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Profiles

fSpace Talks – Ric Cairns, Brandino

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Like many of the best creatives, Ric Cairns’ journey to become a creative director took some unexpected and unorthodox turns.

As a teenager, Ric saw a career as a writer – his true passion – as pie in the sky, so he studied civil engineering at UWA (he followed a high school friend there!). He completed his four-year degree, but his heart wasn’t in engineering, so he took his first sharp turn: via the university radio station into broadcasting.

Radio allowed Ric to combine his love of music with his love of language – he crafted written talk-breaks to make his on-air work as interesting as possible. The approach apparently worked well as he progressed to a regular afternoon session on 96FM (where they obviously rewarded hair growth).

All that creative writing on the run must have whet his appetite, because he started trying his hand at advertising in his spare time. It got serious when he did the industry course for creatives – AWARD School – and took off the WA prize.

This brought a call from the precurser of The Brand Agency, inviting him to give up his radio gig to write for them. In some really awkward timing, the same day he got that offer, the radio ratings were announced, giving his show the biggest audience in Perth. (In true ‘80s style this was referred to as being the ‘King of Radio’…)

Understandably, Ric hung around to enjoy his regal position for a while, but he came to realise there were only so many ways to make the weather sound interesting. So, just the following year, his career went around another hairpin: he left radio to fully immerse himself in advertising as a writer.

In a very memorable first year, Ric won a prize at a Campaign Brief workshop that sent him to Sydney to work and learn at legendary Australian ad agency The Campaign Palace. And in that fateful week, he wrote a risque TV ad for Cleo Magazine’s 50 Most Eligible Bachelors that went on to win Gold at the London International Awards – and be one of the most complained-about commercials in Australian history.

This put Ric quickly on the advertising radar – and on the cover of Campaign Brief magazine…

Three years into his advertising career, Ric became creative director of The Shorter Group, a new agency introducing integrated multidisciplinary creative services. As department head, Ric built a strong team of writers, art directors, graphic designers and 3D designers who all worked together to bring brand strategies to life. It must have been a great pitch, because new business doubled the size of the agency in nine months.

From 2000, Ric also served as president of the Perth Advertising and Design Club, helping promote creativity in advertising and design. He led the creation of two of the club’s most fondly remembered annual award shows.

When the economic party ended, The Shorter Group merged with Perth’s biggest agency Marketforce, where Ric remained creative head on the Shorter’s accounts. He worked on many major projects over almost a decade, including creating a five-year global campaign for Tourism WA.

All those years working with designers eventually saw Ric spending more time on design himself. With a particular passion for identity, he finally stepped out of Marketforce in 2011 to try to broaden the nature of his work. This most recent twist in his story was the beginning of Brandino, his own consultancy that allows him to work directly with clients across all aspects of their brand communications: strategy, identity, design, writing, and increasingly film-making.

Ric is focused on ideas, a passion he has shared through guest lectures at various universities. His design philosophy is about “adding meaning and memorability to what we do”. He looks for visual ideas with potential for diverse applications, to create interesting and engaging brands – his work for Interchange WA is a notable example.

Brandino has consulted across all mediums in most areas of industry. From designing exhibitions, to creating unique business cards or compelling annual reports, to building entirely new brand identities, Ric has done just about everything. His new portfolio site at www.brandino.com.au showcases diverse examples from the last ten years.

Ric concluded his talk by inviting fSpace members to reach out to him, to explore opportunities to collaborate. Working on a wide range of projects, he’s always looking to be inspired by – and learn from – good people.

That way, perhaps he’ll find the next twist or turn on his journey.

fSpace Talks – Marie Wong

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Marie Wong was the latest to share what she does at a recent fSpace Talks event. Marie is a lawyer and trade mark attorney who specializes in intellectual property (IP) and works from fSpace one day a week. Marie is a Principal of Wrays, a specialist IP practice that provides advice and assistance in all areas of IP protection and branding strategy, with offices across Australia.

While Marie focuses on brand protection (incorporating trade marks, copyright, domain names, branding & e-commerce), she works closely with her other IP colleagues at Wrays who specialize in the filing and enforcement of registered designs and patents across scientific fields such as engineering, computing, chemistry and life sciences. The focus of Wrays and Marie’s practice as an IP lawyer is supporting creativity and innovation.

Marie described IP as the intangible property of the mind which gives rise to a tangible and valuable product or outcome for society.

Marie provided an overview of the different types of IP that all businesses – large or small – deal with every day. Marie provided an example of today’s smartphones, which are protected by: over 1000 patents, including for their semiconductors, batteries and screens; copyright protecting the artwork and software code; design rights to protect aesthetics; and, of course, trade marks – the brand names, logos and other distinctive signs (including shape marks) by which products such as the “iPhone” are differentiated.

