2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates

Project Overview

Pillow Poet awoke one morning from quite the most splendid sleep and with quite the most marvellous idea. To create a range of pillowcases that could transfer poetic genius and profound knowledge directly to the brain while you sleep. The rest as they say is poetic history! Pillow Poets eminent and illustrious talents are revealed to an astounded and delighted band of sleepers. Now every man woman and child on the planet can, Wake Up a Genius.


Pillow Poet


Kaye Thompson - Creative Director
Amey Lee - General Manager

Project Brief

Pillow Poet grew out of a fun idea that poetry and knowledge could be transferred directly to the brain while you sleep. Like the adage that you can sleep on a textbook and wake up having miraculously absorbed all of the information contained therein by the morning - just in time for your exam! Fabulous!

Pillow Poet believes in life long learning and collective genius. It’s all about sharing knowledge and philosophy to build on this collective genius. And this is what our products do.

In further support of this belief, Pillow Poet is the founder of the “Society for the Advancement of Pillow Poets”. So when people subscribe at our website, they automatically become a member of Pillow Poet’s esteemed society, receiving a badge and certificate in the mail. It’s all a bit of tongue in cheek fun but it gives people a sense of belonging to this poetic and eminently eccentric society. And importantly, it gives Pillow Poet a mailing list so that we can keep members informed about latest design releases and Pillow Poet news!

Pillow Poet is an artsy, literary and designer product and because of this we knew that it was important for it to beautiful. It’s designed as a specialty purchase aimed at a creative thinking, knowledgeable and thoughtful buyer. And as knowledgeable people usually want to be kind to the environment, we needed and wanted to tick this box as well.

Project Innovation / Need

There is already a huge range of bedding on the market, sheets, pillowcases and doona covers of every pattern and colour imaginable. But there wasn’t anyone producing bed linen that was poetic, knowledgeable, quirky, inspiring and engaging. We wanted to create pillowcases that were fun to sleep on and equally good to wake up with! Pillow Poet pillowcases are not just another superfluous designer gift item. They are something that everyone needs and uses every night!

Pillow Poet is aimed squarely at the gift market and those who purchase bed linen for themselves and/or their family. The Pillow Poet customer buys lovely gifts for their friends and family, but they’re always on the lookout for something quirky and engaging for themselves. Even if you buy plain sheets and doona covers you can buy Pillow Poet Pillowcases and make your bed unique, artistic and fun. Pillow Poet pillowcases make great gifts because they’re light and easy to post anywhere in the world. Pillow Poet is available through the Pillow Poet website and a number of gallery, designer and specialty stores.

Design Challenge

Once we had the concept and the Pillow Poet name it became important to create a character that would resonate with the brand. We decided that Pillow Poet should be developed as an Owl-albeit an artsy, eccentric, edgy kind of Owl.

Traditionally Owls are known as a symbol of wisdom and as well as being nocturnal they are often referred to as night Owls. So the Owl worked on several levels. As well as being relevant to the brand, Owls are much loved and admired. So that couldn’t hurt either. Thirty-five drawings later an owl surprisingly emerged from the paper looking exactly like Pillow Poet!

In order to establish the brand we launched with pillowcases featuring Pillow Poet. Subsequent designs will build on the Pillow Poet brand while introducing other facts, poetry and ideas.


Pillow Poet Pillowcases are conceived, designed and printed in Melbourne on Certified 100% Organic Cotton. Business cards are printed on recycled stock and our carry bags are made from 100% bamboo.

It was important to Pillow Poet to create a product that was quirky, arty, engaging and fun whilst still being superbly useful.

In addition, Pillow Poet also creates a range of Poetic Large Format Art Quality Posters printed on 90% Bamboo and 10% Cotton rag paper. Wherever we can, we look for ways to be kind to the environment whilst maintaining the beautiful quality of the work we produce.

This award recognises printed, knitted, woven, surface pattern and illustration for cloth, fabric or structural material and surface design applications. Consideration given to the technical aspects of production, visual aesthetics, and relationship to end product and use.
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