A brief history of the beginnings......

The story began back in 1972 when two young ‘creatives’ decided to leave the Myer group and start out on their own. The aim was to set up a professional graphic design and advertising service in Sydney’s outer-west.

The business was started in 1972 by Geoffrey ‘Thomas’ Dollin and Phillip ‘Marsden’ Morehead, the name Thomas Marsden ...’you guessed it’ comes from a combination of their middle names.

The beginnings were rather humble; they started with little money and no business experience, just a little talent and a lot of hard work. The business was ‘hatched’ in a converted chicken shed, on a farm out the back of St. Marys. Not much to ‘crow’ about but the rent was ‘cheep’. There were no computers, no emails, no photocopiers, no faxes or mobiles back then, just a few pens and pencils. There wasn’t even a phone.... calls were made from a public phone box out on the street!  A supply of five cent pieces was always on hand (the cost of a local call). Conversations usually ended with “don’t call back, we’ll call you”.

After a short time, work was flowing in, so the first staff member was employed, to do the typing and after about twelve months the decision was made to move into a ‘real’ office in the main street of St Marys. what luxury..... carpet and air conditioning.....even a phone.

The business started to grow rapidly, a copywriter was employed, a couple more graphic designers, a typesetter and two account service personnel, the studio was really going places.

With a few larger clients coming on board, there were requests to book advertisements in various media, so the challenge was to apply to become an Accredited Advertising Agency.....”Out at St Marys, you must be mad, it will never get off the ground” was the comment. However, after much scrutiny, National Accreditation with the Media Council of Australia was granted.....maybe they had a soft spot for the ‘battlers from the chicken shed’.

By 1989 the business had outgrown twice the office space, and a big move was made to Penrith to bigger, brand new offices in High Street. Soon came the advent of computers into graphic design, they were bulky, expensive pieces of equipment with very limited output, but that was the start of rapid changes in the way we did things.

The following years saw exciting developments in computer graphics, especially with the  introduction of the graphic designers friend, the Apple Macs. The team at Thomas Marsden worked closely with a wide range of local and national clients, resulting in many “long term’ business associations of twenty five plus years.

In 2007, one of the founders, Phillip Morehead retired and moved to the South Coast. Geoff Dollin continued on with his son Shamus guiding the business direction into the rapidly changing world of internet, web, online and mobile marketing.

At a recent Penrith Chamber of Commerce business breakfast Geoff presented a brief history of the business and outlined the dramatic changes that have come about in the advertising industry over the past 40 years.

"...Out at St.Marys, you must be mad, it will never get off the ground..."



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