HousemouseLevel 1, 141 Flinders Lane
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Miguel Valuenzuela, creative director: Miguel Valenzuela has two passions: design and music. Being a graphic designer is a lot like being a DJ. Although design doesn’t normally involve dancing, the creative process is the same for both. Fine-tuning the material until it elicits the desired response.
More than two decades after decorating his bedroom wall with markers and chalk, Miguel is leading a team of designers as creative director of housemouse. Miguel’s role is to push the boundaries of design while at the same time reaching the intended audience and exceeding the expectations of clients and staff alike. He can do this by developing creative concepts for award winning annual reports, styling photo shoots or designing sustainable concept stores.
While the designer DJ has numerous design and sustainability awards to be proud of, he’s more interested in learning from designs that haven’t yet won awards. He thoroughly enjoys the challenge of a new project, particularly one when there design needs to be applied across a range of materials from brochures to posters and print advertisements. Sustainable practices guide his decision-making reflecting both his values and innovation.
Print and typography are aspects Miguel loves to explore; just like his vinyls their tangible nature captivates his interest. While he won’t name a favourite font, he will admit Courier reminds him of the dreaded print run error. As for a favourite colour, the next time you see orange in one of his designs, it’s because he believes the combination of the sexy red and fun yellow results in the happy and sensual warm feeling of orange.
Like design and music, orange is the best of both worlds.
Nancy Bugeja, managing director: Nancy Bugeja’s parents probably sensed she was destined for a career in design when they gave her a Crayola Caddie as a child. While she may not use the Crayolas as much any more, tending to focus more on the business side of her major Melbourne design agency, housemouse, she remains a graphic designer at heart.
As well as being a designer at heart, housemouse’s managing director has always had a talent for business; as a young entrepreneur she was managing three ice cream stores by the age of 18. Nancy now divides her focus between what’s happening in the studio today and what her clients might need tomorrow.
Her days revolve around mentoring new designers, fulfilling client’s visions and hunting down new projects to keep the team engaged. As managing director, she’s responsible for managing a team of graphic designers, project managers and marketing professionals, as well as clients needs, design budgets and company resources to ensure housmouse’s values are fulfilled.
With a keen interest in art history, she believes art is fundamental to design and uses her mix of design and business experience to help the team continually exceed client’s expectations. The biggest compliment she can get is when she presents design concepts to a client and they struggle to choose a favourite.
Although she loves working with housemouse’s diverse range of clients, her ultimate client is a toss up between the two brand her team has created — Fluoro and Wrapped by housemouse™.