A design studio

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

Big agency experience, small studio sensibility

Shorthand was founded by Amanda and Scott Kirkman in 2014, when the pair brought several years of experience at top creative agencies in Melbourne back home to Newcastle.

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.

We are a design studio, not an agency. 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. We bring our big agency experience to projects of all sizes, partnering with brands 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


Amanda is a versatile designer. She shifts confidently across a range of applied design forms. She has designed just about everything you could think of, from boutique stationery for Kikki K, packaging for Kmart and Linen House, to annual reports for not-for-profits.

Amanda started her studies in business before discovering a passion for design, completing a Bachelor of Visual Communication (Design) at the University of Newcastle, before relocating to Melbourne. She has been profiled in The Young Ones magazine and Women of Graphic Design and her design work has been published internationally.

Scott Kirkman


Scott is a process-driven designer. He balances 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.

Scott completed a Diploma of Graphic Design at Hunter TAFE before continuing through to a Bachelor of Visual Communication (Design) at the University of Newcastle, where he met Amanda. In Melbourne, Scott worked for FutureBrand, one of the world’s largest brand consultancies. He has been invited to speak at Billy Blue College of Design and RMIT University. Since returning home to Newcastle, Scott has consulted with students at 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