We build communities to help designers network.

Australia is not too different to the rest of the world: the majority of design studios employ less than five people. Many less than three.

That means designers may not gather a huge number of work colleagues. In fact, many leave uni to work solo. Added to that, design education leads many designers to believe we are competitors in a crowded marketplace. We’re not really.

Every designer is a amalgam of their background, their education, their career path and their clients. We all have something different to offer. Sometimes it’s aligned, sometimes it’s complementary. We’ve a lot to gain by getting away from our computer and out of the office to meet with other designers.

DBC aims to build a design community.


We know that running a design studio is hard, but we also know it doesn’t have to be a solo endeavour. Designers have so much to gain by networking, and sharing challenges.

The Business of Design breakfasts are the chance to network with a like-minded group of colleagues. It’s also the chance to work on your business rather than in your business.

Each breakfast starts with a topic. They change each month but the discussion is always centred around sharing tools and skills to help you survive and thrive in today’s volatile world. Carol and Greg – two of Australia’s most experienced design business mentors – lead the discussion. Together they’ve consulted to hundreds of Australian design businesses making them walking knowledge banks of what works and what doesn’t.

Our topics have included:

  • what and why you should do a personal journey map
  • how to write a design value proposition, for you, your studio and your clients
  • how to use your design value proposition to find more work
  • empathy mapping

We always leave 15 minutes for AMA’s: ‘ask me anything’. Nothing is off-limits. Pick our brains about what we know about running an Australian design studio. If we don’t know, we’ll find out.

Want to find out more? Simply email Carol or search Business of Design breakfasts for your state on Eventbrite.


Melbourne dates:

Third Tuesday of each month:  21 May, 18 June, 16 July, 20 August, 17 September, 15 October and 19 November

More detail and how to book in Eventbrite.

Perth dates:

Second Friday of each month: 17 May, 14 June, 12 July, 9 August, 13 September, 11 October, 8 November, 13 December

More detail and how to book in Eventbrite.

Sydney dates:

We have the people for Sydney, we’re just searching for a venue.

Dates to be confirmed


UNseminars are where views of the audience are as important as the presenters.

We pick a topic that’s been on everyone’s mind, and then we find a couple, or a few, people to share their knowledge. But that’s just the start. The objective of our UNseminars is that everyone participates. It’s a discussion. We are all experts in our field.

The ‘experts’ share their thinking to start the discussion.
The aim is for everyone to leave the event wiser.


2019 BUSINESS OF DESIGN Unseminar # 3

Can designers work a 4 day week and still keep clients?

Is it possible for designers to work smarter? Is it possible for us to work less hours but still be profitable?

We know Australia is filled with creative, talented designers with strong, persuasive pitches. Competition between designers is fierce. And we all look the same. We use the same computers, with the same typefaces using the same software. It’s hard to be heard. We also know – from our ‘What clients think‘ UNseminar, that clients prefer to form a relationship with their designers. They prefer to talk with the designers that do the work. They want to collaborate. They want to co-create.

Added to that, gurus like Seth Godin are confident that soft skills will be the differentiator between a good designer and a great designer. Interpersonal and leadership skills are becoming mandatory.


Pitching and winning a client is hard. New clients are hard-won and we’ll do anything to hold onto them.


Should we be aon call – 8am to 6pm, 5 days per week?
Does co-creation mean 24/7 availability?
And if so, how does it work with our work:life balance? How do we protect our mental health?

We’re on the hunt to find answers.


Charl Laubscher
Director, Love+Money

Charl is a strategist, designer, writer and general creative. He’s the founder and Creative Director of Love+Money, a team of thinkers + doers who create brands for the digital age. His studio works just 6.5 hours every day. They start work at 8:30 and they’re out the door at 3 complete with a half-hour lunch break.

Jenny McLaren
Director, Aer Design

Jenny is the Creative Director of Aer Design – a studio building meaningful brand experiences through a human-centred design approach. After 20 years, Jenny felt there was a better way to work where the studio, the people and the work all benefited.

Jenny and her business partner Lynne, grew the business based on the traditional design studio model, but recently restructured to give the two directors more flexibility.

Their combined experience dealing with designers should uncover invaluable insights.

Carol Mackay: Co-founder Design Business Council and Design Business School will chair the event.

Please be part of our discussion:

When: Tuesday 23 July, from 6pm for a 6:30 start.
Where: Golden Gate Hotel, 238 Clarendon Street South Melbourne, VIC 3205
Cost: Students $11 inc. GST, book here. Everyone else $33 inc. GST book here.


Previous UNseminars.

#1: Design Interns: opportunity or exploitation?
#2: What do client’s think.

#1: Designing your mental health
#2: CX,UX, WTFX. Where has design gone?

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