Who we are
Folk has built a multidisciplinary team of researchers, designers, technologists and strategic thinkers since 1996, the year of our foundation in Sydney’s inner west. Extending today far beyond our origins in industrial design, Folk is now recognised as one of Australia’s leading design consultancies.
In the public sector, Folk works at every level of government and has led an extensive range of digital transformation and service delivery optimisation projects across the health, education, social services and justice sectors.
In business, we work with clients from a spectrum of industries including professional services, technology and talent.
We work in a converted chocolate factory designed to fit our needs. Our HQ blends collaborative work spaces with areas for individual focus, and includes a usability lab, photography studio, and workshop for tinkering.
Working with us
What we believe in.
A little understanding goes a long way.
Good working relationships lead to great work.
The more open, honest and timely the chats, the more rewarding the journey and outcome.
Sharing is caring.
A lot of understanding goes even further.
Vague problem, vague solution. Clear problem, clear solution. And so on.
We ask a lot of questions before attempting an answer.
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t yet understand it well enough.
We think, critically.
It’s not what you know... it’s what you do with it.
When probed, prioritised and played back, rigorous research provides the foundation for creative leaps that solve the real problem, the best way.
The what, plus the why, before the how.
Clear is clever. And crucial.
Once they are truly and comprehensively understood, problems – even big ones – can be simplified.
Easy? No. Vital? Yes.
Do sweat the small stuff.
While big-picture thinking, big ideas, and big hairy audacious goals are huge, little is much bigger.
Whether guiding discovery or informing design, it’s the details that make the difference.
The best solution seems at once surprising, yet inevitable. Fresh and familiar; engaging, pleasingly elegant, and hard-working.
It connects the brief to its audience in a way that seems “So obvious!”.
Daring is caring.
Michael enjoys lifting the lid on a client’s business and understanding the dynamics of the sector they operate in. He is a strong believer in the power of design to create positive business and social impact - looking at issues through a different lens.
He studied marketing management at the Australian Graduate School of Management, completed the L21 Leadership Program at Mt Eliza Business School, the Behavioural Economics program at Harvard Business School and the Leading Professional Services Firms program at Harvard Business School. He is a trustee of the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a non-executive Board member of MTC Australia, a social enterprise providing training, education and employment services and the Chair of Health Justice Australia.
Michael has global and regional experience with multi-nationals and start-ups in Australia, United States, Singapore and China and has also worked with Federal, NSW, QLD and Tasmanian Government agencies. In his spare time he reads, walks and surfs.
Lou brings 12 years of experience as a creative problem solver spanning across commercial, government, NFP and cultural clients.
Lou is a confident designer who can shape the direction and approach of projects, conduct design research and translate findings into insights and opportunities. With extensive experience of leading teams, Lou uses the design process to create both physical and digital experiences, services and products that positively impact people and shift their thinking.
Graham has enjoyed direct involvement in all aspects brand strategy and design – in London and Sydney – for over twenty-five years.
Since arriving in Australia in late 2000, he’s worked on iconic brands, big and small, including NRMA Motoring & Services, Australian Museum, Sydney Symphony, Deloitte, APEC (Australia 2007), and University of NSW. Most recently, Graham and his team have created brand and campaign identities for LinkedIn, McGrathNicol, Deloitte Consulting, and Xenith IP Group.
Graham collected a BA (Hons) degree (and a national student design award win) at University of Central Lancashire, and a handful of awards here and there since. He’s a curious and critical thinker, a skill that’s evident in every aspect of the design process he’s put in place at Folk. He actively engages in the development of brand strategy, believing it to go hand-in-glove with successful design outcomes. Insights into ideas.
He’s been invited to judge at various design industry awards including the AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) Awards Biennale in 2015; speaks on occasion in NSW (and interstate) on thinking, creativity and design; and was vice-chair then chair of AGDA NSW Council for a while.
As creative director at Folk – thinking, writing and designing – he’s still enjoying it.
As Client Services Director, Gemma brings to Folk 14 years of experience within client service, spanning across employee communications, branding, marketing and advertising.
