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Smartnews

Adopt a learning mindset to develop a culture of learning

New Zealand has had a lot of firsts; first to allow women to vote, first to be nuclear free and now first to be COVID free. But the hard part is yet to come and we are going to have to deal with both the good and the bad. As a country we have had a goal that we have...

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Toyota and their hospitality philosophy

Toyota is a brand New Zealanders have trusted for generations. They have always prided themselves on great customer service, but realise that today’s consumer wants to be treated as an individual with solutions that are specific to their needs. A “one size fits most”...

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What does the Future of Work look like?

Things have changed hugely in New Zealand over the last few months, both personally and professionally for everyone, and as Stephen Hawking said, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” However, before anyone can adapt to the change it must first be...

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What is a learning culture anyway?

What is a learning culture anyway?

We’ve been examining what it means to create a ‘culture of learning’ this week. Is it an actual beneficial organisational tool or just another trendy buzz phrase.  Turns out a culture of learning is the real deal and making sure your business has one can be...

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What’s in your cup of tea?

What’s in your cup of tea?

With the launch of our templated induction modules on Skillpod, we’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to welcome someone new to your place. A good welcome is about more than a cup of tea and a biscuit. That first impression will forever impact on how your...

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What is a super-job and why do I need one?

What is a super-job and why do I need one?

In today’s world, we embrace technology readily in our everyday life, both inside and outside of the workforce. So why is it that a wariness still exists among employees when it comes to accepting changes at work?We spend half our lives on social media, on various...

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My story

My story

Having just asked all our staff members in the Auckland studio to please not let the bathroom door bang shut, as it sounds and feels like an earthquake, it seems like a good time to begin writing down my story.Let’s wind backwards from today.I’m currently working full...

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Ready for the future of work?

Ready for the future of work?

Organisational learning is changing thanks in part to globalisation and constantly evolving technology.  As we enter this new phase, businesses are having to change and adapt not just externally with clients, but also to a new workforce who are quick to move onto...

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Putting our learning to the test

Putting our learning to the test

Last week, we left the comfort of our desks and went out onto the field, where we put our learning design to the test. Kim and Aimee, our unofficial outreach team, visited one of our clients and sat down with their learners to hear first-hand what they thought of the...

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The making of Buttons McGinty

The making of Buttons McGinty

When Rhys Darby's 'top secret' manuscript landed on our desks, we were curious to see what the comedian-turned-actor-turned-writer had to offer to the world of children's books. We went behind the scenes with Buttons McGinty's book designer, Erin Nicol, and asked her...

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Skillpod: A fully customisable learning solution

Skillpod: A fully customisable learning solution

It’s official.  Morning teas are best reserved for brainstorming. We’ve been using them to  serve up and trial a bunch of learning, tailored to the modern learner. Since everybody loves good food, we came up with the idea of a ‘Pick and Mix’ learning marketplace....

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Learning design that fits its purpose

Learning design that fits its purpose

We’ve been reaping the benefits of our hard work this year and are now catching our breath as we enter the busy season. Whenever we win at what we do, it’s because we’ve stuck to this one principle: that learning design should always fit its purpose.

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Designing Wonky Donkey

Designing Wonky Donkey

Written by our longest serving Wonky Wrangler, Kim Dovey Wonky and I have a few things in common these days. Just as he was going viral, I was having retina surgery, which left me very one-eyed. Not a good look when you’re trolling back through the archives looking...

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Great storytelling in learning design

Great storytelling in learning design

“Storytelling is the greatest technology that humans have ever created.” As designers who seek to create great learning experiences, we understand what great storytelling brings to learning design.

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Turning data into actionable insights

Turning data into actionable insights

Think you know who your learning modules are for and what business problem they're trying to solve? Do you really? And do you have company data to back up your decision? There might just be some great insights there that will help you predict your learner’s...

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Mental health training in the Construction industry

Mental health training in the Construction industry

The building industry accounts for 6.9% of all suicides in New Zealand, the worst suicide rate across all other industries. Without a proper understanding of the nature of the construction industry, Health and Safety training barely scratches the surface of what it means to have a healthy workplace environment.

