Celebrating Australian Designer Makers

Australia Day is a time to rejoice and to celebrate the achievements of Australians and Australian businesses. According to the CCI report card for 2013, over the preiod from 2005-2011, the creative industries emerged as one of Australia’s strongest performing, with the growth attributed largely to the rising demand for digital and design.

Whilst larger manufacturers continue to move production offshore, smaller designer makers, brands and businesses have seen the opportunity in keeping manufacturing local. For Sarah Leslie, who founded Signarture in 2006, it was a key plank in the strategy that brand should be designed and produced locally. 

"Over the last decade or so, underscored by economic uncertainty, there has been an increased awareness of the benefits and impacts of buying locally made products. Signarture connects with that market which rejects mass produced products imported from overseas." 

Granted, the perspex that is used for their uniquely transparent perspex artworks can only be sourced from overseas, but the fabrication and printing is all done in Sydney. Likewise for their canvases, the specially coated material has to be imported, but the timber for the frames comes from sustainable Australian plantations, and the frames are assembled and the canvases printed and hand stretched in Sydney.

“Our trademarked metal brand plates are produced in Sydney too. Every little helps to reduce the carbon footprint”.

According to research conducted by Roy Morgan in 2013, Australians are becoming ever more conscientious about the impact that their purchasing behaviour has on jobs, local business and future opportunities.

"There has been a trend to outsource a whole range of business functions, including digital design, to overseas based providers. But I was keen to support and foster local talent, providing work experience for a succession of students at UNSW College of Fine Arts".

Now in their 8th year, Signarture joins other designer makers in celebrating their contribution.