Shaun saw the digital design writing on the wall when he wrote his thesis “Computers and Design” in 1983, so in 1991 he leapt at the chance of learning to use a friend’s PowerMac and was thrilled to become the proud owner of his first Mac in 1995. It was clear the only career advice his visualising tutor, Ray Downham, ever gave “the key asset of your design career is going to be adaptability” was spot on. A decade later to continue developing his career he needed to educate himself in Adobe Creative Suite, digital pre-press, colour management and typography. Designing good art in-house and freelance work developed his digital design disciplines and skills.
He had learned how it was, then had to leave it behind. Can’t get to the moon and back on a horse.
In 1998 he became a shareholder and in-house designer for the Christchurch dotcom Digital Proofing and colour management hub startup company, which he named, AbsoluteProof, a part-time role he worked in until 2009. This led him to freelance for several Christchurch technology startups involved in the local small business “incubator programme” also known as the technology barbecue, creating logos, advertising, capabilities brochures, websites and packaging.
2002 saw Shaun & Chrissie wind up their T-shirt screenprinting firm and Shaun took up a position as Creative Director/Mac production artist at a start-up Christchurch Brand Management studio. Then, having helped grow Tattoo from a 2 to a 6 person studio, at the end of 2004 he took up a position as inhouse designer for the Trans-Tasman Private Aviation and Affluent Travel firm Pionair. He enjoyed working inhouse for a diversified growing company tremendously. His role included digital photography. This demand for pro photos reignited Shaun’s enthusiasm and his adept photography has become one of the services that contributes most to the distinction of MagentaDot Brands’ work today.
It was a bad day for Pionair in October 2008 when their Private Air Charter operations in Australia was hit hard by the Global Financial Collapse. All their contracts with the mining industry were scrapped in one fell swoop and the firm he joined was wound up less than 12 months later as a consequence. Out of that crisis, and with the support of Pionair and a set of loyal clients, sprang the original idea for establishing MagentaDot Brands which he has been developing since May 2009.
Shaun never brags but he has won a few awards and competitions over the years, including a bronze Axis award for typography and a brace of coveted Pride in Print Golds for design, print finishing and print production.
His career is a creative and skill driven journey sparked by human curiosity, continuous development and adaptation. Design is a classic discipline of endless potential, the air in the studio is thick with ideas, where he shows more and talks less.