Melbourne is known as Australia’s counter culture capital, and its thriving street art scene is testament to the city’s unique spirit and creativity. We take a closer look at the Laneways, Melbourne’s bohemian center, considering the story behind Melbourne’s historic urban art.

Melbourne’s Central Business District is characterized by the Laneways. Melbourne was planned by Robert Hoddle, the first surveyor general of the city, who had a vision of large sweeping roads, and Governor Richard Bourke, who wanted narrow streets. The result was a combination of the two, based on a grid system, and over 260 lanes and alleys creating a busy, bustling hive of activity with its own character.

A fusion of haute couture and glam grunge, it’s the proximity of so many variants that results in a collision of creativity. Full of bohemian ambiance, there is no right or wrong to the Laneways, it’s an area of easy adventure. So it is that among the grand facade of the Block Arcade with its gilded ironwork and glass domes, or the Manchester Unity Arcade and its Art Deco flooring, or the fashion labels of Howey Place, that a thriving art scene exists.

Melbourne’s street art is legendary. Consisting of stencils, paste ups and murals and primarily centered around Hosier Lane, Union Lane and Rutledge Lane, it also spills out down to the beach area of St. Kilda, and over to the bustling and bohemian area of Fitzroy. A combination of art and activism, with everything from social commentary by the Doctor to murals and decorative painting by Shida, the artists have become household names, Phibs, Vexta and Ghostpatrol being major contributors.

Lanewyas Melbourne Australia - Harry Vincent Photography

Image Credits: Harry Vincent / © Culture Trip

With support from the Victorian Government, sponsorship from Design Guide and multiple local businesses, the scene has thrived. There are the Urban Scrawl and Street Art institutions, a Stencil Festival, and in 2001 Melbourne Council began commissioning artwork. The famous Hosier Lane was even painted a black blank canvas to be renovated and rejuvenated by local artists. There are numerous festivals and events throughout the year that are both focused on the art, and the ambiance and exhilaration that it creates. The art has spread creativity elsewhere, and so February sees the Laneway Festival, which is all about bringing new music to the old alleys, the Stencil Festival is now the Street Sweets festival and encompasses multiple art forms, and there are lots of films and books about the scene.

What is the fascination? It’s a reflection of the ephemera of the city, the way that life and thus the surroundings in which it operates changes. Lives forever evolve, and so why should the streets in which life happens not modify and alter. The council have tried to preserve some of the creations, which may have inadvertently led to some losses. A Perspex screen put up in 2008 to protect Banksy’s Little Diver had paint poured behind it. Widely considered an outrage, there is still the undercurrent opinion that street art is not something to be saved, but is an ever evolving method of creativity, part of and reflecting the conversation of the street. By its nature it is transient and moving, which adds to and is part of the buzz of the Laneways.

Melbourne Street Art

Image Credits: Harry Vincent / © Culture Trip

There is a collective sense of ownership around the art and the space in which it inhabits, which thrives upon the fact that it is not housed within a gallery but on the gallery of the street. This means that the idea of freedom of expression and private property do not jar with each other but instead find an exciting meeting place in the art. And so although the creations are irreverent and experimental; although the art exists among heritage and history, it is not restricted or bound by this. In fact the heritage has been a huge influence. Melbourne Two Worlds is a mural exploring the stories and history of the Wurundjeri community and Neon Natives is a selection of native animals against a pattern that is part of the culture of the Kamilaroi people.

The interplay of the artistic surroundings and the excited and busy Melbournians, the visionary business owners and the creative cafes results in a feeling that goes far beyond just “big road, narrow road.” The Laneways in Melbourne are not just streets, the cafe culture is not just coffee, and the street art is certainly not just graffiti.

This article by Francesca Baker was originally published on The Culture Trip

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Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

If you aren’t a print project regular, designing the perfect flyer can be somewhat nerve-wracking. But it doesn’t have to be. With a solid content plan and a great designer (that’s you), crafting the perfect flyer that will entice and engage users is simple.

There’s a wonderful feeling to designing something, then having it printed and feeling it in your hands. This is one reason flyer design can be rewarding and a lot of fun. Here’s how you do it.

