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A special shout out goes to Chris Maclean this week, our ECD and gentle giant, who is celebrating six years with Interbrand.

Chris' influence and hard work over these six years has helped to transform brands such as Opera Australia, Griffin Theatre Company, Alzheimer’s Australia and Queensland Art Gallery / QAGOMA, as well as countless more. He led the team responsible for the rebrand of Australia’s biggest brand, Telstra, and has been recognised as one of Australia’s Power 20 by Australian Creative magazine for his bravery in the creative industry. He's also a regular speaker at colleges and events across the country - inspiring designers, writers and other creative individuals to use their skills to create and craft brands that change the world.

We're incredibly proud to work alongside Chris. He's an inspiration and a mentor to all of us.

Here's to the years ahead!

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CHRIS CELEBRATES SIX YEARS

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The Design Kids are a really impressive bunch of people. They recently featured us on their site, asking our Creative Director Ben to share his thoughts on Interbrand's process, what makes us tick, some general banter, and most importantly share his tips for grads starting out. Read Ben's full interview here.

And... if you're a Design Kid and want to spend some time with us in Sydney or Melbourne, we're always keen to hear from design, communications, marketing, and business students interested in brands who’d like to join us as interns.  Send a note about yourself and a link to your portfolio to jobs@interbrand.com.au

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Ben & The Design Kids

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Awards season is underway. An exciting time for Interbrand, and also a fitting time to raise awareness and understanding of the role of Brand in the design community. Last week our Creative Director Oliver shared his view, calling for the industry, and awards programs in particular, to rethink the way they approach and award branding work.

The article was picked up by Desktop magazine, so if you haven't read it already, you can access it here. 

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Oliver in Desktop Mag

1.Chris at Place

Place is a development program and exhibition that showcases young, upcoming designers visual explorations using the one word brief of ‘Place’. Each designer who is featured has been chosen for their ability to produce culturally engaged conceptual work across various media including information design, print and publication, typography, illustration, design for web and digital.

Our Executive Creative Director Chris was invited to participate in the program, playing a crucial role as an industry mentor. In the weeks leading up to the exhibition, Chris worked closely with the designers, meeting them regularly to help them build on their ideas and visualise and refine their works.

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Chris at Place

We were thrilled to attend the opening night of the exhibition, where to a full house Chris delivered an inspiring talk on "The place of design", encouraging designers to use their talents to contribute to the value of design in society, and showing how by focusing on the things that matter, design can truly change the world.

Congratulations to all of the designers exhibiting and Joe Tarzia from Zé Studio who also served as an industry mentor. And thank you to Joanna Grygierczyk and Place Associates for involving us. We had a brilliant time.

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A worthy Stand Apart mention to our Melbourne Associate Director of Strategy, Sergio Brodsky, who has found himself a regular publishing fixture of Marketing Magazine. Sergio is beginning to distinguish himself with his thoughtful musings on some of the tougher questions facing branding today. Well done Sergio! Make sure you check out some of his articles below:

Refuting James Surowiecki from The New Yorker, with his point of view on why brands have a strong future as opposed to none, in his article; Dawning of the brands, or: why The New Yorker is wrong (March 19).

Football and branding are not just about scoring – they're about winning (March 4) is an investigation into whether or not Adidas is right to exploit a sexist interpretation of Brazil's national image in building its national brand. Tough stuff.

Branding comrades stop the logo blabbering - let's start the brand building (Feb 25) provides a critique of the games as an exercise in Nation Branding, and of brand as a focus solely on graphic identity. Timely considering Russia's subsequent annexation of Crimea, and that it has probably undone $50billion of investment thrown at the games.

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A new publishing sensation

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At Interbrand we are big supporters of the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA). So naturally, we're pretty thrilled to announce that we have two Interbranders representing the AGDA NSW chapter this year.

Mike will be taking the lead as Chairman and Ben joins the team as a Councillor.

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MIKE & BEN REPRESENTING AGDA NSW

There’s lots of positive energy and momentum around AGDA at the moment and if you didn't get around to joining up last year - AGDA would love to welcome you as a member. AGDA have an excellent new NSW Chapter in place that we know will work hard to bring you some great events, ideas and initiatives.

Membership is completely tax-deductible and includes heavy discounts on things like award entry and a whole range of benefits. Visit this page to join the AGDA community.

Congratulations to Mike, Ben and everyone chosen this year to represent our industry- we're very proud. Get involved, and watch these pages as we share the AGDA love throughout 2014.

AGDA NSW State Chapter:
Mike Rigby Chairman (Interbrand), Jason Little Vice Chair (Re), Justin Smith (End of Work), Linda Jukic, Jorge Castillo (Canvas Group), Graham Barton (Folk), Ben Miles (Interbrand), Julie Faktor (Moon).

AGDA NSW Sub Committee:
Kasia Wydrowski (Eskimo), Louise Lammers (TAFE), Julie De Paoli (Eskimo), Cat van der Werff (freelance), Alexis Waller (Re), Matt Green ( DT Digital), Matt Leech (Think Education), Chris Dale (DT Digital), Xandro Lombardi (Martin College), Sean Aley (freelance), Justine Lesmana (freelance), and of course, Anita Lyons managing the NSW Office.

