Dan Newman

Dog Dad. Creative Director. Designer. Pākehā. Wellingtonian. Nerd. Font Fiend. Camera Collector. Book Buyer. Cricket Fan. List Maker.

Location Wellington
Timezone GMT+12 (NZST)
Citizenship New Zealand
Ethnicity Pākehā
Born 1982
Occupation Designer
Qualifications MCGD, Honours
Colour #000000
Handle @danserif
Status Now (Q1—24)

About

Dan Newman

Newman, Dan — Assistant to the Branch Manager

Ada Isaac-Newman

Labradoodle, Ada — Branch Manager

Information

I live in Te Motu Kairangi/Miramar with my partner, Noush and our dog, Ada. I’m currently Head of Design at Axiom, a logging and observability application for developers/engineers. We’re a fully remote team working across 11 timezones.

Before Axiom I was a Design Lead at Stedi. They’re on a mission to build a modern EDI platform. WTF is EDI? Well, it’s short for Electronic Data Interchange, and Wikipedia explains it much better than I can!

Prior to Stedi I led a talented team of wireframe wranglers, alliteration artists, and pragmatic problem solvers at Springload, an independent design and development agency. They’re a team of 80-ish (plus a dog or two) who work with clients like ACC, Callaghan Innovation, DIA, Klim Type Foundry, Massey University, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and NZ On Air. The team said some incredibly kind things about me:

“[Dan] you are an absolute superhuman. I’ll always remember when I first met you for a coffee after you were hired as my boss. You asked “How can I help?”. I appreciate so much how you listened and included everyone in developing our team and practices.

The care and sensitivity in how you mentor people and their work, realising that words really matter, and people receive things differently. I have seen the people and work flourish, and how thoughtfully you’ve looked after team members facing challenges.

You have been the bedrock of our wonderful, fun, and inclusive team culture, thank you for all you have given (and all the sleep you have lost!)”
— Lizy Cretney (Design Director, Springload)

Before joining Springload I was Head of Design at Koordinates where I obsessed over contours, maps, and geospatial data from the likes of LINZ and Stats NZ. With the team in Wellington, Auckland, and Edinburgh, we helped people around the world “Discover Earth’s Data”, or more close to home, the Wellington Wind Zones (it’s called the ‘windy city’ for a reason).

Prior to Koordinates I was Creative Director at Xero where I led the design of xero.com, Xerocon, and all things brand. With a team spread around the world in New Zealand, Australia, England, and the United States, we helped convince hundreds of thousands of small businesses to “Try Xero for Free”.

“I’m extremely grateful to Dan for always pushing us to deliver truly beautiful work, while building and mentoring a powerhouse team (from 2 people to nearly 20), under incredibly challenging pressures and timeframes. Thanks to Dan’s talent, commitment and resilience our work and our team delivered to an extremely high standard on every project.

We couldn’t have scaled the team or maintained our high quality standards without him. It’s an understatement to say Dan had a huge and very positive impact on Xero.”
— Philip Fierlinger (Head of Design, Xero)

Before all that, I designed skeuomorphic mobile and tablet applications for clients like The Economist, France Télévisions, Al Jazeera, and American Express at Tigerspike in London. Even longer before that, I was creating sites for clothing made from merino sheep and interactives for museums with colossal squids while at Flightless in Wellington. Finally, right back at the beginning I ran a little design company with friends while studying in Whanganui.

I have a Masters Degree with Honours in Computer Graphic Design from the Whanganui School of Design and the University of Waikato where I also gained a scholarship to study abroad as a visiting researcher at FH Oberösterreich in Austria and Nottingham University in England.

“Dan is one of the most organised and dedicated designers I have met. He has a natural energy, warmth, and drive, which I believe reflects in his approach to life and his design work.”
— Rick Hargreaves (Thesis Advisor, Whanganui School of Design)

I’ve previously been a judge for the Best Awards, speaker, and a guest lecturer for various universities. I’m currently a member of DINZ, Forest & Bird, and the Green Party.

When I’m not working, I’m most likely taking photos on my iPhone & GF1, walking my fantastic floof, Ada, listening to The National, or perpetually watering and weeding my garden.

You can get in touch by email.


Work

  • Axiom, Head of Design (2022—Present)
  • Stedi, Design Lead (2021—2022)
  • Springload, Creative Director (2017—2021)
  • Koordinates, Head of Design (2015—2017)
  • Xero, Creative Director (2012—2015)
  • Tigerspike, Creative Director (2010—2012)
  • Flightless, Designer / Front-end Developer (2007—2009)
  • The D.A., Founder (2004—2007)
  • Freelance, Designer (2001—2004)

Experiments

  • Knolling, Director (2021—Present)
  • Unlimited Editions, Designer (2020—Present)

Volunteering

  • The Design Unit, Design Mentor (2021—Present)
  • Lighting Lab, Startup Mentor (2013—2014)
  • BGI, Youth Mentor (2008—2009)

Education

  • Whanganui School of Design & Waikato University, Masters Degree (2001—2006)
  • Nottingham University & FH Oberösterreich, Scholarship (2005—2006)

Awards

  • Red Dot Award: Best of the Best (2)
  • Type Directors Club: Certificate of Typographic Excellence
  • Communication Arts Award of Excellence Winner: Typography Annual
  • AGDA Awards: Pinnacle, Distinction, and Judge’s Choice (6)
  • AGDA Awards: Merit (2)
  • AGDA Awards: Finalist (4)
  • Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Awards: Gold (2)
  • Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Awards: Silver (6)
  • Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Awards: Bronze (5)
  • Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Awards: Finalist (14)
  • Kātoitoi Aotearoa Design Archive (12)
  • D&AD Shortlist (2)

A complete list of awards with project details is in my portfolio.