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Our story is about helping you tell yours.

We help businesses make first impressions and lasting connections.

When Amanda and Scott Kirkman returned home to Newcastle in 2014, they brought several years of experience at top creative agencies in Melbourne with them.

And just like our hometown, we punch above our weight! We love to help businesses communicate clearly and express their personalities through clever positioning, branding and strategy.


Your brand leaves its mark wherever it goes, so why not be intentional with the impression you make? Our name, taken from the classic writing-system of symbolic abbreviation, represents the fundamentals of our work — distilling the essence of a brand and expressing it visually.

It’s a little bit like picking the perfect emoji – why text ‘OK, sounds like a good plan, let’s do it’ when you could type ‘👌💪’ and express so much more?!



We are intentionally small, favouring quality over quantity. We don’t have account managers or a sales team, so you know you will be working directly with us. This allows us to be more flexible, attentive and affordable than bigger agencies. We bring our top-end agency experience to projects of all sizes, partnering with brands from Sydney to San Francisco.


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 prestigious nominations.


Who we are

Amanda Kirkman

Amanda is a versatile designer. She shifts confidently across a range of applied design forms, from stationery to packaging and everything in-between. She has been profiled in The Young Ones magazine and Women of Graphic Design and her design work has been published internationally. Amanda is shaping the next generation of designers by teaching at the School of Creative Industries at her alma mater, the University of Newcastle.

Scott Kirkman

Scott is a process-driven designer. He balances creativity with a pragmatic approach to brand and design, with a focus on outcomes that not only look great but also achieve tangible results. He earned his design stripes with FutureBrand, one of the world’s largest brand consultancies. Like Amanda, Scott also teaches back where their studies began in the School of Creative Industries at the University of Newcastle.

“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

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

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