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The full package of telling a good story

The full package of telling a good story

It’s not every week one of your studio’s book designs gets read by a Scottish Granny and hits the top of the best sellers list in the US and UK. What if the Scottish Granny had read a different book? Would it have been just as successful as Wonky Donkey? We show storytellers the full package of what makes a good story.

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How does creativity fit in with the future of work?

How does creativity fit in with the future of work?

In today’s economy, the value of a business is determined by the experience they create for their customers. Design creates the experience. Data focuses this design. Successful businesses know that great customer experiences happen at the intersection of data and creativity.

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Addressing business fears in the digital economy

Addressing business fears in the digital economy

A business is like an immune system full of antibodies. When exposed to unfamiliar elements like digital transformation, your company’s immune system is likely to attack. High costs, low team morale, and lack of time, are just some of the antibodies that’ll get in...

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How to nurture a learning culture

How to nurture a learning culture

Nature versus nurture.
Do you think employees are more likely to succeed because of who they are, or the environment they are surrounded in?
What about digital talent?

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Understanding the why of creating a lifelong learning culture

How we bring your learning to life…

We’re great at creating learning opportunities using a toolbox that includes design, UX, gamification, engagement, storytelling, augmented reality and more. Our goal is to make your learning more engaging and effective. Take a look how– “we bring your learning to...

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The world is getting smarter, is your training?

The world is getting smarter, is your training?

Learning shouldn’t be boring. People don’t engage with boring content. So everything we do is designed to engage your audience. Engaged people learn faster, are more productive and do better work. We’ll turn your content into highly engaging, immersive learning...

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Microlearning – Health and Safety

Microlearning – Health and Safety

Imagine the following scenario: You are stranded on a desert island that is rife with hazards. There are dangerous animals and poisonous fruits everywhere. Your health and safety trainer has briefed you on what to do if you encounter a hazard…

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An Introduction to Microlearning

An Introduction to Microlearning

Microlearning is one of the single most effective strategies that organisations can use to increase learning and retention of knowledge. Here at Smartwork Creative we’ve seen strong results that demonstrate the effectiveness of microlearning strategies. We recommend...

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Seven eLearning Trends

Seven eLearning Trends

With the year of training underway, we thought it a good time to look ahead to the key trends we see taking place over the next 18 months. 1. Learning Portals. Focused responsive portals that offer a range of assets for formal learning. Performance Support Tools,...

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Rich media, fixed layout EPUB

Rich media, fixed layout EPUB

Create dynamic and engaging eBooks with rich imagery and elaborate layout that is ready to publish digitally. A small snippet can be seen here. This cookbook sample page includes interactivity such as: buttons to detailed ingredients and method page clickable...

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August Breakfast

August Want an insight into studio life? We thought we'd share one of our weekly breakfast meetings with you …

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Learning Analytics

Learning Analytics

Training is in a state of flux, some organisations are reducing budgets, while others are looking at how to train staff while reducing off-site time.  The nature of instructor-led training is changing too.  New learning technologies are informing instructors...

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Learning Definitions

Learning Definitions

MLearning, micro-learning, mobile apps, interactive video, social learning, personalised learning. On our trails, we have discovered that these terms can get a bit confusing. So, we’ve done the dictionary thing which we hope will help clarify the terms a little....

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Learning Behaviour

Learning Behaviour

With learning and development, it all boils down to behaviour change. No matter how beautifully designed a course is, or how spectacular the technologies are, if there isn’t a change in the learner’s behaviours, the course amounts to nothing more than a feel-good...

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How to improve retail KPI’s with eLearning

When it comes to retail, education is critical.  Retail is known for its high staff turnover, but that is not the only concern.  The internet has made bricks-and-mortar shoppers more knowledgeable and has consequently put pressure on staff to keep up to speed....

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Have you heard of Scribing?

Have you heard of Scribing?

Yeap, it’s just like when only the priests could read and write. Before the people could read and the chap with the quill and parchment was called a scribe. He was the recorder - of stories, myths, gospel and history. Evolution has happened yet again - and now...