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A massive thanks to Eleonora our Sydney strategy intern, who came to us all the way from Stockholm University where she's in the final stages of completing her Masters in Marketing.

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THANKS ELEONORA

Ele joined the Strategy team for 17 weeks which filled a work experience component of her course. During that time she helped the team to analyse and solve some truly wicked brand problems for our clients, not to mention getting into the Interbrand spirit, working and partying hard and no doubt making some great friends along the way.

Not that it's all fun and games, but Ele got the chance to experience the dizzying highs, terrifying lows and the creamy middle that makes up agency life; which she assures me was as fascinating as its was illuminating, and will probably end up being dissected as part of her final thesis.

At Interbrand, we like to help by offering internships to talented fresh blood. And we're always keen to hear from design, communications, and marketing students who'd like to join us for the experience.

If you'd like to be considered, send your CV and examples of work through to jobs@interbrand.com.au

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We're thrilled to introduce our final Stand Apart winner for Sydney this year, Maud.

Stand Apart is the opportunity for everyone in the studio to recognise an Interbrander who consistently goes above and beyond. Having only joined our team five months ago as a Senior Client manager, Maud has certainly made an impact, both in the studio and with our clients. Interbranders had glowing things to say of Maud - of her patience, her warmth, her cool-headedness, and of course the brilliant work she does day in, day out.

Maud was rewarded with a new IPad air and hugs from the studio. And after the announcement, we celebrated Sydney style with fish and chips by the harbour, some frisbee, and a crazy, bat-breaking game of rounders.

Congratulations Maud - c'est magnifique!

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STAND APART MAUD

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A little while ago our ECD Mike took part in AGDA's first Pecha Kucha night. With 20 slides, and a tiny 20 seconds per slide, Mike joined six other industry leaders to give his perspective on the future of design. Mike made the point that design can be a powerful transformational force for business, culture and society at large. And he also made an impassioned call for designers to stop underestimating their ability to make a positive difference.

You can watch and listen to Mike's talk above, and follow this link to view the videos from all the other speakers.
Big thanks to AGDA and everyone else that contributed to such a great night.

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Mike at AGDA Pecha Kucha

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We love motion design at Interbrand. It's exciting, engaging and has the power to land emotions. It can tell stories, make sense of complex problems and bring our designs to life.

Last week, our senior master of motion, Mike T, presented to students at Billy Blue College Sydney about how and why we use motion design to make brands move.

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Mike T at Billy Blue

Mike talked about what it takes to become a motion designer in the industry. This included the principles of animation, the importance of building a strong skill set, and how focusing on storytelling is just as important as beautiful movement.

He also spoke about the strength of collaborating with peers to make great work, along with going above and beyond by doing side projects to continuously grow.

You'll see some of our work in the stories on this site. And a big thanks to Billy Blue for hosting Mike!

Eric Ng Standapart

Throughout the year we get together for Stand Apart - to celebrate all the great work we've done, and recognise Interbranders who consistently go above and beyond. So we're thrilled to announce Eric as our latest Stand Apart award winner for Sydney. Studio peers vote for their Stand Apart individual, then we venture out of the studio to celebrate and do something fun - like laser tag in this case!

Consistently classy, over the past two years Eric has played a key role in some of our most significant work, from QAGOMA to Opera Australia. Eric certainly isn't the loudest, but he does his talking through his work. Diligent, driven, talented and very very well dressed (he also has great hair). He was rewarded with a new iPad and high fives from everyone in the studio.

Congratulations Eric!

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Stand apart Eric

Conlan Standapart Winner

In Melbourne, Conlan Normington is the winner of our latest Stand Apart accolade.

Under the cool, calm and collected exterior of this mild mannered designer lurks a secret talent that's even bigger than his hairstyle. The man has motion skills in abundance.

A self-learner who always manages to surprise, Conlan has made serious waves with his work and a serious impression with his enthusiasm and application. In short, he's been nothing less than exceptional, and we're really happy to have him around.

Well done, Conlan. We look forward to seeing what you produce next.

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Stand apart Conlan

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Sex, Drugs and Helvetica is an annual design conference held in Melbourne, and for the first time this year, Brisbane. Both local and international speakers are invited to tell the story of one project from start to finish. The focus is on process, the up and the downs. This year our very own Creative Director Chris, was asked to tell the story of the Telstra rebrand from the very beginning, through to launch, and everything in-between.

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Sex, Drugs & Helvetica

Other speakers included Moffit.Moffit, A Friend of Mine, Hofstede, BTP and Strategy. The event was an amazing success and offered students and professionals alike a rare glimpse into the realities of commercial design; and in Chris's case, the epic undertaking to transform Telstra from a world of blue to life in full colour.

Feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive with students delighted to have been given an invaluable insight into what life as a real world designer is all about. Thanks to the organisers of Sex Drugs and Helvetica for the chance to tell our story and their fantastic hospitality.

Photography © Aimee Catt Photography

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We're always excited when our team are actively involved in this industry we're so passionate about. Whether we're speaking at events, judging awards, teaching or training.

