A couple of weeks ago our motion designer, Conlan, was invited to submit a motion response to promote the AGDA awards. The question, “What does the pinnacle of design mean to you?”, was asked to selected studios and designers across the country from a range of disciplines. Conlan’s response illustrated the grand design of the universe. The full version of the soundtrack he produced is available on soundcloud.

You can check out the other motion responses on vimeo here.

And… the AGDA awards are accepting entries until July 29th. Find more info here.


Conlan and AGDA


We’re usually asked to design brands for products that have already been developed. But when we’re brought in early, something amazing can happen – the product and brand can grow together. The result is a stronger product, a stronger brand, and a seamless experience for customers.

SKY has led New Zealand’s TV industry for over two decades. But the rapid rise of digital has unearthed a new threat to television companies worldwide: video-streaming and illegal downloading services.



For SKY, the solution was simple – they’d create a video-streaming service of their own. What wasn’t as simple was figuring out how it would look, sound, and most importantly, work. So when they came to us we knew they needed more than a name and a logo. They needed a brand that would shape their service’s development, bring it to life, and convince Kiwis that they – a traditional TV network – could compete in an innovative, digital environment.

The service’s UI (or user interface) would account for 90% of the user experience. So that’s exactly where we started. By focusing on how customers would interact with service, we could create a brand to enhance it. And what did SKY customers want? To get from searching for content to watching it, as quickly and easily as possible.

That’s how NEON, a bright, bold, brand of the future was born. Once you switch its interactive logo ‘on’, it breaks your search into three simple steps. 1, Explore. 2, Inform. And 3, Escape. Incredibly intuitive, it guides you through vast amounts of content so that you find exactly what you want to watch. And once you’ve found it, it gets out of the way. So you can forget about your world, and drift effortlessly into another.


User interface created in collaboration with Wilson Fletcher.

Launch TVC created by SKY in-house.


I-Manifest is a charity that provides pathways for young people to pursue a real, sustainable career in the creative industries – whilst also inspiring them to reach their full potential. Their focus is on youth marginalised through geography, culture, disability or socioeconomic status. The idea of the charity is to create social equity through opportunity, mentoring and innovative education programs.


iManifest Studio @ Vivid Ideas 2015

Over three days of #vividsydney this year I-Manifest worked with over 100 kids from 9 schools, to create some incredible bodies of work. Students worked with industry mentors across photography, digital media, film, animation, design (and even paper design!) as well as Sydney’s top advertising agencies. We we’re incredibly honoured to have four mentors join the event from our creative team – our Senior Designers; Dan Ingham, Ed Hall, Jo Roca, and Tom Carey.

As industry mentors, Dan, Ed Jo and Tom spent two days with students; giving them an introduction to the creative industries and the wildly varied paths into them. Our Senior Designers each gave a short presentation on their career paths, from school to internships and branding. They outlined their roles and gave the students an insight into the kinds of exciting projects that come their way.
After a short briefing, the guys then worked with teams of students to help them represent the notion of empowered young people, using the visual construct of ‘I AM’. The teams worked across multiple platforms, using film, photography, paper sculpture, animation, design and illustration. Each group created a variation of unique ideas which were then taken to be developed further during the continuing Studio program.

A huge thanks to iManifest for involving us in such an inspiring program. We were really honoured to take part and excited by the great work that came out from each day. Looking forward to Vivid 2016!

Congrats also to everyone who took part as Industry Mentors, Judges, Agency Partners, and Sponsors. You can find more info about the event here.
Photo Credits: Liam Cameron

AGDA New Frontiers_Future Spaces

‘New Frontiers’ is a series of talks from AGDA in partnership with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. The talks aim to bring innovators, designers, and creative thinkers working at the cutting-edge of design: to share insights, experiences, and ideas.


Ben and AGDA New Frontiers

A few weeks back, our CD Ben spoke at the very first talk in the series: Future Spaces. The night featured four creatives sharing their view on the future of design in place and space:  David Grant from Place Associates, Felicity Coonan from Animal Logic, Gilles Merry from Yakusan, and our Ben.