1. Have A Clear Goal for the Flyer

Womens Celebration Flyer


Before you open InDesign, develop a strategy for the flyer design. What are you trying to showcase to users? Where will it be distributed? What kind of budget are you working with?

Only after those questions are answered can you figure out what size and shape the flyer should have. Having a clear goal and strategy will also help you plan how to get vital content into the design in a meaningful way.

The most common mistake when it comes to flyer design is thinking that you can fit everything in. You will likely have to make targeted, strategic decisions about key content. Keep elements that correlate to the goals of the design and for the targeted audience. Dump everything else.

2. Amp Up the Contrast

Orchestra Outreach Flyer


High contrast visuals are easy to see at a glance and can be attention-grabbing. Unlike a website, where users opt to view it by clicking a link or typing in an address, a flyer needs have a strong pull to get users to gravitate toward it.

Think of flyers or posters or brochures that you have seen from a distance and walked toward because they were interesting. That’s the kind of contrast you need to create to help bring people to the design without prior intent.

3. Put Emphasis on Key Words



Certain keywords or phrases can help sell the information in the flyer design. Make them bigger, bolder or brighter than other lettering to create distinct emphasis.

What kind of words are attention-grabbing? Consider the following words if they are part of your strategy:

  • TDP – time, date, place
  • New
  • Free
  • Easy
  • Save
  • Now
  • Guarantee
  • Limited

4. Think About Viewing Distance

Fellowship Chorale


Where will a potential user be when they see the flyer design? Is it a flyer or poster hanging on a window? It is a tri-fold that you will hand out? A postcard that will be picked up or mailed?

Everything in the design should scale appropriately for this use. Type sizes and elements on a poster (wide viewing range) will be a lot larger proportionately to elements on a postcard. This is due to the viewing range, size of printed item and distance from which words will be read. (Anything you hold to look at will likely be closer than anything you don’t actually touch to read.)

Sometimes the best way to judge viewing distance is to print out a test version, hang it up and walk by a few times. Does it grab your attention? Is it easy to read?

5. Include a Call to Action

Auckland Jazz


Just because you can’t click it, doesn’t mean a call to action isn’t necessary. Quite the opposite is true. (Why make a flyer if you don’t want people to do something?)

Create a distinct – and easy – actionable item for everyone who sees the flyer. This can be anything from visiting a website to calling a phone number to showing up at a certain place. Make it as easy as possible for users to act. (Shorten URLs and make all instructions clear and concise.)

6. Opt for Full Bleed Flyer

Hiphop American Idol Flyer


While you won’t be able to print it at your office, full bleed flyer designs have a more polished look and feel. (Full bleed means that the design goes all the way to the edge of printed paper without any border.)

While the entire design doesn’t have to go edge to edge, a design that has this borderless look often stands out from designs that look more like office copies.

But don’t force it. Not all projects have the elements or graphics (or budget) to justify full bleed. This is a decision you should think about early in the process to ensure that you design for the printing process you plan to use.

7. Design Top Down

FlyNet Hotspot Service


Flyers are read from the top down and the design should reflect that. Start with the most important information at the top of the design and move down the page to the least important information.

The size and scale of text and design elements will likely follow this same hierarchy. Key imagery should as well, with the most striking or impactful images or graphics in the top third of the design.

Pro Tip: Most flyers tend to be vertically oriented while the imagery is often horizontal; use an overlay or shapes to add texture to the bottom of the design that balances images at the top.

Use color and scale to help draw users down the page. It works a lot like the inverted pyramid that journalists use to write news stories, with the most important things at the top and lesser important details to follow.

8. Use High-Quality Imagery

Turning Pointe Dance Studio Flyer


Nothing makes or breaks a design like image quality and composition. A perfect flyer design has a high-quality image that relates to the information on the page.

The image needs to be easy to “read” and understand at a glance and help the user connect to the elements in the flyer design. The image should be of something a person should expect from what the flyer is showcasing – an event or product or sale.

The image should portray an accurate representation and needs to be sharp and clear. Don’t make user guess to figure out what they are looking at. They’ll only get frustrated and look away.

