The Designers Institute runs many initiatives throughout the year to celebrate the achievements of the design community. 

The Best Design Awards

The Best Design Awards are Australasia’s largest annual showcase of excellence across graphic, digital, motion design, product and spatial along with the Value of Design Award, Public Good Award and the Toitanga award recognise the changing nature of our design industry. Year on year, the event grows in both its size and its impact.

View all of the 2021 winners on the Best Awards site.

Best Design Awards History up to 1998
as recorded by Peter Haythornthwaite, ONZM, LifeDINZ

In the beginning
The 1970s saw unprecedented growth in the New Zealand design profession, not only in numbers of practitioners but in the scope and standard of work. Designforces was the pre-eminent design consultancy of the time, together with Jasmax. Design was taught at Wellington Polytechnic, Elam (the University of Auckland), Ilam (Canterbury University) and ATI (now Auckland University of Technology). Many of the leading designers had recently returned from Europe and the United States.

Communication Arts and Graphics were the two benchmark magazines of the graphic design field, and the Swiss School of Design was still relevant but its influence was waning. It was in this climate that in 1976 Stan Mauger, along with Ann Shanks, Mark Cleverley and others, proposed the first National Graphic Design Awards, the precursor of the Best New Zealand Design Awards.

John Massey, the highly respected head of the CCAs Centre for Advanced Research in Design (The Container Corporation of America later merged with JC Penny) was invited to be the head judge along with Maurice Askew (Head of Graphic Design, University of Canterbury, School of Fine Arts), Hamish Keith (Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Arts Advisory Council), and Martin Salmond (Art Director, J Ilott Ltd, Auckland).

The National Awards attracted 300 entries (of which 130 were exhibited as finalists) in the categories of advertising, typography, corporate identity, technical literature, publicity, packaging, illustration, architectural and exhibition graphics, and pattern. Four awards were available in each category, but the judges only awarded the full four in advertising, corporate identity and packaging. Each award winner received a tile designed by Mark Cleverley (which included a cartoon by Don Hatcher) and manufactured by Crown Lynn. Bret de Thier received the Letraset Travel Award for outstanding design work and incidentally, for the best use of Letraset. Amongst other award winners, Mark Cleverly was recognised for his handsome stamp designs and ceramic pattern design. An exhibition, together with a lecture series, was held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and the first time since the early design exhibitions of the 60s this award galvanised New Zealand designers, recognising the commercial and cultural benefits of design and the strength of individual designers. It was decided that another programme would be run after a 2-year rest – but this was not to be.

Five years later
For 5 years, David Bartlett (the founder of Artspec) and Peter Haythornthwaite discussed how a new award programme could be started, and then in 1988 David, along with his partners Mike McLaughlin and Richard Hook, committed Artspec to back and manage a programme covering all categories of graphic design. It was named the Best New Zealand Design Awards. The steering committee comprised Mark Adams (President NZSID), Peter de Beer, Fraser Gardyne, Peter Haythornthwaite (Convenor), Martin Hill, Stan Mauger, Alan Sanders and Andrea Thomas, with Jane Natoli as coordinator. The judges comprised Australian design Gary Emery, Stan Mauger, Hong Kong consultant Henry Steiner, and multi disciplinary American designer Michael Vanderbyl.

As with the previous awards, great care was taken to ensure that they met the demanding ICSID and Icograda rules of fairness and consistency. Artspec as principal sponsor was supported by BJ Ball Papers, McCollam Printers, Spicer Cowan, Western Litho and Wiggins Teape (The Paper House). There were also 21 other sponsors and contributors. The awards were put together in less than 7 months with three primary objectives: to demonstrate to business and industry the advantages gained through the effective use of graphic design; to applaud designers who were making outstanding contributions in their fields; and to enable New Zealand designers to benefit from the experience and insight of internationally recognised designers. The Awards collateral was created by 7 different consultancies, with surprising synergy.

563 entries were submitted for the 21 entry categories, four special awards and a most promising student award. Winners receiving more than one category Gold or Silver Award included de Beer Design, Designworks, PeterHaythornthwaite Design, No Straight Lines (Fain Flaws), and Sanders Design. The Mayor of Auckland, Dame Cath Tizard, launched the Awards at the Regent to media, industry leaders, sponsors and designers. A number of very well attended seminars were held with the international judges as speakers. In addition to the Awards gala presentation and the exhibition, which travelled to the three main centres, a 164-page annual was produced through sponsorship.

Later each of the international judges designed a limited edition Artspec/NZSID poster. Judges Gary Emery, Michael vanderByl and Henry Steiner commented on the high standard of New Zealand design and were impressed with international standard of much of the work.

The second Best Awards
One year later, again with Artspec as the principal sponsor and 46 other supporters and sponsors (of whom BJ Ball remains a major sponsor), the 1989 Best Design Awards were held. This time, Grant Alexander was the Convenor, with a steering committee of 17 fellow professional designers. Deliberately, a very different group of judges from those selected in 1988 were invited to New Zealand, comprising internationally recognised designer Thomas Geismar of Chermayeff and Geismar Associates, New York; David Hillman, magazine designer and partner in Pentagram; and Kaoru Kasai, celebrated Japanese typographer and designer. Barry Ellis, a well-respected Wellington designer, with a broad practice background, was the New Zealand judge. 435 entries were submitted of which 16 received silver awards (no golds were given) and four special recognition awards along with one student scholarship. This time David Bartlett’s new design consultancy, Graphikos, received very high prominence along with many small and established consultancies. Kasai commented he felt a great sense of freshness and youth in the work.