Ben gave an awesome presentation, sharing his view on destination brands, plus our work for Darling Harbour and The Rocks. It was great to see him up on stage sharing his enthusiasm and humility. Watch his presentation below :)

Thanks to AGDA for including us!
Watch more AGDA TV here and keep your eyes on for the remaining talks in the 2015 series: Start-up; VFX, Motion & Sound.



We are so thrilled to share that our work for IR received a graphite pencil overnight at the D&AD Awards.

Celebrating advertising and design, D&AD is known for being one of the toughest creative awards programs in the world – so this is a massive honour for us and a great way to end the week.

This is our third D&AD going, having been recognised in past years for our work on The Great Blandini and Darling Harbour.

Congratulations to all involved and all D&AD award winners for 2015.

See more of our work for IR here.




It’s the first stop for most visitors to Sydney, but when Sydneysiders think of The Rocks, the words ‘tourist’ and ‘trap’ might be among the first to spring to mind. But that’s far from the truth…

Our brief was to create a destination brand to help re-energise the precinct, one that stretches beyond a logo and an identity system. To help unite tenants and bring back the romance of The Rocks, in a way that appeals to visitors and locals alike. To focus more on the authenticity, that sense of quality and making things by hand that still goes on today but has almost been forgotten.



The Rocks – Made By Many Hands

The Rocks has literally been shaped by the hands of the people that have lived here. From the hands of the world’s most ancient culture, to the hands that carved it out of the rock and those who fought to save it from developers in the 70s. And after a period of research, interviews and workshops with the client, we landed on the brand idea – ‘Made By Many Hands’.

The new identity celebrates the people behind the place. The logo, reminiscent of a bolt, holds the brand together, while the colour palette, backgrounds and physical signage are influenced by the textures of the materials found in the precinct.

Commissioned photographers document the present for future generations, while archived imagery gives us view into the past.

The brand’s language brings the stories of The Rocks to life. Drawing people in by drawing out the character of the people, places, events and experiences – allowing everyone to be heard. It’s emotive, something to savour and get lost in (like a good book).

The identity stretches to events and activation – influencing themes, performers and stallholders as well as communications. Every element of the brand encourages you to slow down, take your time and savour the surroundings.

“The Rocks Brand work has fundamentally helped to dramatise the quintessential quality and rich character that is inherent in The Rocks. The brand system has helped create an epicenter to guide and focus marketing and customer touch points in a way that brings the brand to life in a cohesive manner. “ Julian Boram, Director of Marketing & Partnerships.


On Wednesday night, our ECD Chris was part of a panel discussion at the Apple Store in Sydney sharing his views and opinions on ‘How to get a start in the design industry’.

The audience also heard tips from Jenni Doran from Landor Sydney and the discussion was hosted by Nathan Scoular from Think Education. The event was well received with about 50 people in attendance.

Thank you to Think Education for involving us, and a special thanks to Mariko Elliott for sending through her notes from the event for those who missed it!


Chris at the Apple store


Did you know we’re looking for you? Just as well you’re reading this, actually. An ambitious, strategic thinker is exactly what we need here at Interbrand Sydney – you.

First to pipe up and share your ideas, you’re certainly someone who’s obsessed with brands. But far more than just a thinker, you’re a doer and a problem solver, too. Getting your hands dirty by exploring concepts and building prototypes is like Christmas. You’re not afraid to try new things and challenge the status quo. Disruption is your middle name.


The brand thinker

In your past life, you could’ve been anyone – a mid-level Strategist, Planner, Researcher, even a Brand Manager client-side. As long as you love being an agent for change, pondering new theories and exploring innovative ways to make brands stand apart, we’re not fussy. If you’re a digital native, we’ll be even more impressed.

Our culture is young, energetic, hard-working and hard-playing, because put simply, we’re obsessed with creating world-changing brands. So don’t worry about being normal – we like to stand apart.

If this sounds like you, send your CV to and a note to convince us why.


IR is a tech company with a product called Prognosis. It’s designed to make IT systems simpler, but the thing is, the product and the problems it solves are pretty complicated.


IR: A story of optimisation.

