Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy, Top Designs alumnus

Visual Communication Design
Top Designs 2005

2020 – Managing Director

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your career progression since Top Designs

I am a designer, Managing Director and partner at Motherbird, a creative studio working with brands to enable change, build great ideas, and create an interesting world. My design ethos is balanced by simplicity, practicality and authenticity. I believe that even the best and most visually striking creative outcomes are nothing without hands-on expertise, and that design should be at the centre of all industries.

Every day at Motherbird we work towards bringing this design philosophy to life. Working within the creative team, I build partnerships and advocate for clients to produce work that empowers, connects and creates change. I have led the development of complex national and international projects for global brands.

Motherbird was named a Top 10 Design Force in Australia by Design Quarterly magazine, as well as taking out the SOYA Award for best young creative in the country. We partner with a diverse range of national and international clients across various industries to build visions, bend minds and take chances.

What were your next steps after Top Designs and do you feel that exhibiting had an impact on your professional development?

Following on from the high of Top Designs, I jumped straight into studying, completing a Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) at Swinburne University, during which I sought out any opportunities to gain industry experience through self-initiated projects, freelancing and placements. Upon graduating I was faced with the question, as all fresh graduates are: ‘What to do next?’

Jack and Dan, close friends from high school and university, were in the same boat and we decided what better time to jump in the deep end and start our own creative studio. Motherbird was born. The following years became an exciting blur and very steep learning curve, with time spent finding our feet in the industry and learning how to run a business (a continual learning curve).

From here things have progressed and grown organically, with the studio’s work growing globally and in breadth. I have been very fortunate to spend time working on projects in New York, Geneva, Paris, Singapore, Malaysia and Oman to name a few. These experiences have been paramount to shaping both my personal and professional growth. It is extremely exciting not knowing where the next project might take you, what it might expose you to and what you might learn along the way.

Top Designs absolutely impacted me professionally! This was my first taste of what it felt like to have my work exhibited. Seeing my piece sit alongside amazing and inspirational works by the other Top Designs students really instilled in me that I wanted to pursue a career in design.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to work in your field, and what’s next for you?

Our industry is full of so many amazing and generous people. Jump in the deep end, get involved, ask questions and take advantage of every opportunity. Remember that design should be enjoyable. To be successful you have to love it, live and breathe it, but don’t take yourself or it too seriously.

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