“It’s like having a whole team of great creative designers in my office but actually not having to have that expense.”


What APR Creative does for DON

  • ArtSmart turns artwork around fast.
  • It’s more cost effective than an in-house design team.
  • ArtSmart creates consistency across brand identity.

Since 1947, the DON name has been synonymous with ham, bacon and smallgoods Australia-wide. This recognition stems from a passion and dedication to quality, first instilled by Australian butcher R.J. Gilbertson. Today DON is one of Australia’s largest smallgoods manufacturers, proudly producing award winning hams, bacon, salami, franks and continentals from their Castlemaine site in Victoria.

DON and APR have a unique relationship, based on the introduction of APR’s ArtSmart service into their business over 3 years ago. Marketing Director Cathy Bertoncello and her team have consistently enjoyed the benefits of ArtSmart and working with APR to achieve success in their business.

ArtSmart provides a dedicated APR Creative Account Manager who works onsite at DON for an agreed upon amount of time per week and a dedicated fulltime designer in the APR studio, Artsmart produces packaging rollouts, POS, trade flyers, catalogue designs and internal communications daily. ArtSmart also makes sure that all DON images and assets are kept up to date on various databases. All of this is done at a more economical rate for DON than the cost of an in-house design team or third party agency.

“It’s like having a whole team of great creative designers in my office but actually not having to have that expense,” Bertoncello said. “Before ArtSmart, we had a lot of people doing different things that made DON look and feel different across our products. I didn’t want that, I wanted to have a very aligned look and feel across all our products and collateral.”

ArtSmart has streamlined the design process for DON and ensured a more aligned brand identity across its various products. What ArtSmart does is make sure that DON’s needs are met on a priority basis in a timely manner. The presence of a dedicated person handling the traffic flow of design needs has improved the quality of the work and reduced the risk of requests not being met and business opportunities lost.

“A big thing we wanted was to have things turned around fast, ArtSmart does this really well. The APR team are so easy to deal with, normal people, no ego and they just get the job done,” Bertoncello added. “It’s a simple, healthy, easy relationship and that really does matter to us.

“APR have hired great Account Managers who are aligned with the DON culture and just fit straight into our business. They are always technically proficient and know how to prioritise. The relationship is so good, we just sit down and brief them in. It works well, it’s quick and agile.

“One of the challenges of being an FMCG business is the complexities around packaging and dealing with multiple stakeholders both within the business and externally. APR have really got to know our suppliers, and they always go out of their way to understand the technical difficulties, they have great packaging expertise.

“The partnership between DON and APR has been a successful one because of APR’s expertise, attention to detail and commitment to ensuring DON lives and breathes a consistent message in every aspect of their business. APR’s ArtSmart makes my life and my team’s life easier by having all of these creative resources on tap. Through ArtSmart, APR has gone out of their way to understand the technical difficulties we have with our suppliers —they have great expertise.”

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