My name is Jacob Tolo. I am a designer living and working in Melbourne, Australia. I was born in the pacific island of Samoa and at the age of 5 moved with my family to New Zealand, where I went to school and studied Graphic Design. For the last 10 years I have been working mainly in Children’s publishing, packaging and illustration. Along with working as an Art Director, Designer, Studio Manager and general dogs body over those years, I also managed to complete post-grad study at Swinburne University. I have just recently opened my own studio in Brunswick East, called DesignTologata.

For the last 10 years I have been intrigued by the notion of culturally specific design. Particularly in the Pacific and Australia. I work closely with Sista Girl Productions in the creation of graphic design for indigenous community groups in Victoria and often do work for clients in New Zealand with a Pacific/Polynesian bent.

The idea first came to me several years ago, that culturally specific design is a subject that is not widely discussed or even critiqued in the same way that western design is so rigorously examined. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a platform to tear other people’s work down ( there are plenty of other sites that achieve that) but by looking at what I think is a successful merger of traditional and modern design aesthetics in other peoples work, there can be a discussion about why and how it does work. Not only in graphic design but design as a whole, that has been created specifically for our communities – be it architecture, fashion, furniture and so on.

I’m hoping in this space I will be able to bounce around some old ideas and maybe even introduce some new ones to further the conversation around ‘designing for a culturally specific audience’.

One thought on “About

  1. Stormy says:

    Hey Jacob, I’m getting in touch to let you know that I was at Steve’s warehouse on Sunday and he said his spaces are filling up fast. Just thought you might want to enquire soon if you’re interested so you don’t miss the opportunity. Cheers, Stormy

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