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Presenting at the IBBY World Congress 2016

Presenting at the IBBY World Congress 2016

It was a surreal experience to present at the IBBY World Congress on the 18th of August 2016 at the Aotea Centre. The organisers put together an amazing event with so much choice for all participants. We were lucky to have such a good turn out to our presentation on...

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Oh, the places learning will go!

Oh, the places learning will go!

Not too long ago, the chalkboard was the norm in school classrooms, but now it’s getting quite rare. Even its successor the whiteboard is making way for multimedia projectors and TV setups. There’s an ongoing shift in the materials being used for teaching and...

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Moving across the water to find our perfect home

Moving across the water to find our perfect home

It’s been a long journey and we have travelled far but it’s all been worth it. You have heard the story already, from the shaken city of Christchurch to a leaky building building in Birkenhead and then our time-out holiday in Devonport. After five long years we...

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Designing award-winning books

Designing award-winning books

Since 2003 we have been designing books for the lucky winners of the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon and Joy Cowley Awards. Both awards are sponsored by Scholastic NZ, who offer $1500 in prize money and an offer to publish. These awards are very special as they both...

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Storylines Notable books list

Books designed by Smartwork Creative feature strongly in Storylines Notable Books List 2016 Every year Storylines names its Notable Books. We are delighted that four books designed by Smartwork Creative have made this year's list. The Bold Ship Phenomenal, by Sarah...

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Sad goodbyes

After 30 years in New Zealand, and three years working here, we are heading back as a family to the UK for new challenges and adventures. I've had the pleasure of working with some very talented, driven and inspiring people both co-workers and clients – and I wish...

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Reflections on 2015

Apps, ebooks, websites, animations, interactivity, digital design, books, covers, branding, brochures, html conversions. Wow it's been a huge year. So much change. Loads of new people, both staff and clients. Loads of new work in directions old and new with websites,...

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Xmas with the whole team

It has never happened before. Since moving to Auckland we have never had the whole team together, let alone for a party. So this year it just had to happen. Carolyn and Kim finally made it from Christchurch with only a small plane delay which meant that Carolyn had to...

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Using social media to promote your book – Blog 1

Using social media to promote your book. Building Audience: The main thing to remember when you start using social media is that building an audience takes time. It’s exciting when you first get started and everyone hopes that their social media posts will go viral...

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Creating a brand: A visual journey

Creating a strong brand doesn’t happen with the flick of a switch. Here at Smartwork Creative we follow a visual journey which begins with researching initial ideas and finishes with polished identity. We want the clients to be part of this journey and understand the...

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What Ever Happened to Milo?

Exciting things are happening in Devonport tonight with the launch of a great new book in our studio. Claire Bunt has self published this children's illustrated chapter book with wonderful soft mood enhancing illustrations by Philip Webb. From the designer side of the...

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The Worry Bug

  Just under a year ago we where approached by two ladies with a good idea. It had been just over four years since the Christchurch earthquakes and children who had then, just been born where now, showing signs of struggling with the aftermath. Not to mention the...

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Apps for International School Marketing

  Cost is no longer a barrier to creating a digital version of your prospectus for either local or international school marketing. The artwork files used for your traditional print document can now be adapted to create a media rich app experience. Additional...

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Control your content

Are your current digital delivery channels not working for you?  |  Do you want to make the most of the content you already have by repurposing it?  |  Would you like to keep the production of your material in New Zealand? These are all great questions that we have...

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Meet Rolleston Christian School

It's very rare to have the opportunity to help create a school identity from scratch. Normally we are asked to help correct and align the many different versions of logos a school ends up with over time. Rolleston Christian School is brand new. It's so new that they...

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Handmade Histories

Every now and again something a little bit different comes into the studio. When Mary Kelleher turned up one afternoon and spread out on the floor a HUGE handstiched tapestry mural, and said she wanted to turn it into a book, we realised this was going to be one of...

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Vacancy

Business Development/Sales Manager Role Use your strategic thinking Base salary plus uncapped commission Work directly with the creative team We need someone who sees opportunities in the merging of print and digital media. Be rewarded for using your skills and...

