hailey-mckenzieAdvanced Diploma in Graphic Design (2010)


Hailey McKenzie started her studies at Box Hill Institute as a multimedia student, before soon realising just how many options there were for her. Upon completing her first year, Hailey decided to move into an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design. Since graduating Hailey has established herself as a designer for a company called ‘tinyme’ where she is able to use her love of a ‘young at heart’ style every day when creating personalised products for kids.
Where do you get inspiration?

I’m very lucky in the sense that the style of ‘www.tinyme.com.au’ (formally known as www.mooo.com.au), is very similar to what I would do if I had my own company. For inspiration, we really focus on what’s popular with kids at the moment by reading a lot of design blogs, looking at current trends and monitoring social media. We know our target market and what the customers like, so we contribute input or ideas and support them with research before discussing our plans as a group.

Where does the style come from?

At TAFE my style leaned more towards vector illustration and kid’s illustration, which is what we do at tinyme. The designs appeal more to a younger audience, and I guess that’s why this role is so good for me. My designs have always had a bit of a twist, but are very young at heart.

You started at Box Hill Institute straight out of VCE, how did you find that?

Yes, I did year 11 and 12 at Mullauna Secondary College in Mitcham, then went straight into Certificate IV in Multimedia at Box Hill Institute. Going straight to TAFE was good, because the course content was broad and it offered many different aspects for me to consider. Initially, I wasn’t sure of what creative field I wanted to specialise in, but by the end of the first year I was certain that I wanted to get into design.

Why did you pick Box Hill Institute?

For VCE I chose mainly arts subjects. I knew the arts were my strong point and something that I loved, so making some sort of a career out of it made sense. I applied to Swinburne and RMIT University design courses where applicants have to have an interview and present a folio. I was fortunate to be accepted for both of them, but I didn’t really like the overall vibe of the institutions. My interview at Box Hill Institute was very different. They were pleased with my folio and I just felt more enthusiastic about the course, it had a much better feel. That’s why I went for it in the end and I’m glad I did because I was able to make the most of every opportunity that arose.

How did you find the teachers you had?

The teachers were great. They pushed me quite hard but it was the best way for me to learn the technical skills I needed. The course was a very hands-on-course, which was important because I was learning the programs that I now use every day in the workplace. While studying I was doing internships with various design studios, which the teachers always encouraged me to do. They were flexible when work opportunities came up that clashed with classes, so we worked around it.

What’s in the future?

I’m pretty happy working at tinyme. I think I came into the company at a really good time. We’ve got a good team and I think the company will continue to grow and become even more successful in the future.

Do you have a long term goal?

I’m in the middle of planning my own wedding at the moment so I’m getting into wedding invitations. I love working with paper and I’d like to be able to work on custom made stationery and greeting cards on a small scale. I imagine that one day I’ll have a family of my own, but continue working in a design job on the side or run my own small business.

Do you think the paper market will last?

Yes, I work with latest technology every day, but I love working with paper. I think it will become a niche market but I don’t think it will ever expire. There will always be a want for it – I hope!

Have you gone back to Box Hill Institute since you left?

I continually visit the lecturers and students at Box Hill Institute. Earlier in the year I spoke to some students and showed them my current folio. I think it’s important that they know how it all works in the real industry, and where the course can take lead to.

As a company, tinyme is also working closely with Box Hill Institute to hire design interns to give them experience and insight into the industry.