Standing tall on the buzzing cafe strip of Pakington Street is where you will find the new office of Todd Murphy Design.
Coming from a background in IT, Todd realised after a decade in the technology biz that he’d “much rather use it to create cool stuff” and so followed the dream of working in graphic design “I’m a natural storyteller, so it made sense to find a way to use technology to tell them.”
Todd’s talents cover all bases of graphic design to extend his help to his clients. “My wheelhouse includes a bit of everything: brand identity design, document and report design, some copy writing and marketing collateral design, and a bit of web design. I’m also experienced in photo editing and retouching—handy for product photography or photos of me.”
Managing a successful brand for six years now, Todd runs his office independently “It’s just me and the constant stream of voices inside my head. Most of them are quite nice though.” Having spent significant time in the creative industry Todd has been through the change of trends.
“Originally I specialised in small business branding, and that’s what mainly came through the door. However, in the last couple of years, I’ve been doing a lot more report and document design, and that’s set to continue even more this year.”
Todd’s designs are all created with a story and function behind them. There is more to design than creating everything for the purpose of gathering Instagram likes. If you want your design to be effective, Todd states that it has to have meaning, purpose, value and authenticity. With a design style inspired by fellow designers Saul Bass, Massimo Vignelli, Paul Rand and Aaron Draplin, Todd also finds the influences around his designs stretch much further. “It’s inspired by the world around us, by paying attention to what works and what doesn’t. By paying attention to attention.”
Todd’s passion for graphic design and being able to work in a location so close to everything is evident. He admits that he feels a major rush of pride and accomplishment being able to walk into a business that he has branded or drive past a sign that he designed. As well as feeling appreciative of being able to be a part of Geelong and it’s creative businesses.
“Seriously though, it has been a privilege to be part of a local community of creatives—where competitiveness is thrown out the window and instead we catch up for coffee, share stories and work, refer opportunities, and just generally build each other up.”
So much so that he is appreciative of all his creative journey has had to offer, including the experiences that are not so positive.
“There’s enough work and enough opportunities for everyone as long as you’re willing to be open and aware, be kind and purposeful, and always have a positive intent. Everything is an opportunity, and ‘bad’ outcomes are just another opportunity to learn.”
Exciting opportunities are coming up for Todd and his new office including tutoring a design unit at Deakin University, attending The Design Conference in Brisbane to network with the best Australian and international designers, and increasing the content he creates and shares with his audience. As well as continuing to seek opportunities for development in an industry he is so passionate about, “I regularly attend conferences, workshops and networking events, and I stay in touch with designers and agencies around the world to ensure I’m always aware of what’s happening across the industry.”
What’s in store for Todd Murphy Design in the next five years? “So many things can change in that time. Heck, we might all be slaves to the robot uprising by then. But in general, I’ll be looking to more deeply explore strategy and the power of great ideas.” We see daily the opportunity social media brings to everyday people to dabble in their own content creation but “it’s those with clever ideas, solid strategies behind them, and a focus on where the market’s attention is who’ll make the bigger impact.”
Creatives are dreamers with imaginations that take them places. Who would Todd love to collaborate with one day? Gary Vaynerchuk, to help him work on his productiveness. And creatively? “I’d love to go ‘junking’ with Aaron Draplin, finding design treasures from years gone by. He’s been a massive influence on me, I met him a few years ago and reckon we’d get along really well. Who wants to shout me a trip to Portland?”
Ultimately, running a business is helping others while achieving the goals you have set for yourself, and with wonderful clients and being surrounded by a supportive community Todd wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Running a business is bloody hard. If I can help people further their business goals then I’m achieving my own.”