design thinking

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

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SACE Board SA

Detailed strategic plan, communication strategy, business development strategy, communication team restructure design, brand identity, naming strategy, and website design for the SACE Board of South Australia and their local and global programs.

Our successful approach for this project was strengthened by a well honed and detailed process and comprised of a team of external consultants and education experts at a local, national and global level that we used to guide and inform the project at every step. Our process was highly consultative and collaborative and identified, engaged and harnessed the opinions and perspectives of a wide ranging stakeholder base.

In starting a project as complex we first looked to detailed scoping and definition to understand the macro social, political and cultural context and to bring clarity to the primary concerns being addressed by brand. We were privileged to work with and interview some of the brightest minds in secondary education for this project and what emerged through a series of detailed interviews and many informal conversations was that the SACE program was one of the best in the world. Many rebranding projects are premised on a shift in the business value offering or the market needs and requirements. Through a history of necessary shifts and changes within the organisation and changes to the program since its inception, it became clear that the value within the SACE programs had not been captured and conveyed to its audience and had not had a brand identity to adequately represent it. With the SACE Board rebrand we determined our primary task to be the communication of the deep value residing within the organisation and within the programs.

Our work: before brand for the SACE Board was comprehensive and of considerable breadth and consisted of: a Foundation Working session, gathering the thoughts and perspectives of high-value individuals drawn from government education, leaders of the three secondary school groups and representatives from the Northern Territory; a Brand Profiling working session with key leadership and management providing a 360º map of the organisation and audience; a Future Casting session with a high-level education specialist in global education development; interviews with representatives from the top tiers of South Australian Government agencies in the areas of education, development and inbound and outbound education tourism; interviews with parents of SACE students and parents of competitor education programs; interviews with pre, current and post SACE students and students of competitor programs; interviews with senior secondary school leaders and SACE program coordinators; interviews with SACE Board representatives and leadership and a working session comprising 120 staff to develop, as a group, a statement of purpose for the organisation.

This considerable body of information gathered was recorded, transcribed, distilled, synthesised and categorised into a series of compelling narratives, tested among high-level stakeholders group, resolved into a set of communication priorities and then used to inform the development of all outputs. Secondary to this, but of critical importance, was a small research project probing the conception and origin of value within education, which we used to model the relationships between students, parents, the institutions and broader society. Early discussions revealed that the education industry has inherited a structure formed in the industrial age and although it is embracing a 21st century framework, many parts of society cling to an outdated value system. Our model generated deep insight and clarity into the overarching narratives informing parents’ choices in education. The research process can be summarised as: observation, assumption, insight, clarification and testing. We were consistently informed by the separate expert reference group that we established, which further tested assumptions and challenged thinking throughout the project.

In developing the brand identity for the SACE Board we were dealing with not only historical precedents concerning the conception and representation of education, but also pervasive and outdated stereotypes that had successfully obscured the value in the SACE programs. Our research was used to challenge these stereotypes, which enabled us to then shift the conversation to new ground. Through the brand process we also embarked on several smaller studies focused on the perceptions and representations of authority – our goal in this being to establish a brand that positioned SACE as a 21st century education authority. The program naming was also reviewed, challenged and tested with stakeholder groups, and although no basis could be found for an immediate and wholesale change it was noted for future consideration.

Mirroring a modernisation within the organisation, and more broadly, in education, the new SACE brand identity, referred to as the plus-mark, has successfully worked to: reframe the organisation, affirm its position as a 21st century education authority, clearly communicate the value in the programs, and project both a space in and a role into the future.

Ashley Halliday Architects

Brand identity, naming strategy, website design and communication collateral for Ashley Halliday Architects.

Our work before brand with this South Australian practice began with a detailed review of the company's engagement methodology. Through this we were able to gain insight into the architectural commissioning process, the specific client segments and demographic and get a nuanced understanding of the key value indicators leading to commissions. Through this we were able to confidently steer a course away from some well worn design and communication conventions proliferated through magazine culture and which proved not to be useful in this business scenario. The focus on relationships and reputation being the primary intent. 

Brand is often just about capturing and communicating the value in the business. With this practice their very considered methodology, the depth of engagement with clients and their detailed aesthetic led us to the crafting of a mark and logotype that embodied and communicated these characteristics. With this aesthetic in mind and drawing on the vertical, horizontal and angled lines in the business name we devised an octagonal mark comprised of a set of variable, internal lines. Through experimentation and a process of recombination we generated a vast suite of 64 closely related symbols – one of which was elevated for use in the brand identity. This process and outcome was then used to guide the development of a unique namestyle for the business building a coherent and shared aesthetic.
The resultant visual language was then used in the creation of a website and collateral for the business.

The value in this work is in its ability to project an awareness of the depth of consideration taken by the practice in the development of award winning architectural responses. For a practice that has built a reputation on rigorous thinking and a vigorous and minimalist design approach, a potent and gestural brand identity was imperaitive.

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.

 

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.

Barefoot Leadership

Brand identity, stationery and communication collateral for Barefoot Leadership – a global business coaching consultancy specialising in Organisational Change and Transformation.

The dynamics of a market can determine much about how a business operates and certainly how it brands and communicates. The Change Management industry emerged a few decades back in response primarily to upheavals and rapid change brought about by globalisation. Centralisation of administrative functions and rationalised global operations led to significant and unprecedented change within organisations with effects at the human dimension. This was compounded by the tech revolution that bought further disruption and increased change. Change Management grew in response to the needs and demands of organisations managing the human scale of these shifts in business and produced many and varied approaches and theories.

Into this environment Barefoot Leadership is to project itself and establish a niche in a market with ongoing requirements. The significant challenge facing them was how to position their business as a fresh approach and to rise above the persistent negative stereotypes that exist surrounding consultants in this field. The challenge for the brand was to carry and convey these aspirations with confidence and restraint and to demonstrate an authentic position and the truly innovative approach crafted by the two business owners. Indra – an olympic coach that pioneered the personal training movement in South Australia, with impeccable credentials in the field of sports psychology and high performance training and a practicing shaman. Carolina –  a background in senior general management, HR, GM and Operational Leadership roles in both regional and multi-national corporations based in Europe, the US and the Asia-Pacific over a 30-year career with extensive experience in banking, insurance, manufacturing, engineering and consulting industries.

Common to all human development is the tool. The brand cleverly and simply draws on the familiar iconography of the ubiquitous Swiss Army Knife – the ultimate utility. Personal. Small. Pocket sized yet efficient and multi functional. It can save lives! The Swiss Army Bird was born carrying with it a range of tools to assist in any situation should it arise. The nature tool. The questioning tool. The focus and insight tool. Your new best friend.

The success of this modest brand identity is not what it claims and promises but what it excludes. It sidelines the boastful claims of the typical change consultant and quietly, modestly offers a tool for change. What is cleverly inferred here is the role of the person. To connect with the task. To pick up the tool. And begin the work. Of change and transformation.

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