Creative duo Gillian Corban and Amanda Blair of Corban & Blair recently celebrated over 30 years in business together. They credit their longevity in business and success to the many artistic collaborations and partnerships they have developed with other designers, artists and makers. We asked them to share how their latest Women’s Product collaboration has evolved.
How has Corban & Blair’s Women’s Product collaboration come about?
Women receive 50% of the marketing products we design. To delight them we feel products need to be useful, colourful, beautiful and meaningful for women; as well as men. To do this we collaborate with women artists and designers, to add colour and narrative. This process places a female filter on marketing product design – to promote, inclusion, relevance and value.
Who are the female artists you are collaborating with, and what’s their artistic focus?
We work with many different collaborators. Indigenous textile designer Lucy Simpson, Indigenous artist Cheryl Moggs, Indigenous artist Shelley Monkland, print maker Fiona Roderick, Studio A artists, Emily Crockford and Lisa Scott, The Red Room poets and Euraba Artists and papermakers. We always have many ideas on the drawing board ready to inspire clients.
Describe for us your collaborative creative process. How does it all come together?
Our collaborations evolve from people we meet, where relationships are established around the ideas and values we have in common. It is a partnership that only works if it works. As an example, we met Lucy through a Westpac supplier day. Lucy is lovely to work with and we continue to present her new designs to clients. Cheryl was the manager at Euraba, where Gillian was her mentor, she has gone on to establish her own business Cre8tive Mix making some wonderful art works.
We met the Studio A artists through our contacts at the Westpac Ruby Connection and have worked with them to create items that are unique and clever. Fiona is a local print maker, and we frame and sell her stylish images of birds.
We have used poems commissioned by Red Room Poetry on our product covers, enclosing the whole poem. We always reference the artist.
Share with us some of the products that have been created through this collaboration.
Products include: Satchels, Journals, compendia, card holders, travel wallets, luggage tags, framed prints, with some examples below.
Poem card holder, Red Room Poetry collaboration
Westpac Ruby Connection collaboration
Cheryl Moggs Queensland Tourism collaboration
Fiona Roderick framed bird prints
What other outcomes have been achieved from the Women’s Product collaboration?
For Corban & Blair, we are always inspired working in these partnerships. It is an opportunity to experience how others see the world, their artistic voice with a melding of ideas to design new meaningful items that carry unique Australian narratives.
For the collaborators, it is an opportunity to be showcase their ideas and messages, communicating what they do, to a much wider audience.
For our clients, it supports their diversity programs and provides them with items that are designed with a brand message people will value. This process provides an additional channel to market that Corban & Blair is able to share with clients and collaborators.
What has the response been from the participating artists?
Cheryl Moggs said, “I love the professionalism of Corban & Blair. It is great to work with a team that incorporated my art into an amazing concepts and design.
They have this wonderful ability to connect with clients and literally translate ideas and images into realities.
This partnership gives me the opportunity to showcase my art, name and company profile in front of potential customers. It is refreshing and fun to work with Corban & Blair”.
Gabrielle Mordy of Studio A reflected, “Studio A’s collaboration with Corban & Blair has been an ideal partnership of art, design, business and inclusivity. Corban & Blair’s commitment to producing high quality & ethical design product makes them the perfect platform for Studio A artistry. Gillian and Amanda are inspiring female business leaders. Their commercial experience and commitment to profiling Studio A artwork has made working with the Corban & Blair team a real dream.”
You are the female economy. Whether you are a female consumer, business owner or a woman in the workforce, you can create gender equality by choosing female led brands.
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