Leading Hand is 20 years old on 1 July. To celebrate this auspicious occasion, we’re going to feature 20 jobs that we’ve done along the way. Here’s the countdown of our jobs from 10 to 1!

Number 10 is one of the 11 annual season campaigns we worked on with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Another of our foundation clients, the ACO came to us in 2003 to work with them on subscription campaigns, single ticket marketing collateral, sponsorship and development collateral, and LOTS of invitations. We worked with four amazing marketing managers, all of whom moved on to quite incredible roles – a very talented bunch were they. However, our first will always be Alistair Graham, who not only gave us a wonderful opportunity, but still works with us today in his role as General Manager at NIDA. We also got to work with some very talented agencies, including Moon Design, who conceptualised this 2010 campaign with spectacular images by Gary Heery.

Number 9 is one of a multitude of projects we have worked on with Tanner Kibble Denton Architects. Alex Kibble came to us in 2014, a few years after we had rebranded the practice, formerly known as Tanner Architects, established by Howard Tanner in 1974. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the practice, we were asked by Alex to design a book that honoured some of the incredible work done by Tanner Architects – including their renowned heritage work – and to position TKDA for its next phase of growth and development. From this came a beautiful book which we named “40+”. Since then we have worked on amazing projects with TKDA including some of the super graphics and environmental design for new public schools over recent years. Proof that life really does begin at 40!

Number 8 is a project we are very proud of and one of the many websites designed and built in-house at Leading Hand. In 2018, the National LGBTI Health Alliance approached us to reimagine their QLife website. QLife provides Australia-wide anonymous, LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. We began the project with a workshop that enabled us to develop their brand positioning statement and brand personality. From there we developed numerous options for the look and feel of the website and a final design was chosen. The version that went live at qlife.org.au uses a palette of strong, optimistic colours with friendly, inviting typography and, if you look closely, a gently moving horizon line between the page sections thanks to the super-duper skills of our Digital Director, Jason Williams.

Number 7 is a campaign we did back in 2015 for our client, the National Institute of Dramatic Art, better known as NIDA. The campaign was to promote their Summer courses for children, teenagers and adults. We worked with our friend and photographer Rob Catto shooting students from NIDA across all three age groups and the day was a cracker – perfect for shooting a campaign that we wanted to have a beautiful, summery glow. One of many campaigns, event, projects and reports we have been lucky enough to work on with NIDA for six years and counting!

Number 6 is five fabulous posters we designed for the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation Bake Off between 2009 and 2013. We were lucky enough to work with BGF for several years and worked on many fundraising campaigns, awareness projects and event collateral – none more fun than the Bake Off. The Bake Off was one of BGF’s key fundraisers each year and also a hilarious event where the girls came out to prove that they could bake it after all and confirmed bachelors got out their spatulas to try and take the crown. We wouldn’t have had nearly much fun or ended up with such fantastic results without the boundless talents of the queens who adorned the campaign posters: the marvellous Mitzy Macintosh, the talented Trevor Ashley, and three-time poster girl, the ravishing Verushka Darling. Thank you ladies. 👯‍♀️💃

Number 5 is a massive campaign we have rolled out four-and-a-bit times. The “bit” was the first component of this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival which was their full program that was inserted into the Sydney Morning Herald 15 weeks ago. A few days later, the Festival was cancelled. Not only was it a blow for us as a studio but a shocking turn of events for a wonderful organisation that strives for excellence and places importance in people, ideas and community. We would love to show what was shaping up to be an amazing campaign for the 2020 Festival, but that didn’t happen. So for now, we’re going to look back at our first year with the Festival in 2016. We absolutely love working with the Sydney Writers’ Festival and can’t wait for next year in late April when hopefully novels will again be the talk of the town, not Novel Coronavirus.

Number 4 is the annual Diary produced by Legal Aid to assist older people with legal issues. The diaries are dotted with advice and tips about housing, health, family, aged-care and other areas of life that affect older people in our community. The Diary was initially a “try it and see” kind of project which is now an in-demand resource with close to 100,000 copies of the ninth diary being printed for 2020. Every year, we have used an artwork from the artist Peter Coad whose landscapes provide a beautiful backdrop that makes the Diaries instantly recognisable when they are distributed throughout NSW. Always a fun job to work on and an excuse to get in touch with the lovely Rosalie Coad every year to source a new cover image.

Number 3 is a small project we were asked to work on recently. The task was to create a set of visual identities for three COVID-19 studies – CORIA, COHIVE and COHEART – part of the ongoing work of the Therapeutics and Vaccine Research Program at the Kirby Institute at UNSW. Over recent years we have become more and more involved with the Kirby Institute, branding and developing collateral for studies, programs and initiatives which gives us insight into just some of the incredible work being done by this leading global research centre. Having worked with many health organisations, peak bodies, hospitals and research centres, we are still amazed at the commitment, drive and achievements of our clients in these fields.

Number 2 is a project for one of our major clients, Riverside Theatres Parramatta. With the closing of its doors due to COVID-19, Riverside has been hard at work putting together a digital program for its audiences under the new subbrands of Riverside Theatres Digital and Riverside Digital Cinema. They are also taking this time to showcase the dedicated community of educators, producers and staff members that help keep Riverside alive through their Riverside Neighbourhood initiative. As always, it has been a pleasure collaborating with the Riverside team to develop these ideas and a bonus to hear that they have been super successful – a fitting measure of their tenacity, passion and ingenuity. At Riverside, the show must go on!
“We hope to delight you in your home, until we can welcome you back again to ours.”
– Robert Love Director, Riverside Theatres

We’ve saved our most important job till last. Our number one job is looking after our people. We have an awesome, dedicated team who we have managed to hang onto during the recent rocky ride and we couldn’t be happier. We’d like to thank them for their patience and flexibility over the last few months and thank all of our clients, friends and colleagues out there who have helped us make it through the last few decades. We reckon we’ve got another 20 years in us. See you on the other side! 👊🏼 🎂