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Merry Christmas animation

Merry Christmas animation

Just about all the last minute rush jobs are completed and as you all start to drift off on your holidays we want to say a BIG thank you for 2014. This Devonport inspired Xmas animation has been especially created by our team.   MAY THE SUN SHINE AND YOUR...

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Christchurch schools books off to a good start

Christchurch schools books off to a good start

Julie and Sarina approached us earlier in the year for a quote to make their dream happen. They have both written great stories with the purpose of helping quake-traumatised kids. Then they were lucky enough to get a fabulous grant from the 'Need Help Now Fund'. Then...

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Self publishing results

Self publishing results

  Updates from our first Book Design workshop The latest arrival in the studio this week of the a copy of Paul Carran's novel Claws of the Dragon, reminded us of the fine collection of titles that have now emerged following our first Book Design workshop. Held in...

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Lovely Devonport

Lovely Devonport

We love it here, sitting at our desks and watching the boats and ferries go past. It's the perfect design space, loads of light and sooo much room. It will be difficult going to back to Birkenhead next year, but well, we can hack it for now and summers coming. Do find...

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Here’s some great new stuff

Here’s some great new stuff

Native Birds of New Zealand Dave Hallet choose to self publish his latest book and we felt really lucky when he asked us to design it. The final result is very special and worth looking out for.  http://www.craigpotton.co.nz/store/native-birds-of-new-zealand  ...

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Meet Dana & Alistair

Dana Brown It's wonderful to have Dana back in the studio. This time she is covering for Anne's while she's off on maternity leave*. We now just need to make sure we have enough work for her to stay when Anne returns in 2015. So far Dana has had some fun working on a...

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Have you heard the news? We are having to move

Oh no, our building is disappearing! For most of this year the team in Auckland have been waiting and waiting for repairs to be completed to our verandah. And though we’d hoped by now to be enjoying a new spot in the sun, the problem seems to have just grown. Now we...

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Kim's musings from the PANZ conference 2014

This is the place for publishers to hear what's new, what's working and what's fallen into the 'has been' pile. As a designer I like to go along to quietly sit in the corner and listen. To continue providing services to publishers we need to know what their needs are...

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Primary readers

These usually arrive in bulk and with a wonderful confidentiality clause attached, which means we can’t show you any pretty pictures here. But I can tell you about a three-month contract we completed last year that involved 64 books in 16 groups over three levels. Our...

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Designing secondary books

Year 9 Graphics is a print and digital product that won Best Educational Design at the PANZ Book Design Awards. Excellence in Biology Level 3 received a highly commended in 2010. Both books are published by Cengage NZ, for whom we have produced a variety of books over...

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Book Design Workshop

10 things you need to know about book design AND the 10 most common mistakes made in self-publishing and how to avoid them Book Design Ltd is a design studio with a passion for books. Now based in Birkenhead, on Auckland’s North Shore, Book Design has been designing...

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Do judge a book by it's cover

Have you seen this? It was really nice of Booksellers and Beatties Book Blog to feature us. The role of the book designer in publishing An interview with Kim Dovey and Dexter Fry, provided by www.smartworkcreative.co.nz What is your background in book design? Kim...

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Download Our App

Everyone is talking about print going digital. This new year, we would like to take you from digital to print. Download our new free ipad app to enjoy a creative experience. All of the cool features have been made in our studio and are just a taste of where we can...

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Bulk re-versioning and production

  The New Zealand dollar is a cost-effective currency for international publishers to get bulk work completed. We run the latest software and have a reputation for being hard-working, innovative thinkers.  Our time difference works well for the US and Australian...

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Circles in life

We have just posted off the last parcel to end a 4 year educational project. Our production system shows we have redesigned 214 books, but I know the production system is only 2.5 years old, so that is not all of them. With the help of Peter Bray (who left us some...

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Merry Christmas

[template id="1423"] [divider style='none' mt='-40'] Isn't this cool, and it's just one of the many new features our Birkenhead design team can add to your digital books and products. If you have an ipad you can download our free app to see more. Now's it's your turn...

