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Design Work Podcast

Interviews with trailblazing creatives who are designing their work, lives and everything in between.

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In this episode I catch up with Natasha Vermeulen, a freelance designer and illustrator based in Auckland, New Zealand. She has worked at a number of award-winning design studios in New Zealand as well as building her own independent practice, From the Mill — a direct translation of her last name. Her illustration style is playful, bright and sometimes warped, in the best way possible. At Dovetail Xwe were lucky enough to have Nat create an illustration for one of our custom Refold cardboard desks at San Francisco Design Week in June. Plus she just did an awesome gif animation for us that appeared in our newsletter last week. I love how Nat is always willing to put her hand up for stuff and try new formats whether that be huge murals or animations. In this episode Nat chats about how she’s learnt to run a successful freelance design practice, getting comfortable with contracts and how going to gigs by yourself can make you a better freelancer.

From the Mill

Dovetail X


Designers Institute of New Zealand — Resources

Taupo Street Art Festival — Natasha Vermeulen and Kelly Spencer

This week I speak to Deroy Peraza, founding partner and creative director at Hyperakt, a social impact studio based in Brooklyn. Hyperakt has worked with everyone from Spotify to Amnesty International all through the lens of creating meaningful design for the common good. Deroy fills us in on what it means to be a social impact agency, the influence of baseball cards on his design career and what makes a good side project.

With a decade and a half of experience designing brand identities, data visualizations, online experiences and products, Deroy is equal parts designer, entrepreneur and cheerleader. He provides creative and visionary leadership for the Hyperaktivists and is the driving force behind Hyperakt Labs, which creates opportunities for their ideas to flourish.


On the Grid city guides

Dovetail X

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This week I speak to Alisa Olinova, Design Director of verynice, a design consultancy based in LA that gives away half of their time to great causes. Verynice counts Disney, Unicef and Google as clients plus lots of amazing not-for-profits. Alisa chats to us about her journey from intern to design director at verynice, running a Women’s Design Salon event series, logos as tattoos and her favourite olympic sport.

Apply to join the verynice freelance network:

Women's Design Salon in LA, 3 October: RSVP here

MaddAddam Trilogy Books

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We’ve come charging out the gates for the first episode of Design Work. This episode I’m speaking with Nathan Cooper, the founder of CorpStudio. Based in Auckland, Nathan is taking on the ad industry with his nimble model, putting together teams of freelancers to collaborate on projects, working with brands like RedBull, Uber and Sony just to name a few. Before founding CorpStudio Nathan worked in London, New York, Stockholm and Amsterdam at the likes of R/GA, Wieden+Kennedy and Mother. He can also be found running his own radio show or making his own film.

This episode Nathan talks about what it’s like to start a business as a creative person, how he runs a full service agency with only himself and one other person on staff and why side projects are the place that creativity is really hiding.

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Interview Transcript