What's the story?

At Smack Design, we live to elevate your brand and bring your vision and dreams to life through creative design and brand strategy. We believe in clever and creative thinking, along with skill, knowledge and awareness of the ever-changing world and the ways we communicate. We have worked with large corporations, government, small business, not-for-profits, entertainers and bands, festival and event organisers. We bring passion, skill, understanding, knowledge and fun to every job, and we work with you to help you communicate your message visually and in line with your brand to bring the best results.

Also, we like dogs.

The Smack Pack

smack about 2c

Susan Mackell

Designey, nerdy brand stuff

Susan began her artistic career as a toddler armed only with a thick, permanent, black marker, which she used to ‘decorate’ the back of her bedroom door. After a stern talking to and a slap on the wrist, she quickly moved onto scribbling in her school books, drawing portraits of her chickens and colouring in the white patches of her dog.

Susan loves to observe the world around her and has built Smack Design through a love of creating and years of experience, curiosity and observation about what it means to effectively capture an audience, particularly in today’s highly visual and fast-moving world.

Smack Design is based in Canberra where Susan was born, where she spent her childhood and where she returned after high school to attend college, university, work and to further her experience and studies. She has always been involved in a wide range of creative outlets, including music, writing, glass work, screen printing, art and more. The desire to create with imagination and passion, is simply engrained.

Experience and studies over the past 20 years have provided Susan with a unique blend of skills covering graphic design, media arts, photography, communications, technical drawing, map creation, interior and sustainable design. Susan draws on this experience to give a broad insight into every project, with attention to the details and to the big picture.

Tess circle

Tess Gifford

Clever, organisey and creative things

Tess brings a wealth of skill, creativity, knowledge and happy vibes to the studio. Tess knows how to adult, but she also knows how to play. Fuelled by imagination and the need to create, Tess has an artful eye developed over years of pursuing artistic and crafty endeavours including drawing, painting, writing, sewing, jewellery making and upcycling. 

Tess also has a keen interest in wellbeing and the human body and has been practicing as a Bowen and Massage Therapist for the past 15 years. Running her one-woman body work business while raising two kids and a stream of much-loved fur babies, while also being involved in various charitable and community groups, ongoing study and extended family commitments, Tess just knows how to get it done.

Tess takes cares of studio, administration and accounting tasks, including sourcing printing quotes, writing and proof-reading, plus a wide range of random assignments such as sourcing the right Godzilla figurine for a client project. No job is too big or small for Tess, from essential business to keeping coffee stocked and providing valuable support on design projects. Along with her colleagues Billy and Karen, Tess ensures the entire team stops for breaks, and is always the first to check that her team mates are doing okay. Everyone could use a Tess in their lives, and we’re so fortunate to have her on our team!

Billy circle


Security, good boy, OH&S, team building

Billy is sunshine in a (very) furry coat! He’s always busy with multiple projects on the go, including collecting tennis balls, hiding treats from Karen and rolling on his back for belly rubs. His favourite place to stop and rest is the by the window so he can keep a watchful eye on things.

We all know OH&S is quite serious, and Billy likes to make sure everyone gets up frequently to let him in or out. Billy is a very good boy and is just excited by life, which he expresses with an ever-wagging tail. Billy excels at keeping feet, and hearts, warm.

Karen circle


Adorable complaints, yoga, social club

Karen is quick on her feet (if she wants to be) but in the name of self-care she’s usually tending to her beauty sleep instead. When things get ruff, she may lodge adorable and stampy complaints, but she’s a great listener and is always ready for a brainstorming session.

Karen has an extensive wardrobe, but she prefers to attend meetings without clothes because she’s a free spirit, or maybe she likes to show off her muscular physique. Her infectious energy brings joy to the studio, and she’s always ready for hugs. She is smugly aware that her velvety head is therapeutic to the humans.

Some great feedback

Awards and achievements

A few of our clients