Rogan Jansen

Rogan Jansen, hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, is a Creative Director with over 12 years of experience in the digital landscape, collaborating with global brands like Nike, MTN, Kia, Unilever, and more across Africa, Europe, and America.

Rogan Jansen speaks about Embracing Uncertainty: Demystifying the Notion of Having it All Figured Out.

Embracing Uncertainty: Demystifying the Notion of Having it All Figured Out.
Exploring the unpredictable journey of running a design studio, where ambiguity reigns, and success emerges amongst the chaos. No pretence, no shame. We can acknowledge that even founders and design directors deal with uncertainty.

of Pipit Resturant
Learn more about Yen Trinh

Yen Trinh became an “accidental restaurateur” of an award-winning regional restaurant and shares how collaborative design thinking is used in Pipit Restaurant.

Yen Trinh speaks about What happens when a designer marries a chef?

What happens when a designer marries a chef?
As creatives, we often wonder how our skills could be applied to other industries. After all, we’ve spent years honing our listening, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. Do we have much to offer outside of the world of design? In this Talk, we’ll hear from Yen Trinh — designer and co-owner of Pipit Restaurant. She’ll walk us through how design thinking addresses real business challenges, creates a positive team culture and helps advocate for industry change. We’ll explore how prototyping, collaboration and system design are transferable skills and can be adapted to various career paths. And, finally, we’ll see that it’s okay to be different — designers can (and should!) step outside of the typical agency career trajectory and use their skills and creativity to innovate other industries in unconventional and exciting ways.

of Designworks
Learn more about Anzac Tasker

Tihirau is his mountain, Whangaparāoa is his river, Tauira Mai Tawhiti is his ancestral canoe, Kauaetangohia is his safe place. Tēnei tā Apanui mokopuna — Anzac is a tribal descendant of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui. Group Cultural Creative Director of Designworks. Co-President of The Designers Institute of New Zealand. Convenor of Toitanga (Best Awards indigenous co-design category). Mark maker.Intro

Anzac Tasker speaks about Embracing design guardianship.

Embracing design guardianship.
As designers, what is our responsibility in exercising our gifts in response to our world’s challenges? Addressing cultural inequalities. Challenging Western design normalities. Confronting colonial trauma. In this refreshing and poignant Talk, Anzac Tasker will share how we as designers must view design as a positive change agent and blend IQ, EQ and CQ (cultural intelligence) to create fertile ground for the next generation to thrive in. Anzac will introduce us to the practice of design guardianship and our collective responsibilities as designers. We will explore how iconic marks and language systems draw upon indigenous wisdom, and how indigenous design solutions paired with contemporary design methods can help us compose a true sense of place and collective identity. And most importantly, how if you design with purpose, the rest will take care of itself.

of For The People
Learn more about Arielle & Claudia

From complex challenges to compelling stories, Claudia (Strategy Director) and Arielle (Senior Storyteller & Strategist) are fundamental to guiding and defining the work of a globally recognised brand agency, For The People. As the strategy/storytelling leads on some of FTP’s most successful and awarded projects, the pair have formed an uncommonly strong partnership (and a slight co-dependency). With a shared desire to uplift unheard voices, unearth moving stories and unleash the power of problems, they’re the vital link between challenge and solution — allowing FTP to build brands that are honest, ambitious and always...for the people.

Arielle & Claudia speaks about The Problem Paradox: How strategy and storytelling can reshape our relationship with problems.

The Problem Paradox: How strategy and storytelling can reshape our relationship with problems.
The creative industry loves to talk about solutions. But what if our greatest asset is problems? What if the very thing we like to avoid — the thing we see as an unwelcome or uncomfortable obstacle to doing our most significant work — is, in fact, the most essential part? In this talk, For the People’s Claudia and Arielle will argue the importance of problems in our work and in the world. Drawing on their experience as strategists/storytellers, they’ll explore what it could look like if we embraced complexity, sought out friction, and saw the potential in problems.

of Play
Learn more about Casey Martin

Once when asked to explain his approach to design, Casey stood up, bent his knees, focused his eyes on the ground, and mimed a slow steady golf swing. When asked to elaborate, he headed to the kitchen and began preparing J. Kenji-Lopez Alt’s recipe for late-night tortilla jian bing. When asked to put his answer in words, he replied “Excuse me for a sec” and left the room. Moments later he reappeared in a wetsuit with a surfboard in hand and said, “Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated. That’s Paul Rand.” And that’s Casey.

