Launching My Business Rā Designs

The creation of Rā Designs

I graduated in Communication Design in 2013 from Otago Polytechnic. I learnt heaps here and I feel this is where I found myself in the "Design" world. I jumped at any opportunity for a job, project or anything that I knew would gain me valuable skills and experience to go along with my study.

The first big job that put me on the map was the Otage Polyfest banners. These were very large banners that would be displayed on stage while performers did Kapa Haka and Pasifika dances. I was part of a team that produced the banners and these were very well received and are still used to this day.

After graduating I went straight into the workforce with my first role being a designer of on and off-field rugby uniforms and products. This included uniforms, hoodies, jackets, balls and more. I also helped with online content, photography of products and had to digitize old logos. This was my first design job in a workplace environment after study and I loved my experience there.

I then moved on to Australia and learnt about the culture and working for a worldwide famous brand in Nike (Check my Nike article for more). I am huge apparel and sneaker fan and I got a chance to get some detailed and up-close knowledge of the technology, ideas, materials and branding are used for one of the biggest brands in the world.

I then came back to New Zealand and brought a house and got a job at a printing firm. This was beneficial as I learnt about the printing side of things to compliment my design skills and added another element to my work. It gave me sills for when I am preparing some of my designs and how to get them ready correctly if they are gonna be a printed product. I gained very valuable skills and experience working in the printing industry.

In 2018 I found out I was going to be a dad and this changed things for me right away. I found some new energy and had the motivation to go out on my own and start my own design business. So in February of 2019, I officially started Rā Designs which is inspired by the sun. The sun is the source of light, colour and energy and these are attributes I like to put in my work. It also represents my "son" who is my light and energy and he was the one who motivated me to start this journey.

It is now June 2021 and my business is still running, things are challenging but going very well. I get a good range of work and I am loving what I am doing. I am still as passionate as ever about design and creativity and look forward to all my future projects.

Thank you for the support and I look forward to future stories.

Rā Designs
Thomas Te Whaiti Henry


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