Semi Permanent – 2013

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June 5th, 2013


Our creatives all checked out the latest offering from the eagerly awaited Semi Permanent Design Conference. Here’s what they thought.

Maki – It was more interesting this year than past years. Because no one really talked about their work with big brand such as Nike etc. I really liked and enjoyed this year. My favorite was Sandra Dieckmann, I was amazed her illustrations, especially animals. Color pallet isn’t so bright, but just so beautiful and lovely. Roughness of her touch makes depth and craftiness of her illustration.

Adam – Semi-Permanent this year brought out a lot of home truths. It was an honest open hearted look at how some of todays prominent and influential creatives have and still struggle to make ends meet. The true insight, that success in the creative community is not entirely representative of financial success. Yet the common link for all of the speakers was the passion they carry for their work. An unstoppable force to just create, to “do stuff”, to take risks. The benefits while not always financial, allow them to do the work that is inspirational and somewhat personal. My Favourite:  Askew. Why? Because he embodies this ethos. A street artist who’s reward whilst honing his kraft was simply respect. Now older and wiser, it was great to see how he is looking for ways to grow his brand and turn his creative success into financial success. Exhibiting work and bringing the true authenticity of street art to the gallery space.

Amanda – This year at Semi-Permanent saw so many inspiring speakers it’s hard to pick out a favourite but I’d like to share the work of March Studio, Rodney Eggleston and Anne-Laure Cavigneaux, a partnership from Melbourne who are architects in the traditional sense but also venture into spatial design. They have developed an incredible collaboration with skincare brand Aesop, creating their interior store fit-outs. They totally get the brand and work closely with the client to develop retail interiors that are sustainable, creative and inspiring spaces. Each interior project is different and solves a problem such as using the packaging boxes of the product to create shelving and be stored as a ceiling display in a pop-up shop which can then be recycled when the store moves. Or using hundreds of glass bottles that would have been waste to create a ceiling installation. The bespoke crates that were made to ship the glass bottles where then used as shelving and storage in the store, brilliant! They acknowledge that retail environments have a limited lifespan and will be demolished as pop-up shops come and go or businesses close down so make a real effort to use materials that are recyclable. Overall a great presentation by two passionate creatives and I also have to admit to a slight girl crush for a French accent too  ; )

Mike – Another great show, Radar was a brilliant MC again and had to carry a couple of weaker presenters. However it was very inspirational and mind broadening. And a very real representation of the creative industry and it’s many challenges.

The presentation that most impressed me was from Digital Kitchen, an American based digital agency. They produced a campaign for the ‘Dodge Journey’. The campaign was based on driving in the purest sense of being an enjoyable journey of discovery. They took 3 Dodges on 3 picturesque journeys across the US and recored the entire journey. At the end of the journey the driver exited the vehicle and invited the viewers to find the car to own it. The campaign was released as TVC’s and via youtube.

What happen next was amazing. Thousands of people hit the road an began their own journeys in search of the 3 Doges. As a result, remote hotel occupancy went through the roof, cafés, restaurants, service stations were busier than they had ever been. Thousands of others stayed home researching the footage looking for clues and landmarks.

The result: the 3 doges were found, discussion and awareness of the dodge brand went through the roof and converted to record sales. A great example of a multi channeled campaign using the strength of social networking and and giving the customer experience rather than just a sales message.

Kim - I found this SP to be quite a resonating conference this year, with lots of insightful tidbits to takeaway and aspire to… no guts no glory, loose the fear, and reinvention through recession.

I think one of the more moving and motivational speakers for me was Dominic Hofstede (Hofstede Design – Melbourne)… 25 years in the graphic design industry – which is like saying almost at the beginning of the computer graphic design age, but instilling the craftsmanship of traditional graphic art with typographical training. Which probably explains why he instigated a website archive of what he considers prominent Australian graphic design work, and is involved in mentoring and nurturing new talent as well. He spoke heart-fully on the joys and destroys of being a graphic designer. His inspiration to me was it’s never too late to reignite the passion through reinvention – interestingly, one aspect of his company’s reinvention was collaborating with New Zealand’s current golden-boys of web, Sons & Co. In conclusion, I must thank Dominic, as I finally have an answer when someone asks me “what does a graphic designer do?”… “everyf#*@ingthing”