David Hillman encouraged New Zealand designers to create their own identity without direct reference to overseas trends. Geismar observed that much of New Zealand’s better work had not been entered, and Ellis surmised that New Zealand with its wonderful environment and diversity of peoples has a good deal to offer, and we should ensure that this is reflected in the work we produce. The award presentation was held in Wellington and the exhibition travelled from Wellington to Auckland and then on to smaller centres. Again through generous sponsorship, a 164-page annual was produced with numerous copies sold, as in 1988, through book and stationery shops.

1991 Designers Institute of New Zealand is formed
The enormous amount of time involved in staging the Best Awards took its toll and it was not until 1992, under the spirited leadership of DINZ President Hugh Mullane, that another awards programme was held. This was the first time that awards were run by the Designers Institute of New Zealand – the new organisation formed by the merger of NZSID and NZAID. There was a new briskness to the awards. The disciplines were expanded to include graphic, interior, product, fashion and craft. Terry Stringer was commissioned to design the discipline and category gold award that was aptly named the Stringer (Terry used Leonardo da Vinci’s hand measure of man to symbolise design and Nikau Palm to express the New Zealand spirit). The broad base of advisers was put together, many of who had consistently given their time on the previous Bests.

The presentation function was held at the Auckland Town Hall; it was an energetic celebration of design – boisterous, impassioned, very audio visual and unforgettable. Eleven Stringers were awarded: graphic – Black Stump, Designworks, PeterHaythornthwaiteDesign (2), deBeer/Adams and Cheah Chuni: product – PeterHaythornthwaiteDesign and Eric van Helmond; craft – Allan Preston and PeterHaythornthwaiteDesign; interior – Inscape, Gascoigne Assoc and Noel Lane (2). Again to ensure a balanced appraisal of work, the judges comprised New Zealand and overseas designers, with Niels Different as the main product design judge.

Four - year hiatus
There followed a four-year hiatus due to too few having to commit too much time and energy to stage such comprehensive programme. However, in 1995 Fraser Gardyne, Murray Pilcher and Michael Major (along with a small committee) took on the responsibility of running the next Best Awards. The disciplines were limited to craft, graphic, interior and product design. As in previous years, it was the passion of the committee combined with the support of the sponsors that made the awards a success. John Britten was posthumously given an award, which is now called, in his honour, the John Britten Award – the highest recognition given by DINZ to an outstanding individual for leadership, vision and achievement. The presentation and exhibition were held at the Maritime Museum, downtown Auckland, and were coupled with a conference on team-based design with the main speakers being Tom Schnackenberg (America’s Cup team leader) and Michael Bryce (Australian Olympic Games bid leader). The judges comprised Michael Smythe and John Hatrick-Smith for product; Peter de Beer, Mark Adams and Lindsay Marks for graphic; and Hugh Mullane, Mark Gascoigne and Ron McKenzie for interior. Stringers were awarded to Custance Design (interior), Origin Design (graphic) and Peter Tasker Design (product).

The foundation for the Design-Led Business Award
Two years later, the 1997 Best Awards took place in Auckland, with the same entry disciplines as 1996. The committee comprised Jill Carroll, Bryn Chapple, Paola Dashwood, Peter Haythornthwaite (Chair), Bina Klose, Murray Pilcher and Kim Willis. James Coe, (former Director of Wellington Polytechnic, School of Design) was the recipient of the John Britten Award and Max Hailstone was, posthumously, given the Designers' Institute of New Zealand Outstanding Achievement Award. The foundation was established for the Design-led Business Award through the vision of Bina Klose and Bryn Chapple. The judging panel was made up of many well respected designers (NZ and Australian) and business leaders including Michael Barnett, Stuart Gardyne, Euan McKechnie, Hugh Mullane, for interior; Stephen Allan, Adam Laws, Chris Mitchell and Tony Parker for product; and David Bartlett, Dick Brunton, Annette Harcus and Alistair Lang for graphic.

The presentation evening was held in the pure architectural environment of the New Auckland Art Gallery, with the exhibition at the Auckland City Library. Only two Stringers were awarded, one to Fisher White Architecture (interior) and the other to Designworks (graphic). The evening created a surprising camaraderie amongst the attendants. Maxim designed the annual to a brief, which ensured that the sponsors’ advertisements, while individual, were in keeping with the structure of the publication.

1998
The dedication of time and the financial knife-edge meant that a 1998 award programme was unlikely. However, Gesundheit, the project management arm of AGM Publishing proposed to DINZ that it run the Best programme on a yearly basis looking after sponsorship and all of the administrative functions related to the call for entries, judging, exhibition and presentation evening.
Dave Clark, DINZ President, was the convenor supported by a small group of designers respected for their work and professional integrity. So as to ensure bipartisanship in the judging, the panel was expanded to 6 judges in each discipline. Gifford Jackson was the recipient of the John Britten Award and ECC Lighting received the inaugural Design-led Business Award. The Awards evening was held at the Auckland Town Hall along with the exhibition. As in the preceding year only two Stringers were awarded, on to Fisher and Paykel (product), and the other to PeterHaythornthwaiteDesign (graphic).

