Our Brand Story
White River Design
 How it all started

Debbie O’Connor is a true creative entrepreneur. She has built and sold multiple businesses yet her passion lies within the creative industry. Debbie is determined to build brands with personality . White River Design (WRD) is named after the small South African town of ‘White River’ where Debbie grew up. As most of her family still live there, Debbie felt that this was a little piece of home that she could have with her every day.

Growing up in a close-knit community, instilled in Debbie a strong sense of family and community values, which is core to the way that her team does business. At the heart of everything she does, Debbie looks for a Win/Win situation. She treats her team and her clients as extended family and has a unique way of building strong and lasting relationships, built on trust and respect.

 The business grows…

WRD was started in 2003 from a back room in her home with her 3 month old son in tow. By mid 2005 WRD won an award for Outstanding Professional Services and has been winning awards every year since. In 2012 Debbie was announced as the 2012 Penrith Business Person of the Year.

In 2011 the WRD team moved the business out of the O’Connor home and into premises. The business has steadily grown and now consists of 3 graphic designers, an office manager/bookkeeper, a receptionist and 3 contract web developers.

In 2012 White River Design was very excited to have been part of the rebranding process for the ‘Penrith Is Here’ brand and the roll out of the concept, which was commissioned by Penrith City Council. We continue to work very closely with the council on their collateral and aim to become a preferred supplier.

In 2013 WRD celebrated 10 years in business which included a brave rebrand that was awarded a Sydney Design Award. Since then our studio has been awarded 2 additional Sydney Design Awards, making us the only design studio in Western Sydney to achieve this.

In 2014 we moved our studio into Penrith’s first creative co-working destination called The Creative Fringe which is another brainchild of Debbie’s.



Our 6 core values and beliefs are essential to the way in which the team works and are followed through from within the team through to the client.

  1. Life – Work – Balance: Work to live not live to work. Our office is family friendly with policies such as ‘drop and run’ if a call comes in relating to a child.
  2. Think Like a Customer: Treat clients and others in the team in the manner in which you would like to be treated.
  3. Take Care of Each Other: Look after clients and team as though they were family.
  4. Can Attitude: Nothing is too difficult. ‘We can do it, and if we can’t, we will find someone who can’. 
  5. Under Promise and Over Deliver
  6. Always tell the ‘kind truth’

The large proportion of our rebrand focused on our digital footprint; as a business, WRD actively pursues a print minimalist philosophy. When we print, we use Australian owned and operated companies.

Part of our ongoing business operations is undertaking due diligence with our supplier partners. We have taken great care to source printers that utilise environmentally-friendly initiatives that includes energy-efficient factories, waste minimisation, elimination of water on the press, the avoidance of environmentally-harmful chemicals and, of course, using sustainable or recycled paper.

Internally, all brainstorming and development work was done via a whiteboard and on-screen, and printing was kept to an absolute minimum. This business commitment has developed our ability to view layouts and graphics on-screen and interpret them as they would appear in print.

For our business cards we chose an uncoated stock that is an FSC Mix Certified paper – we ensured that all pulp is derived from well-managed forests and controlled sources. It is not only elemental chlorine free, but is also manufactured by an ISO 14001 certified mill. Our inks are also vegetable and soy-based, rather than mineral based.

Interestingly, our commitment to ‘working clean’ is reflected in our brand – WRD is clean and untainted, with the un-essentials stripped away. Pure and simple.


WRD has won a number of awards over the years – too many to list here, so we have focused only on the awards that we have been winners in over the last few years.

 Sydney Design Awards

 2017 – WINNER

• White River Design | Branding for Awards Agency

2015 – WINNER

• White River Design | Publication of 12WBT Cookbook

2013 – WINNER

• White River Design | Rebrand for WRD


 2015 – WINNER

• Outstanding Innovation


Penrith business awards

2017 – WINNER

• Business Person (Debbie O’Connor)

• Youth Award (Brooke Allender)


2012 – WINNER

• Business Person (Debbie O’Connor)

• Professional Services

The Creative Fringe
Unit 6, 51 York Road
Penrith, NSW 2750

Tel: (02) 4732 4766
Email Us
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© 2018 - All Rights Reserved - WRD
White River Design
Tel: (02) 4732 4766  |  Email Us  |  Privacy  |  Terms
The Creative Fringe Unit 6, 51 York Road, Penrith, NSW 2750