Story by Owner and Managing Director, Warren Davies.

We’ll be looking at surveillance capitalism and ways forward for citizens at Melbourne Knowledge Week on April 27th in Melbourne thanks to City of Melbourne

In 2002 a question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? on US TV: What is Carol Brady’s maiden name? changed how we would experience privacy and The Internet for the coming two decades at least. The Data team at Google saw a spike in search traffic for the query at regular intervals across five time zones in the country that night. What could it mean?

Engineers had begun to note with interest the surplus of behavioural data building up around the search engine, a push from a competitor into ranked advertising…


Story by Associate Design Director, Amber Goedegebuure

I like the sleepiest room at the NGV. It’s the Schaeffer Gallery: the one with the red walls and all the very painterly paintings of the 19th-Century variety. The room that most of my friends skip, that they’d describe as ‘Traditional’ (yes, with the capital); the one that has literally nothing new about it.

The John Schaeffer Gallery, 2018. Photo: NGV

So, you might describe it as old — which reminds me of something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. There’s naturally a strong dichotomy between old and new; boring and interesting; dusty and shiny. Two sides of the same coin, right? But is ‘old’ dusty and boring, and is ‘new’ therefore interesting and shiny?

I don’t think so.

For me, the sweet spot sits where they meet. What is innovation, if not using old ideas to create new ones? Putting the two together is what makes MONA — current controversy notwithstanding —…


As a purpose-driven agency passionate about people and the planet, it’s fair to say we have strong feelings on certain topics. So when our principles clashed with a national holiday, we needed to have an uncomfortable conversation. I’m writing of course about Invasion (or Survival) Day. More commonly known as Australia Day.

On January 26, 1788, British settlers raised their flag and claimed the land for the first time at Warrane (Sydney Cove). The British government stated Australia was terra nullius (nobody’s land) to justify the settlement without treaty or payment legally. So the date regarded as the beginning of…


Story by Owner and Managing Director, Warren Davies written by the beach listening to John Carpenter’s Lost Themes at the suggestion of Chris Chinchilla

We have so much, but a future is not a given. image: Delfin Delfondo

In the past few years personally and professionally I’ve been involved in the overthrow of tyrants, unprecedented (sorry) changes to the law, new days for teams that fought hard for them or never believed they would come. Big steps both easy and hard for people of all kinds. I’ve been on the edge of it and in the thick of it.

In hindsight, each event started with a necessary conversation or deliberate action, someone else joins…


Story by Designer/Art Director, Ashleigh Reynolds

The new Tenants Victoria website

The law is often convoluted and inaccessible to the general population. Tenancy rights in Victoria are no exception. Tenants Victoria represents two million Victorian renters. With a confusing and cluttered website driving users towards an under resourced phone and email service, the existing website wasn’t great for anyone.

One of the most important things to do with the new website project was to understand the user’s needs and put empathy at the centre of the solution. …


Story by Associate Design Director, Amber Goedegebuure

Animation by Nic Hamilton

I worked with a client recently who said what they do is boring… And then they spoke passionately for fifteen minutes about why responsible packaging and the circular economy is so important to the environment and the next generation.

I was hooked.

It feels a bit like plastic is the ‘necessary evil’ we’ve all come to accept. Sure, it protects food and conveniently bundles our items. The flip side is it’s often wasteful—remember those bananas wrapped in plastic? If only they came encased in some natural protective coating! …


Story by senior creative and copywriter, Luke Falkland-Brown

Due to COVID-19 only digital post-its used this time

Post-its. Until recently, all I knew about design sprints was that you use lots of them. The last agency I worked at had sizeable UX and strategy departments, so I (part of the creative team) was never invited to the party.

Design sprints (in case you were wondering) originated at Google Ventures but are now used around the world. The idea is to build and test a prototype in five days. It’s efficient, avoids the office politics that slow down projects and gives you customer insights before investing time and money into…


This post is a reflection on the latest mission from The Intelligence Service — a collaborative design concept run by Pretty Neat and Code for Australia — by the Managing Director of Pretty Neat, Warren Davies. We’re sharing what we learnt from our latest engagement — helping a government team working to improve service delivery to people experiencing homelessness.

Mission Luna briefing by Agent X

The Intelligence Service was inspired by the science-fiction trilogy The Southern Reach. An other-wordly atmosphere descends onto our coastline and exhibits its own laws of space and time. A government agency is charged with discovering its meaning and intent. In book…

All or Nothing

Big ideas for the people and brands the planet needs

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