design thinking

We create value for business through innovative communication, build memorable brand experiences through thoughtful engagement – ideas brought to life.

It's your story. 

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YourSAy

Brandprofiling, brand identity and digital platform for South Australian Government Community Engagement platform.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet have an established community consultation program with a brand identity that had been in place since the program inception. The overarching success of the program had driven a broader development with wider and increased audience engagement. This lead to a shift in the value proposition and misalignment with the program identity with the potential to lose audience relevance. 

Working Images was invited to review the value proposition for the program, messaging and communication strategy and develop a new brand identity with the aim to reposition the program on a local, national and international stage.

It’s a daunting task to be engaged to rebrand a successful program, especially when the problems are not immediately visible or tangible. To begin this process and create definition for the approach, Working images lead the program team through a one day brandprofiling working session, harnessing their high level knowledge around the program and audience. 

The session generated multiple perspectives and mined valuable thoughts and opinions that had over time been forgotten or become usurped in other priority engagements. With the time and space (only a day) we were able to bring these critical thoughts and ideas back to the surface and to reflect on them as a group – evaluating, critiquing and challenging.

The session and outcomes clearly resolved an ongoing position for the program, ensured its relevance to growing audiences and lead to unexpected and significant insight into the brand that guided the brand identity. This was to an extent unexpected, as the team demonstrated an extremely high level of sophistication in their approach to the planning and development of the program.

The magic of an authentic process and rigorous methodology is the means to consider the DNA of an organisation and its product – in both granular and macro perspectives made possible by an objective platform. In the process of developing the brand identity it was discovered quite incidentally that at the heart of the program name lay the words OUR SA. On presenting the finding to the team we were delighted (and surprised) to find that it had never been considered. This singular insight into the organisation guided the subsequent development of the brand identity and revitalised a program both the for the department and their growing, global audience.

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University of Adelaide

Branding and collateral for University of Adelaide conference on System and Network Biology and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In July 2012 University of Adelaide launched the Zhendong Australia China Centre for Molecular Traditional Chinese Medicine. A significant joint venture involving the University, the Shanxi College of Traditional Medicine and the Zhendong Pharmaceutical Company. In a major coup, and an acknowledgement of the value of the new partnership, the University hosted the first conference for the College to be held outside of Mainland China.

The branding for the conference held wider goals than attracting delegates and was seen as creating an important public face for the joint venture – a nexus of Eastern and Western science. The goal was to provide a mark that clearly embodied Eastern iconography but expressed through a Western design sensibility.

The visual identity is comprised of two key elements of the dragon and the chinese character for qi with a Chinese chop or stamp identifying South Australia. The origins of the concept were focused on the representation of this nexus or common space between the two cultures.

Extensive background research in both chinese symbolism and system and network biology led to the qi character that cleverly expressed the idea of energy – the singular common point between both Eastern and Western scientific practice. The dragon form intertwined with the symbol was a critical element to craft a compelling and emotive identity. In keeping with the idea of a western design lens it was deliberately rendered to provide a subtle but significant deviation from the conventional Chinese dragon forms that would appear obvious only to the Chinese conference delegates. Extending the brand story other elements were developed including a 5 metre high illuminated lantern that acted as central focus for the conference space and the design of a series of original gift coins for the delegates featuring the conference and University branding symbolising the partnership.

On the keynote address and launch of the conference by Vice President of Shanxi University Professor Feng Qianjin he remarked how cleverly the conference identity embodied both Eastern and Western philosophy and conveyed a depth of understanding of the Chinese culture.

 

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Well Made

Program brand identity, website design and collateral for Well Made – an initiative of Guildhouse that aims to provide a platform for high level South Australian creative practitioners.

Our work with Guildhouse for the Well Made program began in 2012 with a focused, co-operative working session with web and brand with the aim to define audiences in South Australia and investigate the best means of delivering value for the program and creating a positive online experience. 

With funding assured at the beginning of 2016 Working Images picked up development and initiated the project with a Well Made and Guildhouse team working session. Our aim was to better understand how the audience had shifted; defining the needs and desires of all stakeholders including practitioners across multiple disciplines and national audiences.

