Category Archives: Design

Chilli & Vanilla Print Insert

Less is more?

Star and I are on a roll with design work for new startup Chilli & Vanilla!

Chilli & Vanilla boxes will include an A4 print insert which will describe the box contents. This mock-up threw Star into the deep end, but after some constructive to and fro this design has just been approved by the client.

For more info on Chilli & Vanilla visit:

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Chilli & Vanilla


Design Update: Some mock-up designs for Chilli & Vanilla, who are launching next month! Star (my design junior) has taken the helm on this job, and she’s been super happy that it’s not been car related!

Chilli & Vanilla encourage foodies to take a culinary tour around Aus. Sign up to get a box delivered to your door filled with select gourmet food made exclusively by Australian artisan producers.

For more info on Chilli & Vanilla visit:

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Lamspeed Logo Mocks


Late last year I took on Star as a junior and I’ve been consistently mentoring her ever since. We’ve been taking on whatever jobs we can get our hands on (it’s not about making money right now, but all about the experience!), and we’re really getting somewhere!

Check out this initial round of mockups (rough sketches) for Lamspeed Racing. We’re also working on an awesome foodie related job atm, refreshing for Star as she’s been mostly doing blokey design work lol.

If you need design work done, or know of anyone who does, feel free to get in touch if you like what you see.

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Zen Graff Snapback – BLK Edition.


I’m pretty excited about this hat. Yup. This hat gets me excited! I’ve been wanting to make an all black on black version of our Zen Graff Snapback for years now (along side our hoodie, it’s our best selling item), just haven’t had the funds (hey we’re grass roots and keeping up with stock demands on our staple Zen range is hard enough as it is!).

LESS IS MORE. Going all black was perhaps the easiest way to further refine a product that up until now, sells so well (and continues to do so). The Zen Graff Snapback has largely been unaltered since 2011 (the first 100 ever made didn’t feature the teal under-brim the snapback has today). I wanted this hat for me, but we’ve had to make a few to make it a reality, so they’re most likely going to make their way to the Zen SHOP soon (we added a new trucker hat design earlier today!).

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Zen Garage x World Time Attack Challenge T-Shirts are at the printers! I’ve created these for our Zen Media Team and Zen Babes to wear during the event, but we’ve ordered 50 units, so we’ll have a few left over to sell at the Zen Stand during the event!

Massive thanks to Maza for helping me trace the logo into vector!

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Design Hat





Got my design hat on lately. I’m training Star up to be a graphic designer and so we’re taking on jobs cheap, just to get as much experience as possible.

A couple of jobs above which are still WIP (sharing is caring!). 50th Anniversary logo and van livery for Filter Supplies, a logo for Volante Rosso, a workshop for race and exotic cars and also a logo for some WTAC T-Shirts I’d like to print up for our media team this year.

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myPlates JDM number plate now available


The JDM Plates I consulted on and designed with are finally available for all Sydney Japanese car enthusiasts to purchase!!!!!!!!

More info:

PS: Japanese translation: “Nihon no kokunai ichiba” – a fancy way of saying “JDM”!

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Anticipation – Design Talk at Design Centre Enmore



I stole a poster on the way out, and scored a bottle of wine (love the custom box!).

I was invited to speak at the Design Centre Enmore last night. Was a super fun little gig, always unreal to connect with the students.

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Australian Infront FOLIO 2016


The inaugural Australian Infront FOLIO book is now available for purchase through Blurb! The concept is simple, every year we’ll feature Australian Creatives in FOLIO, and Blurb will distribute the book to creative agencies Australia wide!

You can buy the book by following the links below:

Infront page



PS: Here’s a special promo code for Aus Infront members who would like their own copy of the book. Receive 30% off the book total if you use the promo code – INFRONT16 – Limited to the first 50 orders. Valid until Monday 11 April 2016.

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Be in competition with yourself, not others.


I’m a man with many pursuits but I’m a designer by trade, more specifically, a web designer. I was around during the dot com boom and have been building custom sites since the 90’s. At some point WordPress took over and web budgets came down as ‘off the shelf’ products just made building web sites so much easier.

When we launched Zen in 2011 I used WordPress to build our site as we had no time before launch to build something custom, we had to hit the ground running so a WordPress site was put into place, we bought a theme that did all the things we needed it to do and voila, we were running. Thing is I hated the site and have hated it ever since! At some stage tuned. also installed the same theme as us, this gave me the motivation I needed to tweak our theme to make it “our own”, but even then I still wasn’t happy with it.

I’ve always been meaning to re-design the site to have much bigger impact images and a much cleaner design and tighter layout, 4 years in I’ve finally made the move to re-design the site by starting with a new theme. I had my developer James Linney install the theme for us and I didn’t sleep much for a week playing with it until it all started to look and feel right, then Sydney based Photographer Sam Law (a BOTFC and Zen blog contributor) messaged me to say that we’re using the same theme as BOTC

Oh shit!

I’m excellent at putting myself in other people’s shoes. When you’ve experienced as much stuff as I have (I’m 40 and I’ve been at it for some time now!) you tend to get good at taking a step back and seeing things from a bigger perspective. I knew, instantly, that the BOTFC guys would be upset that Zen, a brand bigger than theirs, could be stealing their web site design. I note that BOTFC is a grass roots thing, much like all the stuff I run, it’s run on passion and mostly “just for the fun of it”. That obviously makes BOTFC precious to whoever owns and runs it. I knew I was going to cop heat, but I sincerely never saw that BOTFC were using the same WordPress theme, which mind you is publicly available for purchase by anyone out there.

I made the call to go ahead and continue with the theme knowing that the BOTFC guys would be upset, and also that at any time anyone else can purchase the same theme and have their site look and work just like ours. I have all intentions to lean on my design experience though and with James’ help I’m positive we can really heavily tweak this theme to make it our own over the next few months.

One can choose to fight in public, or one can take it to private messaging where you have a much better chance at reaching resolutions. I ended up having a chat with BOTFC founder Nicholas Cole over Facebook Messenger, and once we got through the site design issues I think we both realised that there was no point in fighting, especially since we’re both just doing the same thing, and that’s creating content, for the fun of it, in an aim to inspire others.

Be in competition with yourself, and not others.

Nicholas went a step further and asked if I’d like to contribute a piece for BOTFC. That’s a champ move which I couldn’t refuse! A sincere thanks to Nicholas and the team here at BOTFC for taking the higher road. Much respect! I’m looking forward to sharing more BOTFC content on my network, who knows, maybe a BOTFC x ZEN collab of some sort will eventuate at some point too!

Originally written for BOTFC (click here for the feature). Visit:

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