Learn from designers with industry expertise.
I love the hands-on element of the craft, the thinking and imagination that goes into the process, and the delight of landing on an outcome. It’s always an adventure.
Dahlia Ishak is a contract for various types of agencies and studio across Australia, US and Canada. Working independently has given her the flexibility to pursue an interest in business and start her own ventures including a (now closed), a and a newly launched . She in is the works of launching a studio that will focus on Branding & Design for Hospitality, Food & Beverage and Event Industries because it brings together a combination of her passions for creativity, business, community and design.
What do you love about design?
Design is like being a detective who interprets the clues around them. It starts with asking why, and can lead to endless possibilities. It is an avenue for exploration and problem solving. I love the unique details that make up each project and problem, where each new piece of information is a discovery. Through research and conversation we uncover new perspectives, characters and meanings and distill them into unexpected outcomes and solutions. I love the hands-on element of the craft, the thinking and imagination that goes into the process, and the delight of landing on an outcome. It’s always an adventure.
Why do you teach?
I teach because I want to give back. I am an avid learner and am constantly inspired by hearing from other’s experiences and skillsets. I am so thankful for teachers, mentors, speakers and those who are generous with sharing their knowledge and experiences. It is such a simple and effective way to contribute to someone’s journey and support their growth. I am so eager to share my passion for this industry, and to encourage and help our students on their exciting new path.
Tell us about your design career outside of Shillington.
I started out as an art director at an advertising agency in Australia. Over the years I became fascinated with coffee shops that were founded on a mix of care, craft and culture. It inspired me to open and operate a hybrid cafe & co-working space for fellow freelancers and creatives, where I discovered a passion for building inviting and functional spaces that encourage community. I soon realized that food & beverage sectors bring people together and are brimming with creativity. I now work in branding for hospitality and retail sectors, where we help clients open shops, develop products, and create genuine and memorable experiences for their customers. I also own my own coffee shop and a bar, which keeps me stimulated and inspired, and give me practical insights into running a business which helps me to connect to my clients.
What or who are you loving right now?
I’m forever inspired by business biographies. Reading them often feels like fiction because of all twists and turns, and the ups and downs. I find a lot of comfort in knowing that anyone who dares to try something new (to them) will be knocked around a little, but will ultimately find a way. It’s motivating and inspiring, and it gets my creativity flowing because it reminds me that anything is possible if you’re prepared to persevere.
An understanding of business creates value for clients and is an essential tool for running any kind of sustainable creative practice. It put things in perspective and helps direct my focus when it comes to clients and my own projects.
If you were a typeface, what would you be?
Something casual, masculine, and with just a hint of quirky.
What’s your favourite blog?
I enjoy the in-depth branding overviews found on Brand New and podcasts such as On Process (by Shillington instructor Adam Bubsy) Australian Design Radio and DSR Branding Podcast I also love feeling that i’m hanging out when listening to TheKnoseKnows, which is always great for a laugh