In the short space of time since we had begun development the number of online platforms profiling the work of creative practitioners and makers grew significantly – five launched locally and nationally within a space of about 6 months. Within this now competitive online market we began development of a brand identity for the program. The majority of other programs comprised young makers communicating with young audiences and Guildhouse in contrast aimed to provide an inclusive platform for a wide demographic. 

Our research also clearly showed that the work of South Australian creative practitioners, especially makers, is held in high regard with the work sitting very comfortably on a world stage. With this in mind we aimed specifically for the visual language of the brand identity to avoid the fashionable conventions being adopted by others and aimed instead to reflect the confidence, authenticity and originality of the wider body of South Australian practitioners. 

The idiosychratic, handcrafted logotype speaks with confidence and the verticality of its visual form referencing the parent brand of Guildhouse. In the process of brand development a line of inquiry opened up exploring the artisanal marks of early makers in Australia and Europe. The value in these marks and their necessarilly simplistic visual forms were considered an important element of the maker's language. Whilst they couldn't be justified as a brand identity we found they worked well in an adjunct role providing a rich embelishment of the brand story. 

The value in the program had always been centred on providing a direct connection to the maker or practitioner. In line with this we developed a series of promotional cards to launch the program and brand that featured artist faces and hands. Working with copy writer Hayley Green two key campaign messages were devised that artfully reflected this conection: Meet Your Maker and It's all in the making.

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Guildhouse

Brand strategy, naming, brand identity, brand platform and collateral for Guildhouse – South Australia's oldest arts institution.

Responding to significant changes and challenges that have emerged within the creative arts sector nationally, Working Images was engaged to rebrand and reposition Craftsouth.

As a basis for the work we devised and facilitated a Foundation Working session bringing together senior figures spanning business and the arts in Adelaide. The group discussion moved through a series of design conversations responding to core issues the group faced and with the aim of mapping a future for the organisation and its members. A concise design brief and strategic map was defined which formed the basis for the brand development and naming.

The name Guildhouse reflects the earliest roots of craft and design practice and serves to reflect the fraternity that united disparate practices through the guild.

The visual identity is comprised of a hand-crafted logotype that aims to evoke the historic origins of the name through a contemporary rendering. The notion of the guild is also reflected in the symbolic form of the house. The varied and colourful graphic elements of each house is reflective of the unique aspects of work that defines each creative practitioner. The common form describes the aspects of practice that unites the artists across various disciplines.

 

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National Foundation for Australian Women

Rebranding for The National Foundation for Australian Women, a non-profit organisation that is responsible for high level policy development, representing women at a Federal Government level.

NFAW is an organisation formed in the second wave of feminism of the 1980's with the shared goal of ensuring the gains of the past 20 years were not lost. Its board members, comprised of leading women from diverse demographics, have all played a significant role in historic policy development and other initiatives all working largely behind the scenes for the better representation of women nationally. 

When initially approached we felt obliged to discreetly question the merits of engaging an all male design team for the project but were assured we had the full support of the group. To develop a thorough design brief and ensure we fully grasped the issues and goals of this national organisation we devised and ran an intensive one day strategy working session for the board. The session comprehensively addressed a broad range of historic and contemporary factors influencing women and successfully defined a contemporary position and direction for the organisation.

A range of archetypal and stereotypical design directions were all explored, proposed, discussed and debated at length. The resultant mark was supported unanimously by the group despite it being the most visually risky – its minimal form and corporate language represents a significant departure from the past visual identity. The symbol is a bold statement of clarity and draws from the theory and analysis of the way gender influences the definition and construction of space. The circular mark is an inherently nurturing form and the openings top and bottom feminine in nature in that it allows movement through and around. This is reminiscent of the forms of mediaeval earth shelters and of town squares in contrast with the more masculine marking of space with monumental forms such as obelisks and towers.

The new visual identity has been instrumental in refocusing the goals and values of a significant group of women and provides a contemporary face to an organisation existing comfortably behind the scenes at the very highest levels of power. The tagline Real Women. Visionary Leadership affirms a clear path for the future and reflects the practical determination of its members to effect real and lasting change.





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