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 ReddiTt
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.