In a nutshell, Prognosis is a piece of software that improves the systems that underpin our enterprises, workplaces and everyday lives. It helps call centres maintain good voice quality, payment technology (like PayPass) run smoothly and can even prevent hackers from accessing your details.

It’s a great product, but the benefits were getting lost in a sea of jargon and category clichés.

IR were having trouble explaining the benefits to their customers, so they called us to help them humanise these complex digital problems, communicate what they do, and tell some great stories about Prognosis coming to the rescue.

After conducting research and holding workshops with IR, we began to understand their role, and the role of Prognosis, is to optimise complex systems. This idea of optimisation became our brand idea and influenced everything we did for IR.

The IT sector struggles to find suitable imagery, because there isn’t anything to photograph. We steered clear of photography, because stock shots of people smiling in front of a server don’t really tell you much about a business. Instead, we used metaphor to explain this complex, multifaceted business in an accessible, interesting way.

Seeing as communication was at the heart of IR’s problem, we helped them define their voice and make the way they communicate simpler and easier to understand – without dumbing the product down.

Case studies were a great place for us to start. We listened to stories that explained how Prognosis had saved the day in a number of situations, and re-told them using simple metaphors and little bit of humour.

We illustrated these stories with dots and dashes, which became our illustration style. These dots and dashes are punctuated with colour to help tell these stories of optimisation – blue represents ‘optimal’, while red represents ‘sub-optimal’ to illustrate the complex problems IR solve in a fun, accessible way.

These simple illustration elements helped us create an optimised logo. White dashes are paired with red and blue dots to form the i and the r of the company’s name.

The design elements are influenced by Swiss style. An emphasis on cleanliness, readability, objectivity, strong grid, sans serif typefaces, asymmetric layouts, minimalism.

With their new, optimised identity, IR can explain what they do more easily, so more people can benefit from everything they offer.


Pause Fest is “Australia’s premier digital event, aimed at supporting and showcasing the best in creative and tech from Australia and all over the world.”

We never baulk at an opportunity to discuss digital culture and its impacts on markets and brands. So when we heard Pause Fest was rolling into Melbourne for its 5th annual event, we threw our hat into the ring.


Preparing for Pause Fest

On Sunday February 15 we’ll be running an interactive workshop entitled “Technology Eats Brands” – exploring the challenges and opportunities for brands in the digital age.

Among the questions we will be asking are:

– How are technology and digital platforms changing the way consumers interact with, and get value from, brands?

– Has technology-led innovation displaced brand building as the most critical task for brand owners in 2015?

– Why is the strategic activity of ‘brand positioning’ becoming increasingly redundant – and why is there more value in defining a ‘purpose’ for your brand?

– What are the new philosophies and working practices that brand owners need to commit to in order to survive?

The workshop will be facilitated by Nick Davis (GM, Melbourne), Paul Hoskins (Strategy and Transformation Director), and include a guest panel. We’ll begin with a discussion around brands and technology, with examples from our own experience, and then move into a workshop on brand building in 2015- a hands-on session where everyone can participate and work together to imagine the digital brands of the future.

Limited tickets are available here. There are a few ticket options, each including access to a range of events running across the festival agenda (9-15 February).

We look forward to seeing you there.

Standapart- Telstra Bags - HERO

Telstra recently launched their flagship store of the future in George Street, Sydney and as part of the store experience they asked us to create an iconic carrier bag.

Our goal was to bring ‘Spectrum’ (Telstra’s visual language of colour and angularity) to life in three dimensions. The idea was to create an innovative form factor that would be instantly recognisable on the high street and create wow-factor for customers in-store, all whilst being 100% recyclable and flat-packable.


Telstra spectrum bag

Our research revealed that many high street fashion brands and Telstra’s competitors were not producing environmentally friendly bags since they had cord handles or matt-laminated finishes. We knew from the offset that the volume of carrier bags Telstra would require could have a negative environmental impact if we got the design wrong so we gave ourselves the constraint of using only 100% recyclable materials.

