Over the past year, we’ve been working closely with the SKY brand, helping them build a programme that’s all about supporting the next generation of Kiwi athletes.
We’re pleased to announce that nine of the SKY NEXT athletes have made it to the Commonwealth Games. From all of us at Interbrand, we’d like to say well done and good luck!


SKY NEXT Rebrand

Previously called, ‘SportConnect’, this initiative had failed to garner any attention or support from New Zealanders. We rebranded it as SKY NEXT, and we used design, language and imagery to propel the initiative forward and give it the honorable mention it deserves in the hearts and minds of Kiwis.

SKY NEXT has succeeded in giving young, talented athletes the support they need to make it – and New Zealand has taken notice and spoken up in support of the cause. Far more than a cheque, NEXT is connecting these rising stars to other athletes ahead of them in their journeys, creating a team to give them confidence, media training, sponsorship, rights negotiation and more.

The effective brand design of NEXT raises the profile of the both program and the athletes themselves. The latter being the heroes of every communication. NEXT is encouraging young Kiwis to follow their passions and live their dreams. With design now helping to give the initiative the ability to move beyond sport, now the possibilities for the NEXT generation of Kiwis are limitless. Read all about the programme here.

“Sporting underpins the culture of NZ so when SKY asked us to get involved with the NEXT initiative, we jumped at it, and we really couldn’t be more excited. We hope the initiative spreads beyond sports, into media and other channels. Ultimately helping the NEXT generation of Kiwis on their journey.” Ben Miles, Creative Director, Interbrand.

TVC created by DDB New Zealand.


If you’ve spent time in Darling Harbour this month you’ll have noticed Cool Yule – a brand new event in Sydney’s calendar.

Cool Yule is a month long festival that celebrates winter in Darling Harbour. It’s wonderful to see the precinct come alive with all the things we love about winter in Sydney and beyond, such as an ice rink, an inflatable luge slide, European market stalls, and SNOW!


Branding Cool Yule

This is the third event campaign we’ve created with the new Darling Harbour brand after FIESTA and MONTH OF LOVE. With more coming soon.

You can find more information here.  If you’re a Sydney-sider, make sure you head down on the weekend as it finishes this Sunday (July 13).

Thanks to Kerry at Cranky Mermaid for making it snow in Darling Harbour, and our own Chris Maclean for the incredible photos of the brand in action.


Throughout the year, we open up our studio to design schools. We love it because it not only gives students an experience of how we work, it gives us the opportunity to learn from tomorrow’s brand makers.

Over the past few weeks, our Creative Director Oli Maltby has been working with Tractor as a Design Mentor. This saw him developing a brief for the Sydney design students using a fictional TV channel as the challenge. Four days later, the students joined us in the Interbrand studio, where they pitched their concepts and ideas to Oli and our Senior Designers Dan Ingham and Ed Hall for feedback.

We had a great night meeting the crew and we were really impressed with the presentations. We got to see some fantastic work.

Thanks to Tractor for involving us – we’re looking forward to the next one. Read more here.


Tractor & Interbrand


With a reputation as one of the ‘not to be missed’ events on the AGDA calendar, we were chuffed to have Mike our Motion Director invited to be a guest speaker at the AGDA Shot Down event, which took place at Play Bar on June 18.

Shot Down is an opportunity for speakers to talk about work that’s been unseen, unheard, unrealised and under appreciated.


Mike at AGDA Shot Down

Mike spoke about his working life as a motion designer at Interbrand, and how his role sees him involved in projects from the very beginning – working right from the conceptual phase to make our brands move. He had the crowd hanging on his every word as he talked through two of our client projects that were shot down, addressing what the client needed, what we aimed to provide and why it didn’t make it.

It was a fantastic evening. Thanks as always to our friends at AGDA for involving us – look forward to the next one!

Shots by Chris Maclean.


As part of the launch of our rebrand of SKY Movies we collaborated with digital agency Sixty40 to create 18 channel idents. Created to share SKY’s passion for film and inspired by some of the most loved movies, the idents cover the full range of genres and emotions you discover on the SKY Movies channel – from laugh out loud to couch-side cliffhangers. Each ident uses the the SKY angles we developed for the SKY NZ masterbrand and are loaded with energy, charm, and personality.

