We are a multidisciplinary publisher and consultancy where visual language meets the written word. Essentially, our work is creating stories to make and manage meaning across physical and virtual spaces. We create stories, and also places and things from which interesting narratives are drawn out. We are thinkers, makers and service providers, for clients’ businesses as much as for our own labours-of-love.
Shamalee de Silva Parizeau
Shamalee’s strategic consultation has been used to revive brands, drive campaigns and reposition events as well as personalities, including Sri Lanka Design Festival, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and Colombo Innovation Tower. Her written work has been published in national newspapers like The Sunday Times, while her words have directed film and digital productions, as well as books and research for several organisations such as AOD, Colomboscope and Elpitiya Plantations.
Shamalee has over a decade’s experience as an independently commissionable writer, building compelling conversations for brands, personalities, artists, corporations and governmental organisations like Brandix, Anoma Wijewardene, Linda Speldewinde, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka. Public Works is Shamalee’s own studio practice where her expertise as a writer shapes storytelling for brands.
She holds an (HND) Diploma in Spatial Design from the Academy of Design (AOD), Colombo, Sri Lanka, and a BA (Hons) degree in Fashion from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
With our roots in design thinking, our approach to briefs is through problem solving; As storytellers, our solutions are always built through the perspective of a narrative that resonates with an identified group. With our ability to empathise with audiences and our experience derived from over a decade of storytelling, the stories we create are the kind that build consciously thought-out connections.
Alain S. Parizeau
Image maker/Designer/Company director
Alain Parizeau is a designer and brand articulation specialist and has gained a reputation for helping businesses from around the world, develop and restructure communication systematically and effectively. From redesigning magazines, to developing wayfinding systems, Alain’s direction has helped North American and South Asian companies align their brand communications and business goals with their target audiences.
Some of his business logos, editorial spreads, and packaging design were featured in international graphic design publications such as Coupe Magazine, and How Magazine. Sri Lankan National newspapers like the Daily FT and the Daily Mirror regularly featured some of his design workshops and seminars takeaways. Parallel to this, he has been a speaker on design, branding, and typography at festivals and conferences such as Sri Lanka Design Festival, UX Colombo, Maldives Marketing Forum, and Disrupt Asia. He was a senior lecturer and head of the visual communication department at AOD for 10 years—his strongest asset was his ability to observe and understand the various cultural, social, and behavioral differences between each student.
Parizeau holds a DEC in Multimedia from André Grasset College, Montreal, Canada, and a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design from York University, Toronto, Canada. Additionally, Parizeau is a HEA associate fellow (AFHEA), which demonstrates a personal commitment to professionalism in learning and teaching in higher education. He was also a member of the International Association of Typographic Designer (ISTD), and for several years was on the ISTD international competition judging committee.
Why partner with us
Limited client list
Similarly to the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule), we think roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes and therefore, 80% of return come from 20% of clients. We prefer to give more of our time to a few businesses, rather than give a little time to more businesses.
Ability to empathize and articulate a brand. We leverage our cultural differences to demonstrate our ability to step in and out of different cultures; particularly foreign vs local, and urban vs rural. Equally important to mention is 10+ years teaching upcoming designers, our combined 20+ years helping businesses enter or thrive in growing markets and survive moments of crisis. Through a combination of skills that include: writing, image making, typography, book design, brand articulation, curation, editing and teaching, we make unique, engaging, meaningful, and most importantly, effective stories.
We use a scientific process to identify the most appropriate solution with the given time and context. It is a systematic and pragmatic design methodology. This is to reduce subjectivity during the design process, and ensure that all decisions are made with the best interest of the brief and that outcomes are relevant to stakeholders. It also protects both Public Works and our clients from conflicting biases.
Business first and foremost
We believe in ideas that translate into income; we are interested in the success of our clients business first. We prefer to work with small business owners because we are a small business.
To begin with, we carefully examine the client problem and brief. This includes analysing the feasibility of the client’s objectives/expectations vs budget and available resources. This can be done with a preliminary meeting as discussion and followed by a costing sheet for low risk projects, or via a brand audit report for high risk projects—particularly projects where an error will cost the client more than the cost of the audit. At this stage, we also recommend collecting data on the target audience.
Here, we start by Investigating existing and historical solutions, organising, evaluating collected insight from research, and synthesising everything using the brief and framework as hierarchical metrics. This includes: descriptive text for the basic concept, take-home message(s) and introduce a narrative for the project, a visual board with examples of ways to illustrate the strategy. It is made of found images that match the project framework. This is when we start speaking with production specialists and map production costs of a solution.
With a strategy and framework locked down, we can effectively start prototyping solutions from our research. We start writing and/or start building digital mockup, test semiotics, narratives and grammar against project strategy + framework. This includes, target audience cultural associations, visibility and legibility, usage in-situ and editing visual and written content for final placements. We use critical analysis to eliminate weaknesses in design and identify the most appropriate solution for each delivery.
Then, we prepare files for delivery (photography, illustration, graphic design, copy check, naming, and file organisation) This includes: annotating digital copy for social media (hyperlinks, tags or other formatting), construction and specification documents (measurements, specifications, etc), and follow up meetings with production specialists (in relevant cases).