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Graphic & Digital Design

Project Management

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October 12, 2016

While all students generally start their Bachelor of Design Arts at the Academy thinking about their major study program, the degree is much broader and richer than just one major! One unit that really gives ADA students the potential to grow and engage themselves creatively is the Project Management subject. Read more about the experience final-year Graphic & Digital Design student Jesse Birthisel in this class, and how what started as just another subject evolved into a successful enterprise all in the name of supporting worthwhile charity, The Song Room! This illustrates how successful a great idea, in the hands of a group of super-creative students can be!

About Jesse & the Howdily Doodly Project

What started as a way to pass our Project Management class, quickly surpassed every and all expectations. We took the opportunity to do some good, and try to make a difference any way we could. For this we partnered with The Song Room, a not-for-profit organization helping disadvantaged children and communities through creativity. It was a perfect fit! Three mates using design for social change and thus Howdily Doodley was born. We now faced the problem, ‘what are we going to do and how are we going to do it’ after copious amounts of research and trusting those gut feelings we settled on producing limited edition enamel pins, embroidered patches, prints and stickers.

Always fearing we’d bitten off more than we could chew Howdily Doodley launched a crowdfunding campaign using Pozible to raise capital. It was really the launch of our brand into a highly competitive market. With the knowledge gained from our major study; Graphic and Digital Design with sprinklings from Communication Design, we not only exceeded our funding goal but did so in one week (three weeks ahead of schedule!) By this time we had picked up a considerable amount of attention on Instagram from the likes of The Design Kids and The Pin Lord.

Social media networking propelled us into a global market. To bring this all to fruition we found an overseas manufacturer and despite many language barriers the products received were impeccable. To achieve our objective of raising awareness and revenue, we had to go international. The next challenge was shipping, to this day Howdily Doodley products can be found in America, Brazil, Canada, China, Malaysia, England and of course Australia. It was unbelievable seeing what we had made appear overseas.

A big aspect of the brief was to set up a pop up shop, we did so at the St. Kilda Esplanade Market, who were thrilled to give us the space for free. The Academy too, kindly hosted us for a flash sale. This was a great chance to get out into the community. A highlight was actually selling out of one pin leaving us with people wanting more! Howdily Doodley started with no budget and in the end made over $2000 for The Song Room to continue their work to enrich the lives of Children.

Throughout this campaign many lessons were learnt both in design and business. It came at the perfect time as team Howdily Doodley looks towards the future beyond graduation. Our work highlights the growing relationship between design thinking and business objectives. Jesse Birthisel, Quila Charnock and Tameem Hassan would like to thank everyone who supported us from liking posts to purchasing pins. A special thank you to our tutor Michael Peck for the words of wisdom and encouragement. With the success of this project team Howdily Doodley decided it was time to do it for ourselves, series two now available from:

Interested in seeing what all the fuss is about?

Applications are open now if you are thinking about applying to study something creative in 2017!  To find out more click here.

Graphic & Digital Design