A small design firm with some very big accolades


Albion Street, Surry Hills

Urban Village visited co-founder and creative director Jaimy Walter and digital designer and business partner Adrian Kotik at their office on Albion Street, and talked about the evolution of the design industry and the changing suburb they find themselves in.

By Tess Scholfield-Peters

In the seventeen years that walterwakefield has been around, it has never left Surry Hills. In 2000, Jaimy Walter and Robyn Wakefield set up shop in an old warehouse on Reservoir Street, opposite an abandoned petrol station. At that time there was only one restaurant in the area.

“When we moved here there was an amazing mash of culture and creativity with a colourful underbelly. It was bizarre but very exciting,” says Jaimy, “I’ve seen it turn into this sort of gentrified mecca. It’s still a great place for creatives, just safer at night.”

Now, in their airy studio office, walterwakefield specialises in highly conceptual strategic design. “We turn often complex subject matter into simple, engaging communication,” explains Adrian, who has been with the business for eight years. “What we do is very user focused.”

walterwakefield has provided their services to major Australian companies such as WorleyParsons, Commonwealth Bank, AGL, Virgin Australia and Suncorp, an impressive client base for a boutique design company.

“Years ago if you wanted to create an enterprise website for a big business, you couldn’t. I remember when we started, if you wanted to create a video you had to go to a video studio with dark rooms and expensive computer systems, and animation was something unachievable,” recalls Jaimy, “now you can do it all from your personal computer.”

Stepping into their open plan office, walterwakefield has the palpable energy of a start up. Whether the client requires video, print or web design, the team has a broad skill set and experience to match any project.

The ever-expanding digital realm situates the graphic design industry in a state of constant change. “When I started this [work] I knew it would be a life of basically being a student,” says Adrian.

“You have to constantly be thinking about how to build and apply your visual arsenal. You have to live it all the time.”

walterwakefield has aspirations to expand their team and branch out into the retail space. From virtual shop fronts to big corporates, the variety of projects, changing nature of the industry and growing relationships with clients excites the firm as it moves into the future.

Albion Street, Surry Hills