Shifting perception Government work often means following well-trodden templates and serving narrow audiences. We needed to shift perception to be seen as progressive and dynamic. An office of innovation, vision and design excellence opposed to being seen simply as another government department. Equally, GA NSW needed to be seen as being proactive, collaborative and networked, rather than traditional, bureaucratic and fragmented. The brand identity and communications needed to be engaging, accessible, readable and relevant, provide cut through and resonate with the core design values of the Government Architect of NSW.
We know with the right positioning organisations have the potential to be engaging, vital and iconic for both government stakeholders, industry and the wider community. Photography is a core positioning element of the brand. It visually represents the complexity of our social challenges, intrinsically connects the brand to people. To achieve the right feel, we commissioned and art-directed photographers known for art and street photography. The brand was devised to provide accessibility, intrigue and visual cut-through. Being both dynamic and flexible it can be extended across a range of media and tailored to the specific audiences or communication requirements.
From launch, the brand has been positively accepted by the design and architecture community. It has gained early support from the industry, Sydney Architecture Festival and the Australian Institute of Architects. The policy document, Better Placed - An integrated design policy for the built environment of NSW, continues to play a key role for the GANSW to engage and communicate effectively, to drive awareness, to build capacity and participation within government and the wider community. The brand has been extended into community events in both urban and regional centres, and internationally at the 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.
The messaging employs a strategy of using and/or subverting known statements as a hook into the content. This has two core functions — it’s accessible to the audience and provides an inclusive touch point. The statements are also curious, intentionally provocative and/or suggestive to maximise engagement. In addition to compelling imagery, expressive typography and curious messaging to reach the audience we have visualisation data. Infographics are a powerful tool because they can show you an idea — or a relationship, or a challenge or how something works — very quickly. The naming and positioning has been devised to specifically map back to the values and qualities of GANSW. As the name and identity is representative of these values and the positioning, it becomes a powerful signifier expressing what the GANSW stands for in all communications. We know colours are evocative; the palette has been devised to allow us to shape how people think through the colour use. When the specified colours interact with each other, this provides the dynamic tone and personality to the identity and communications.