This Melbourne-based creative studio has many tricks up its sleeve, as Ola Bednarczuk finds out.
July 9th, 2012
Staying inspired and creative whilst meeting the commercial needs of a business may sometimes be a tricky balance, but Melbourne-based creative studio Housemouse has it covered.
Starting out as a two-person graphic design operation in 1996, these days the Melbourne-based company numbers 8 people and takes the holistic approach of a creative agency, while also bringing out its own particular range of products.
One of these is Fluoro, a biannual magazine which recently reached its 10th issue – a glossy, image-heavy publication that shows off Housemouse’s design talents as much as showcasing emerging trends in art, culture and design.
“Initially, Fluoro was a newsletter sent to clients,” says Miguel Valenzuela, Housemouse’s Creative Director and co-founder.
“But the information we were creating was actually worthy of a magazine. It was actually quite cool – and the clients were saying that as well.’
“Housemouse focuses on corporate work, so Fluoro is [our way of] separating the two. It inspires; it’s raw. It’s that creative element that we can push and do what we feel. The compliments we’ve received for Fluoro are that it inspires people, and that’s just [its purpose] – to have that culture and to inspire.”
Always ones to explore new avenues, Housemouse have also developed their own range of gift paper, entitled Wrapped.
“We were doing end of year newsletters for clients, giving them a wrap-up of what we’d done over the year and thanking them for everything they’d done for us,” Valenzuela recalls.
“The newsletter was on an A1 or A2 sheet that was crashfolded down; when clients opened it, the flip side of that was patterns, designs that they could use as Christmas presents, reuse and reapply for something that could be useful for them… Everything has to have a purpose.”
The simple idea spawned a series of three different wrapping papers in bold, fluorescent colours.
Housemouse now have even more products in the works, as well as a steady stream of commercial clients, most recently Italian appliance company Barazza. With their energy and abundance of ideas, we can expect much more in the years to come from their Flinders Lane studio.
For Valenzuela, the goal for the immediate future is simple. “Be creative, keep on finding new ways, never pigeonholing [ourselves],” he says. “You’re only as good as your last project; in that sense we keep on keeping on, making sure that we’re fresh, [always] on our toes.”
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