Jim Griffin
Managing Partner / Designer

Getting down to the essence.

I guess I’m a minimalist, but not at the expense of warmth and personality. Simplifying, testing and iterating is the only way we can be sure to get to the very essence of what moves us.

Real innovation comes from deeply observing how people interact with things and understanding what is really important to them. Real design involves stripping everything back to its skeleton and then adding as little ‘flesh and skin’ as possible.

I prefer substance over style and I get excited about projects that have a larger context or cause, but still allow me to dive deeply into the detail.

My design background keeps my approach grounded. I’ve done my time pulling things to bits to see how they work, curious how they could be put back together to work even better.

Jim has over 30 years of experience in the design industry. He is a director of phd3 and a Fellow of the Designers’ Institute of NZ. Jim has also been a product design judge for the NZ Best Design Awards and is actively involved with the AUT Product Design school.

Bella Akroyd
Partner / Creative Director

Cooking up a storm.

If I’m not working on my iPhone, I’m either creating my ‘farmer’s market plunder broth’ for hubby and friends or a surprisingly brave new brand and strategy for clients hungry for success and unafraid of breaking new ground.

Global connectivity with clients and consumers has given me fertile new ground to question, explore, discover, play in and find fresh opportunities to grow the clients I care deeply about.

My design philosophy is to create, educate, stimulate, captivate and entertain, all dished up in vibrant, quirky, alluring design that works.

Bella has a B.F.A from the University of Canterbury and a Dip.Grad from the University of Otago. A director of phd3, Bella has been the recipient of numerous national and international design awards, is a Professional Member of the Designers’ Institute of NZ and has been a graphic design judge for the NZ Best Design Awards.

Peter Roband 
Partner / Design Thinker / Coach

The collaborator.

We’re all human, right? I am curious about how organisations connect meaningfully with people. How do we design wonderful brands and experiences that appeal to consumers' or end-users' functional and emotional needs?

I like to work with companies that have a burning desire to grow and particularly those that have a compelling purpose and story and a sustainable value proposition. Partnering, educating, inspiring companies to greatness is hard work, but it needn’t be complicated.

Peter has 30 years of experience in design thinking and design, working in NZ, the UK and in Luxembourg. He is a director of phd3, a Design Integration Coach on the NZTE Better by Design programme, past Graphics Convenor of the Best Design Awards and a Fellow of the Designers’ Institute of NZ. He is also on the advisory board for AUT Communications Design.

Kim Shoemark
Senior Design Manager

Design and business.

If you really want to know, I have a thing for liquid colour (paint and ink), learning new stuff, hanging out with the whanau and sunshine, lots of sunshine. Maybe just add salt water. Most of all I really like making things happen.

Did business come first and design come second? Actually, I love the intersection between both, especially projects that deliver great business returns and delightful design experiences (for you the client and your consumers). I’ve worked with all sorts of organisations – great and small. I like working collaboratively with clients and the creative team to make the process beautiful and the outcome sensational.

Kim brings strong design management expertise and experience to projects and has a wonderful track record in looking after clients. She has worked in the design industry both here and in the UK and graduated with a degree in graphic design and a certificate in visual arts.


Chris Reddit
Design Director

The Distiller.

I love problems. Solving them requires a delicate balancing act between pragmatism, creative intuition and curiosity. I love working on projects that produce outcomes that function brilliantly, yet also possess spirit, texture and character to fuel that hard-to-reach distinctiveness.

Away from the studio, my creative (culinary) pursuits increasingly feature wonderful ingredients from my organic garden.

Organisations and businesses are searching for innovative thinking. Combined with agility and a highly creative culture, we can collaborate to explore and find surprising, delightful answers.

Chris initially studied architecture before switching to design, both graphic and digital. On graduating he moved to Melbourne to a small studio specializing in brand development, then returned to continue working in advertising and brand in New Zealand. He also spent 3 years in the UK working for one of the top 50 design agencies.



Karl O'Connell
Senior Designer

Getting the right balance.

As a kid I remember sitting down with a pencil to redraw the logos of my favourite brands – I would recreate every detail until I had them just right. So I guess I’ve always had a fascination with brands. I get a real kick out of creating original design work which is perfectly balanced and crafting brands which stand out.

Design can have a real effect on people and getting it right can be challenging. When designing I continually ask myself “How does this brand make me feel and is it ticking all the right boxes?”

Karl studied graphic design in New Zealand before heading to London for several years. There he worked for a leading design and branding studio gaining experience working on local and international brands before returning home and joining phd3.


Kelsey Soar

Curious and courageous.

I am an active participant in the human race. When I’m not at work, you might find me on the hockey field or in the surf – racing! Or cooking something new, exploring a new destination, or even scaring myself silly at a new horror movie.

I seriously love new experiences.

I’m unafraid of change and open to channeling my positive energy into better ways of doing things, to push the boundaries and break new ground, at work and at play.

Kelsey loves turning design concepts into reality – something beautiful, a work of art. But not just works of art without a purpose. Design that speaks to our emotions, builds engagement and loyalty, design that sticks.


Cameron Robinson

Thinking laterally, not literally.

The world doesn’t need any more boring brands. We need more action, more humour and a lot more fun. I enjoy creative lateral thinking to seek out the unexpected, based on really well thought out ideas and great brand stories.

I also spend time doodling and sketching to explore and to think. Of course, there is nothing quite like seeing a project right through to fruition, especially when they are commercially successful.

Cameron graduated with a Bachelor of Design degree majoring in product design, but in his 10 years with phd3 he has evolved into an expert in creating fresh ideas, communications and brands.

Melissa Eastabrook
Client and Creative Assistant

The socialiser.

Recently I completed a degree in psychology with a sociology minor. I’m curious about how people think, work, and play and how they experience the world. What better place to put that into practise than in a design company?

I look after clients and the team at phd3. I bring a sunny optimism and energy to work, mixed in with a strong sense of play and purpose. I love figuring stuff out; really understanding how to make the experience better. I also make a mean batch of cookies!

Melissa makes sure clients are well looked after. She brings a fresh approach, skills and insights to design and design thinking. Underpinned with a naturally analytic bent, she’s keen to be involved with research, especially the human-centred kind.