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QED seal of approval for ebook

We have just had the great news that Ransonwood has been given a QED seal for Quality, Excellence, Design by Digital Book World. It's a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" so the user is assured that this title will render well in whatever their preferred reading...

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Apps are WOW

Creative Suite has always been the weapon of choice for the work we do everyday and it has just gotten sooooo much better. Using the ebook and digital research we have been exploring recently, we started to see what other sort of publication tools we could play with...

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Surviving change

There's been plenty of change lately, but just look at how books have evolved from where they first started. Thank goodness for the book designer, we say.   The upheaval in the book trade has meant hard times for everyone. With our workloads a bit lighter we have...

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Ode to talent

Watching so many international publishers pulling out of NZ has been hard because of all the talented and experienced people we know who work for those companies. Now that we are a couple of months further on, it is great to see so many of these good people staying in...

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March 2, 2011. First day back after Feb earthquakes

It's so great to be back in the office and back into an almost normal routine. We are so grateful to all our wonderful clients and the lovely messages you have all sent and the blissful work you keep sending us. Contact with the outside world and knowing that things...

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September 17, 2011. One year on

Lots and lots of changes It all started with a 7.1 earthquake, about a year ago. Once Kim, Trisha, Anita and Sarah had picked up all the broken glass and tried to wash to the floors without water and power, dug out all the liqua-muck it was time to start thinking...

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Link to our older blog posts

With our new website comes this new blog and a problem. Do we transfer all of our old blog posts over to here or not? Umm ... yeah, nah. There's lots of wonderful memories on our old blog and tempting as it is, we have decided to leave most of them there. Please do...

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eBooks – Here's how we can help

eBooks – Here's how we can help

If you are starting with a print book, then we make sure the designs and files can easily be adapted for their ebook partner, either now or in the future. The nature of the content will help steer the choice between a flowable epub file or a fixed layout. The design...

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Interactive PDF's, animated GIF's and book trailers?

Interactive PDF's, animated GIF's and book trailers?

Book trailers and animated gifs. Technology is wonderful and has advanced to the point where you don’t need to use an expensive developer to create your animated gifs and book trailers. If we’ve produced your book, then all the assets we need to create these are...

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Buy an eBook and enjoy the experience

Check out our ebook designs at the couple of links below for Scholastic NZ books now on Amazon. "Why should I do that," I can hear you asking. Well, that's because we have designed them. Now that's a big difference from 'produced' them. We've been blabbing on for ages...

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Interactive PDFs, animated GIFs and book trailers?

Book trailers and animated gifs. Technology is wonderful and has advanced to the point where you don’t need to use an expensive developer to create your animated gifs and book trailers. If we’ve produced your book, then all the assets we need to create...

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New Profiles

Anne's been at it again and is continuing to create our new profile animated gifs for both our websites.Here's the ones for the Christchurch crew. You'll all know Kim, but Trudy maybe a new face for some. She's our wonderful accounts lady who keeps Kim...

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This is a test feed

This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test feed, This is a test...

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Taking learning digital

The demand for learning, training and education continues to grow at exponential rates. Technology has created not only an accelerated cycle of change but also a corresponding need to distribute the skills necessary to adapt. Smartwork Creative has a suite of tools...

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Our Auckland studio is up and running

Wow it's hard to believe that we are finally here.Sarah and Maria have had a fantastic road trip with two one way tickets on the ferry and big, big drive carrying not only their personal items, but their workstations and the server. True little camels they...

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Lots and lots of changes

Lots and lots of changes

It all started with a 7.1 earthquake, about a year ago.Once Kim, Trisha, Anita and Sarah had picked up all the broken glass and tried to wash to the floors without water and power, dug out all the liqua-muck it was time to start thinking about work again. Lucky Maria...

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We are back

We are back

It's so great to be back in the office and back into an almost normal routine. We are so grateful to all our wonderful clients and the lovely messages you have all sent and the blissful work you keep sending us. Contact with the outside world and knowing that things...

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