The West Coast of Tasmania identity reframes its harsh conditions and perceived weaknesses as compelling provocations and anecdotes. The open source brand system enables each town, local business and community organisation to tell their own stories – combining to collectively shape a cohesive identity for the region.
The West Coast is remote, lacks profile and has a declining population– so the requirement of the brand was to breathe new life into the region in order to attract business investment, facilitate economic development, drive population growth, and encourage people to investigate beyond the more well-known parts of Tasmania.
The West Coast’s natural features, tough people and history of tension between environment and economy was an opportunity to showcase the hard truth of the region. The new identity reframed the perceived weaknesses as compelling provocations and anecdotes. Coupled with quirky illustrations, a typeface that references local features, and moody photography, the whole community could help shape a coherent narrative that shares the region’s unique history, stories, and attitude with the world.
For the identity to take hold in the region, it needed to be embraced by the community. We created an open-source brand system and toolkit to help each town, local business and community organisation to tell their own stories. Every aspect of the toolkit, including a new photo library, illustrations and custom font are free to use by locals in the region, providing the tools to communicate effectively, where these would normally be cost prohibitive to anyone but large tourism operators to use.
The project followed the philosophy of “extreme transparency”, to engage local communities throughout. This involved community workshops, facebook groups, radio, and interim community presentations. This process was vital to the success of the brand. Launched as an exhibition at the Queenstown Town hall, over a third of the population visited and collectively purchased $14k of brand merchandise. The brand has been featured on Morning TV, global blogs and magazines, reaching more people than ever.
While the West Coast isn’t for everyone, it has substantially more going for it than the world has been led to believe. The West Coast’s remoteness isn’t a barrier — it’s merely a filter for those who aren’t prepared to travel outside their comfort zone. The process allowed us to gather hundreds of anecdotes and stories that gave a unique perspective on life – one borne out of the hardship of living and surviving in a remote part of a tiny island at the edge of the world.