We partnered with internationally renowned artist and paper engineer, Benja Harney, to bring Spectrum to life in 3D. We conducted research into the customer experience, typically packaged products, supply chain, in-store storage and employee behaviour. We discovered that two sizes would be needed – one for a mobile phone box and an accessory, and the other for larger items such as the T-Box. Interbrand identified five blue-sky creative directions before selecting one with the client for further development. Working with Benja, over 50 prototypes were developed to find a unique and ownable form that would bring some theatre to the store experience whilst ticking the practical consideration boxes too. Finally one bag presented itself as the clear winner.

The Spectrum Bag takes its shape from two opposing triangles at the base and opening, creating a unique form that is highly sculptural and distinctly Telstra. Following Benja’s prototypes we handed the designs to Paper-Pak to finalise the engineering and create the final die-line. The bag comes in the four Telstra colours and features a single scored fold on each side to create more volume inside and elegantly connect all faces.

The bag is currently being trialled in Sydney’s George Street flagship store but will eventually roll out to all stores across Australia.



The online-car-selling industry is enough to drive anyone to distraction. It’s certainly not a simple place to get the job of buying and selling a car done. Most of the time it feels like you’re getting the wool pulled over your eyes. There’s no price transparency when purchasing, and listing your car can be a real hassle. Who wants to buy a car in Perth if they live in Sydney? And who wants to pay for a lead that will never come through?



CarsGuide believes the process of buying and selling cars online is broken. So they’re fixing it. With things like free listings and location-based search. In other words, they’re the antidote to CarSales. This bold new way of thinking is reflected in the brand strategy and identity we created for them. With the brand idea ‘Joy Mechanics’, we created an identity that simultaneously disrupts the market while making the process of buying and selling cars easier and more enjoyable.

The idea is simple. The brand is split into two characters, each with distinct personality traits, typeface and tone of voice. First up is The Mechanic. He’s simple, straightforward, and to the point. Then there’s The Guide. Friendly, cheeky, and always happy to help. To make it work, we use a simple construct. ‘The Mechanic’ says something simple, informative and to the point. Then we let ‘The Guide’ loose. He’s always tinkering, editing, pointing out useful bits or adding something fun. The logo is clear, simple and flexible, and can be infinitely customised by the Guide.

A recent article in The Australian reported that in the first month of its relaunch, CarsGuide enjoyed 32% growth in private car listings. Traffic was up 15% compared to a 22% retreat for and there was a 5% fall for CarSales.

Great work CarsGuide!


Brands need to be current in order to be relevant to customers. But if we design brand identities based on what’s current now, won’t they just need a redesign in five years time?

In this article for Sex, Drugs and Helvetica, our ECD Chris argues that to create relevant and timeless brand identities, we must design them to evolve. And that means building in flex, encouraging freedom, and thinking about just how long things are really meant to last.


How to create a timeless brand


Described as a “frenetic, fast-paced industry crash-course for thirty lucky young creatives”, The D&AD New Blood Workshop was recently held for the first time ever in Australia.

Developed in partnership with D&AD, the Glue Society, Google Australia, and Will O’Rourke, a group of thirty handpicked, talented young creatives gathered in Sydney to develop an entire project from brief to broadcast in one day, with help from some of the best creatives across the industry.

Our Creative Director Ben Miles was a mentor, helping a team develop their concept, ideas, and campaign on the day.


Ben at D&AD New Blood

“I’ve been a big fan of D&AD New Blood program ever since I was a student. So I jumped at the chance to be involved in D&AD’s first New Blood event on Australian shores.The day kicked off with inspiring talks from D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay and Glue society’s Jonathan Kneebone. The focus of the day was geared towards D&AD’s more recently added white pencil award — Design for good. I’ve seen this theme grow in importance through the span of my career and it’s great to see D&AD champion this. The energy and spirit of collaboration throughout the day was inspiring. Seeing so many fresh, dynamic creatives working with each other and industry experts was very special indeed. And the results were world class. I left the day feeling incredibly excited about the future of Australian design.”

Watch the video about the day below, and check out all the work created on the day here.

A huge thanks to D&AD for involving us. We were really honoured to take part and inspired by the great work that came out from the day. Looking forward to the next one.