Gemma has built strong and extremely positive relationships with her clients, always striving to solve any problem, aiming to deliver the best possible outcome. Detail, determination and enthusiasm are hallmarks of her client service style.
Tim helps to connect Folk with potential partners and drive positive outcomes for our projects. He cares for how organisations engage, and thrives on models that are more open and collaborative.
He’s spent the majority of his 12+ years engaging with organisations that are purpose-driven and conscious of their impact on the world. He's interested in the evolving models and application of strategic and organisational design, the advancement of technology and how this impacts and reshapes the way we think about the future. On the side, he has an ambitious food and technology project that sits in the hospitality space.
Being an adventurer at heart, he loves nothing more than conquering a mountain climb.
Michael has spent his career helping organisations to define and shape how they create value for their customers. He has an inquiring mind and enjoys getting to the heart of problems and finding creative responses to the challenges presented. He works with an intuitive balance between creativity and pragmatic commercial thinking and champions co-creation processes.
Bringing 15 years’ experience to the Folk team, Michael has worked as a Design and Strategy practitioner in the UK and Australia: building brands, re-structuring portfolios, reimagining customer experiences and services and galvanising internal cultures around change. He has honed his ability to facilitate stakeholder groups and create the kind of alignment and momentum required to make meaningful change.
Michael has consulted across a diverse range of industries from telecommunications and entertainment to not-for-profit, government, finance, FMCG and health.
Gui (pronounced “Ghee”) is a Brazilian born and Sydney based Design Director.
For over 14 years, he has worked with multidisciplinary teams to shape and create brands, experiences and digital products, striving for logic, clarity and craft. He continues to develop his expertise in these disciplines keeping himself up-to-date with industry best-practice.
His approach blends product design, experience, branding and art direction into a single process. He believes that these processes should be harmonious and amplify each other, creating the greater value for clients.
Previous and current clients include TAFE NSW, Torrens University Australia, Foxtel, LinkedIn, Deloitte, Valiantys and GHD.
When he’s not at work, Gui is also an artist, having been commissioned by the City of Sydney to create a mural on Foley Lane, part of the Art and About program.
He’s currently part of the AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) NSW council and occasionally runs ultra marathons.
Originally from England where he completed his degree in Graphic Design from Brighton University, Andy gained his experience in a number of leading London design agencies including Landor, Start JG, The Team, 300 million and Philosophy. He has been fortunate enough to work on a diverse mix of projects throughout his career, ranging from large re-branding projects, designing entertainment apps for London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital to producing illustrations for Lend Lease’s Olympic Park development. Andy’s focus is on branding, web design, print and illustration. He is a strong believer in starting every project with good ideas, as good ideas are bought to life with type, print, illustration and digital applications.
Amelia is a graduate from the University of Technology of Sydney with a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication and has been working in the design industry for the past 3+ years. Through her education and industry experience she has a solid understanding of the creative process and now utilises these skills in her account management role.
Amelia enjoys a challenge and is naturally eager to ask questions and really get into the nitty gritty of the projects that she is involved in- making sure that she understands the problem that clients are trying to solve.
She has worked on a broad range of projects, including corporate identity, corporate communications, advertising campaigns, direct marketing, video and website design for private sector and government clients in Sydney and Brisbane. Clients include, QLD Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, Orica, Infrastructure Australia, Amadeus IT Pacific and Class Super.
Dom has helped businesses and organisations build better tools and products that inspire and delight their audience. He loves to delve deep into discovering a problem, and co-creating to produce thoughtful, compelling and lasting experiences.
Since completing his qualifications in Academy Xi User Experience Design and BA (Hons) in Design, he has collaborated and led projects across multiple industries from health, education and finance to FMCG, eCommerce and non-for-profit.
Dom believes in design for good and that everything produced should be in pursuit of that goal, for clients and for the audience. He strives to inspire, challenge and improve the world around us.
Outside of Folk, Dom’s pastime is as a keen cyclist, of the gravel variety, and any other outdoor adventuring he can get involved in.
