Scratch Chat

Milennial designers are sitting at the big kids table

Milennial designers are sitting at the big kids table

Trying to find a good work/life balance. That was the ideal for many years but now people are beginning to shift this thinking into work/life integration. For an always-on society in rapid adoption of mobile devices and cloud computing the line between personal and work life has become very blurred.

A designer needs to connect with users differently than when designing for enterprise software that lives inside the corporate network and isn’t used “off-prem.” In a mobile world, users are more than their roles or permission levels; they’re people who are busy trying to do a good job while giving their families and friends the attention they deserve.

Young designers seem to have an intuitive understanding of this. They’re the first generation to grow up with mobile devices and the first to consider their digital lives as meaningful as their physical lives. Now that they’re having kids of their own, some of them are checking to see which URLs are available before they settle on baby names.

However, there is no age limit or expiration date on idealism values or business acumen. Designers from other generations can enhance their own skill sets by adopting some traits of their millennial colleagues.

Embrace Uncertainty – the design process is an exploration, rather than a solution

Receive and give with grace – don’t get too attached

Dig deeper – keep peeling back the layers of the onion

Build relationships – keep others up to date on your progress

Abstract: The Art of Design

Abstract: The Art of Design

Netflix’s new series Abstract helps people to not only see the built designed world, but understands how it gets that way. Here at Scratch we’ve been patiently waiting for it’s launch as we can find common ground in the show that design is not perceived as a high-brow quality of objects owned by rich people but a way of thinking.

The series focuses on the lives and ideas of creators trying to tease out the drama of what it takes to bring things to life.

At one point Crawford tries to explain her material choices for Cathay Pacific’s swank airport lounges. The relatively inexpensive limestone of the hallway floors, she says, counterbalances the luxurious jade onyx on the walls. The rough, wooden tables complement the soft, mohair velvet–upholstered chairs. So, sure, expensive people talking rarified aesthetics, right? But Crawford insists it’s about more than superficial beauty. “When people walk in, they don’t know why they feel the way they feel,” she says. “But it’s actually all been orchestrated.” Understanding the intent behind design won’t necessarily change the way you feel about the world around you, but it might change the way you look at it.

Less is More

Less is More

A movement towards simplicity has gripped the western world. The ideology of Minimalism was not always at the forefront of my mind for something to aspire to until I read the book – the Life-changing Magic of Tidying. Marie Kondo helps to find the balance between hoarding and minimalism by discarding any items in our lives that don’t spark joy. No joy, no keep.

The Japanese art of decluttering may start in the home but transcends through the mind through clarity, letting go of baggage or future anxieties. You learn to love what you keep and only collecting pieces you truly love. For many, the wardrobe is a place that sees the most drastic change. Getting dressed is no longer a chore, holes are easily identified within the wardrobe, treating your things with respect will make them look better and cleaning is so much easier!

Some take this concept to a next level by completing the ultimate minimalist fashion challenge: Project 333 – A concept that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. Our studio superwoman/stylist Meredith has completed the challenge initially as a vehicle for sharing her viewpoint on style but it quickly evolved into what felt like a public social experiment. She realised good things take time and that rings true in every area of our life.

“Time is the luxury – everything is going too fast. To make something beautiful, you have to take the time with it.”

Meredith will share her experience and show viewers in a live styling session how you can “be more with less,” at The Thistle Inn, on the 11th March starting at 2pm. Tickets available from for $40 or $35 with a group if you purchase 5 or more.

MAS Graduate Recruitment Pack

MAS Graduate Recruitment Pack

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MAS approached us to bring to life their annual Graduate campaign; an initiative targeted at 1000 professional graduating students.

MAS wanted to extend their relationship with the students beyond the school gates by encouraging them to sign up for a free personal review with one of MAS’ trusted advisers.

In the past, the campaign was found to be lacking in engagement and consistency. Gifts were handed out to the students that were timely to set-up and hadn’t gone hand-in-hand with booking a personal review. There was also question as to how much the students valued the gifts.

Scratch created a tool that could be distributed and used by the advisers when meeting with the students. We set up an online platform, engaged social media and put in place a prize draw to add extra incentive for the students to join the MAS family.

We designed branded gift boxes, pre packed with key-tags that were handed out to the graduating group. The key tags were good quality, and branded with a ‘class of 2016 lock up’. These became celebratory keepsakes for the students while alluring to the Vespa scooter grand prize giveaway that was to be won upon the campaigns finale.

Students could sign up for their personal review online and choose from a selection of gifts to be received upon following through with their review, creating incentive and also ensuring money was well spent.

I will take care

I will take care

When our long standing client and friend Dr Sam Hazledine from MedRecruit contacted us to help him change the face of the Medical profession we jumped at the chance, whilst our task was a simple job of presenting the signatures gathered in his petition, the outcome of this document was to be profound.

Dr Sam Hazledine was asked by the World Medical Association to speak at their annual General Assembly in Taiwan and present to them his research into Doctor well-being and why he felt the Declaration of Geneva needed to be updated.

Dr Hazledine’s research found that 87% of Doctors were stressed beyond levels that are productive, whilst another study in New Zealand showed that over 50% of doctors are experiencing symptoms of burnout and over half would not choose medicine as a career again. The Health profession is in crisis.