Casey Martin speaks about Down With Pretentiousness.

Down With Pretentiousness.
Dope clients. Solid income. A portfolio that lands incredible projects. But how do you get there? This year, Play Studio’s Casey Martin will take the stage at TDC to flip the traditional path to studio ‘success’ on its head. He’ll talk royal f*ck ups, huge setbacks and how sometimes the image we project doesn’t exactly align with reality. You’ll see how a designer with no formal design went from Admin Assistant for Leo Burnett’s Head of New Business to founder of his studio, working with some of tech’s biggest names, all while keeping it real. Real simple.

of Roes Coach
Learn more about Corine Roesner

Corine is a high-performance mind coach with a global client base, a psychological approach and extensive knowledge in the field of neuro-linguistic programming. Like you, she understands and has witnessed the importance for ambitious people to feel clear, confident and in control of where they are heading, so it's no surprise these values are at the forefront of the work she does. As a master neuro-linguistic programmer and influential high-performance mind coach, Corine combines these techniques, alongside her proven framework and unwavering belief, to continue to attract ambitious clients who are determined to be their best.

Corine Roesner speaks about Your conference head start: a mindset reset to make the most of our experience together.

Your conference head start: a mindset reset to make the most of our experience together.
Whether this is your first or fifteenth year at TDC, we know your energy impacts the learnings and opportunities you’ll gain from our three days together. Before we kick off, we invite you to join us for a short session designed to get you in the right mindset and help make the most of your experience. Mind coach and conference favourite Corine will guide the session, gently prompting us to explore our ‘why’ as creatives. Together, we’ll discover the ‘why’ in our work and the actions we take to fuel our passion, motivation and purpose. You’ll leave with helpful tools to take with you throughout the three days of the conference and beyond. Our goal? To help you learn the process of tuning into your ‘why’ and using it to propel you to even greater levels of success.

of R/GA
Learn more about Cristina & Anita

Anita is a Creative Director and Senior UX/UI Designer. Skilled in Product Design, Branding and UX/UI in consumer goods and tech industries. She has a BA in Advertising at RMIT University and studied UX/UI at Monash University.

Cristina & Anita speaks about Designing for Inclusivity.

Designing for Inclusivity.
If you’re not considering accessibility from the start, you’re not designing inclusively. About 1 in 5 Australians have a disability, excluding neurodiverse people. For R/GA Australia creative leaders Anita and Cristina, a deep understanding of the audience’s needs is needed to create accessible UX, copy and visual designs for brands like Toyota, Nike and Google. Learn how you too can create a more human future by bringing accessible design into your practice.

of Studio Emmi
Learn more about Emmi Salonen

Emmi, hailing from Finland and having worked in New York and Italy, established Studio Emmi in London, UK, in 2005. Her approach emphasises the role of design in bringing people together, fostering wellbeing, and making sustainable choices. She is the author of ‘Common Interest: Documents’ and a Domestika course ‘Sustainable Visual Identities: Create Positive Impact.’

Emmi Salonen speaks about What happens when doing what you love burns you out?

What happens when doing what you love burns you out?
67% of professional creatives regularly experience a lack of motivation. And just 7% consider their workday to be close to ideal. These stats confirm a well-known fact in our industry: creatives are burnt and so hyper-focused on output that we often overlook or completely neglect our need for input. After a year-long sabbatical, Emmi developed a model, Creative Ecosystem, that helps creatives sustain motivation, avoid burnout and cultivate self-kindness. Using design thinking as a tool, Emmi demonstrates how you can best use your existing resources to maintain your creative well-being. Grounded in scientific research, Emmi’s inspiring Talk will help you reinvigorate creative energy, foster resilience and achieve a more balanced work-life dynamic. Whether you’re a seasoned creative or just starting, Emmi’s empowering message will motivate you to create your most innovative work while caring for yourself.

of Orbeh Studio
Learn more about Guillermo Flores

Guillermo Flores is a Mexican designer and illustrator specialising in advertising illustration, retouching, post-production and digital collage. He has collaborated with companies around the world serving as a creative and art director in multiple projects, developing illustration, brand identity, strategy, planning and execution.

