Simply Relevant Design Studio

Michelle D’Souza, Creative Director

Michelle is an award-winning creative director with more than two decades of work experience as a graphic designer. Wiht a background in economics, Michelle combines her business acumen with She is a strategic forward thinker designer, an innovator and visionary.

Michelle has worked in media and publishing (newspapers and magazines), corporate, government, not-for-profit and charity organisations. She is passionate about design and enjoys using advancements in technology to create new products that align with the values of the organisation she is working for/with. Michelle enjoys solving problems visually and creatively.

Michelle designs are always on brand and on brief. Her designs are informed by the content and the target audience. When designing, Michelle always places the users front of mind and crafts the most innovative and unique user experience to maximise their brand engagement.

Michelle has re-designed and launched highly innovative, unique and extremely successful commercial products. Majority have been recognised by the design industry with awards, commendations and write-ups.

Michelle’s areas of expertise include:

STRATEGIC CREATIVE DIRECTION / ART DIRECTION (print and digital)

CREATIVE CONCEPT DESIGN & PRODUCT DESIGN (matching company values and products)

DESIGN ON BRAND AND ON BRIEF

LAYOUT AND DESIGN (Magazines, Newspapers, Publications)

MARKETING COLLATERAL (across various touch points/media channels)

BRAND IMPLEMENTATION & VISUAL IDENTITY (print and digital)

DATA VISUALISATION & INFOGRAPHICS (print and digital)

VIDEO & PHOTOGRAPHY

SOCIAL MEDIA (Facebook, Instagram)

PS: Project work/Commissions are 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

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

Combining these elements well, can evoke strong emotions in people and cause them to be drawn to the brand/article/product merely because of how the graphics made them feel.

Graphic design is often underestimated, however, when created thoughtfully and purposefully, can produce powerful results.


    

Brand & Visual Identity

While employed, Michelle helped create, develop and implement the brand and visual identity for a couple of different organisations.

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.

Michelle helped create and develop the brand and visual identity across various touch points including advertisements, village signage, real estate billboards and signboards, vehicle fleet, charity bins, flyers, brochures, posters, conference booths, display banners, directional banners, signage, report cards.

Michelle also helped create mock designs to inform the look and feel of the new websites and interim websites that was consistent with the other collateral that had been designed.

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.