Writing such an abbreviated history has sadly meant that many of the designers and sponsors who have been critical to the success and continuity of the Awards have gone unmentioned. This omission necessitates that in the near future the history of the New Zealand Best Design Awards is comprehensively recorded with a full list of committees, sponsors and winners. These people must be recognised!

The Best Design Awards demonstrates the economic sense of design to New Zealand business, recognises outstanding design and designers’ achievements, bears witness to the cultural influence of inspired creativity, and uniquely unifies the profession. It is the responsibility of the profession to ensure that the Best Design Awards continue to be run free of bias, and serve as an accurate measure of our development and, we trust, our progress. The new years of the 21st century will reveal the extraordinary talent of young designers and encourage business to use the “extraordinary power” of design to compete and profit internationally.

As recorded by Peter Haythornthwaite,  ONZM, LifeDINZ

Black Pin Recipients

Each year, the prestigious Black Pins are awarded to individuals for outstanding achievement within the design community. In 2019 DINZ introduced the Value of Design Black Pin.

The John Britten Black Pin is awarded to a designer for their leadership, vision and achievement in putting New Zealand on the global stage.

The Designers Institute Black Pin is awarded to a Member of the Institute who has made a lasting and valuable contribution to the design profession and design culture in New Zealand.

Jef Wong FDINZ

The Designers Institute Black Pin for Outstanding Achievement is awarded to a Member of the Institute who has made a lasting and valuable contribution to the design profession and design culture in New Zealand.

In 2022 the Designers Institute Black Pin for Outstanding Achievement was given to Jef Wong FDINZ.

It’s a great thing to be part of this design community.

Connected to people like us, seeing how we all navigate a life in design.

Making change, not just for ourselves, but for those around us.

Knowing it’s making the journey ‘from – to’ that defines our design life.

This year DINZ celebrates a designer who has made that journey and continues it

Always growing forward, with the generosity to grow others along the way.

Defining what, at best, being a designer can be, and where it can take you.

 Taking his journey from then, to now

From the ‘I love to draw designer’, as a fresh faced AUT graphic graduate, who soon knew it would take more than natural talent, to make a mark in the industry.

To the ‘thinking harder designer’, who understood that graft was the secret ingredient in craft and putting the work into a well thought out idea, was at the heart of making something stand out, and stand for something.

From the ‘learn fast designer’, who took the chance at New Zealand’s most established design agency, to push bigger ideas on bigger stages, and expand what design can do.

 To the ‘team designer’, who saw the value in collaborating, designing like you’re playing in a band, not going solo.

The ‘Designer as mentor’, invested in new talent, pushing forward a design fellowship that has nurtured some of Aotearoa’s outstanding young designers. 

Designing how we flew, what we knew in the news, the brands we loved to eat and drink, from breweries, to producers and apples that rock. Creating the icons, that moved us, as Aotearoa moved forward.

Here is a Designer as creative champion – with 4 years as convenor of Best, D&AD judging, international speaking, and the occasional globetrotting ethnographic Las Vegas fly on the wall shenanigans.

This award goes to a designer who represents the very best of what the profession is, and what it takes to be a leader in this room tonight.

The creativity to see what could be.

The generosity to grow others.

From work ethic and a passion - going further, being better every day.

To a design leader who epitomizes diversity, inclusivity, and positivity in a modern Aotearoa.

Jamie McLellan PDINZ

The John Britten Black Pin is awarded to a designer for their leadership, vision and achievement in putting New Zealand on the global stage.

Jamie McLellan - Photographer Alistair Guthrie

In 2022 the John Britten Black Pin was given to Jamie McLellan PDINZ

Starting with a quote from Tim Brown, Allbirds CEO and founder.

“Allbirds wouldn't have been possible without Jamie McLellan, who is our 2022 John Britten Black Pin Award Winner. 

Jamie’s extraordinary design talents are a big part of Allbirds success for sure, but for me, it is his genuine kindness, his humour, his desire to bring other people into projects and put their needs ahead of his own, his dedication, his grace and, perhaps most importantly in the case of Allbirds, his resilience to keep on going when success was far from certain. Jamie's story is a humble one by his own telling but make no mistake this is a world-class practitioner of design and someone I am very proud to have as my friend and colleague, and to see so wonderfully and deservedly recognised with this award.”

High praise and deservedly so Jamie.

Tim highlights Jamie’s humanity, empathy and resilience which fuel Jamie’s design ability and have facilitated friendships with an impressive number of his colleagues, clients and eminent employers. 

Starting at Fisher & Paykel followed by a stint in the UK, Jamie’s portfolio is now full of award-winning quality products. The Candelabra lamp was produced during his tenure at Tom Dixon in London. A bike frame for Avanti, furniture pieces for Resident, beer taps, sails for Neil Pryde in Hong Kong, meal trays for international airlines, a biodegradable coffin and an impossibly expensive concept for a chair made from an aerogel material invented by Nasa.

From humble beginnings in New Zealand Jamie’s design collaboration with Allbirds founder Tim Brown led to the development of the woollen shoe that set the company on its phenomenal path to international success and acclaim. Now as Head of Design based in San Francisco, he is leading a team of talented designers and collaborating with Tim and his executives to grow an innovative global design brand focused on its green credentials. Up against established titans like Nike and Addidas, the New York Times calls Allbirds the go-to uniform for anyone who is anyone in Silicon Valley. 

