DESIGNERS AND CREATIVES ARE A GROWING BREED IN NORTH QUEENSLAND, WITH MULTIPLE TERTIARY COURSES NOW AVAILABLE AND SMALL TO MEDIUM BUSINESSES POPPING UP ACROSS THE CITY.
Inspired by the success of fellow local networking group DevNQ, Jarrad Wild, Co-owner and Digital Director at TBD Design, teamed up with Joanne Walter from Safety Culture and Sean Bunton from Fierce Ventures to form DesignNQ.
Established from a need to bring together and share knowledge amongst Townsville’s design community, Joanne explains, “We started this group so that the designers of Townsville would have a place to meet, talk and discuss their ideas,” she said.
“The group was created for locals who are either working, studying or simply interested in design – whether that be graphic design, product design, design thinking, interaction design, user experience design or print design.”
Jarrad said “We wanted to build and nurture a community of designers who can help progress the level of design in our city. This has been received better than expected, with everyone from industry professionals, students and just keen individuals through to web and software developers attending.”
Beginning in March this year, the group has already expanded to over 100 members, with 25-30 of those regularly attending the meet ups every two months.
“The doors are open to anyone who’d like to attend,” he said.
“We are also always looking for people to share their experience and knowledge, so if you are passionate about a specific topic in design we would love to hear from you.”
If you’d like to get involved or find out about upcoming events, look for DesignNQ on MeetUp.com.
To finish the year off DesignNQ will partner with DevNQ for a combined Christmas social event. “Local designers and developers can come together, meet, form connections and maybe join forces to create the next big start up.” explained Joanne.
Jarrad said DesignNQ had thus far been able to connect the industry with students, which was one of the largest hurdles to face when first graduating from university. There had also been some people who had managed to find employment opportunities through the group, as well as gaining valuable knowledge in making their first steps into the industry.
A Townsville local who moved south for study and work opportunities, Jarrad has studied Graphic Design in Brisbane, worked as a Senior Digital Designer at Jeanswest in Melbourne, a Product Developer at Afends in Byron Bay and a Graphic Design Lecturer at Shillington Design College in Brisbane. With his experience in design from across the country under his belt, Jarrad returned to Townsville to run TBD Design with his now business partner Travis Farley.
Jarrad rates the scope of design in Townsville highly. “The design landscape in Townsville is on the rise with a solid variety of design studios around town as well as some great tech companies that are starting to make a lot of noise,” he said.
“These companies are helping to raise the level of design throughout Townsville. As a city we still have a bit of leg work to do when it comes to the community/small businesses understanding the importance of good design and the role it plays, as well as battling with bigger businesses looking down south for design services that are available in their own backyard. However, we’re starting to see more and more companies adopt this way of thinking and utilising some of the amazing talent we have throughout our city.”