Sustainable Business and Design

Light Touch Solar and Electrical is a local business for whom I have designed their logo, branding and several pieces of promotional and marketing material. Some of Light Touch’s core values and services involve sustainable, renewable and clean energy along with reducing their environmental and carbon footprint wherever possible.


Tim Hodgson and Alice Moffett are old friends of mine who started the local business several years ago in Lennox Head. Tim is driven by a vision to decarbonise and decentrantilse the energy system and commits himself to helping the uptake of solar for business, home and community. Tim is a founding member of CORE Mullumbimby (COREM) whom have a vision for Mullumbimby to be 100% renewable by creating solar projects which local people can be a part of. Alice specialises in sustainability advice for homes, businesses and organisations.

Hence, both Tim, Alice and myself wanted such values to show through in any of the branding and marketing material.

Light Touch recently had a popular stall at ReNew Fest last Saturday at the Mullumbimby Showgrounds. They were a part of demonstrating Tesla solar batteries, electric cars and presented talks on solar and renewable energy.

Banner I designed at ReNew Fest in Mullumbimby


Some of the projects I have helped with include.

Business Cards
Soon after designing a logo I designed a business card for Light Touch. The cards have been printed on recycled paper using vegetable inks. Together with Alice we sought a local company that was able to offer this service. Producing such business cards makes them more environmentally friendly (less toxins from vegetable dyes and recycled paper uses less trees). Also having marketing material (that shows its on recyclable paper and printed with vegetable dyes) promotes a sustainable way of life which is great for any business but particularly important for a Solar Electrical company who’s key values and products are about being sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Business Card design on recycled paper using vegetable ink

The pull up banner was designed in a way so that it would be suitable to use at multiple events avoiding the need for multiple prints and minimum use of materials. Light Touch sourced a printing company that also hold sustainable and environmentally friendly values. The printing company were relatively local which helped reduce transportation costs/impact and carbon footprint.

Car Magnets
I designed magnets to be used as signage on Tim’s work van. They were designed so that they can be taken off and used on other vehicles or for Tim to use his vehicle for non Light Touch work. This means that only one set of magnets needed to be produced and one car can be used for multiple purposes and branding. Less printing, less cars so less waste and environmental impact.


Other sustainable marketing practices by Light Touch include using a monitor to display powerpoint presentation at events. This reduces the need to print lengthy brochures and gives the advantage of being easy to update without the need to re-print. A well designed and updated website has also just been completed for  similar such reasons.

Ad I designed for local independent newspaper The Echo


Ben Newman and Professor Astro Cat

Ben Newman is a freelance Illustrator based in Hastings, UK. He is a fan of animals and likes both cats and dogs as can be seen in his art. His most famous character is Professor Astro Cat.


Ben’s art features a distinct aesthetic fusing bold shapes, bright colours and playful characters being described as ‘bauhaus fuzzy felt.’ He has produced work for a large range of clients, and outside of commercial work his practice extends into worldwide exhibitions, paintings and three-dimensional collaborations. He currently spends most of his time on the ‘Professor Astro Cat’ children’s books. Ben also work as a freelance artist and lectures on illustration at various universities and conferences in the UK and Europe.


The Professor Astro Cat concept was originally created by Ben, backed up with scientific know-how provided by his friend and quantum physicist, Dr Dominic Walliman. Professor Astro Cat features in several educational books for children about science and space. He even has his own app for children to learn about the solar systems.


This character design works well for children’s books with is warm, soft and fuzzy feeling. Ben uses simple shapes, soft lines and pastel colours that matches well with the educational illustrations shown throughout the book, illustrative diagrams such as solar system, atoms and other scientific symbols. The Professor Astro cat character incorporates  sciency and space symbols into his various outfits and looks too.