Jamie’s work is characterised by a thoughtful clear conceptual framework and a quirky sense of humour. It is expressed through Jamie’s passion for simplicity, reduction and clean geometries. It is finessed with beautifully resolved detailing and underpinned by a deep appreciation of functionality, materials and human factors. Latterly the footprint of his work on the planet has become fundamental and is elegantly demonstrated through his work with Allbirds.

His mates reckon he’s charmingly clumsy and forgetful. Misplaces his keys and has risky time management. In your defence Jamie, these are the characteristics of a deep-thinking and focused designer, who is concentrating all his mental and creative effort on his work. Qualities of a major international talent I recognised the seeds of when you were a design student and qualities we all look forward to seeing more of in the future.

Jamie, you deserve to take your place alongside this roll of preeminent New Zealand designers. Your work is internationally outstanding and brings credit to you and to New Zealand design. Not only do you deserve to be there but you add to the prestige, Mana and peer esteem of the award.

- Professor Tony Parker, FDINZ, ONZM

RNZ Online recording and written article can be found here

Video of Designers Speak - Jamie McLellan Video of his talk from the 6th October

Emirates Team New Zealand

The Value of Design Black Pin reflects a multi-million dollar investment in design of all kinds, in all sorts of organisations.

The effects driven by that investment are truly good for New Zealand. 

In 2022 Emirates Team New Zealand received the Value of Design Black Pin.

Emirates Team New Zealand
It is always exciting to see design leadership from New Zealand making impact out in the world. It is even better when this leadership happens consistently, over many years and in the process changes the entire landscape of its chosen endeavour.

This is certainly the case for our 2022 Value of Design Black Pin Winner. 

Design Innovation:
From designing the first Americas Cup boats to foil, supercats, cyclors and most recently spearheading the foiling monohull’s rise here at home - design innovation and impact has always been at the heart of everything Emirates Team New Zealand does.

 With the most recent AC75 class development they have redefined todays sailors expectations around the speed and excitement possible in modern day regatta’s. Creating a halo effect that has trickled down into the new AC40 class now expanding pathways into the Americas Cup and increasing participation across the board. 

Design Culture:
Emirates Team New Zealand’s design culture encourages taking risks and is constantly questioning what design will look like in 10 or 15 years, then trying to design that boat now, ahead of time. Driven by a powerful inhouse philosophy of always building talent from within, they created virtually every component of Te Rehutai - shape, structure, mechanics, hydraulics and electronics. Continually developing in new areas such as machine learning, and collaborating to bring new technology onboard, prototyping with 3d printing to stay nimble and stay ahead of the game. 

 Design Performance:
As the dominant team of the past 20 years, chasing down a three-peat in the next edition would be unique achievement in the modern era. Winning the 36th America’s Cup on the water at home in the Hauraki Gulf created huge reputational value for both Tamaki and Aotearoa brilliantly showcasing both people and place into the living rooms of the world. 

 Design Contribution:
The 36th America’s Cup was the most watched America’s Cup ever with a dedicated viewership more than 3 times the size of the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017. Reaching a total global TV and live streaming audience of 941 million people, delivering incredible value to sponsors and the country alike despite the influence of COVID 19.

New ideas, new technologies and new partnerships are always at the forefront of this teams thinking - they are already on to the next design innovation, the next marine industry partnership, the next fuel innovation for chase boats - they never stop, they are always searching for more.

As Taiaha Hawke from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei beautifully explained the story of the name Te Rehutai: “Where the essence of the ocean invigorates and energises our strength and determination." 

Emirates Team New Zealand Your essence, Your determination, Your energy, your contribution inspires and invigorates all of us as a nation. We are very proud to award the Designers Institute Value of Design Black Pin for 2022 to Emirates Team New Zealand.

Value of Design Black Pin – recipients speech on the night - Emirates Team NZ – Dan Bernasconi

"We’re very proud to be representing the team here tonight – and I’m sure that goes for every one of us here tonight – but we are only a small part of the team as a whole. We expand and contract as we go from one campaign to the next, and we’re currently 120 strong – including boat builders, shore crew, sailors – and 35 designers covering a range of engineering and design disciplines. So on behalf of the whole team, I’d like to thank the community here for this award – it means a huge amount to the team to have that recognition that the Value of our Design is a massive part of what has made the team what it is today.

I would also like to thank the wider team – that is, our sponsors, official suppliers and the huge number of businesses that support us here in New Zealand – and to Ngāti Whātua who have been valued partners with us for many, many years. They have all been a big part of our team and continue to support us through this campaign.

I’d now like to say a few words about the environment that has allowed design to flourish within the team. Our CEO, Grant Dalton, portrays a pretty tough image, and as a team we probably have to have a pretty hard shell – especially when the media is going against us – but the reality on the inside is very different. The culture within the team is extremely open, and very flat. It’s a culture that filters naturally through the team, and is deeply rooted in those team members that have been with us for a long time. It becomes quickly apparent to anyone who joins.

In essence, our culture is about freedom to explore coupled with group ownership of any decisions we take – plus a pretty high appetite for risk in design. If I look back at some of the design directions we’ve taken, it wasn’t so much about creativity – I think we’re all creative and there’s no shortage of ideas – but it’s more about having an environment where everyone is enthusiastic to put their ideas forward, and the wider team is receptive to exploring them."

The America’s Cup is now synonymous with foiling yachts, but back at the beginning of the 2013 campaign the idea of 7 tonne multihulls flying above the water was just a dream. I’m sure we weren’t the only ones thinking about it, but at the beginning our team’s management was the only one to give us the freedom to explore and invest in that direction. It brought us agonisingly close to victory in San Francisco, but unfortunately back at that stage, we were still a little too conservative, favouring reliability over development - which was quite a natural choice when we were 8-1 up in a first to 9 regatta, but ultimately proved to be our undoing.