At the same time, make sure to use a high-resolution image. The same specs you use for online or digital images may not apply to printed images. Resolution requirements are often significantly higher to ensure adequate printing. (Don’t skimp on quality or the entire design will suffer.)

9. Integrate Branding



Don’t forget to make the flyer distinctly yours. Incorporate brand visuals, colors, fonts and overall design style to the flyer so that users familiar with your company or product know that the design is from you.

A flyer is just one more element you can use to help establish and maintain brand identity. Don’t forget to maintain that sense of who you are when switching mediums.

10. Use a Printer’s Template

Printer Template


While it’s not always possible to start the design process with a printer or print company in mind, using a printer’s template will help streamline technical considerations later.

A printer’s template will show bleed and trim lines as well as safe areas for printing. Staying within these guidelines will ensure that the printed design appears as desired and that nothing is left out of the final print job inadvertently. While many printers have similar specs by print or page size, they can vary. You’ll save a lot of time, money and headaches by ensuring that your design fits into the print template before submittal.


Still not quite convinced that you are ready to design the perfect flyer? We have a few template designs that you can use for inspiration, or to give you a great starting point. Happy designing!

This article by Carrie Cousins was previously published on

About the Author:

Carrie Cousins is the chief writer at Design Shack, with years of experience in web and graphic design. Sports fanatic. Information junkie. Designer. True-believer in karma.

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Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

How to Make a Scrapbook

Make a Scrapbook

Learning to make a scrapbook is definitely one of the most enjoyable, rewarding and relaxing activities a person can get into. Aside from bringing out the creativity and resourcefulness in every person, it also helps people to organize memories and keepsakes in one place. Through the years, most people collect photos and mementos from their friends, family members, and loved ones. In order to organize these, more and more people are getting into scrapbooking.

The fun with album scrapbooking

One of the most common themes used in scrapbooking is album scrapbooking. This kind of theme usually involves the use of photos just like in several photo albums. In creating album scrapbooks, the first consideration should be the album itself. In the market today, there are two standard sizes of albums—the 8.5”x11” and 12”x12”. If you are planning to create a family scrapbook, most scrappers will suggest that you use a 12”x12” album because you will need larger space to accommodate all the photos and captions of your family members.

Other specifications of scrapbook albums include the post-bound albums that come with black or white cardstock pages and are covered by sheet protectors. The pages of which are bound into the album using three posts that enables it to be easily taken out so you can add or remove pages. This kind of album makes it easy for the scrapper to move pages around by pulling the cardstock out of the sheet protector or by sliding in a page where patterned papers are used.

How to make a scrapbook

Strap-hinge albums, on the other hand, are those albums that have flexible plastic straps in the cover that run through wire loops embedded in each page and expandable while the 3-ring binders or D-ring binders are those albums that are bound using rings that allow you to add or switch around pages quickly and easily. Aside from the album itself, other major considerations in album scrapbooking is the space or room and the supplies you’ll be needing such as:

  • stickers that come in various themes, designs, colors, and sizes which are great but inexpensive and very fun and easy to use
  • tags that can be used as major decorations
  • cut-outs and punch-outs which are usually tags, alphabet letters, and laser lace borders that are used to decorate the page
  • paper embellishments which are usually perforated so you can use them anywhere in the scrapbook,
  • punches which are tools used to punch shapes out of paper that come in shapes of all sizes
  • embellishments such as buttons, fibers or fancy yarns and threads, metal accents, beads, craft wire and fabric ribbon roses that are safely be used on any scrapbook page
  • chalk or decorative chalks that come in a set with various colors and applicators perfect for shading and highlighting an album page
  • eyelets which are great for attaching vellum to paper, for decorating a photo mat or for making a border and which also come in different sizes, colors and shapes
  • rubber stamps that are very versatile and can be used for different purposes such as in card making
  • die-cuts which are paper shapes made from that come in all sorts of colors and themes; embossed paper charms and
  • templates which are ideal for unique embellishments that will make your album scrapbook great.

Learning to make a scrapbook using these materials is just a start of you fun and enjoyable journey in the world of scrapbooking!

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