And we aren’t the only ones who think the idents are brilliant! They’ve been awarded a Gold in the Best Channel Identity category for the PromaxBDA New Zealand 2014 Awards. A massive achievement! Congratulations to the team at Sixty40, Rumble Studios, who were responsible for all of the sound design and original music compositions, and to the internal team at SKY NZ.


SKY Movies Idents win gold

The idents were a true collaboration. It was a pleasure working with the great teams at Sixty40, Rumble, and the internal team at SKY. We’re absolutely thrilled.

Read all about the SKY Movies rebrand and watch the idents here.

Mark from Sixty40 and Ben are pictured above with the trophy.

Chris bio 050614

If you’re a regular reader of Interbrand’s Stand Apart, you’ll know that Chris Maclean, our ECD and Mike Tosetto, our Motion Director have been chosen as creative industry mentors for The Loop’s Portfolio Masterclasses taking place this Saturday as part of Vivid Sydney.

In the lead up to the event, the Loop interviewed Chris about his career so far, what inspired him to be a designer in the first place, and why your first job in the industry is so important. Read Chris’ interview here.



Chris mentors for The Loop

And if you are Sydney based student, recent graduate, or just a designer looking for some industry advice, head down to the MCA this Saturday June 7 for The Loop Portfolio Masterclasses. These sessions are a great opportunity for you to talk through your portfolio and grab some tips from the best in the industry.

Chris will be at the Graphic Design & Illustration masterclass from 10:00am – 12:00pm.

Mike (our Motion Director) is also an Industry Mentor. He’ll be at the Film, TV, & Animation Masterclass from 1:00 – 3:00pm.

Thanks again to the Loop for involving us. See you on Saturday!


As a regular columnist for Marketing Magazine, Sergio, our Associate Strategy Director, continues to share his views on branding.
His latest piece, Gamification: a business and societal model for the 21st century (May 23) talks about how a gamifying strategy has the ability to embrace complexity, smoothen change, increase a company’s bottom line and, ultimately, the potential to transform people into enterprises for themselves.

We’re also excited to announce that earlier in the month, Sergio was invited to become a regular contributor to US based BrandChannel.


Brand new thinking from Sergio

His first two articles are now live:

Oz Marketing: Australia Pitches Itself as a Foodie Destination (May 19)
Through food, Australia has spiced up its rugged roots with the influences of generations of Asian, Middle-Eastern, and Mediterranean immigrants to slowly cook an exquisite, and still emerging, national identity that promises to conquer international markets by the stomach!

For Wearable Tech Brands, a Lesson from EVs in Drive to Mass Adoption (May 21)
If wearable tech is about quantifying yourself, it’s important to understand that people see, measure—and yes, desire—the world in different terms. In order to drive mass adoption, the wearables category needs to design features and cast brand ambassadors that trigger people’s unconscious desire.

And given Sergio is multilingual, it was only a matter of time for him to begin writing in one of his other five languages. You can now also find him writing regularly on Branzai, Spain’s #1 branding blog. He’s had three articles published so far.

Spanish speakers – esperamos que les haya gustado!


For those of you in Sydney this Saturday, Doug, our Strategy Director will be representing Interbrand at Vivid as a member on the panel for “2020: Adapt or Die”, talking brand creativity – and creative of all kinds!

Organised by AGDA, the half day session features 20 industry visionaries sharing their ideas on the future landscape of creativity and the importance of forward thinking brand strategy. It’s sure to be a lively morning.

You can learn more about the panelists and buy your tickets here. Be quick – It’s selling fast!

We look forward to seeing you there- and thank you AGDA for involving us.


Doug talks brand creativity


How much do you know about the Trefoil, the brand symbol for Radioactivity?

Our ECD Chris Maclean recently wrote a piece for Grafik Magazine in the UK about the history behind its creation, and how it developed into the fear-inducing symbol it is today. Read it here.


Chris talks Brand Icons


Mike, our Motion Director, is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic people you’ll ever meet. He’s always doing his bit to improve our motion skills, and we’re really glad he’ll be paying it forward this year at Vivid Sydney as a creative industry mentor for The Loop’s Film, TV & Animation Portfolio Masterclass.


Mike mentors for The Loop

In the lead up to the event, The Loop interviewed Mike about what inspired him to get into motion, his career to date, and his top professional tips.