After our loss, we regrouped and really established our ground rules going forwards: that we would continue to encourage innovation, but not be afraid to keep pushing that all the way through to the last race. It’s that culture that allowed us to experiment with cyclors, to announce that the 2021 America’s Cup would be sailed in a concept of yacht that had never been tested, and in that Cup to design and built a race boat that was very different from the prototype we’d designed a year earlier. We also make every major decision as a group; there’s basically no commands from above. If we disagree, we will keep researching an idea until the right path becomes clearer. And we’re fortunate because nearly every decision can ultimately be based on evidence – from modelling, testing, or far more frequently now, simulation.

It’s a privilege to work in that environment, and as a design team we’re very grateful for that trust the team puts in us: for the culture that says there are no stupid ideas. It makes it a fantastic place to work and I’m sure has been what has given us an edge over our competitors in recent years. 

So thank you again on behalf of the whole team for the recognition of the Value that Design has brought to the sport and to New Zealand.

All Recipients

Designers Institute Black Pin John Britten Black Pin Value of Design Black Pin
2022

Jef Wong FDINZ

Jamie McLellan PDINZ

Emirates Team New Zealand

2020

Jonathan Custance

Liz and Neville Findlay

2019

Annie Dow

Clive Fugill

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

2018

Rik Campbell and Steve Le Marquand

2017

Kent Sneddon

Dan Bernasconi

2016

Ben Corban

Danny Coster

2015

Professor Tony Parker

Kris Sowersby

2014

Mark Cleverley

Matt Holmes

2013

Cathy Veninga

Grenville Main

Kent Parker

2012

Sven Baker

Ian Athfield

2011

Fraser Gardyne

Mark Elmore

2010

Tim Hooson

Dean Poole

2009

Dave Clark

Joseph Churchward

2008

Professor Leong Yap

Laurie Davidson

2007

Brian Richards

David Trubridge

2006

Grant Alexander

Gary Paykel

2005

Hugh Mullane & Craig Horrocks

Mark Pennington

2004

Michael Smythe

Richard Taylor

2003

Ray Labone

Peter Haythornthwaite FDINZ

2002

Doug Heath

Ann Robinson

2001

Robin Beckett

Humphrey Ikin

2000

David Bartlett

Bruce Farr

1999

John Hughes

Karen Walker

1998

Not awarded

Gifford Jackson

1997

Max Hailstone

James Coe

1995

John Britten

Purple Pin Case Studies

The Best Design Awards is the annual showcase of excellence in graphic, spatial, product and interactive design. The entries judged Best in each category are awarded the Gold Pin. The very best project in each discipline is awarded the supreme, Purple Pin for work that truly raises the bar for New Zealand design.

DINZ Interviews

When the opportunity arises, DINZ interviews leading designers from here and overseas. These interviews seek to dig beneath the surface to address the common and uncommon challenges, problems and opportunities the design community faces.

DINZ Podcast Series

Through the D.Cast series we bring you insights, stories and reflections from our community.

D.Cast Episodes

DINZ Video Series

The more we talk about design, the more robust the conversation becomes.

DINZ events give access to designers at the top of their game as they share their knowledge and insights. 

The audiovisual recordings from some of these gatherings can be found under this Video category and are archived there as a reference resource to Aotearoa’s rich design history.

DINZ Check-in

Check In is a page where we showcase things of interest in our community.

Keepsake

What is worth making? What is kept? What do we keep coming back to? Keepsake is printed matter made for the design community, by the design community, in an ongoing edition that honours materiality.

Paper kindly supplied by BJ Ball and
printed by Logick Print.
Curated by Amy Yalland.

DINZ Student Council

Today’s design students are tomorrow’s industry professionals. That’s why the DINZ Student Council exists. Its twelve national representatives work to forge stronger links between the bright minds currently studying design and the industry peers, design leaders and potential mentors who will work with them in the future.

The Student Council run several initiatives including Interviews, Folio Nights and Best of the Best Students Speak. 

Learn more about the Council

Designer Jobs

Designer Jobs is a page to advertise or search for current designer job vacancies. 

25 July 2022

Mucho San Francisco - Senior Designer 

Mucho San Francisco is looking to hire a full-time senior graphic designer from New Zealand to work on site in our San Francisco office.

An exciting opportunity to travel and work in our international team based in San Francisco. We create holistic brand identities for technology and creative start-ups in Silicon Valley as well as for small family-owned businesses and the world's largest corporations. Last year saw our work win 2 D&AD pencils, 5 projects were included in the Creative Review Annual, a Gold Cube from The Art Directors Club, and 3 Certificates of Excellence from The Type Directors Club. We strive to create the best brands in the world, driven by clever, idea based solutions.

  • Minimum of 3-5 years experience
  • Full-time on site at Mucho San Francisco
  • Work Visa organized and paid for by Mucho
  • U.S. salary based on experience and qualifications
  • Benefits: 100% U.S. healthcare and dental care paid on top of salary. 4 weeks paid annual vacation on starting.

