Shanti Sparrow


Shanti Sparrow is an award winning Australian designer, illustrator and educator living and creating in New York. Sparrow has a vibrant and bold approach to design. In a style described as loudly minimal, she creates visual identities filled with individuality and personality. Her expressive typography, grid experimentation and confident color palettes create memorable and iconic branding. Sparrow specializes as a conceptual designer and collaborates with many not-for-profit clients that create awareness and raise funds for important humanitarian, environmental and research based causes. As an educator Sparrow is dedicated to shaping and supporting the next generation of designers. She champions inclusivity, knowing ones worth and diversity in her role as Northern Hemisphere Director at Shillington School of Graphic Design. As an illustrator, Sparrow has a unique illustration style that combines textures, patterns and digital collage. Her subjects mainly involve animals, nature and travel. Sparrow has exhibited globally, published numerous children’s books, greeting cards, games, calendars and a limited edition luggage range with American Tourister.

Has the pandemic changed your workplace and your workflow? Do you expect to return to pre-pandemic ways of working or will any changes become the ‘new normal’?

This year completely turned normal routines and systems upside down. Learning to manage complex, multi-staged, inter-team projects from home was in itself one giant design thinking project. The biggest change happened in our communication habits. In person, so much communication happens organically, which means we had to learn to be far more intentional in reaching out and stating our needs. This along with flexible hours and increased global collaboration are all things I want to continue beyond the pandemic.

What do you expect 2021 to hold for graphic designers and the design business? Have the challenges of 2020 changed the way you think about your job and career or the role of design?

One of the greatest things about graphic design is its ability to adapt and evolve. Design is endlessly resilient — as are creatives. While some areas such as events, experiences and physical spaces may be less in demand, we see digital and service design bloom. This year has also made me reflect on my practice and the messages I am putting into the world. Design is powerful and the way we use it to communicate either adds to misinformation or aids in clarifying and educating. We as designers must take greater ownership and be aware of our power to influence.