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About

We are a full-service marketing and design agency with creative depth and in-house expertise across all platforms.

Our crew comes from different places with unique views and ideas, but we’ve joined forces on a shared creative vision at Tropic Studio. 

We aim high at Tropic Studio. Always focused on exceeding our clients’ expectations, we deliver work of national quality and esteem. 

Bold.

Beautiful.

Engaging.

Fresh.

All of the above.

Approach

The first step on every project is simple, and it’s always the same: we get to know the DNA of our clients’ business before we do anything else. This insight and understanding of our client’s business objectives lets us know where they’re coming from and where they want to go. 
Regardless of their size, shape or sector, we seamlessly merge the past, present and future to deliver results according to their unique needs and desired outcomes. This approach underpins the long-term relationships we develop with many of our clients.

Culture

As a team, it’s fair to say we’re a bit obsessed by a few things.

We’re on a constant search for the finest design aesthetics from our favourite design studios, artists and social media feeds from across the globe. 

We’re also fascinated by user experience research and development and how it impacts the work we do.

Tropic magazine flatlay with plant
Tropic Magazines in shelf

We’re in tune with both cutting-edge and proven marketing techniques, whether it’s a giant sexy statue of Jeff Goldblum for a PR stunt or a controversial viral video that divides public opinion.

We also have a healthy addiction to strong coffee and good music, but more about that when you visit Tropic HQ.

Our Team

Collaborative
Friendly
Passionate
Creative
Tropic Studio team member Leah Tropic Studio team member Renee Tropic Studio team member CK Tropic Studio team member Catherine Tropic Studio team member Annabel Tropic Studio team member Alana
Tropic Studio team member Renee
Tropic Studio team member CK
Tropic Studio team member Catherine
Tropic Studio team member Annabel
Tropic Studio team member Leah
Leah Horstmann

Managing Director

Likes

Rowing on Trinity Inlet, the thrill of second hand clothes shopping, wearing Chanel red lipstick and trainers, trying new red wine varietals, cooking Middle Eastern food and coming home with a full library bag.

About

Leah grew up in Townsville wanting to play basketball for Australia. She came close, attending the AIS and playing in the WNBL, but the universe (and a knee injury), had other ideas. Roles in management, human resources, marketing and administration across finance, law, health and media sectors in Brisbane, Sydney, London and Cairns. Leah’s creative flair and keen eye keeps the studio humming meaning your creative projects will be well managed from starting point to project completion.

Tropic Studio team member Renee
Renee Cluff

Editor

Likes

Travelling, sitting around a campfire, sweating it out at the gym.

About

A journalist with more than 20 years’ experience in broadcast, print and digital platforms, Renee fell in love with the tropics when her young family moved from New South Wales to PNG a decade ago, before settling in Cairns.

Renee began her career as a 19 year-old television news producer in Sydney. Since then she's also had roles as a TV reporter, a travel writer and radio presenter, joining the Tropic team after five years at the ABC in Cairns.  The certified personal trainer also keeps busy helping her husband run his small business and acting as a taxi driver for her two teenage children.

Tropic Studio team member CK
CK

Tropic Studio digital director

Likes 

Farming fruit trees in the rainforest, hanging out with his two dogs, tinkering with electronics, cups of tea. 

About

He's been involved in information technology since the infancy of the internet over 25 years ago in both his native Germany and Australia and developed successful websites for organisations large and small. As a developer and coder with a focus on mobile-first technology, CK is an explorer of new technologies, features and functions. As the Tropic Studio website design ninja, CK can build anything you can dream up, so dream big!

Tropic Studio team member Catherine
Catherine Clark

Graphic Designer

Likes

Diving, exercise, illustrating, funky earrings and vintage books. Exploring FNQ for swimming holes and coffee shops, weekend motorcycle rides and cheese boards.

About

Originally from the Blue Mountains, Catherine completed schooling and a degree in Graphic Design in Wagga Wagga NSW, where she also played basketball at a State level for 3 years. Catherine prides herself on her illustration and design skills and is often inspired by her environmental surroundings, retro design and world events.

Tropic Studio team member Annabel
Annabel Bowles

Journalist

Likes

Farmers markets, dried natives, craft beer, anything by Julia Jacklin, soaking in the sunshine. Exploring her new home with a backpack, camera and paperback in tow.

About

Annabel’s always been curious about people, places and their peculiarities. Originally from South Australia, her feature writing background and penchant for print magazines brought her to FNQ. As a journalist for Tropic Now, she’s here to seek out good stories, write cracking copy, and rearrange words with precision. She also loves a bit of alliteration.

Tropic Studio team member Alana
Alana Young

Graphic Designer

Likes 

Live music, dogs, coffee, Japanese food, dogs, life outdoors. Did we mention dogs? 

About

Originally from Cairns, Alana completed her Bachelor of Communication Design before travelling Australia gathering design experience beside leaders in advertising and marketing. Her passion for strong and meaningful visual identities comes from years of working with big brands in agencies across Melbourne. Alana is proud to bring the big-city-service she has become accustomed to back to her hometown. 

Alana gets her thrills from clever advertising; consistent multi-channel marketing campaigns; letterpress printing and paper stock catalogues. She loves the challenge of making a crazy idea work with your brand style guide. If you don't have one yet, what are we waiting for?

Melissa Madigan

Creative All-rounder

Likes 

Embroidery, nostalgic Australiana, Muay Thai, road trips to old pubs and the best bakeries, a good cheese board.

About

Melissa is a creative all-rounder or "swiss army knife", with a passion for online brand storytelling. Growing up in Sydney, and then Melbourne, Melissa found herself accidentally moving to Cairns mid-2020 and isn't looking back. 

With a Diploma in Graphic Design, Certificate IV in Professional Writing & Editing, and several years working as an administrator, Melissa brings a creative and analytical eye to all aspects of Tropic.

Melissa is a sucker for good marketing and will buy a bottle of wine based on the label.

What we stand for

Our work with corporate clients allows us to throw our support behind community causes and charities. 
Tropic Studio is a proud sponsor of COUCH, a local cancer care charity focused on delivering services for patients who would otherwise have to travel hundreds of kilometres away for treatment. We donate design hours to COUCH, starting with a major refresh and modernised look for the organisation’s 10-year-old logo and brand. Our team went on to implement the new brand on brochures, pull up banners, large scale signage, business cards and more.
Another key component of our studio philosophy is delivered through the pages of our deluxe print magazine Tropic and online news site TropicNow. We’re big on positivity and sharing happiness, so we take the time to promote all the good things about life in our home base of Cairns and Tropical North Queensland. Our foodie festival Meet Eat Repeat is also central to this focus on positivity, bringing the community together with great food, live music and good vibes.

Couch Cairns office with two staff members
meet. eat. repeat food festival