Cas has a broad skill set gained from 15 years working across multiple fields including web design and development, digital transformation, human-centered design, UX, animation and video production, digital marketing and communications; Across a number of industries including eCommerce, MedTech, FinTech, Corporate, Government and Health - Both in creative and technical capacities for agencies, client-side and freelance.
Cas has a passion for using data to uncover pain points, inform solutions and make strategic decisions. Contributing and providing advice end to end on projects he brings wide perspective, guidance and strategic direction to make the most of any digital project.
Cas holds a BA Communications from UTS, a Bachelor of Design, has recently studied Product Management, is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Data Science and is a certified Scrum Master.
With 9 years’ experience working with a wide range of teams, companies and projects, Tim is highly adaptable and responsive to the unique needs of each client, challenge and context.
He has extensive experience in human-centred design, collaboratively leading projects and products in industries including health, media, finance, education, insurance and government.
Prior to discovering the world of UX, Tim was passionately studying and regularly freelancing in graphic design and branding.
Tim loves NBA basketball, sewing, red wine, Italian food, cooking, interior design, architecture, cycling and running. You’ll often see him wearing some sort of hat, cap or beanie every day, from his collection of over 30 pieces.
Mel is a keen, determined and naturally inquisitive member of the Folk team.
In her role as a Strategic Designer, Mel’s creativity and empathetic approach drives her discovery of the attitudes, behaviours and motivations behind people’s choices to surface meaningful opportunities for our clients and the people they serve.
She brings insightful value to research, product and service design and branding for clients in a variety of sectors – including health, aged care, education, professional services, not-for-profit and Government agencies.
Mel holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies in Journalism and Professional Writing from the University of Wollongong – where she collected a number of Academic awards.
Her keen eye for detail has also seen her become an award-winning visual artist, displaying her artwork at the Art Gallery of NSW and the Margaret Whitlam galleries.
Ranjeet has extensive experience in the digital industry and has been instrumental in the delivery of award winning web & mobile sites, complex content management systems, native iOS & Android applications, interactive TV apps, intranets, integrated campaigns, interactive kiosks & installations, Augmented Reality applications, digital projections, CRM and eLearning tools.
Ranjeet has a healthy mix of business acumen, a passion for holistic UX, sound grasp of technology, an eye for design, programming hard-skills and relentless customer focus. Ranjeet adds value at various parts of the product life-cycle.
Ranjeet’s experience spans various sectors such as Government, Education, Media, Publishers, Real Estate / Property Development, Telcos, Retail, Automotive, Healthcare / Wellbeing, Pharmaceuticals, disruptive startups and big banner media agencies.
Ranjeet is User / Human Centered Design (UCD) practitioner, inspired by Lean startup, Agile UXD and Design thinking. He is passionate about emergent technologies, holistic user experience and service design. He possesses tertiary qualifications in Interactive Multimedia and IT PM, as well as Agile Scrum certifications (PSM and CSPO). He teaches at post graduate level at UTS and guest lectures at GA Syd.
Laurence originally started his design career as an Architectural draftsman which then led to a career in various industries which allowed him to flex his problem solving, technical and customer service skills.
Upon completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design at UTS, Laurence became an Industrial Designer, serving the events and exhibitions industry by developing and designing eco-friendly physical products.
After spending several years in this role, Laurence saw an opportunity to pivot careers and took the leap into the digital product space. He is most enthusiastic about rapid prototyping and solving customer problems by understanding their needs.
He is on the brink of a coffee addiction and loves spending time with family and friends. If he’s not behind the computer, he’s probably reading a book on personal development or dreaming of his next snowboarding trip.
Nikki is a highly organised, creative problem solver who brings 8+ years of client service experience to Folk.
Process-driven and motivated, Nikki is passionate about building strong relationships with clients and team members to deliver high quality work, that matters.
Nikki’s education in Marketing and Public Relations has led to her working across a range of agency disciplines such as advertising, brand identity, activations and experience design where she has been able to build strong project management skills, and apply them to her role as Senior Account Manager at Folk.