Whilst copyright (protecting the expression of words, software code and artistic form) is an unregistered right, which is automatically granted, and has a ‘long life’ protection (typically 70 years after the death of the author), other rights – such as registered design and patent rights – need to be applied for (usually before any commercial use or disclosure) and last only 10 to 20 years from the date the design/patent was registered.

Trade marks, the area in which Marie works most, can be registered or unregistered and have a potentially unlimited lifespan. Marie works with a variety of clients from a range of different industries to identify and protect their core brands, and regularly assists clients with trade mark audits, searching and clearance (for proposed brand names, logos and taglines), and trade mark filing and enforcement, both locally and overseas. She also helps her clients prevent cybersquatting by watching and protecting new domain names and extensions, and filing complaints when necessary.

One client is another member from fSpace who is a graphic designer. Marie has worked with the designer and her client to ensure that a proposed new brand identity was available for registration as a domain name and trade mark, and to secure registered trade mark protection for the new brand name. Marie regularly works with creative agencies to identify legal issues in the use and roll-out of creative and marketing collateral, including websites and digital marketing.

Marie also noted her own experience with seeking registration of a trade mark for “Roaming Kitchen”, a side-project that Marie and fellow fSpace member, Kim-Vu Salamonsen, have been working on to promote a “unique pop-up kitchen, roaming
through different rooms, flavours and musical delights in sunny Perth,
Western Australia”, based in Fremantle. The trade mark encountered difficulties to registration because the name of the restaurant, Roaming Kitchen, was deemed to be a common term or descriptor and therefore ineligible for trademark protection. Marie described the process of preparing submissions and gathering evidence of use, in the role of the “client”, to try and get this trade mark across the line.

Thanks to Marie for giving us a glimpse into the world of IP and the protections that go with it. Anyone wanting advice on IP is welcome to contact Marie at marie.wong@wrays.com.au.

fSpace Talks – Credi

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PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: fSpace Talks Credi, Juan and Patrick January 25, 2017 in Fremantle, Perth, Australia (Photo by Sabine Albers)

The 2017 edition of fSpace Talks began with Juan Vazquez & Patrick Green sharing what they do at Credi.

Juan shared some interesting statistics that most people might not be aware of:

  • Over 2.3 million businesses start up in the US are funded each year with loans from friend, family or business colleagues
  • The average loan amount is $23,000 (USD)
  • In Australia alone, over $1.6 billion (AUD) is loaned each year between family, friends and business colleagues
  • In the UK, 40% of deposits for first time home buyers are provided by friends

This type of lending outside of banking and other structured channels is often informal and can create problems. Questions or misunderstandings about repayment amounts or schedules can damage relationships.

Credi was founded and started by CEO Tim Dean (who also works from fSpace with the team) in May 2015 to help facilitate relationship lending and protect those relationships. Credi does this by adding structure and compliance as they automate the lending process.

Credi has created a loan builder application that allows the lender and borrower to input the amount, the repayment schedule (time & frequency) and an interest rate if they wish. The parties can share the loan with anyone including family members, friends, business associates, or other entities such as trusts and SMSFs. Business professionals such as accountants and financial planners will be able to manage the process as well for their clients.

Once the parameters are agreed to, the parties eSign and Credi generates a legally binding contract. Credi then manages the loan for each party by tracking the repayments, creating alerts as desired. Credi also allows for amendments to be made including changes to the loan, payment deferrals or even forgiving the loans.

While there are some other tools in the marketplace to deliver template legal loan contracts, Credi is the only one that combines delivers a complete start-to-end process into one friendly environment.

Credi has a larger team behind the scenes with 8 other people contributing in areas such as legal, programming, advisors, and operations. This includes collaboration with Letty Tan, a bookkeeping who also runs her business from fSpace.

Much like companies like Airbnb, Credi does not handle any money – only the agreement services and management of the loan repayment schedule.

Credi is currently in the beta-testing phase of their rollout strategy and they are excited with their formal launch coming in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks to Juan & Patrick for the presentation & best of luck to the Credi team with their launch!

Visit credi.com for more information.

PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: fSpace Talks Credi, Juan and Patrick January 25, 2017 in Fremantle, Perth, Australia (Photo by Sabine Albers)PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: fSpace Talks Credi, Juan and Patrick January 25, 2017 in Fremantle, Perth, Australia (Photo by Sabine Albers)PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: fSpace Talks Credi, Juan and Patrick January 25, 2017 in Fremantle, Perth, Australia (Photo by Sabine Albers)

New Sales & Marketing Manager

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fSpace is pleased to announce that Jason Normandale has joined fSpace as Sales & Marketing Manager.

In addition to helping promote fSpace and attract new members, Jason will also be directly involved in our continuing efforts to enhance the fSpace atmosphere and experience as we strive to provide the best and most inspiring environment for our members to produce their best work.

Jason can be reached at jason@fspace.me or 0427 929 186 – welcome Jason!