Ben was inspired to create a space book after seeing the dull offerings in the bookshop where he once worked, and by “the sense of fascination and wonder” in the illustration-heavy books produced before man walked on the moon. Ben worked with his physicist friend Dominic Walliman to create Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, and spoke about the challenges of making something both scientifically robust and simple enough for his target audience. Borrowing the four-colour print process from the space books of old, his became a huge hit and has been translated into nine languages.

quote taken from It’s Nice That



Ken Cato

Ken Cato is an Australian designer with an international reputation. Cato’s influence is everywhere. He has designed thousands of corporate identities, including for Commonwealth Bank, myki public transport passes, and Network Seven. Cato has received many industry accolades in his 46-year career as a graphic designer, including a Swinburne University honorary doctorate.


Cato established his business, now called Cato Brand Partners in Melbourne in 1970. He now has offices in 15 countries, based in a Collingwood warehouse Cato spends half his time visiting overseas clients.

As a graphic designer, Cato encompasses all facets of corporate and brand management and design. Cato’s design philosophy is rooted in the concepts of functional design and minimalism. Some of his famous works are the visual identities for Seven Network and the City of Melbourne.d163703160f9eeeba23727f5ceea5047

Another piece of iconic work Cato has produced is the Australian Made logo. The Australian Made and Australian Grown trade mark logos signify products whose ingredients or production mostly originate from Australia. This programme was established in 1986 with the logo created by Ken Cato. Then in 1989 Cato designed the Commonwealth Bank logo which like the Australian Made logo is still currently used today and is widely recognised branding.


Australian Madecommbank_logo1_1989

Many of Cato’s logos are widely recognised but not always without criticism. One more recent logo that attracted some criticism and controversy was the latest South Australia logo created in 2013. More on the various opinions can be read here at Adelaide Now.




H.R Giger is most famous for his design of the alien creatures in the Alien movie series. I saw these movies and creatures as a child and they scared me! But then later in life I became a fan of the Alien movies as well as Giger’s artwork. As a teenager I was particularly attracted to dark and gothic art. Giger’s sculptures and artwork were influenced by styles such as bio-mechanical, futuristic, dark and gothic themes which was also reflected the type of music I became of fan of. One band I listened to in the late 90s was Korn. The singer of Korn, Jonathan Davis was also a Giger fan and had Giger commission a special microphone stand for him. I remember clearly seeing this mic stand on stage while the band performed.


Before the Korn mic stand was designed in 2000 Giger designed several album covers throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, often for more alternative artists ranging from pop through to death metal. Below a quote from Rolling Stone magazine who feature some of Giger’s best album covers here.

“Surrealist Swiss painter H.R. Giger, who died on May 12th at age 74 (2014), is perhaps best known for inspiring the design of the creature in the Alien movie franchise, also had a long and deep connection with music. Whether via commissioned pieces or licensing deals, his disturbing, erotic “bio-mechanical” images were frequently used for album cover art, among other musically-related projects. We’ve highlighted some of the best of those eerie uses. “

Some of the musical artists that Giger designed for include Debbie Harry, Danzig, Dead Kennedys, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Celtic Frost and Carcass.

Giger described his artwork as “biomechanical,”, and earned renown for his monochromatic dystopian landscapes and perverse monsters. Many paintings featured genitalia in the art, while others found machines fused to organic beings.

“My paintings seem to make the strongest impression on people who are, well, who are crazy,” Giger said in a 1979 interview, according to the Associated Press. “If they like my work they are creative … or they are crazy.”

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Kelly Thompson

Kelly Thompson grew up in New Zealand with a passion for illustration beginning at a young age. As a child she would copy Rembrandt portrait paintings in coloured pencil. She later graduated with a Bachelor of Design from Massey University in Wellington, majoring in photography. Starting with an initial career in fashion photography, Kelly was inspired by the models she photographed and began to capture her subjects as ephemeral illustrations that were published by major publications leading to a loyal following of fans.

“I just enjoy capturing women who are comfortable in their skin. I appreciate that it doesn’t always last, so why not make the most of it and share it instead of hiding it away.” Kelly Thompson

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