Raised in Whanganui but originally from Tauranga and of Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāi Te Rangi descent, Tyrone Ohia completed his Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design through UCOL in 2008.
He found studying at the Whanganui School of Design, part of the Whanganui UCOL campus, a unique and refreshing experience.
“Whanganui isn’t a very big place so you get a lot of interesting characters mixing. Musicians, hairdressers, designers, glass blowers and other interesting minds, all hanging out together. It gives the graduates a good dose of character and attitude to head out and give the bigger cities a bit of a downtrail!”
In addition to mixing with fellow students, in his final year at Whanganui School of Design Tyrone won a Certificate of Typographic Excellence from the New York Type Directors Club for his degree project efforts. “It was awesome to have some work published and be part of an exhibition overseas,” he says.
Since graduating Tyrone has worked at various design studios in Wellington, and is now part of the team at award-winning design studio Alt Group in Auckland. He has been honing his skills on a wide range of projects, “some large, some medium, and some so small you can hardly see them”.
The projects are never one person jobs and Tyrone enjoys the collaboration involved. “It’s pretty fun working with a wide range of very talented people.”
Alt Group were recently recognised at the New Zealand Best Awards for a number of projects, including Gold for the latest Shihad album design and for a tukutuku panel designed in collaboration with local Tāmaki Makaurau iwi; Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāti Whātua and Ngai Tai for the Te Oro Music & Arts Centre for Young People in Glen Innes, Auckland. Tyrone was “stoked” to be a part of it all.
Still working full time for Alt Group but now living in Japan, Tyrone continues to design whilst soaking up the Japanese scenery and taking inspiration from his new surroundings.
“The food is good, the people are awesome, and I’ve always loved Japanese architecture and crafts so it’s pretty sweet to be in the thick of it.”
Alt Group is an award-winning design studio based in Auckland, New Zealand, working in consultation with many companies on a long-term basis. It was founded by artists, and has won more than 450 professional awards.