We are a creative agency that works at the intersection of Strategy and Design. We develop ideas that deliver incredible change.
Who we are

We work with national and international clients to grow their competitiveness and find unique ways to engage new and existing customers.

Brian Richards
Founding Partner

Brian hung up a shingle which said “Brand Strategist” 25 years ago when only a handful of individuals across the globe were exploring the nascent business discipline. Since then, Brian, along with other pioneers, has achieved global recognition in what is now considered a valuable business tool. Throughout his career he has advised governments, companies and communities in defining their point of difference and delivered brand strategies and enduring legacy brands across markets in Asia Pacific, Europe and the United States. Unashamedly commercial, Brian’s almost legendary skills in boardrooms have always seen him argue the bottom line performance of the brand and its story, as the best investment a company can make. “Business is about ethics, aesthetics and functionality,” says Brian, “brands, which capture these points of difference, should deliver a special experience through unique design, supportive cultures and an infectious and honest story you have never heard before.”

Visit Brian's Blog

Tuomas Pekkala
Project Director

The design process is all about people and how they communicate with each other. Tuomas arrived in Auckland from Helsinki where he began his career in journalism before gaining a degree in Design Management at the Parsons School of Design in New York — where he also spent time with leading design studio Base Design. Tuomas says his “Design Management degree has provided me with the understanding of design from all angles while my background enables me to understand design as a creative discipline but also a business and a business model.”  Living and working in Helsinki, Paris and New York, Tuomas says “each of these places has it’s own charm, but the work remains surprisingly the same across the continents.” As a skilled design manager Tuomas brings his broad worldview and deep understanding of the creative process to manage conversations between strategists, designers and clients. To collaborate you have to communicate. 

Meisha Graham
Intermediate Designer

As part of the close-knit design team at Richards Partners, Meisha works hard to balance the beauty of a simple design solution with the pragmatism our clients require. Her attention to detail allows her to consistently deliver on every aspect of a project, creating positive change for a wide range of businesses. She holds a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Graphic Design and illustration — but reflects that the greatest learnings have come from working with great mentors in the industry. In her time at Richards Partners she has worked closely with the team, creating identity systems, event concepts, marketing tools and translating the firm’s strategic work into tangible visual solutions. “We’re inherently curious and not afraid of a challenge. We create fresh perspectives for our clients, really making a difference within their business,” she says.

Anushka Bihari
Intermediate Designer

Great ideas and attention to detail are critical components that drive Anushka’s design practice. After graduating with a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Digital Media from AUT in 2010, Anushka completed her training with a Diploma of Graphic Design from Media School before beginning her career in the Auckland studio of Saatchi and Saatchi Design Worldwide. Her experience at Saatchi’s ranged from delivering campaign work for The Auckland Theatre Company; being part of the team to rebrand Spark and developing the brand direction for Lexus. Anushka’s work has been awarded multiple Gold Pins from the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design awards. 

Caitlin Rassie
Raymond Tiong

As a creative hybrid, Raymond is poised at the intersection of strategy and design. A graduate of AUT with a Bachelor of Design, Raymond arrives at Richards Partners after 5 years at Dave Clark Design where he assisted in establishing the Singapore studio. While at Dave Clark, Raymond was engaged with teams delivering strong brand guardianship and strategic design for ANZ across the Asia Pacific region. Now making the transition to strategy, Raymond says his “varied experiences have given me a skillset that balances big-picture thinking with obsessive attention to detail to produce thinking that is creative, thoughtful, and effective for our clients’ needs”.

Don Wilkie
Financial Controller
Clem Devine
Creative Director

As Creative Director, Clem leads a team of curious design thinkers and doers to arrive at beautifully thought out projects that make sense. “Great ideas can come from anywhere and in the right context can be applied to anyone,” he says. Prior to Richards Partners, Clem spent 8 years at world renowned New Zealand design studio Alt Group, receiving accolades in six countries including selection as a Young Gun by the New York Art Directors Club in 2011. Projects Clem has been involved with have also been awarded three best in discipline Purple Pins at the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards. As for his leadership style? “We are building a culture of conversation and learning from each other. Together we want to create work that makes a real difference to our clients and what they do.”

John O’Toole
Senior Strategist

With over 25 years in CEO and Executive Sales & Marketing roles across many geographic markets and categories, John has had hands on brand management experience across many New Zealand’s most recognised brands. John has proven that he is accomplished in managing all of the front-end skills required for business and brand growth in New Zealand and in international markets including Sales, Marketing, Brand Management, Design, Innovation, Channel/Trade Marketing, Category Management and Digital/Social Marketing. John brings with him a strong insight, analytical and strategic focus while maintaining a humanistic and intuitive understanding of people, brands and relationships.

Soong Phoon

If design is how you get there, then strategy is where you’re going. With a Masters of English Literature from the University of Auckland, Soong says her interest is in creating working relationships where project teams and clients ‘see patterns, interpret meaning and reshape structures to make sense of complex problems together’. An understanding of today’s data-rich environment is reflected in her practice. Working across Advertising, Digital and Media, Soong’s previous clients have included 42 Below, SKY, Health Promotion Agency, Frucor and Sovereign Insurance, with assignments at Gladeye, Digital Arts Network and OMD. Passionate about culture as well as business, Soong also writes for the Pantograph Punch and hosts a radio show on 95bfm.

Bryn Fenemor

Bryn arrived in Auckland via Wellington and Massey University’s College of Creative Arts where he graduated with a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication. Along with First Class Honours Bryn was named a Massey Scholar, one of the top 5% of designers in his year. Drilling into the fundamentals of design Bryn says “academia offered the space to interrogate my personal process as a graphic designer. Now, in the studio, I’m learning to open up that process — to approach projects in a collaborative way”. Success for Bryn is “when all parties involved in a project understand an idea, and become advocates for it” he says. Prior to Richards Partners Bryn worked with Manual Magazine and the Enjoy Public Art Gallery, he is also widely travelled and holds a global perspective on the culture of design.

Bryn Chapple

From ATMs to airplane meal settings, from yoghurt packaging to several ranges of outdoor gear: in his 30 years’s experience Bryn has had a hand at designing some highly visible, oft-used and easily recognisable products. As such, he has invaluable experience in conceptualising, designing, prototyping and manufacturing under rigorous industry standards and tight specifications. Usability and knowledge of the end consumer’s needs have been pivotal in his career. Before arriving at Richards Partners, Bryn has been Head of Product Design for Macpac, Founding Partner and Head of Production for Shape Design and a senior product designer in Germany. At Richards Partners he uses this fine-tuned design thinking to conduct workshops with clients and their user groups to better understand end users, their needs (expressed and latent) and how the client company can work organisationally, strategically and culturally to deliver products and services to meet those needs.

Logan Tran