Coaching and mentoring graphic design creative businesses

Greg Branson and Carol Mackay coach and mentor graphic design and creative business owners about the business of design.

It’s a gap in the market – the business of design is an area often neglected in Australia. With the majority of graphic design and creative businesses being micro, it’s difficult for designers to stay current with managing a business. That’s where the DBC can help; as business coaches and mentors we have decades of experience helping graphic design and creative businesses improve performance.

The DBC helps graphic design and creative business owners develop business knowledge and skills. We publish books and ebooks on the management of a graphic design business. Our Business of Design Short course is a customised three month program to build business management skills.

We coach and mentor creative business owners

  • examine their business model
  • develop a deeper understanding of their clients
  • define the value design contributes to their clients’ business
  • demonstrate a return on design investment
  • integrate design processes and design thinking into their clients’ business
  • elevate design to a strategic tool that businesses can leverage
  • analyse the profitability and productivity of their studio
  • develop new business strategies.

For more information, contact Greg or Carol.

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The founders


Carol Mackay

Carol is on a mission is use her experience and insights to bridge any gaps between creatives and their business knowledge.

After 30+ years running a graphic design firm, she pivoted from client-focused projects to consult to the design industry. She joined the Design Business Council to use her experience, and research, to help designers build robust, sustainable businesses, and help businesses integrate, and profit from, design.

Carol’s special power has always been an ability to use design to translate difficult to understand or complex messages. She believes design brings clarity to complex issues. From clarity comes understanding, and understanding leads to knowledge. She now uses those beliefs to help designers de-mystify the complexities of managing a small business.

In 2018 Carol co-founded the Clear Communication Awards, and the Business of Design Week. Both will be run in 2019.

Outside of DBC, Carol works pro bono as an external design resource for those that cannot afford design and she mentors designers directly and indirectly, through organisations such as Womentor and AGDA.

An archive of her design work can be seen at Current work can be viewed at and

Contact Carol for a chat 0418 384 002

One of Australia’s leading creative business coaches

Greg Branson

Greg’s passion is creative business coaching.

With Carol Mackay he established Mackay Branson design in 1984. They built the practice up to employ 11 designers with clients in government, insurance, hardware and pharmaceutical sectors. Greg developed many systems and methods to manage a creative business and was responsible for new business development using skills developed in marketing agencies in Melbourne and Sydney.

Creative business industry

Outside of DBC, Greg has long been involved in the Australian design community with a two year term as President of the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) Victoria. He now serves as a National Board member for AGDA. In 2005 he co-founded the Design Business Council to provide creative business mentoring and coaching.

Greg is active on a range of curriculum committees, at VCE, TAFE and University level. He served five years as Chair of the industry advisory committee for the Communication Design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University. He also delivers regular lectures to undergraduate and post graduate design students and academic staff at Australian Universities.

Creative business international research

With Carol, Greg has traveled in Europe, the USA and UK to research the role of design in business and the business of design. He is a member of the US based Design Management Institute (DMI) which does extensive research into design management, practice, strategy, design thinking and design effectiveness.

Want creative business mentoring?

Contact Greg for a chat 0412 762 045

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