For more information about Mucho visit: wearemucho.com

Please send CV and examples of work via a PDF, or link to a website to:

20 July 2022

 UX/UI Designer at Smudge - Christchurch

 Description:

  • Opportunity to work on UX/UI design for award-winning, mission-critical products deployed by New Zealand Police.
  • A key player in a creative, collaborative environment where great ideas are the currency.
  • Competitive compensation package and flexible working.

About Smudge:

Our core expertise is building apps. But focusing on the technology alone is not enough. We exist at the intersection of design, software development and business consultancy.

We are passionate about solving problems with software and delivering exceptional outcomes for our customers by developing care and understanding for users.

As lifelong learners, we are able to achieve more collectively than individually, and constant improvement is integral to our culture.

Core responsibilities:

  • Preparing and presenting drafts to internal teams and key stakeholders.
  • Communicating design ideas and prototypes to developers.
  • Adhering to guidelines and create designs based on these, including fonts, styles and colours.
  • Graphic design work for proposals and projects.
  • Devising creative ways to solve UX problems.

Personal attributes:

  • Adaptable, a quick learner.
  • A passion for user-centric design.
  • A focus on excellence.

What you'll bring:

  • Proven UX/UI design experience, ideally on mobile.
  • Prior experience in generalist graphic design.
  • Experience using Sketch is a bonus.

What you'll get:

  • Opportunity to work on high-impact mobile apps with a collaborative and innovative team.
  • A strong team culture where empathy and courage are rewarded.
  • Hybrid working and flexible start/finish times.
  • Modern office with café and gym.

To apply, send your CV and a short covering note to jobs@smudge.com.

31 March 2022

Senior Experience Designer (two vacancies available) - Alphero - Wellington and Auckland 

Description

  • Bring your expertise in visual and interaction design, combined with your UX and product design skills to create innovative and engaging design solutions.
  • Make a meaningful contribution in your job whilst still maintaining a good balance between work and life.

Be involved in creative and innovative projects that make a positive difference to the lives of New Zealanders

We’re searching for a creative and innovative Senior Experience Designer to bring their design expertise to our Wellington based team. We want someone curious and collaborative, who’s comfortable turning complex scenarios into seamless and beautiful user experiences that create lasting impact.

In this role, you will be translating high level ideas into unique design directions, and developing digital solutions that are not only visually beautiful, human and emotive but also inventive, daring and brave.

You’ll be able to balance technical and organisational constraints and objectives, with diverse user needs, while effortlessly applying design patterns, brand guidelines and design thinking across multiple projects. You’ll do this while working collaboratively with developers and testers to implement and adapt responsive, accessible designs.

You’ll be an advocate for the principles of ‘good design’, illustration and functionality and know how to unravel complexity in order to produce solutions that are desirable and easy to use. You’ll support this with sound, evidence-based rationale and validated assumptions - and be continually iterating and improving designs as you go.

At Alphero, we support our people to take their careers to the next level with a built-in growth framework that includes mentoring, training, R&D opportunities as well as learning and discovery through our Ideas Factory Innovation Programme.

If you’re ready to help shape the digital future, we’d love to hear from you.

What it’s like at Alphero

Our values are at the heart of who we are, what we do, and why we are here. Our values shape our vision and support our culture, guide our behaviours, and are woven into every part of the business.

You will work in a fun, friendly, collaborative environment where diversity and individuality are celebrated. Take a seat at the Alphero kitchen table and get to know the team. We don’t sweat the small stuff - everyone works with the latest gadgets, tools and technologies. Tell us what you need to make your work easier.

Our clients - and their customers - come from every sector and all walks of life, and so do we. We hire talented, passionate people, and together we create strong teams that enable us to reach exceptional outcomes. You’ll help keep the team aligned with your ability to tell a compelling story.

Requirements

  • Four to eight years experience doing UX or UI design for complex enterprise applications, large scale websites and/or complex mobile apps.
  • A pro across multiple industry standard design software and tools.
  • Strong understanding of the design patterns required for iOS, Android and mobile/responsive web delivery.
  • Ability to understand, utilise and re-mould complex data.
  • Experience running workshops presenting to, consulting with and persuading clients at a senior level.
  • Ability to design for user needs by utilising research, strategy and analytics.
  • Experience coaching and mentoring less experienced team members.

Not sure if you tick off everything on the list? We’d still love to hear from you. Each person brings unique skills and experiences to us. If you have some gaps, we can help with mentoring, upskilling, and cross-skilling.

Benefits

  • Competitive salary
  • A supportive, collaborative and creative work environment
  • Genuine work-life balance including flexible or part-time working hours to suit your lifestyle and the ability to work remotely when you need to.
  • Three months paid parental leave (full pay) to the primary caregiver / parent, and extended parental leave
  • Two weeks paid parental leave to the secondary caregiver / parent.
  • New company phone and mobile account
  • Commitment to your personal and professional development and ongoing learning
  • Work with the latest gadgets, tools and technologies
  • Whatever widget, doodad, licence or gizmo you need to do your job (within reason!)
  • Super cool office space in the heart of Wellington - close to Cuba Street, the waterfront, Hannah’s laneway and all the best cafes.
  • Day off on your birthday - on us!
  • Discounted gym membership at Les Mills (nationwide)
  • Great coffee and free fruit
  • Fun, social team who like to make coming to work not feel like work

28 March 2022

Signage and Wayfinding Specialist - Warren and Mahoney Architect - Auckland

A better future with Warren and Mahoney

At Warren and Mahoney, we are committed to delivering better futures for people, place, and planet. We are designers and architects of our future cities, where shared experiences are enriched through our passion for creative innovation and excellence.