Through his research what he found was that those Doctors who were thriving had one area in common, they prioritised their well-being, not just their health. Rather than seeing it as putting themselves first, they see it as looking after themselves so that they can deliver the best standard of care to their patients.

Dr Hazledine has pushed to introduce a new paradigm, one that serves both patients and the profession, with the support of over 4,500 doctors, he proposed to introduce the following statement into the Declaration of Geneva:

“I WILL TAKE CARE of my health and well-being so I can provide care of the highest standard”

Its a simple but powerful shift that will enable Doctor’s provide the absolute best care consistently.

You can view Dr Hazledine being interviewed on TV One News here

– James

The Power of the Box

The Power of the Box

Packaging has power – enormous power – over what we buy. The fashions we wear express who we are. Packaging does that for products. We identify with a product because we believe that it does for us what we wish it to do. And as any brand manager will tell you, we buy the ‘brand promise’ and the package carries a lot of that promise.

It’s all about emotions. How does the brand make us feel, is what matters. Our first impressions, whether about products or people, are strong and quick. In many cases, packaging is the main influencer.

We also feel that we must finally start seriously caring about the environmental impact of unnecessary and eco-unfriendly packaging. Designers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers are the ones that can influence what happens in the packaging world.

Packaging manufacturers will follow and start making whatever the market wants to buy. Ideally, of course, manufacturers of packaging should also invest more in developing eco-friendly options, but if unfriendly options keep selling well, why would they change? Our daily behaviour proves that branding and packaging are important. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. But there is a bigger picture and it includes the inconvenient truth that much of packaging still ends up in garbage, in landfills or in the oceans.

The challenge is to keep the cool, the impact, the fun and the practical function of packaging, but to do it in a way that doesn’t do any damage.

– Victoria

We Heart the Hutt

We Heart the Hutt

James our Head Scratcher and Creative Director moved the Scratch Office from the city to Jackson Street a little over 2 years ago. We love being out this way, so thought it would be fitting to share the love and highlight a few of our favourite spots. The environment out here is certainly different to that of Cuba St and Lambton Quay, and we’re all continually stumbling upon little gems of places to eat, shop and hang out.

It’s no secret that Maranui’s new venture The Sea Shore Cabaret was a major talking point when it opened on the Esplanade in May, but there are also a bunch of smaller, lesser known places that we reckon are worth shouting about.

In true Scratch style, the following 3 finds are all food related! These are only a few from the large list of places the team has accumulated over many lunch breaks – all of which are worth driving out from town to check out…

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95 Years of MAS

95 Years of MAS

That’s not to mean we’ve been designing for these guys for 95 years but rather that MAS, one of our clients here at Scratch, are soon to hit a rather significant birthday.

MAS Medical Assurance Society are a strong ongoing business partner of ours. Over the years, Scratch have been lucky enough to work alongside MAS on a range (and we do mean a range) of branded collateral, business products and marketing tools to keep the company looking and communicating at its finest.

In the process, our designers have developed a strong sense of what it is to be MAS, with the ability to quickly and sharply ‘MAS-ify’ what ever design challenge is thrown our way. Scratch’s un-candid ability to coherently create work that’s on brand for MAS, has allowed the company to develop their visual identity and maintain a strong visual system across their full range of branded media.

– Stephanie O’Kane

The not so sweet 16

The not so sweet 16

2016 has been a turbulent year for many around the globe. Political unrest in the United Kingdom and the most bizarre American Presidency Campaign the world has ever seen has captured our attention and placed fear and doubt for the future of these countries.

Even the Olympics which is usually a unifying event for the world; celebrating talent, hard work and peak performance in the sporting arena has had the spotlight lifted from the podium. Instead our attention has been diverted to the Zika virus outbreak, a disgraced Russian team, villages poorly prepared for the scale of such an event and a police department under extreme pressure to keep a lid on crime.

With the departure of David Bowie, Prince and Mohammed Ali, some believe that the end of the world is nigh and all individual brilliance is under threat. There has been a outcry to keep the remaining ‘greats’ safe from the destructive powers of 2016, calling to round up the likes of David Attenborough and keep them from harms way.

Scratch Design have been fortunate to have avoided the 2016 curse thus far (touch wood). In fact, we have thrived. We’ve grown our client base, added two exceptionally talented people to our team and proudly built upon our project portfolio. That’s the great thing about momentum as it takes more than a few bumps in the road to stop progress.

The celebration of self-expression and creative freedom are still very much alive at the Scratching Post. 2016 is not a year of mourning for us but rather a time to celebrate the unique, the resilient, the cheeky, the groundbreaking and the brave.

Charlie Lee

Wellington on a Plate

Wellington on a Plate

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Here at Scratch we aren’t quiet about our love for food. We live, breathe and dream about it, so when we saw the guide come out for Wellington on a Plate there was a bit of buzz around the studio.

Our friends at The Thistle Inn are working hard to take out the title this year and we were stoked to be asked to be a part of it.

The Thistle Inn is New Zealand’s oldest surviving tavern and restaurant operating from it’s original site, so it goes as no surprise that a strong sense of history will be imbued into this year’s menu.

Victoria Wong