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Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs

by Lauren Chorpening

Working on the Design*Sponge team for the last year has taught me a lot about the social impact of a company. We want to open up the world to new ideas, people and design that aren’t being featured elsewhere – to call attention to what is beautiful and inspiring in every aesthetic, culture and country. A branding and design agency in Australia is doing the same. Its ethos is reflected in its gorgeous workspace and attitude of the team behind it.

Smack Bang Designs was started in 2011 by Tess Robinson, who shares, “We are a modern creative agency which favors good content over profit and we are heavily focused on working with likeminded people who are doing good for the world through their brands and businesses. We work across branding, packaging and website design and pride ourselves on strategically sound, commercially driven work that tells a story.” The company is now in its second studio since its establishment and is thriving in the new lush, green environment.

The first studio was a warehouse style that the ever-expanding team quickly outgrew. Finding a new place in Sydney was easier than Tess had imagined. “I came across this beautiful, naturally lit space above a gallery by chance, and I immediately fell in love – I just had to make it ours. Luckily, we scored the place and within a week had moved in,” Tess says. “Our brand has a fresh and simple aesthetic which carries through to our workspace, with clean, fresh styling, natural light, raw textures and an abundance of plants.” The second studio is airy, bright and open — and it can handle their various projects, clients and designers all at once.

Smack Bang Designs knows the importance of good design – graphic and otherwise. “Our studio is our sanctuary. We invest a lot of time and resources into our studio home to make sure that it is a beautiful place to hang out all day. The studio always has the gentle hum of busy, the scent of countless coffees, a trail of jokes, good vibes and plenty of tunes. Always tunes,” Tess says. “It’s an ever-evolving process, we are always reinventing the space to offer fresh inspiration and keep the high levels of motivation flowing. We’re all about creating a space that allows the creative juices to flow!” The subtle color palette, efficient work stations and the positive feelings that flood the space make for a perfect hub for Smack Bang to impact the world with design. –Lauren

Photography by Alex Carlyle

Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
The Smack Bang studio in Sydney, Australia is divided up into three main sections: The Action Room, the Meeting Room, and the Design Studio. This is the Action Room.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
Tess outside of the Smack Bang Designs studio.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
"The Action Room is where we schedule work, take client requests and spend a lot of time on the phone," Tess says.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
There are over 80 plants in the Smack Bang studio. The layers of green, white and wood tones make for a fresh, inspiring space in which the team feels alive.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
"I started my branding and design agency at the beginning of 2011 and now have a team of 14 by my side working on over 80 projects at any given time," Tess says.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
"My partner and I also run a business called Urban Growers, which is all about bringing more green back into the modern day life, so the studio resembles more of a jungle than a place of work," Tess shares.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
The Meeting Room is where the Smack Bang designers and project coordinators sit down with clients and work through their design needs.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
The large windows and ample natural light drew the Smack Bang team to this new space.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
The Design Studio is the place "where the creative juices flow, pens scribble and designers dream big," Tess says.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
All of the plants in the studio were supplied by Urban Growers and the Plant Room.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
"I am most thankful for the people that fill my studio home, my team. The Smack Bang gang operates like a family - we are close-knit and a little cuckoo. Finding the right fit is my greatest challenge and biggest achievement. My team are my daily inspiration, constant source of entertainment and my greatest allies in business," Tess says. "I am grateful every day to have 14 happy, positive, intelligent and insanely talented humans to fill my studio and make it a home."
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
Tess's sweet, minimal styling results in stunning moments like this one. The space closely resembles the brand itself: modern, simple and gorgeous.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
Smack Bang Designs has its hands full with branding, digital media, print design, social media, photography, art direction, copywriting and project management.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
The passionate team behind Smack Bang Designs works in a place that is inspiring aesthetically and creatively.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
"The goal with decorating the studio space was to mimic our design direction," Tess says.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
Since starting the company in 2011, Tess has seen the company grow from just her to a team of 15. Their second studio since startup fits them perfectly with room to expand.
Studio Tour: Smack Bang Designs | Design*Sponge
"What we love about our studio is..."

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