In Melbourne, food and drink are taken as seriously as design. Peer into any of the city’s gritty alleyways and you’ll be rewarded with cool cafes, trendy bars and boutique galleries, while a thriving design culture ensures creativity around every corner. “You can’t walk far without seeing a really well-crafted piece of graphic communication, cool sign or cafe identity,” says Pete Johnson, founder of design studio Can I Play. “There are world-class graphic, fashion and furniture designers along with some of the best architects on the planet. Inspiration is only a block or two away.”
Average pay sits around AU$50,190 per year, says PayScale, but while cost of living is cheaper than Sydney, Melbourne isn’t cheap. “Housing prices are though the roof,” says Johnson, adding that design is a popular career choice so competition for jobs can be tough. “That said, it’s a great place to get in the mood to design. And everyone seems to be having a good time on a Friday evening!”
Top: The city’s Ombra salumi bar. Middle: “For me, the most inspirational part of the city is the beach,” says Johnson. Bottom: Melbourne has top-class architecture.