SINCE graduating from Swinburne University in 2008, three long-time mates have turned their passion for design into an exciting Melbourne business that is attracting big-name clients.
Chris Murphy, Jack Mussett and Dan Evans, friends since high school, took the knowledge and skills they gained and refined in Swinburne’s Bachelor of Communication Design and dived straight into the deep end of small business.
Motherbird was the result – an inner-city design studio that boasts clients of the magnitude of Qantas (designing a skin for a Boeing 747), MTV, ABC and the federal government, to name just a few.
Swinburne Online is offering Communication Design from March, 2014.
It didn’t take long for the word on Motherbird to spread. In 2010, the trio won the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards and before long had moved from its first location in South Melbourne to its prime real estate among Melbourne’s CBD big boys in Flinders Lane.
Murphy said studying Communication Design – in which he and Mussett studied honours – had been invaluable in fostering the trio’s design direction.
“We were always very passionate about design and had always discussed starting our own studio, and our time at Swinburne really cemented this goal while also allowing us to access amazing industry contacts who would later go on to mentor us,” Murphy said.
It hasn’t been all smooth flying for Motherbird. Not surprisingly, starting and running a business has had its challenges, but the enjoyment of design has helped in business management and ownership.
“We very enthusiastically and, perhaps on reflection, quite naively, jumped straight into it after graduating – we very much felt that we didn’t have a lot to lose and went for it,” Murphy said.
“As the business has grown things have become more and more serious – although I’m sure we still spend too much time on studio pranks.”
Murphy added: “I firmly believe you need to love (design) to be successful; this is not always a nine-to-five job.
“The Australian design industry is full of amazing people who are often willing to share their experience and knowledge. Take any opportunities that you are offered with both hands and give back when the tables turn.”
And as for the business name, Motherbird? They can thank their Swinburne days for that.
“I would like to say there is a well-crafted, strategic answer to this question, however the name actually came from one of Jack’s sketchbooks from university, a sketch of a hypothetic logotype,” Murphy said.
“There was no meaning behind it; we just enjoyed the sound of it, its uniqueness and the fact that it was in no way descriptive of us. We love listening to clients’ attempts to unravel and guess its hidden meaning.”
Find out more about Motherbird at http://www.motherbird.com.au
Discover how online study can help your career take off by visiting http://www.swinburneonline.edu.au
*This article was written by an independent journalist as part of a commercial agreement between Fairfax Media and Swinburne Online.