Design + Development

Paper Thin

We are a design and digital development studio recognised for our distinct typographic responses. In our discourse, methods and outcomes, we pursue clarity and authenticity over complexity and pretence.

The commissions we undertake are many and varied, ranging from small, short-term projects to complex and protracted engagements.

Our work is imbued with a commitment to typographic craft and detailing. Typography is the unifying and omnipresent element in our portfolio, and our skill in this area has been acknowledged by awards from the prestigious New York Art Director’s Club.

We value simplicity; understandable dialogues and uncomplicated processes often resulting in simple outcomes, clarity achieved through the careful elimination of the unnecessary and gratuitous. We pursue solutions with integrity and longevity. Such work represents better value for our clients, retaining its relevance far longer than mere stylistic treatments.

Our experience traverses the paradigm shift from analogue to digital, from the drawing board to the keyboard. Increasingly, the knowledge we have accumulated in print is informing our work within the digital space. Grids, typographic craft and layout can, and more importantly should, provide the framework for a website as much as for a brochure.

We are also developing a formidable reputation for our environmental design, most specifically in wayfinding where typographic acumen is paramount and adroit cooperation with architects is essential.

Identity is a broad term we apply to much of our output. We work with clients to clarify who they are, their specific audience, and their ultimate business objectives. This strategic insight is the foundation for creating compelling and appropriate identities.

The outline below provides an overview of our services, and lists some typical examples of how these skills are applied.

  • Identity Design
    We develop distinctive identity systems for a diverse range of clients. This work may include strategy, naming, brand identity and guidelines.
  • Print & Editorial Design
    For nearly two decades we have produced beautifully crafted printed work including award-winning books, brochures, magazines and annual reports.
  • Digital Design & Development
    We offer clients a fully integrated design and development service. Our scope includes websites, mobile, tablet and desktop apps.
  • Environmental Design
    Close collaboration with architects and signmakers is imperative when undertaking three dimensional work. We design and produce signage, wayfinding, exhibitions and installations.

Our interest in graphic design extends beyond our commissioned work. We are actively engaged in the promotion and documentation of our industry’s past, present and future. In 2009, Dominic Hofstede established Re:collection, an archive of Australian graphic design which has gained a dedicated and enthusiastic following. In 2010 he curated an exhibition highlighting Les Mason’s period as art director of Epicurean magazine.

We also volunteer our time and skills to AGDA, the Australian Graphic Design Association. The studio was a key contributor to ADB012, the regeneration of AGDA’s biennial award scheme, and we regularly contribute to competitions and events both as individuals, and as a studio.

On occasion, we initiate our own projects in the form of writings, publications and websites. We approach such work with the same level of discipline and rigor as our commissioned work, the only difference being the brief is our own, not our client’s.

We are a team of three full-time designers, assisted by part-time support and administrative staff. That we are small is undeniable, but our compact size doesn’t preclude us from working on large projects. Importantly, it means our people deal directly with our clients. We don’t employ account managers. When necessary, and depending on the nature of the assignment, we draw from a selected group of collaborators incuding writers and freelancers.

The current Hofstede team is detailed below, however many other individuals have contributed to the studio in a myriad of ways. Thanks to Heath McCurdy, Wendy Ellerton, Hege Olsen, Andrew Tesdorpf, Paul Scanlon, Frits Bovill, Liz Cox, Sash Fernando, Tess Copeland, Sally Brownbill, Margaret Schmidt, Tim Royall and Ben Jennings.

  • Dominic Hofstede

    (Design Director)

    Dominic has worked as a graphic designer for over 20 years, the past 17 as head of Hofstede Design. His commitment to fostering young designers has manifested in mentoring, lecturing and teaching roles undertaken with numerous local educational institutions including Monash University, Swinburne University, RMIT and Ballarat University. In 2010 he was invited to join the advisory board to Swinburne University’s Communication Design Program Reaccreditation.

    Dominic is also an active member of the design community. In 2009 he sat on the AGDA Victoria council, was a judge at the 2010 AGDA National Awards, and has spoken at numerous AGDA events.

  • Paul Mylecharane

    (Digital Director)

    Paul’s design philosophy is informed by a life rich with experience, both professionally and personally. Initially trained as a fine artist, he has travelled and worked extensively, eventually settling on a career as a designer & developer in the late 2000’s. Under his own business name, he produced websites for a diverse clientele ranging from large multi-nationals to individual photographers and artists.

    He is responsible for overseeing all digital projects emanating from the studio, including websites, digital publications and apps.

  • Tomas Sabbatucci

    (Graphic Design)

    Tomas completed a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication at Monash University. The astute typographic sensitivity inherent in his work reflects the quality of tutoring he received at Monash, where, in comparison to many other tertiary institutions, the craft is still revered.

    His outstanding potential has been recognised with a number of awards including the 2011 Monash Emerging Talent Award, 2012 Monash Most Outstanding Folio Award and the 2012 DIA Graduate of the Year Award for Graphic Design.

2011 Les Mason – Epicurean Magazine: 1966-1979 / Certificate of Excellence: TDC58
2010 Paper Thin, Architects EAT Profile / Distinction: 2010 AGDA Biennial Awards
The Type Tablet / Finalist: 2010 AGDA Biennial Awards
The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking / Highly Commended: APA Book Awards
2009 Tobias Frere-Jones Poster / Finalist: 2009 Mohawk Show 10
Tobias Frere-Jones Poster & Type Tablet / Certificates of Excellence: TDC56
2008 Eat Ate / Winner: Best Designed Cookbook, 2008 APA Book Design Awards
Eat Ate / Pinnacle Award: Books, 2008 AGDA Biennial Awards
The Face of Age / Distinction: Calendar, 2008 AGDA Biennial Awards
MEAT / Commendation: 2008 APA Book Design Awards
2006 COO / Finalist: Brand Identity, 2006 AGDA Biennial Awards
Judging Panels (Dominic Hofstede)
2012 Adelaide Art Director’s Club Awards
Desktop CREATE Awards
2010 ISTD Student Assessment
AGDA Biennial Awards
2012 Terrible Twos Exhibition (Melbourne)
TDC58 International Exhibition
2011 AGDA Poster Annual (Sydney & Canberra)
2009 TDC56 International Exhibition
Eyesaw (Sydney)
AGDA Poster Annual (Melbourne)
Lectures/Talks/Panels (Dominic Hofstede)
2012 Monash University Volume Control Series 1
2011 AGDA Tasmania (Now & Then)
AGDA Question Time
State of Design: Milton Glaser Interview Panel
2006 AGDA Forty-Eight
2012 Typography 33: Type Director’s Club Annual
2011 Vivid! The Allure of Colour in Design
Asia Pacific Design No.6
2010 10th AGDA Awards compendium, AGDA, Australia
2009 Typography 31: Type Director’s Club Annual
Eyesaw 09 Humanity/Equality Catalog
2008 9th AGDA Awards compendium, AGDA, Australia
2013 Process Journal #8: Studio Profile
2012 Gather & Fold: Interview with Bonnie Abbott
2011 Desktop #278: Interview with Paul Marcus Fuog
Desktop #275: Interview with Brita Frost
2010 Process Journal #1: Type Tablet Feature