With a growing team of over 400 in Australia and New Zealand, we’re the sum of the collective brilliance of our people. We engage the very best talent, welcoming a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds so we deeply engage with our clients and communities. 

We are proud of our rich, diverse and inclusive studio culture and processes where we seek to unlock the true identity for every project and potential of indigenous and sustainable design in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific and beyond.

About the role: 

We are seeking an experiential designer and expert collaborator who specialises in wayfinding and signage. Combining creativity, technical excellence, and an efficient approach to design, you will be managing complex and high-profile environmental graphics projects.

You will be a leader within our Brand Design team, integrating with a wide range of architectural, design and strategic projects across the Pacific Rim.

You will engage with clients, initiate workshops, manage project programmes and deliverables, and cultivate positive ongoing professional relationships with our teams and clients. 

Through environmental graphics, signage and wayfinding, brand activations and powerful human experiences, you will contribute to an impressive multidisciplinary creative practice with significant exposure for your work.  

You will be responsible for:

  • Designing signage and wayfinding outcomes that amplify the identity of a space to create environments that are embedded in their unique context
  • Creating user-friendly and considered signage and wayfinding strategies
  • Translating brand and design into physical formats
  • Identifying unique locations to elevate architectural, interior, brand and strategic design outcomes across a range of projects
  • Developing wayfinding projects from initial planning to completion
  • Managing multiple leads, projects and deadlines
  • Presenting and engaging with key client stakeholder groups
  • Collaborating with external suppliers to build and manufacture signage and large format graphics or installations
  • Management of new signage and wayfinding software and workflows
  • Templating multi-install sign-types and artworks
  • Technical art working and file setup to handover to contractors, manufacturers and installers
  • Building relationships within the business to support and strengthen existing projects and cross sell graphics services

Skills required:

  • Background in design with a degree in graphic design or equivalent
  • 5+ years’ experience in signage and wayfinding
  • High level of proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite and comfortable working with modelling software
  • Strong design sense and typographic skills
  • Interest in system design and complex problem solving
  • Experience working with SignAgent or equivalent software
  • Experience in modelling spatial designs in 3D software preferred but not required
  • Possess a passion for completing deadline-driven project work
  • Strong communication and presentation skills, both written and verbal
  • Innovative and creative problem-solving skills
  • Excellent time management
  • Portfolio of impressive design projects
  • Solid understanding of UI and UX Design 

If this sounds like you, please send your CV and Portfolio to Jenny Webb at jenny.webb@warrenandmahoney.com

We are unable to consider applications from candidates that do not currently have the right to live and work in New Zealand. To be legally entitled to work in New Zealand, you should be a citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid work visa.

At Warren and Mahoney, we are committed to providing a diverse and inclusive workplace. We encourage expressions of interest from a diverse applicant pool, including applicants interested in discussing flexible work options.  

Please let us know if you need any adjustments throughout the application or interview process.  In your application, feel free to let us know what your pronouns are (for example, she/her, he/him, they/them etc).

We take your privacy seriously at Warren and Mahoney. We will use your personal information for recruitment purposes only, and in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020.

10 March 2022

Interior Architect or Designer - Cheshire Architects

The Cheshire studio is looking for an interior architect or designer of at least 4+ years experience, with strong documentation skills and an appetite for brave and diverse work. An architect with a very strong interest and future in these fields would also find an exciting home here.

Our special projects range across urban design and architecture and include interior furnishings, product design, branding, and graphic design - often within a single project. We are thus looking for someone whose design thinking is matched by confident ideation and a strong facility in most of the following areas:

- Documentation of detailed interiors and furniture (ideally in Revit);
- Experience in coordination of services with consultant teams and project management;
- Curation and procurement of interior furnishings;
- Physical modelling;
- Digital modelling (Sketchup, Enscape, Revit);
- Proficient in Adobe software (Indesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator)
- Hand drawing and sketching as a method of design exploration and communication;
- ‘Making it real’ - the art of identifying and pulling together the right skills, and empowering them within a clear structure and oversight to bring a project or product into existence.

The Cheshire studio comprises 28 highly able architects and designers working closely together in a great central city studio. We want to add to that studio someone who will gain access to a range of complex, ambitious projects. They will have the opportunity to be involved in all project phases, from developing design strategies with clients to managing construction on site. They must also be eligible to work in New Zealand.

Please send a very short cover email outlining your suitability for and interest in the role, and a CV and portfolio to karen@cheshirearchitects.com. We are particularly interested in seeing work that evidences your translating ideas into detailed – and ideally built - reality.

10 March 2022

One visualiser wanted - Cheshire Architects

Our studio is looking for a highly engaged designer, architect, or graduate of architecture to join us.That person will have experience in the modelling, developing, and rendering of highly emotive spaces. The candidate will be highly curious, focused, organised, and motivated. Their role will begin with assisting a director and/or principal with the delivery of several projects at one time.

They should have experience in the development and visualisations of complex and extraordinary projects, and a desire to continually challenge and grow their own practice. If this is you, please provide your details and portfolio to karen@cheshirearchitects.com

23 November 2021

Intermediate/Senior Architect  - Dorrington Atcheson Architects (DAA)

If you are an architectural all rounder with an eye for detail and enjoy a collaborative approach then don’t miss this opportunity to join Dorrington Atcheson Architects (DAA), a boutique, design based architectural practice in Grey Lynn, Auckland. These roles are highly sought after and don’t become available often, so act now!

