A specialist digital design studio with deep expertise and broad interests, spanning custom fonts and type design, data visualisation and front‑end development.

Smart Things is a one-man digital studio run by Stephen Hutchings. The studio sits at the intersection of design and front-end development. Equally comfortable with creative and technical work, Stephen leads projects from design through to implementation. The studio blends together expertise across many disciplines to produce work of the highest standard.

The studio looks at the little details of digital experiences — the things you read, click, search, tap, drag, delete, edit — and shapes them into coherent, satisfying user experiences that best meet the needs of organisations and the people they serve.

With more than a decade of varied experience working with agencies, start-ups and think tanks, Stephen has helped all sorts of clients build all sorts of things. Recent work visualises data from hundreds of thousands of aid projects in Southeast Asia. Another project includes a family of bespoke typefaces for Reddit.

In fact, type design has become a focus of the studio, and a number of fonts are available on this site. You can find a mix of other side projects here, too. If you like word games, try Shortlist. And if you need a way to build and share simple online tools, TakeyMakey might be perfect for you. Or try Night Owl, a new static site generator.

If you are interested in working together, please get in touch.

Selected previous work

Reddit Sans

Reddit Sans is a family of typefaces created in collaboration with Reddit. Available under the permissive OFL licence, the family includes Regular, Italic, Condensed and Mono styles across a range of weights. The different Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry and Fudge flavours give the fonts lots of character.

Southeast Asia Aid Map

The Southeast Asia Aid Map tracks the flow of development finance from the international community to Southeast Asia. The site provides more than just an overview of the scale of aid spending in the region. A range of tools help to visualise and dissect granular transaction data from over 100,000 projects.

Asia Power Index

The Asia Power Index ranks major players in the region across a diverse set of measures. In 2019, a rebuilt site drastically increased site speed and user engagement. At the same time, a thoughtful design update helped to better showcase the index, underscoring its importance as a powerful research tool.

News in Asia

This Judith Neilson Institute project set out to understand the state of News in Asia. The result was twelve long-form chapters exploring different themes. Organising them into a compelling package, while drawing out the insights from each chapter, encouraged readers to take a deep dive into the region.


As design and front-end lead for the then emerging start-up, Stephen was responsible for the front-end of edapp.com, as well as their learning engine, mobile application, and client management portal. The branding and visual language established at the time continue to inform the design direction.

Lowy Institute Poll

Each year the Lowy Institute Poll surveys attitudes to world events. In 2020, the annual release was transformed to capture results from the full history of the poll. The site distills a large dataset of multivariate responses from diverse demographies, automatically charting results based on the shape of the data.