Our purpose.

Design can change the world.
We believe in the power of creative problem solving to impact our clients world for the better.


We are very clear about why we exist, what we are great at and how we can help our clients achieve their goals.

What we do.

Every project has a process.
But no project is ever the same.

We use our design skills to help solve our clients problems. As a design company we seek to deploy our skills to aid our business, organisational and community clients where their brands, social marketing programmes, exhibitions, educational tools, films, charitable causes and other information design projects require our expertise and help.

Communication design.

For stakeholders, customer, communities - in a word, we design for people.

Strategic design.

Brand strategy, brand architecture, brand identity - because getting these things right helps organisations move forward.

Culture design.

Purpose, values, engagement - when people believe and belong true value can be realised.

Our client sectors experience includes:

Arts
Education
Energy
Environment
Export
Finance & Insurance
Food & Beverage
Government
Healthcare
Not-for-profit
Professional Services
Retail
Technology
We are on the New Zealand All of Government procurement panels for:
Design; Consulting; Web Services; and Advertising.

Who we are.

People make our place.
And are the reason others come to us.

We are a team of designers, thinkers, activators, doers. Ocean Design is a place we are proud to work at because we are accepted for who we are, valued for what we can offer, and encouraged to become the best possible versions of ourselves. We have a diverse team who compliment each other's strengths slash quirks.

Ash McKenna

Design activator, Ash is responsible for our design delivery to clients. Ash's organisational ability and work ethic is respected by our clients and her colleagues alike. Her calmness under pressure is inspiring. Ash loves nothing more than helping our clients achieve the impossible. Ash loves the Ocean. She has very good taste.

Matt Bluett

Designer, Matt is a deep thinker and has a rare design aesthetic. His work has defined many of our client's brands over the last decade. Matt is excited by the new, the creatively challenging, but mostly by the possibilities inherent within every organisation to be better than they are. Matt bakes bread and brews beer. Yet he has no tattoos.

Sam Dungey

Sam defies labels. Ocean's renaissance man, he is equally at home helping a client formulate a complex digital brief as he is building a wall in our offices. Nearing 15 years at Ocean, Sam has built an unmatched level of trust and respect with our clients as an agile and dedicated problem solver. Sam is extremely pragmatic but he holds an unerring eye on the future and the implications this may hold for Ocean and our clients. He once had a pet chicken called Chooky. Don't ask.

Sarah Lyford

Design Assistant, Executive Assistant, Office Assistant Sarah calmly wears a number of hats at Ocean. A recent graduate we think her potential is enormous and we look forward to seeing her career develop. Sarah enjoys smashed avacado on toast, so she will never be able to afford a house.

Dani Larimer

Design activator, and Ocean's marketer, Dani is a consumate multi-tasker. She is adept at wrangling complex projects into shape and her conscientious and hard working nature helps our clients to meet their project objectives. An inveterate list-maker and more importantly list crosser off-er, Dani is driven to achieve, to learn, and to grow. Dani travels. A lot. We miss her when she's gone.

Clare Garner

Design Advisor, Clare is deeply experienced designer who now works alongside our clients to help them define and solve their problems. So while you won’t see Clare on the tools, you will see her questioning, listening, understanding. A deep thinker, our clients find Clare a reliable and trusted sounding board. A second time mum, Clare fills her non working time looking after her her three children. Sorry Brent, her two children.

Aaron White

Design strategist, Aaron possesses the rare talent of being able to derive simplicity from complexity. A stellar consulting and management career led him to Ocean, where his calm and considered point of view provides strategic insight and value to our clients. Aaron is a deep thinker and planner who is driven to deliver commercial outcomes for our clients. On a weekend, Aaron can be found with his young family. However just never ask him to cook. Never.

Matt Everitt

Designer, Matt works effortlessly across design and technology. Matt's work transcends established forms of design and his creative problem solving is helping our clients communicate in more innovative and spellbinding ways. Matt loves creative coding as a means to explore and bring data, digital and design together. Matt is a surfer. Enough said.

Blair Mainwaring

Owner of Ocean, Blair has over 25 years experience as a designer. He believes that design in its purest form is a problem solving process, and that is what our clients need from us. Be it branding or communication design, the principles remain the same. Focus on, and understand the people who the design will touch, and then, and only then may you actually have a chance of succeeding. Speaking of success, Blair is lifelong Liverpool supporter.

Claire Matheson

Designer, Claire is an intelligent and thoughtful problem solver. A strong thinker and a considered creative, Claire has significant experience in helping our clients uncode complex design challenges. She is renown for asking the questions that need to be asked in order to gain the insight that will transform our creative thinking. Claire loves the quirk, the unusual. If you need a pub quiz team mate. Claire's the one.

How we work.

Every job has a process.
But no one job is ever the same.

We know that to solve problems, we must first understand how people think, act, and behave. We are passionate about gaining true insight into customer’s lives so we can truly solve our clients problems. We work collaboratively to first gain, and then to provide clarity and simplicity of thought.

Our story.

We’ve covered a few miles.
But we are still learning.


Founded originally in 1988, we are 30 this year. Although the scope of our work has changed over the years, the Ocean attitude never has. We learnt a long time ago that hard problems are solved better when we roll up our sleeves and get stuck in, together.