The successful applicant will need to be design focused with a passion for architectural detailing and design. They will be in control of a project/s and work in a team with the directors, in-house draftspeople and graduates to assist delivery of projects.

We require someone who is goal driven and milestone focused. Able to organise and deliver to a program and manage several balls in the air at once.

This is a great opportunity to involve yourself in all facets of the architectural profession from design, to detailing, to documentation, to site, in a fun and vibrant environment.

Applicant will work a 9 day 80 hour fortnight meaning every second Monday is a day off.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION

- An achitectural degree
- Minimum 5 years experience working as an architect in NZ
- Experience in architectural design
- Ability to prioritise tasks
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to work in a team and encourage performance
- Good working knowledge of NZBC and NZS3604
- Residential experience
- Working knowledge of Archicad, Masterspec and general construction processes in NZ

For more information contact info@daa.co.nz

20 September 2021

Design Lead / Brand Strategist - Motion Sickness

- Full-time role
- Auckland based studio

For more details contact careers@motionsickness.co.nz

25 August 2021

Graduate Position - Dorrington Atcheson Architects (DAA)

If you are an architectural all rounder with an eye for detail and enjoy a collaborative approach then don’t miss this opportunity to join Dorrington Atcheson Architects (DAA), a boutique, design based architectural practice in Grey Lynn, Auckland. These roles are highly sought after and don’t become available often, so act now!

The successful applicant will need to be design focused with a passion for architectural detailing and design. They will work with the Directors, Project Leads and Technicians to assist with delivery of projects.

We require someone who is goal driven and milestone focused. Able to organise and deliver to a program and manage several balls in the air at once.

This is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in all facets of the architectural profession from design, to detailing, to documentation, to site, in a fun and vibrant environment.

Applicant will work a 9 day 80 hour fortnight meaning every second Monday is a day off.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION

- Strong design skills
- An achitectural degree
- Working knowledge of Archicad
- Understanding and knowledge of different building materials
- Knowledge of presentation software, Adobe and similar
- Understanding of NZBC and NZS3604 and how to use these resources
- Ability to work in a team

For more information contact info@daa.co.nz

13 June 2022

Brand Designer - Warren and Mahoney - Auckland 

A better future with Warren and Mahoney

 At Warren and Mahoney, we are committed to delivering better futures for people, place, and planet. We are designers and architects of our future cities, where shared experiences are enriched through our passion for creative innovation and excellence.

 With a growing team of over 400 in Australia and New Zealand, we’re the sum of the collective brilliance of our people. We engage the very best talent, welcoming a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds so we deeply engage with our clients and communities.

 We are proud of our rich, diverse and inclusive studio culture and processes where we seek to unlock the true identity for every project and potential of indigenous and sustainable design in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific and beyond.

About the role:

 We seek a creative mind with a strong passion for design and a killer portfolio. As a collaborator with fresh ideas, you will bridge the gap between art, design, architecture, and the human experience.

 Combining conceptual thinking, innovation, technical excellence, and a holistic approach to design, you will design solutions for complex and high-profile projects across a range of touchpoints.

 As an integral part of our Brand Design team, you will integrate with a wide range of architectural, design and strategic projects across the Pacific Rim. Your work will include creation of compelling identities and assets for a range of brands (including our own), graphic design, print and digital design, creative direction, signage, wayfinding, and environmental graphic projects.

 You will engage and collaborate with a range of clients, partners, and peers to ensure design solutions that last. Your contribution will help us achieve our ambition of becoming the most influential design practice in the Pacific Rim.

Owing to the diversity of the role, a passion for design excellence, a hands-on and can-do attitude, are the critical traits for success.

The role will include: 

  • Producing design outputs for a range of clients, projects including: brand identity, experience and brand strategy, marketing collateral, digital design, signage and wayfinding, environmental graphics, experiential installations
  • Ongoing development and translation of the Warren and Mahoney brand identity including the development of our print and digital collateral and digital assets
  • Being a core member of a newly established and fast-growing design team
  • Developing projects from initial planning to completion
  • Self-managing projects and deadlines
  • Presenting and engaging with key client stakeholder groups
  • Collaborating with external suppliers, manufacturers, constructors, photographers, artists and other contributing partners

 Skills required:

  • Relevant tertiary qualification design
  • 3-6 years of experience working in an agency or studio environment
  • Advanced skills using the full Adobe Creative Suite
  • Strong, technical understanding of typography and layout
  • Experience producing promotional and marketing material
  • Ability to translate creative narratives and strategic initiatives into design outputs

 If this sounds like you, please submit an online application with your CV and portfolio. If you would like to discuss the role on a confidential basis, please contact Jenny Webb at jenny.webb@warrenandmahoney.com.

 We are unable to consider applications from candidates that do not have the right to live and work in New Zealand. To be legally entitled to work in New Zealand, you should be a citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid work visa.

 At Warren and Mahoney, we are committed to providing a diverse and inclusive workplace. We encourage expressions of interest from a diverse applicant pool, including applicants interested in discussing flexible work options.

 Please let us  know if you need any adjustments throughout the application or interview process. In your application, feel free to let us know what your pronouns are (for example, she/her, he/him, they/them, etc).

 We take your privacy seriously at Warren and Mahoney. We will use your personal information for recruitment purposes only, and in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020.