Tess McCabe, the Melbourne-based graphic designer and branding expert, is judging Frankie Magazine’s Good Stuff awards. As sponsor of the small business category, we’re really pleased to be involved. We caught up with her to find out a bit more about what she’s looking for from entrants – so if you’re thinking of getting involved, here are her tips for success.
Tess! The awards are coming soon – how do you feel about taking part?
I feel honoured to have been asked to be a judge at the inaugural awards, and I relish in the opportunity to help a person who is passionate about their fledgling idea take the next step, and to assist them where I can to succeed.
What will you be looking out for?
I’ll be looking for products or services that know their market’s needs and wants; incorporate good design and good user experience; and consider their overall impact on the environment and human beings.
The awards are aiming to recognise innovative, challenging brands – what does this mean for you? Where are you looking for that difference – in products, service, brand…?
Sometimes a product or service will come onto the market and I’ll marvel at the wonderful intersection of innovation, timeliness, design, and the impactful alternative it offers. Think about the Keep Cup – when it launched it was an innovative and timely product, with good design at its core, focused on impacting humans and their environment for the long term. And it’s not just products – services can have these qualities too. I’m currently using and loving Car Next Door (it’s like AirBnB for cars).
But that doesn’t mean I’m only interested in awarding new or innovative or profitable businesses – sometimes an existing small business has extended themselves to challenge a norm, experiment, or give benefit their community through a project or service, despite the investment or lack of immediate financial reward – that deserves recognition too.
What do you think are the biggest challenges for small businesses today?
The amount of copying that exists with creative industries – it is usually larger businesses taking advantage of a small business or individual’s talent, hard work, and reputation, which is really sad. It might take more time (and more creative muscle) to bring something fresh to the marketplace but it’s worth it.
Got a small business that deserves recognition? You’ve got until January 23 to be part of the awards. So hurry!
Photographs by Martina Gemmola
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