Guillermo Flores speaks about Unlocking, shaping and expressing our distinct voice.

Unlocking, shaping and expressing our distinct voice.
As artists, we need to have a distinct ‘voice’ that characterises our work and draws others to work with us. If we want to stand out and create authentic, meaningful work, then we need to discover it. Not only that, but we need to learn how to adapt it to work in multiple projects, areas, and contexts, all different from each other. Guillermo Flores has over 20 years of experience as an art director, designer, and illustrator. In this Talk, he’ll demonstrate how finding your voice as a designer is not a singular method but a continuous and deeply personal process. We’ll learn how to unlock our unique flavour of creativity and shape and express the voice that distinguishes us.

of By Fiction
Learn more about Hadzidy & Ana

Had is an award-winning designer with an extensive portfolio in brand and digital experiences. Together, they propel ByFiction’s impact in the creative industry by securing the studio’s position in the market, enhancing internal processes, and building true partnerships with clients and creatives.

Hadzidy & Ana speaks about Building new realities for a better creative industry in Mexico.

Building new realities for a better creative industry in Mexico.
In recent years, foreign businesses have dominated the creative scene in Mexico. To add to the complexity, Mexican creatives also find themselves facing many of the same challenges we face here in Australia — mass layoffs, big leaps forward in technology, and the struggle to find one’s place in a constantly shifting industry. In this Talk, ByFiction’s Hadzidy and Ana will walk us through the journey their studio has taken to navigate Mexico’s ever-changing creative landscape. You’ll see how their team has created an oasis for makers, contributing to the resurgence of local talent that is reclaiming and revitalising the industry. You’ll learn strategies for navigating and winning in increasingly challenging environments, including collaborative approaches, culture development and nurturing creativity. And, you’ll be introduced to the vibrant Mexican spirit driving ByFiction and local independent creators to quietly rise and take over the industry they all helped to build.

of Independent
Learn more about Julie Solvstrom

Julie is a Danish lettering artist and illustrator soaking up the beauty of British Columbia. Julie’s playful take on type and illustration is a testament to her love for literature, nature and human connection. Her work is colourful, joyful and bright. It reflects a mind that’s curious about the world and forever hungry for experiences, emotions, and new ways to see the world.

Julie Solvstrom speaks about Overcoming the fear of changing course, and the underrated power of taking things slow.

Overcoming the fear of changing course, and the underrated power of taking things slow.
When it comes to risky career moves, not all of us are prepared to flip our desks upside down and quit our jobs on a whim. Despite what the loudest voices in our industry tell us about going all in, grabbing opportunities and acting fast — sometimes moving slowly is the perfect way to proceed. At TDC this year, Julie will provide an honest glimpse into the first year of a terrifying yet hugely rewarding career pivot. After dedicating a decade of her life to graphic design, Julie started working as a lettering artist — after work, on weekends, quietly entering competitions, sharing her work and taking on commissions. Until one day, she was ready. In this talk, Julie will speak about patience, trusting the process, and nurturing a curious mind. She’ll demonstrate that, even when you’re taking things slow, putting your work out there is still the scariest thing in the world. And how we, as an industry, can collectively create a culture that celebrates progress rather than perfection.

Learn more about Kelvin Soh

Kelvin is the founder of the award-winning creative studio DDMMYY. Formed in 2010, the studio works on branding, packaging, and communication projects worldwide. Past and present clients include Klim Type Foundry, American Apparel, Proctor & Gamble, Burly Gin, The Gospel, and Boring Oat Milk. In 2022, Kelvin joined STILL as creative director, to work closely together on projects that are essential, meaningful, and valuable for the long-term future of New Zealand.