The Loop are holding masterclasses on Saturday June 7 at the MCA. If you are a student, recent graduate, or just need some great industry advice and networking opportunities, head over!

Mike will be at the Film, TV & Animation Masterclass from 1:00 – 3:00pm.

Chris (our ECD) is also an Industry Mentor. He’ll be at the Graphic Design & Illustration masterclass from 10am – 12:00pm.

Thanks to The Loop for involving us!


Having shaped the voices of many of Australia’s biggest companies, our Senior Writer Lex is not shy about using the power of language and verbal identity to create world changing brands.

Over the last few months Lex has been sharing her thoughts and expertise with students studying Graphic Design at Shillington College. She has presented a number of sessions on the power of brand voice and how words can make you a better designer.

We know Lex is exceptional, and it thrills us to know she’s sharing her smarts and inspiring a new generation of creatives at Shillington. Awesome work Lex!


Lex on Verbal Identity


A while back we had the privilege of branding what has become one of the most popular (and tasty) food trucks in Sydney. And we realised recently that we’ve never shared the work on these pages! So…(drumroll please) introducing Al Carbon!

Our brief was a tweet. “Wanted: Dynamic and motivated designer to spruce up the Al Carbon truck before we hit the streets of Sydney.”

In a warehouse in Canterbury (doubling as La Lupita, up until recently, a twice weekly pop up restaurant before moving to The Basement) we met Attila Yilmaz to discuss the opportunity to brand his colossal food truck over tacos, raspados and some Mexican beers.


Tweets to Tacos: Branding Al Carbon

Attila was about to launch Al Carbon as part of the City of Sydney’s licensed food trucks trial. A retired policeman, Al Carbon (which means ‘over charcoal’) was his chance to throw himself into something he loved: food. After some time travelling around Mexico, Attila had discovered authentic ways to cook Mexican food, coupled with hints of inspiration from his father and his Turkish roots.

Inspired by our surroundings, we had an idea. What if we could transport our studio to the warehouse and do something we’d never done before – create a brand in a day? So one Saturday, we assembled a gang of 20 interior and graphic designers, writers, brand strategists, management and client service people, macs, and flipcharts to La Lupita. We broke into teams, meeting each hour to discuss ideas, agree direction and to allow Attila to be involved every step of the way. We developed a customer journey, social media strategy, brand identity and graphics for the truck as well as the brand story of Al Carbon.

Literally, a brand in a day!

We agreed the brand of Al Carbon would be a mythical place. Everything on the truck would be ‘the best of Al Carbon': The best chef of Al Carbon, the juiciest limes, the sweetest pineapple. Wherever the truck pulled up it would transform the space it occupied so visitors could enter the world of Al Carbon. To communicate the idea, we conceived the brand as a tourist campaign. ‘Visit Al Carbon.’ In transit, the truck was a big tourism ad for itself. When static, it became Al Carbon the place. We used bins to create a perimeter around the truck, so visitors actually have to cross the border (and are asked to abandon all Mexican cliché’s like moustaches and sombrero’s – this was to be an authentic experience after all!) We designed immigracion, where customers order their tacos and drinks. And we focused the queue along the side of the flame grilling barbecue where the theatre of cooking the meat captivated all the senses.

Al Carbon has been a resounding success. Launching at the Feast festival in Sydney, Attila served more than 800 people in one night. Just recently, a smaller version of the truck was a big hit at Splendour in Byron Bay. The Good Food Guide named it in their review of best new places to eat, claiming ‘hands down best taco’s in Sydney’ and Sydney’s most popular bloggers have been raving about the food and the experience that is on offer ever since. Oh, and we won an innovation award for the work within our own Interbrand network 😉

We’re incredibly proud to have played a part in helping to make Al Carbon a success. Seeing (and waiting in!) the queues and the smile on Attila’s face has made it very worthwhile.

Plan your visit to Al Carbon here.


Our Executive Creative Director Chris has spent his career convincing clients to do things they didn’t know they were capable of. From the epic transformation of Telstra to changing government policy about Alzheimer’s disease, he bravely pushes big brand ideas and our clients to do more interesting, innovative and inspiring work.


Chris talks brave brand ideas

Earlier this week he made the trip to the Canberra to share his experiences with the ACT AGDA community. To a room full of creatives, Chris spoke about why we need to inspire clients to take creative risks, and shared how to empower them to solve problems differently and make strong connections with their audience.