Video Credit: D&AD

Image credit: Paula Taylor


The Communicating the Museum conference is the world’s leading arts communications conference, attracting people from 2,500 arts and culture organisations each year to a cultural hub. It was recently hosted in locations across Sydney, Melbourne, and Hobart.

As part of the Melbourne leg, Nick Davis, our Melbourne GM featured in a moderated conversation with Museum Victoria CEO, Patrick Greene. Hosted at the Melbourne Museum, they discussed the role of branding for museums in general; using brand to bring Museum Victoria’s  “networked museum” organisational strategy to life; and the critical role that leadership must play in embedding brand within a museum organisation.


Nick communicating the museum

Nick spoke about why there is more opportunity than ever to build meaningful relationships with audiences, and focus on the now and next as much as the past. He also urged delegates to ensure their museums seek to present a point-of-view over and above merely showing, so to create a more differentiated and unique experience for audiences.

Thank you to Agenda for involving us.

Pictured from left:
Rod Macneil – Head, Communication and Partnerships, Museum Victoria
Patrick Greene – CEO, Museum Victoria
Nick Davis – GM Melbourne
(Thanks to Rob Chivers for the photo)


A few weeks back, A bunch of us from the studio headed to the Australian Museum to see Lex, our Associate Director of Verbal Identity, speak at the AGDA event – How do words get in the picture. The event featured three talented writers from the industry, each sharing their view on the role of writing and language in creative.

Lex gave a brilliant presentation! To a full crowd, she spoke about her writing process, the power of language to shape brands, and the power of partnerships – explaining why writers and designers working together generate better work.

Thank you to AGDA NSW for involving us and congratulations to all the speakers. We had a fantastic night.


Lex talks words for AGDA


Today Interbrand launched its 15th Best Global Brands Report.

Damian Borchok, CEO for Interbrand Australia and Steve Pozel, Director of Object: Australian Design Centre spoke to an audience of 80 senior marketers at Sydney Opera House. Sydney Opera House was the ideal venue for the launch: Apart from being a client, Sydney Opera House is one of Australia’s truly globally recognised brands.

In addition to presenting findings from the report, Damian looked at the impact of technology on how business and brands work.

Steve Pozel spoke about power of design thinking and its ability to find new answers to new challenges.


Best Global Brands 2014

Highlights from the Best Global Brands report include:

  • For the second year in a row Apple was the number one brand. It grew brand value by 21% to USD $118.8b
  • Google continued to strengthen its position at number two, growing 15% to USD $107.4b
  • For the first time in the history of Best Global Brands two global brands – Apple and Google – have each earned a brand value that exceeds USD $100 billion
  • Facebook was the top rising brand this year, growing in value by 86%. Other notable risers included Audi, Amazon, Nissan, Volkswagen and Starbucks
  • While the tech sector was a high growth sector, Nokia and Nintendo were the fastest declining brands for the second year running, dropping in value by 44% and 33% respectively
  • This year, the total value of all 100 Best Global Brands is USD $1.6 trillion — a 6.65% record increase over the total value of the 100 Best Global Brands in 2013.

Find more information on this year’s Best Global Brands Report here.

LaLupita_The Basement_1

The Basement is one of Sydney’s most iconic music venues. It’s an institution, the kind of place you’d catch Dizzy Gillespie or Herbie Hancock play at the height of their fame. 40 years later, we found ourselves tasked with a rather spicy Sydney branding project that introduces La Lupita, a pop-up Mexican restaurant and one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets, to The Basement.

We had to give La Lupita the chance to be heard over the music and the pantheon of greats that adorn the crammed walls. In true Interbrand style, we wanted to take this to the next level, and agreed that the spirit of La Lupita should be rebellious, fiery and passionate. For that reason, it became more than a pop-up. It became a takeover!


La Lupita’s Sydney takeover

With a pirate mentality, we began claiming areas of The Basement, repurposing materials and smashing styles together. From re-using shipping palettes and abandoned milk crates, to creating menu boards from broken walls, it took two days to bring the space to life; an epic mission of paint fumes, sweat and mescal! Inside, we created bold, vibrant statements by collaborating with some of Sydney’s finest underground artists; Beastman, Numskull and Aisle6ix.