Kelvin Soh speaks about The search for the right kind of wrong.

The search for the right kind of wrong.
Why do we work the way we do? Is it because that's how things are done at our job? Because the client wants it that way? Because of our education, or something we saw online? How and why do we make our creative choices? What if stepping away from what we think we "should" do, and trying out ideas that seem wrong, could actually lead to much better results? At this year’s TDC, Kelvin Soh will make the case for chasing after "the right kind of wrong." He believes it opens up new ways to stand out and connect with audiences, helping to build brands that really click with people. Shaped by his time in academia and his work in the film and music industries, his unique way of thinking about branding, marketing, and packaging design has helped create some of the most unforgettable independent CPG brands in New Zealand. We'll look at his atypical path from being a sceptical young designer to a creative director responsible for crafting the strategy for some of New Zealand’s most celebrated brands. An invitation to rethink how we approach creative problem-solving, the key idea we'll explore is his belief that to really understand what something is, we need to understand what it isn’t.

of Think Packaging
Learn more about Mat Bogust

Mat Bogust, Think Packaging’s founder, calls himself a “cardboard engineer”–a title he created for himself for two reasons–first, it sounds cool, and second, it describes his specialised niche in the packaging design world. Mat loves cardboard and salsa dip, though not together.

Mat Bogust speaks about Blood, sweat & papercuts.

Blood, sweat & papercuts.
ou dream of starting a business that uniquely addresses a need within the creative industry. Even better, this business will involve you working on projects you love, every single day. You’ve envisioned your future, created the branding and even purchased a URL. However, the fear of failure and financial loss prevent you from taking the next step. Now what? In this Talk, Think Packaging’s Mat Bogust will walk you through the evolution of bringing a brand new concept, structural packaging design, to the marketplace. You’ll learn how he’s remained joyful, even when things felt uncertain, for over a decade. How, in fact, following joy, rather than chasing money, is the only way to run a creative business long-term. And, finally, you’ll learn how taking opportunities and saying, ‘yes’ has earned him a place to collaborate with the world’s best.

of Independent
Learn more about Mat Voyce

Mat is your ‘Friendly Neighborhood Type Designer & Animator’. He specializes in 2D type design and is known for his pioneering style of exploring illustrative kinetic typography. His work infuses letterforms with character and has been seen in animated GIF’s, title sequences, music videos & motion identities for clients & broadcast globally.

Mat Voyce speaks about Game changing motion.

Game changing motion.
As soon as you treat a word or phrase like a living character, its expression feels recognizable and oddly relatable. Through a process of pure experimentation, risk and ‘spamming the world with his type work’, Mat reveals how he turned a side passion for typography into a popular niche of motion design which has helped bring campaigns to life across the globe.

Learn more about Melissa Baillache

As Executive Creative Director at Koto, Mel works with organisations to turn challenges into creative solutions that put people first. She is a firm believer that design can drive change and is excited by work that makes people smile, think differently and reconsider misconceptions or assumptions. With 15+ years of experience across branding, digital and advertising, Mel has collaborated with a broad range of clients and has seen her craft recognised by various international award bodies Including D&AD, New York Type Directors Club, Best and AGDA. She also keeps close ties with design education as a D&AD New Blood mentor and guest lecturer – passionate about helping to grow the next generation of creatives.

Melissa Baillache speaks about Kindness: A New Standard for Creative Success

Kindness: A New Standard for Creative Success
Creativity can be a ruthless pursuit. As an industry, we preoccupy ourselves with the myth of the visionary genius, whilst simultaneously perpetuating the idea that some people are simply ‘too nice’ to produce greatness. In doing so, are we missing the opportunity to interrogate what can make this industry we love better? For us, for the work, and the future? This talk explores whether a fundamental shift to kindness and optimism can produce radical change. And if contrary to popular belief, niceness can be powerful?


Early Release — SOLD OUT First Release — SOLD OUT Second Release — SOLD OUT Early Release — Save 10% Early Release — Full Price.
Promocode: Neon-Moire

Virtual Location


Brisbane Powerhouse
119 Lamington St
4005, Brisbane

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