Our Senior Motion Designer, Mike T, recently made an After Effects tutorial for Digital Tutors, one of the most respected online learning portals.

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Motion design training

The Creative Development series is aimed at advanced users, so Mike made a unique After Effects animation called 'Geometrica' specifically for the course using the Digital Tutors colour palette.

The training covers his workflow of creating the entire project from start to finish. Many useful techniques, tips and tricks are demonstrated along the way resulting in a total of four hours of video training.

Learn more about this course on the Digital Tutors website where a couple of the lessons are free to try without a subscription.

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A huge shout out and our thanks to Scott who interned with us during his uni break, leaving us last week to head back to his studies at UTS.

An absolute champion, Scott endured some late nights, a few parties, and along the way was involved side by side with our Interbranders working on some of our biggest projects taking place in the Interbrand Sydney studio.

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Thanks Scott!

We were really thrilled to have him join us and were blown away by his great attitude and skills.

At Interbrand, we like to help by offering internships to talented fresh blood. And we're always keen to hear from design and communications students who'd like to join us for the experience.

If you'd like to be considered, send your CV and examples of work through to jobs@interbrand.com.au

Stand Apart Matt

At the end of every quarter, suspense builds in the belly of Interbrand's Sydney studio. It's time for Stand Apart.

Stand Apart recognises and rewards an individual who consistently goes above and beyond in their role at Interbrand. And for Matt, he embodies all that Stand Apart, well, stands for.

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Stand Apart Matt

Always stepping up, always keeping people informed and engaged, always producing brilliant ideas and always getting the job done while ensuring he and all those around him remain cool, calm and collected. It's this personal approach to partnering with clients that has brought him outstanding appraisals from the likes of SKY Television New Zealand, Tourism Australia and Darling Harbour.

Studio peers vote for their Stand Apart individual, and have the opportunity to add a wee comment or two about their nominee. We feel this one sums up Matt's character just perfectly:

"If you're on a project and it comes to the clinch, simply put, you need the Hinch".

Well done Matt!

Matt was awarded with an iPad 4, plenty of hugs, and numerous tacos.

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We're very lucky to work with such a talented bunch here at Interbrand. And nothing excites us more than when our people are recognised for the great things they do.

So it was music to our ears to hear that our Joao has been chosen as the Asia-Pacific winner of the John M. Smart Discovery Award.

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John Smart Award

This is a highly distinguished honour that is given annually to just three people from the entire network of over 1200 Interbranders – each
representing either the Americas, Europe & Africa, or Asia-Pacific. What's more, the award offers a week's paid leave and the funds to allow each of the winners to pursue their own passions and discover something new.

The John M. Smart Discovery Award is one of Interbrand's highest accolades, and it recognises not only individual achievements but also the passion with which they achieve them. The award is given in John's name for his impact on everything he touched and his memory as someone who achieved so much but unfortunately left this life too young. This is our way of keeping his spirit alive in the company he loved and helped create.

For us here in Sydney – and for the entire network around the world – Joao is someone who represents the same spirit of energy, enthusiasm and fun. Someone who lives and breathes our values each and every day, and who regularly goes the extra mile for his colleagues. In other words, the kind of person we all aspire to be and to work alongside.

Congratulations Joao, well done.

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Last night, one of our Design Directors, Ben, was part of a panel at The Apple Store, Sydney talking to students on how to get started in the design industry. The audience, which made up a collection of design students and practitioners, also heard tips from Glen Barry (President of AGDA NSW) and Matt Leach (Head of Design at CATC). At Interbrand, we like to help out up-and-coming designers by offering internships to talented fresh blood. If you'd like to be considered then send your CV and examples of work through to jobs@interbrand.com.au.

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Ben at the Apple Store

Mike T loves a party. But what happens when a party loves Mike T? Well, the after effects are awesome.

Mike T, our brilliant Motion Designer in Sydney has won the final Stand Apart award of 2012.

Renowned in the studio (and beyond) for his incredible skills, work ethic and top-notch-bloke personality, Mike T is a genuine asset to our creative team. Congratulations Mike T from all of us here in Sydney!

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Mike Tosetto

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AdNews 40 under 40 is an exclusive list reserved for showcasing the best talent across agencies, advertisers and media owners within Australia.

Enter Andy Wright.

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Forty under Forty

Andy our much-loved General Manager in Sydney, has earned himself a place in this year’s list. Legend. Andy joined Interbrand Melbourne in 2010, and within two years grew the studio from two staff and one client, to 15 staff and an impressive line up of clients including Australia Post and Medibank. Our Managing Director, Rich, had this to say about Andy's success: “I’ve witnessed Andy’s impassioned leadership, pure grit and dogged ambition in re-establishing Interbrand’s reputation in Melbourne”.

2012 saw Andy move up to Sydney to take the reins as General Manager. He is responsible for growing our brand experience offer which includes branded environments, understanding the role of brand in digital experiences, analytics and customer journey mapping.

Congratulations Andy, from all of us at Interbrand Australia. It’s a great honour and one that is thoroughly deserved.