A design studio

Shorthand is a design studio based in Newcastle, Australia. We combine expertise in brand, digital and graphic design to help businesses define and communicate their brands.

Big agency experience, small studio sensibilities

Our name, taken from the classic writing-system of abbreviation using symbols represents the fundamentals of our work – distilling down the essense of a brand and expressing it visually.

Shorthand was founded in 2014 by Amanda and Scott Kirkman. After spending several years working at top creative agencies in Melbourne, the pair brought their unique experience back home to Newcastle.

We are a design studio not an agency. We don’t have account managers or a sales team, so you know you will be working directly with us. Shorthand was started with the intent of staying small, favouring quality over quantity. Today we still stick by that ethos, partnering with brands both small and large from Sydney to San Francisco.

Not to boast, but…

Our work has been published globally online and in print – even earning us a Gold Award of Excellence at the Communicator Awards along with a handful of nominations.

Our leadership

Amanda Kirkman


As a highly versatile designer, Amanda’s career has seen her confidently shifting from designing boutique stationery for Kikki K, packaging for Kmart and Linen House, to annual reports for not-for-profits.

Beginning her studies in business, Amanda followed her passion to complete a Bachelor of Visual Communication (Design) at the University of Newcastle, before relocating to Melbourne.

Amanda went into business for herself, sparking the return home to Newcastle to establish Shorthand with her partner Scott.

She has been profiled in The Young Ones magazine and Women of Graphic Design while her design work has been published internationally.

Scott Kirkman


Scott is a process driven designer, balancing creativity with a pragmatic approach to brand and design. His focus is on creating work of both style and substance, where the output not only looks great but also achieves tangible results.

Having already completed a Diploma of Graphic Design at Hunter TAFE, Scott first met Amanda while also completing his Bachelor of Visual Communication (Design) at the University of Newcastle.

After moving to Melbourne, Scott went on to work for FutureBrand, one of the world’s largest brand consultancies.

Scott has spoken at Billy Blue College of Design, RMIT University and since returning home to Newcastle, has consulted with students from the University of Newcastle as an industry expert.

What people say

"Shorthand were great to work with. I highly recommend them in terms of their thoroughness and professionalism and was very pleased with the portfolio of design work they completed. Very talented people."

Luke Mellare, Communications Manager at Hunter Development Corporation

"Shorthand have now delivered two brands for me at different organisations and their work is consistently excellent. Professional, easy to work with and great design."

Sacha Palich, Marketing Coordinator at Newcastle Now

"Thank you for giving us Everymind! We love it. You listened and found us the right solution."

Jaelea Skehan, Director at Everymind

Interested in partnering with us on your next project? Let’s talk!

Contact Us