Grenville Main

Grenville Main

Grenville Main, designer

Grenville Main has made a significant contribution to the design profession and to design in general in New Zealand.

Not only have his clients recognised his expertise, he has also gained recognition from his peers for his individual achievements, for the role he has played in improving the perception and value of graphic design, and for the significant part he has played in fostering the talents of large numbers of New Zealand’s top designers. 

Grenville graduated from Wellington Polytechnic with a diploma in Visual Communications and his first foray into the commercial world was as an illustrator, followed by art direction jobs on a couple of magazines, and then into roles as creative director in design practices.

He joined DNA (formerly Bright Newlands and Associates) in the early 1990s, becoming a shareholder shortly afterwards. He took the Wellington office from a small graphic design team of seven, to a 50+ strategic design consultancy with offices in Auckland, Wellington.   Both known for placing the user or customer at the heart of everything they do.

He and his team have worked with many of New Zealand’s leading and progressive organisations including the iconic—New Zealand Rugby and Icebreaker—the large—Telecom/Spark and BNZ—and the new—Powershop and Trilogy—as well as across the public sector.

In the broader design industry Grenville has been adamant on the need for New Zealand design companies to stop selling themselves short, and seek collectively stronger qualitative and quantitative analysis of the benefits their skills bring.

DNA was an influential agitator for the Designers’ Institute ‘Best Effect’ Award which measures a ‘business take’ on what the design achieved, and what it unlocked, rather than just what it looked like. 

Managing director of DNA, Grenville is also a Fellow of the Designers Institute of New Zealand and in 2013 the Institute awarded him its highest accolade, the Black Pin for Outstanding Achievement.

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Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa