Gusto is 25!

Reflecting on the last 25 years, two things stand out for us: our people, and their remarkable ability to adapt. So join us in celebrating the individuals, milestones and transformations that have shaped our identity so far, and see the evolution of Gusto (and all our hairstyles) – past, present and future.

Gusto is born and first projects are entered in the ‘Job Book’


Gusto’s journey started in print design in 1999, when J-Lo was on the radio, tips were frosted, pants were baggy and tops were cropped. Founded by Leigh Burney, Gusto’s team were busy crafting magazines, annual reports and newspaper ads.

And yes, we are so old we started with a pen and paper ledger. The Civil Aviation Authority’s Vector magazine was one of our first printed projects, for a treasured client who we still work with today!



They may look like the actors off F-R-I-E-N-D-S, but this lot are actually some of the original team from the early years of Gusto. Gusto’s Founder, Leigh Burney, can be spotted front right.

The focus for this period was design in print. So it was only fitting we put our roots down in the historic Dominion Building, where Gusto has been thriving ever since.

”My time at Gusto was characterised by in-person interactions, a bustling studio with lots of activity, a revolving door of clients, account managers and print reps, and the tangible process of signing off proofs – contrasting sharply with today’s digital workflow.“
Leigh Burney

A new look for Gusto


Infographics were hot on the scene and our team led the charge in using data visualisation and illustration to convey important information effectively. We expanded into strategic planning and website design, while modernising our own branding to keep current.

Party time


By this time Leigh had left Gusto and Diane stepped up to the plate as Director. She has been leading Gusto with gusto ever since. Here, the husband and wife team celebrate Gusto’s 14th birthday. You many have noticed we tend to use any reason to celebrate with cake…

Adapting to the changing landscape of design and with Diane’s vision, Gusto dove into the digital realm of animations and online campaign design, as well as reaching out to support new and exciting international markets.

“My focus was developing our niche area in information design. As technology changed and challenges arose, we evolved and deepened our expertise.“
Diane Burney

Shared empowerment


After the Covid-19 pandemic, the value of partnerships and community was amplified. We’ve been delighted to partner with tremendous bunch of talented people who align with our values and allow us to deliver the best possible project outcomes.

We’ve joint forces with plain language consultants Write since 2020, and worked alongside them and Tira – our Māori cultural consultancy partners – on the robust re-brand for Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa.

New Directors of Gusto


Heather and Annette, with more than 30 years working at Gusto between them, join Diane and Leigh as Directors of Gusto. And they have some ideas up their sleeves…

“As a team of information design experts, we’re looking forward to being involved in projects that make a difference on a global scale!“
Annette and Heather

Owning our expertise


Over the last fifteen years we’ve been developing our area of expertise. Now it’s time to really own it! We’re excited to confidently move forward with a new brand and website, using visual design to create clarity, understanding and change.

Happy birthday to us!


After 25 years of collective leadership by Leigh and Diane, the baton is being passed to Heather and Annette to steer Gusto into the future.

We can’t wait to see what the next timeline includes!