design thinking

Identity & branding

Successful brands create deep emotional engagement and drive business growth. They are the personal face of global corporations, the compelling story for SMEs and the loyalty base for innovative products - the foundation for your business. We reposition companies in shifting markets, commercialise leading ideas and revitalise businesses. 
We tell your story.

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.



Organisational identity and brand platform for OSSTT – Overseas Survivors of Torture and Trauma – a South Australian NGO that provides rehabilitation services to survivors of torture and trauma, specifically on Manus Island and Nauru.

Developing a brand for a new organisation is akin to starting a new conversation. These first words are profoundly important as the organisation makes its introduction, finds its voice and begins its work.

Through a very simple, visual metaphor the identity aims to describe the disconnection and displacement experienced by refugees, one that is typically a move from the familiar home ground to the unknown. The aim of this symbolism at the most basic level is to demonstrate empathy and understanding for the plight of the individual.

The bright colours aim to frame this familiar story in the positive and convey a sense of hope in connecting with the organisation.

The postcards and poster created for the group focuses on the notion of hope and its role in sustaining the individual. The passage used is drawn from a well know text by eminent Zen Scholar, Thich Nhat Hanh. Urgent, child-like letters drawn over the top of the logo aim to personalise the message.

The identity has been successful in positioning the organisation as a capable, professional body providing critical services to refugees and a friendly face for the people it represents.

New Taipei City Library

Rebranding and website design for New Taipei City Library, Taipei, Taiwan ROC

As a beginning point for the two-stage project a comprehensive global benchmarking process was undertaken to define the contemporary role of the modern library and aim to define its future. Technology and rapidly changing routines around the consumption of information has largely consigned the Twentieth Century library to the archives.

A working phrase and positioning statement was developed to guide the design process:

The modern library is a repository of knowledge that reflects the collective wisdom and culture of the country and provides a window to the world's greater knowledge. It is a place for the exchange of ideas, for learning and inspiration for all people.

The whimsical brand identity developed sought to cast a progressive and aspirational position for the library and aimed to embody the fundamental overlap between information, intelligence, human growth and the potential for ideas to take flight symbolised by the bird.

The benchmarking process served to identify a critical functionality for the website that was assessed for relevance against the known requirements for the library and in turn weighted in terms of service priority. The design aimed to bring a formality and clarity to the incumbent website that had gown organically and on an ad hoc basis. 

Earth Vine Wine

Brand identity for Adelaide Hills Winery blog.

The simple visual identity aims to animate the blog brand Earth Vine Wine which expresses the fundamental relationship of these elements in the production of all exemplary wine.


As part of a broader marketing and social media strategy for Whisson Lake Wines, the blog provides a forum for the discussion of emergent philosophy on wine and all things related with articles and commentary from internationally and locally celebrated wine writers and producers.

Residence Building Group

Brand identity and collateral for bespoke building services company specialising in the modernisation of heritage homes.

The identity makes a simple visual reference to the built form and through this aims to convey a sense of the honest, straight forward approach to business championed by the proprietor.

As a rebranding for the company in response to business growth, great importance was placed on determining the right positioning in the market and evaluating the right language.

A strong desire was held to retain the goodwill of an existing client base but also to challenge the very conservative brands within the market.

The image series utilised across a range of postcards and shirts aims simply to celebrate the work – conferring a reverence for the otherwise ordinary tools of the trade. In doing this it also talks of an attention to detail and makes a move away from the stereotypical images of the built form, or tradey in hi-vis vest, as the standard marketing devices.

The identity has succeeded in creating a strong platform for the business to engage with its market and support future diversification.

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