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 two projects are 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 help our clients where they need our expertise for their brands, social-marketing programmes, exhibitions, educational tools, films, charitable causes, and other information design projects.

Communication design.

For stakeholders, customers, communities — in a word, 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 experience in client sectors include:

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 complement each other's strengths slash quirks.

Ella Bates-Hermans

Digital designer, Ella is quietly impressive. She has a background in industrial design but has transformed into a very talented digital designer. Ella cut her teeth working in journalism as a live designer in the UK, building particular expertise in visual story telling, particularly in communicating to ‘youth’ on social media platforms. Ella’s a runner, swimmer, climber, cycler and hiker. If it's outdoors you’ll find her there. Apart from weekdays when you’ll find her in the Ocean. Get it?

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 a 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 decode complex design challenges. She is renowned 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.

Clare Garner

Design Advisor, Clare is a deeply experienced designer who 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 and understanding. A deep thinker, Clare is a reliable and trusted sounding board for our clients. A second time mum, Clare fills her non-working time looking after her her three children. Sorry Brett, her two children.

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. Extremely pragmatic, Sam 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.

Hannah Dollery

Designer, Hannah honed her design skills working in different studios around the world, before coming full circle back to Wellington. She’s pretty keen on all things design - from a beautiful typeface through to a carefully considered annual report. She loves the small details of design craft and the creativity required to solve problems through design. Hannah is currently renovating her house and spends her free time making things from clay. You could say she is a bit potty. We wouldn’t dare.

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 Everitt

Designer, Matt works effortlessly across design and technology. Matt's work transcends established forms of design. 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.

Sarah Lyford

Marketing Assistant, Sarah calmly wears a number of hats at Ocean. One moment she is advising clients about the best way to tell their story, to their audiences, the next she is organising an awesome event here at Ocean. Whatever she does, she does with determination and drive. Sarah still lives at home with her parents. A sucker for avocado's on toast, and with the price of avocado's rising, she may shortly be looking for a flat.

Anastasia Mellier

Project Manager, Anastasia, is new to these shores. With significant experience gained from working in multicultural global marketing roles, we are thrilled she has washed up on our particular beach. Ana is passionate about gaining meaningful customer insights to drive better and more impactful results. Luckily for us, and our clients she enjoys managing a wide variety of projects. In her spare time Ana likes to stay fit. She especially likes punching and kicking things.

How we work.

Every job has a process.
But no two jobs are 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 customers' 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're still learning.


Founded originally in 1988, Ocean is 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.