Christie Morgan is a graphic designer and art director based in Sydney, Australia with a focus on branding, art direction and digital illustration.
Christie founded the digital and print publication PITCH ZINE and has worked with clients like Vivid Sydney, NLV Records, Museum of Contemporary Art, Goodspace Gallery, Future Classic, Muscles Music, Monegraph (NYC), Ghosting.TV (LA), and Basenji.
CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF YOUR CAREER AS AN ART DIRECTOR AND GRAPHIC DESIGNER?
Sure! I started studying visual communication under a fine arts degree in early 2011, which is when I started PITCH ZINE too. I then moved to a design college as I felt that Uni was really my path. Throughout this time I was working on PITCH ZINE in my spare time and gradually started freelancing, whilst collaborating on a number of clients through PITCH ZINE – which was a really great opportunity as it allowed my work to be really creatively fulfilling and satisfying as I set the aesthetic of the zine.
I also worked at a small fashion label, where I was made the brand manager and designer – this allowed me to push my skills, particularly in art direction in a way that I hadn’t really been able to until that point. I developed all types of collateral like swing tags and garment labels and also set the direction for the branding.
Fast forward a couple of years, a huge chunk of freelance jobs with various clients to present day. Over the years I feel like I’ve really honed in on what I’m trying to achieve with my clients and feel really proud of that!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
This is a really hard one. It definitely has an air of minimalism, but loaded with colour. I don’t usually use much black in my work and love gradients.
TELL US ABOUT HOW PITCH ZINE WAS CONCEPTUALISED AND WHAT KIND OF GROWTH IT HAS EXPERIENCED OVER THE PAST 5 YEARS..
It really was started from a place where I could feed my creativity and also nurture others. I started PITCH ZINE when I was pretty young and it gained a decent following over a number of years. I just wanted a place where creative people – emerging or established – could feel comfortable, at home and invited. We started as basically just me, then grew into a small team. Developed a digital platform, then slowly took the plunge into print. We also started an commerce platform to continually support the artists and designers we loved.
YOU WERE INVOLVED IN AN EXHIBITION IN BROOKLYN AND ANOTHER IN NYC EARLIER THIS YEAR. WHAT WAS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE? HOW DID THOSE OPPORTUNITIES COME ABOUT?
The NY based projects were awesome! Monegraph hit me up from Instagram (which I might add is my favourite platform and have gained a lot of success from!) and The Gradients Project founder Kathy followed me on Soundcloud, oddly enough. Both were incredibly fulfilling. Being part of an exhibition is great because you can really hone in on your craft – what you would ideally dedicate your life to, but otherwise may have to compromise or problem solve due to it being a client project.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROJECT COLLABORATION WITH THE MCA..
In 2015, the MCA got in contact with me via PITCH ZINE to collaborate on the annual zine fair they hold to create a digital zine. This involved a number of artist submissions via Instagram (again, best platform!) and then this was put together into a digital zine which was displayed on their website. Overall this experience was a dream as they were really open to ideas and trying to get every artist involved.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BRANDS COLLABORATING WITH ARTISTS AND CREATIVES? DO YOU THINK IT’S AN EFFECTIVE APPROACH TO MARKETING?
Personally, I think it’s great. I’m all about collaborating. If you have the opportunity to do this, don’t hesitate. It can be a really great way to set your expectations aesthetically with a client and gain great exposure to an audience you may not have been targeting before.
WHAT MAKES CONTENT GREAT?
This is difficult to quantify. Naturally content has to be engaging and for me personally, visually it needs to be really eye-catching otherwise I’ll keep scrolling.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH A NEW CLIENT BRIEF?
I make sure all expectations and information is delivered before getting started. I cover all my bases before I delve deep into it.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE OTHER DESIGNERS AND CREATIVES WANTING TO BUILD AN ONLINE PROFILE FOR THEMSELVES?
Go and do it right now! No matter what you have going at the moment. Also self-initiated projects are really powerful. Don’t hesitate to show off even if you’re slow on client projects. Give people a reason to click your site.
WHAT’S NEXT? HAVE YOU GOT ANY EXCITING PROJECTS COMING UP?
I’m working on album art for a few Australian musicians and some fun GIFs. I’m also working on a sticker pack for a new iMessage app called StickerBaby. I also just finished up a series with Electric Objects which should launch pretty soon. Stay tuned!