We weren’t surprised at all to hear his talk was wildly entertaining! And thanks as always to AGDA for involving us.


We’re not ones to pass up invitations to have our opinions heard – especially when it comes to branding. So when RMIT invited Interbrand Melbourne to speak to their 2nd year Design Communication students, we jumped at the chance.


Talking brand identity at RMIT

On the topic of ‘The role of identity in branding’, our Melbourne General Manager, Nick Davis, had plenty of thoughts to share. Starting with the point that a brand is a business’ single greatest asset, he illustrated how the best brands are those steered by an uncompromising, singular vision. The role of brand identity then, he suggested, is to bring to life, articulate, and reinforce this vision at every opportunity.

Using examples including our own agency work from the past 12 months, Nick then provided insight into how we build brand identities. On the creative process, he discussed why we believe in communication not decoration, and designing feelings not logos. He also shared our thoughts around how strategists and designers should work collaboratively.

Big thanks go to RMIT and Joe Palmieri for giving us the floor – it was a pleasure to engage with up-and-coming designers and we look forward to the next instalment.




We’re all really proud of Conlan, our up-and-coming Motion Designer who was named as a finalist in the NewStar design awards during the AGIdeas Look Upstairs design festival this year.

Conlan received the nomination for his Comedy Channel brand identity work, completed whilst he was studying at Swinburne University. His work has now been featured alongside some of the most inspiring creative and branding talent across the globe, in the festival’s annual book. Our Melbourne brand agency, where Conlan’s based, couldn’t be more excited!

And if you look closely in the photo above, you’ll see him on stage with the other finalists during the announcement (fifth from the left).

Well done Conlan!


Conlan is a NewStar Design Awards finalist


A special shout out goes to our ECD Chris Maclean this week, the 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!


Chris Maclean: 6 years at Interbrand!


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

And… if you’re a Design Kid that wants to spend some time in a Sydney or Melbourne brand agency, we’re always keen to hear from design, comms, 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


Our Creative Director’s tips for Design Kids


Recently we took part in Studio Access, opening up our Melbourne agency to design students and recent graduates.

A key part of the LookUpstairs conference and organised by agIdeas, Studio Access saw a dozen students from universities across the country join us at Interbrand for the evening, with Senior Designer Rob and Strategist Michael talking through some of our recent work and how we approach the making of world changing brands. This is the second time we’ve taken part, and it’s always an inspiring night.

The talk was followed by an extended Q&A session over pizza and drinks, covering all things design, branding, studio life, career, and everything in between.

Thank you to everyone who joined us. We had a great night!


Student Q&A Interbrand Melbourne


Yesterday marked the release of Interbrand’s Best Retail Brands 2014 (BRBs) report. In its fourth year, this is the first time our report covers all global regions and is fully digital, meaning that our readers will be able to follow real-time updates throughout the year on their favourite brands.

You can access the full report here to learn more about 2014’s biggest trends, challenges and opportunities. Or, keep reading!


Best Retail Brands 2014

Notably Woolworths and Coles supermarkets found themselves among Asia’s top retail brands, both showing strong growth, with Woolworths topping the list as the most valuable retail brand is Asia just shy of $5bn USD.

Harvey Norman, Myer, David Jones, and Target are all brands that have declined again in 2014 reflecting not just increased competition from overseas and a strong Australian dollar, but also that they have largely not kept pace with changing consumer expectations and desires.

This year was a mixed bag of results for Australia’s biggest retail brands, with several brands reflecting an upswing in consumer confidence, while others languish under outdated business models as they struggle to make sense of digital and a shrinking middle-market for many consumer goods.

Interbrand’s Australian CEO Damian Borchok summed up Australia’s department store’s continued under-performance by saying, “Myer and David Jones both showed declines in their ability to create value through their brands. Despite stated plans to reform and transform, too little change is making its mark with the customer.”

Accolades must go to Kmart and JB HiFi, by proving that focus and coherence across stores, product ranges and communications creates a compelling difference to customers, and by extension commercial performance.

You can also read the media exclusive story in Forbes, and local commentary from AdNews, B&T, Campaign Brief, and  Marketing Magazine.

We hope you enjoy reading! Tweet us with the hashtag #BestRetailBrands to let us know what you think.


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. 


Oli talks branding & awards