Away from work, Nikki loves to spend time with her family on the South Coast, or chances are you’ll find her with a good book, or a crisp glass of wine in hand.
Joanne has developed a unique skillset through her double degree in Creative Intelligence and Innovation and Journalism at UTS.
Her journalism studies have provided her with a flair for writing and a passion for stakeholder engagement, while her innovation degree has exposed her to multidisciplinary teams and problem-solving techniques.
It’s the combination of these skills that makes Joanne an organised, engaged and valuable member of the team, particularly across digital transformation and user experience projects. She has worked with government and corporate clients, to deliver projects that create valuable and exciting online experiences for their audiences.
As a Product Designer, Kiara thrives in the intersection between research and creation, allowing her to design experiences that put user’s needs first and solve problems with purpose.
Kiara has worked closely with a range of clients across health, insurance, and airlines. She also has experience working with Queensland Government including the Department of Transport and Main Roads, and Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy.
Kiara always knew she wanted to work creatively, so when she discovered the world of graphic design in high school, her path became clear. She completed her Bachelor of Interactive and Visual Design (Honours) at the Queensland University of Technology and is now also a certified ScrumMaster and Product Owner.
Striving to avoid being put in a box, Kiara actively seeks to learn and work in different ways. Outside of her 9-5 she’s a regular design teacher at QUT and RMIT, and enjoys creating custom portraits for friends and families birthday gifts.
With 5 years of experience as a Science teacher, Helen has recently made the career change into Design.
She completed her Diploma of Graphic Design at Billy Blue in 2020 and was awarded several AGDA Design Awards. Before joining Folk Helen worked as a freelancer, her clients have ranged from small businesses to cultural institutions, from a diverse range of industries.
As a designer, Helen enjoys solving creative problems through empathy, strategy and communication, with key skills in branding, illustration and editorial design. This experience has helped shape her thinking and problem-solving skills, which she now brings to solving any design brief.
Helen loves to travel to experience other cultures, see the world, and eat amazing food. When at home she enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing basketball, and tuning into a good Netflix series.
Beatrix has an enthusiastic approach, bringing to Folk experience in digital transformation and client management. As a digital project manager, she manages user experience and service design projects, where she enjoys working collaboratively with both Folk and client teams.
Beatrix spent 8 years in the UK working with the Government Equalities Office on their Gender Pay Gap digital service and on various NHS digital transformation programs. During this time, she developed skills in relationship management, team leadership and collaboration. She particularly thrives on supporting her colleagues to be confident, enjoy their work and achieve great results.
When not at Folk, you'll often catch Beatrix with an ice cream at the cinema, or sipping a delicious negroni.
He’s a dog. He likes to chase birds, sniff clients and bark at the local schoolkids in the afternoon. He doesn’t get a bio.
It’s always good to know good people.
Please get in touch if you like the cut of our jib and feel you could help us make a positive impact for the greater good of our clients’ audiences.
People make places
The work-life thing is what you make of it. We like to make the most of every job, every day. Every project’s interesting if you’re interested.
We have what we call a ‘keen-as culture’. Energy beats talent, every time.
We’re people who like to make things clearer and better – and make them together.
We like to make a difference – who doesn’t – with insight, ideas and met deadlines.
Beyond business, our work connects people: to services they need, to knowledge they value, and to opportunities on behalf of ambitious organisations. Large and small. Near and far.
Nothing to atmosphere
We like to be open. Heard, happy and no-hiding.
We encourage the airing and sharing of thoughts, feelings, ideas. Both awesome and ordinary merit respect, and are of equal importance. Everybody counts. The greater the contribution, the greater the impact.
It all adds up.
Way to grow
We support anyone who’s keen on advancing their skills and career progression – either in what they do now, or would like to do next.
Great minds like a think.
Some crucial incidentals:
- beautiful converted old-chocolate-factory studio
- light and leafy surroundings
- there’s somewhere to hang your bicycle (and towel after your shower, thankfully)
- handy to public transport and all-day street-parking
- fresh fruit, nutty-snacks and chilled sparkling water on tap
- dog friendly (with a friendly dog)