The logo is designed to be quick to replicate and embody the rebellious nature of our takeover. Reminiscent of a skull and crossbones, the flame logo is hand painted and full of imperfections, this reflects our story; the story of a brand that only cares about authentic amazing food, for the people. Para El Pueblo.


We are now in our second year of working with Opera Australia and are pleased to share our latest branding work on the 2015 season brochure, launched at the season preview last week at the Sydney Opera House.

For this season our Sydney agency worked again with the internationally recognised fashion photographer Georges Antoni and Opera Australia performers to capture the energy and emotion of the season through rich and evocative photography.


Opera Australia 2015 Season

Its wonderful to see the brand is continuing to evolve and open up opera to new and familiar audiences. And if 2014 is anything to go by, 2015 is going to be an incredible season. Get your tickets here.

“The new brand, introduced last year, was designed to open up opera to to new audiences. Working with top fashion photographer Georges Antoni, we designed images that would evoke emotions and demonstrate the many genres of opera. This year we worked with Georges again to produce the images for the 2015 season, and the results are just stunning. We’re thrilled to continue to work with Opera Australia on their brand and to keep opera singing for a long time to come.” Chris Maclean, Executive Creative Director, Interbrand.


For over a hundred years people in Australia have used paper directories to search for friends, family or local businesses. However with the rise of digital technology and the emergence of Google as a universal synonym for ‘search’, the world has changed.


True colours: The new Sensis brand

For Sensis – an organisation whose operations were previously focused on paper directories – the imperative has been to re-imagine its role in a digital landscape. This has involved transformational changes in terms of what it offers to customers and how its business operates. From a complex and dilutive portfolio of brands, products and services to a focused set of strategic assets, Sensis is now positioned to meet every customer’s needs. From paper directories to SEO, website design and apps, Sensis is now at the forefront of digital marketing services for Australian businesses.

Interbrand has been engaged with Sensis throughout this transformational process, with a unique strategic process to redevelop its brand in line with its business ambitions.

We fielded a team of strategists and creatives in Sensis’ offices and worked together to define the organisation’s challenges and opportunities. This led to clear recommendations on a new strategic direction for the brand and portfolio architecture. Typically this kind of work takes months to complete but a collaborative and iterative process allowed for a solution to be formed and directives developed in under a week.

The recommendation was to separate the B2B and B2C functions that existed in all brands across the portfolio. This result was the elevation of the Sensis brand from a passive corporate entity to a purely B2B brand, focused on helping its customers optimise their marketing efforts. Meanwhile the other brands in the portfolio (Yellow Pages, White Pages, True Local, WhereIs) would represent a range of B2C offerings across print and digital. The result is a portfolio that gives focus to all of the Sensis brands and provides scope to introduce new propositions as and when they are developed.

The expression of the new Sensis brand needed to show how it could educate and empower organisations of all sizes to be better marketers. It needed to present itself as a guide for Australian businesses as they navigated from the physical to the digital. It needed to be a brand that could engage and motivate by demystifying technology and simplifying complexity.

The new brand is based around the character of a mouse: a metaphor for the resourceful, determined and industrious businesses Sensis works with. The mouse is the hero and platform for all of our communications.  Dutch illustrator Tim Boelaars was commissioned to create a menagerie of characters who interact with the Sensis mouse to help tell the story of Sensis and its customers.

Oliver Maltby, Creative Director of Interbrand Australia, comments: “Each individual story uses a simple metaphor relevant to a business issue, such as growth (Giraffe), knowledge (Owl) and technology (Robot). Using these recognisable characters along with straightforward encouraging language presents digital marketing in a way that’s human and accessible.”

John Allan, CEO of Sensis adds: “The brand identity leverages the equity of Sensis’ consumer brands and positions Sensis as the leader. The instantly recognisable character illustration brings a warmth to our brand while being flexible, helpful and, most importantly, encouraging,”

Interbrand is continuing its partnership with Sensis on a range of projects.