I’m sure you’ve seen this meme doing the rounds on socials:
With so many businesses struggling to stay afloat, creative services can seem like a luxury. But with so much uncertainty around, you need to make a real effort to keep connected to your audience, so they still know where to find you.
2020 was a period of reflection and reassessment. If your business has seen a major shift in purpose recently, a rebrand could be smart investment. After all, you need to communicate to the world who the new you is.
Given how difficult 2020 has been on creative industries in general, I was pleasantly surprised by how many beautiful, thoughtfully designed identity projects were launched in Australia during this time. Here is a quick round-up of my favourites, for your viewing pleasure.
If you live in Melbourne, you will have noticed that ACMI has been closed for refurbishments for some time. In addition to a physical overhaul, they’ve also unveiled a new visual identity – a bold, contemporary update that is more arty and less corporate than the design it replaces. I think this design is very apt and will provide ACMI with the visual presence appropriate to a world-class museum.
The City of Sydney
Sydney-based agency, For the People, has created this vibrant and expressive identity for the local government of The City of Sydney. Branding for large organisations, especially government ones, is no mean feat – there are so many stakeholders to satisfy and a myriad of functional requirements to meet. Previous communications from The City of Sydney were produced in a hodge-podge of styles and did not look like they came from the same organisation. This new, cohesive identity brings everything together whilst still being super flexible.
Another classy, monochromatic museum identity, this update for Geelong Gallery was created by Melbourne agency Pigeon Ward. I like that this visual identity manages to look cool and dignified simultaneously. I’m not familiar with the previous version, but apparently it was created in the 90s, so it was probably starting to look a bit dated. This new one is slick and modern. It really elevates the museum to the same level as what you might expect from a venue located in Geelong’s bigger sister, Melbourne. This is exactly what you need if you want to attract more visitors from outside of Geelong itself.
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
More black and white! Monochromatic visual identities really are very useful for museum and theatre brands as they need to flex to encompass such a variety of moods depending on the event they are promoting. This energetic rebrand for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra was created by the agency Principals, and I’m really enjoying its simple but effective vibration motif. Definitely a step up from the design it replaces and obviously engineered to appeal to a younger, cooler audience.
The Coffee Club
Ahhhh, ‘The Coffee Club’. What would caffeine-deprived people in malls do without you? Now, being a Melburnian, I am of course a coffee snob. However, this whimsical and fresh new visual identity by Sydney agency, Accompany, is so lovely that I’m almost persuaded to find a ‘The Coffee Club’ venue for my next brew. Despite the cliches, cafe culture is prevalent across Australia, and a more sophisticated brand is a smart move if ‘The Coffee Club’ wants to compete in the scene.
Who Gives A Crap
Who Gives A Crap has been around for a while now, and their colourful, paper-wrapped toilet rolls are ubiquitous in any establishment that has claims of caring about people and the environment. In 2020 they released The Play Edition, a fun, limited edition set of wrappers designed to be played with – the different designs stack to create quirky characters, whilst the outer packaging can be used as a mini puppet-show stage. It’s a really interesting way of keeping customers engaged and continuing to establish the brand as bringing joy and cheerful designs into people’s homes, all whilst donating 50% of profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.