Simply Relevant Design Studio

Michelle D’Souza
Brand-creator – Creative strategist – Leadership and mindset coach

Hi, I’m Michelle, an award-winning creative director with more than 22 years experience as a graphic designer. An ex-banker and economist, I use my business acumen to produce innovative design solutions and launch new products in the marketplace. I am a strategic, forward-thinking, brand-creator.

I have worked in various industries including: media and publishing, corporate, government, not-for-profit and charity organisations. I am passionate about using design to add value to organisations. I also enjoy using advancements in technology to create new products that align with the values of the organisation I work for/with. Solving problems visually and creatively is my area of gifting and strength.

My designs are always on brand and on brief and created to appeal to the organisations target audience. When designing, I always place the users front of mind and craft the most unique user experience that will maximise brand engagement.

I have re-designed and launched highly innovative, unique and extremely successful commercial products. A majority of these products have been recognised by the design industry with awards, commendations and special mentions/write-ups.

I am also a certified independent leadership and mindset coach. I work with organisations and help them develop their leadership capacity. In the words of my mentor, John Maxwell, “The single biggest way to impact an organisation is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organisation that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.”

My areas of expertise include:

STRATEGIC CREATIVE DIRECTION / ART DIRECTION (print and digital)

BRAND IMPLEMENTATION & VISUAL IDENTITY (print and digital)

MARKETING COLLATERAL (including EDMs, social media, web banners, digital ads, web design to generate look and feel, signage, flyers, booklets, magazines, brochures, posters and all print and digital collateral)

DATA VISUALISATION & INFOGRAPHICS (print and digital)

VIDEO & PHOTOGRAPHY

LEADERSHIP & MINDSET COACHING (Interested? Learn more at seedsofwisdom.com.au)

PS: Project work is completed under Michelle’s registered trading name: Simply Relevant Design Studio.

Industry Awards

Over the years Michelle has won awards and commendations for her design and creative work. Some of these awards have been received while she was employed as creative director/graphic designer on these products and some were received while she was working on freelance projects with her clients.

In particular, Michelle values her contribution to Green Cross Australia. The app that was created for kids between 8 and 12 years of age was unique and innovative. It helped educate kids how small changes they make in daily life (ie. walk to the shops instead of driving; turning lights off when you leave a room etc) can positively impact the environment.

The stories received from the kids were heartwarming and delightful. This product seemed to make a genuine difference and that was a fabulous experience.

The app was also the very first Australian educational iPad magazine and was so successful that Michelle was recognised and honoured by Adobe California, USA. The app was featured on Adobe’s Digital Publishing Gallery blog and at their Design Centre for originality, superior design and functionality, high engagement and stellar animations. Adobe used it as a ‘prototype’ to showcase it to their educational clients and show them the possibilities.

Here are excerpts from the interview by Adobe

“Simply Relevant Design Studio is a Sydney-based design firm that uses art and design to empower people, businesses, and communities. A key part of the firm’s business model involves creating simple, relevant but innovative solutions for non-profits and charities. One such organization is Green Cross Australia, which has been a valued client of Simply Relevant Design Studio since 2009.

The iPad app is right at the cutting edge of digital communications, with playful features that allow students to interact and learn at the same time. Scrollable frames help to save space while enabling students to swipe and tap to reveal information. Image sequences help to tell a story, without taking up valuable screen real estate. The ability to integrate videos creates a richer and deeper experience for program participants, helping to inspire, motivate, and encourage them about topics such as climate change and energy efficiency. Students can log actions they take, tweet comments, and share stories about their projects on a digital map.

Digital diary delivers

As part of the Green Lane Diary program, students can create a Green Scrapbook and even win prizes. Student entries and experiences are fascinating and include activities such as turning off lights and televisions, cleaning up rubbish, and closing the fridge. Students demonstrate how they’ve learned to treat waste more responsibly, including no longer dumping food leftovers into a landfill. It has become unpopular to purchase plastic water bottles, and students have learned just how precious water is.

Green Cross hopes to reach 200,000 primary school students within five years with the Green Lane Diary program. While the cost structure of doing that with print is a limiting factor, the digital edition offers a solution that is affordable and engaging.

For the full article, please contact Michelle.

Powerful visuals

Graphic design is often underestimated. However, good graphic design produced thoughtfully and purposefully can generate powerful results.

Michelle uses typography, iconography, data visualisation and stunning photography to communicate stories powerfully and effectively.

When these elements are combined well, they can evoke strong emotions in people and cause target audiences to be drawn to the brand merely because of how the brand visuals made them feel.


    

Brand & Visual Identity

Building a brand identity is all about differentiation: making your brand visible, relevant, and unique. It is the “face” that interacts with the world.

It is important to accurately communicate who the organisation is so the right target audience will engage and interact with the organisation and the products it develops.

While employed as design manager in the marketing, communications and media division, Michelle helped create, develop and implement the brand and visual identity for a couple of organisations. This involved designing across various touch points and media channels, as well as re-designing all the regular digital and print marketing collateral.

Michelle also helped inform the look and feel of the new websites and interim websites so the brand was consistently applied across all channels. The websites were developed by external agencies.

Michelle enjoy brand creation and is experienced with re-branding and creating visual identities that appeal to the right target audience.

Michelle has helped organisations develop their brand and visual identity across various touch points including advertisements, village signage, real estate billboards and signboards, vehicle fleet, charity bins, flyers, brochures, posters, outdoor displays, conference booth designs, display banners, directional banners, signage, report cards, promotional material, audio-visual presentations, premier events, social media designs etc.

Michelle worked closely with the head of marketing, marketing managers, media and brand managers while developing the new visual identities.

For additional samples of her brand-creation and visual identity implementation work, please contact Michelle directly.

Creative Director

Michelle has worked as a Creative Director / Graphic Designer for the past two decades in both New Zealand and Australia.

Michelle is passionate about design. She is a ‘thinking designer’ interested in giving the end-user a unique experience when interacting with a particular brand.

Michelle has been awarded for her involvement in the launch of innovative and unique products in the marketplace. Some of these products were created as an employee and some were commissioned directly by her clients.

Michelle is a visionary and an innovator who loves aligning the products she creates with the values of the company she is working with. She enjoys using the latest technology to create unique products that aid the end-user and enhance the users experience with the brand.