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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

makingBrandsMove

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!

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A big congrats to Telstra – and a hearty thanks to our friends at Paragon – on winning a 2013 Create Design Award for the Telstra Catalogues.

The Telstra Catalogues were redesigned by Interbrand to help customers better understand and navigate all the products and services Telstra offers. By improving the presentation of this often complex information, we helped customers make more informed decisions in a shorter space of time.

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Telstra Catalogues

The design for 'Let's Connect' was all about putting the customer first. From clear pricing and succinct features to colorful navigation and simplified tables; every element has been designed to make things easy to find and understand. We organised the product options into 3 easy-to-follow steps, guiding the customer all the way through to purchasing.

Another part of our brief was to encourage customers to spend more time with the catalogue, which meant balancing the sales pitch with more helpful information around products and services. To that end, we added a feature page for every category giving us the space to go into more detail, much like a magazine article. And last but not least, we redesigned the terms and conditions, colour coding them so they're much easier to navigate.

Well done all!

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Health insurance. We all know it can be expensive but for the more budget conscious among us it can be considered downright wasteful. Why pay money for hospital cover that you may never make a claim on? And what about those extras that you can never find time to make use of?

ahm, a health insurance provider owned by Medibank, aims to change this.

Previously a small niche player, ahm has been rebranded – its sights refocused on the lower cost end of the market with a unique customer proposition developed by our team.

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ahm

Starting with the insight that many consumers do not see the value in the ‘value’ end of the market, we sought to redefine ahm as a brand of choice for those who believe low cost policies are “not worth the paper they’re written on”. A brand for people who believe that value is about getting more for less, and minimising waste. At the heart of our strategy was the idea, ‘All the things you need, and nothing that you don’t’.

A complete (and yet, frugal) redesign of the brand identity was subsequently undertaken by our designers. The result is a new look and feel that ensures ahm clearly stands out from the pack. The brand looks bold and single minded, but also pared back and efficient. Every element has a purpose – there is nothing superfluous and no wasted effort.

So, from a colour palette of black and white that saves on printing costs to a perforation line device that helps highlight and house important information, the new look and feel is the perfect expression of ahm’s new brand idea. The logo is now framed within a coupon device, with a Medibank endorsement line that provides additional credibility for the brand in its new low cost battleground. The way the brand speaks has also been sharply defined, with a tone of voice that is courageous and upbeat, and always up-front.

For our money, it’s a great example of a big idea brilliantly executed that really stands apart. And with a significant uplift in direct sales enquiries recorded following the brand’s re-launch, it looks like consumers might agree with us.

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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A year on from our rebrand of the Melbourne Theatre Company, we've been developing creative for the 2014 season to help the theatre shine brighter than ever.

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MTC 2014 Season

For the 2014 look and feel, we took inspiration from the efforts of Artistic Director Brett Sheehy to introduce greater diversity into the MTC's realm. There is more flexibility in the identity as we aim to help each individual production shine.

'Illuminate' is the theme for the season and represents an MTC that is really lighting up the stage in Melbourne. Bringing new and untold stories to theatre audiences, and projecting older stories in a whole new light.

Promotional materials for each production are treated with a formatted approach, but one that yields diverse creative outcomes. For every story, suggestions of the key threads and sub-plots that lie within are projected on top of, or behind, a base image. The result is a look and feel that both extends and frees up the identity, and aims to provoke intrigue amongst the audience. Bring on the new season!

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Yesterday morning we launched our 14th Best Global Brands Report.

Damian, CEO for Interbrand Australia and Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini spoke to an audience of senior marketers at Aqua Dining.

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Best Global Brands 2013

In addition to presenting findings from the report, Damian looked at the changing role of leadership and the impact this is having on the world’s leading brands. Lyndon Terracini spoke about the extraordinary rise of Opera Australia. Under his artistic leadership Opera Australia has doubled its earnings in the last two years to become one of the fastest growing opera companies in the world. This is at a time when many opera organisations around the world are struggling. Opera Australia’s success has come from delivering a vision that artistic success and commercial success aren’t mutually exclusive. And that opera shouldn’t just be produced for a small minority of connoisseurs — it should be for everyone.

Highlights from the Best Global Brands report include:

• For the first time in the history of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report, there is a new #1 brand: Apple. For the last 13 years Coca-Cola held top position
• Google also trumped Coca-Cola. Google moves to #2 and Coca-Cola is now at #3
• Technology businesses dominate the world’s most valuable brands, with 7 of the top 10 brands originating from this sector
• The majority of top rising brands originate from the tech sector. These include Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon. Prada also made the list of top risers for 2013
• While the tech sector is the high growth sector, brands that struggle to show leadership quickly lose momentum. Nokia and Nintendo were two of the major declining brands this year. Blackberry left the top 100 altogether
• This year, the total value of all 100 Best Global Brands is USD $1.5 trillion — an 8.4 percent record increase over the total value of the 100 Best Global Brands in 2012

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

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Opera Australia is Australia’s national opera company and arts organisation. Each year it hosts over 600 performances in venues across Australia and Asia including Sydney Opera House and The Arts Centre Melbourne. Interbrand Sydney were asked to breathe new life into their brand to attract new audiences.

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Opera Australia

In the 21st Century opera is still enjoyed by many audiences, and through rethinking and re-imaging the operatic experience, keeps pace with cultural change. Artistic Director, Lyndon Terracini, has given Opera Australia a refreshing new outlook that speaks to the future of opera – that opera should be for everyone. His bold vision includes performing in non-traditional venues as well as introducing more diverse programming to the mainstage, often involving cutting-edge technology.

We devised a logo system that could open up opera. From OA, to OPERA, to OPERA AUSTRALIA, the identity expands to contain the rich and diverse range of activities the organisation represents.

There's so much more to opera than just the performance on the stage, and this new brand seeks to express that opera isn't one-dimensional – it's multi-dimensional. The costumes, the sets, the stories, the music, the emotion, the stars, the venues, etc. We expressed this by introducing vertical bars, based on musical notation, to separate the different dimensions of opera. Bars change thickness, vertical position and pace to represent the music. In motion, they move at different speeds, representing different instruments and voices; overlapping each other to open up and wipe content in and out.

Images were designed to communicate the genre of productions; helping people understand opera's diversity. Comedies feel funny, tragedies feel sad, and romances feel passionate. We engaged the talents of internationally acclaimed Australian fashion photographer, Georges Antoni to bring a contemporary twist to our classic content.

We took the multiple-dimensional concept one step further with the introduction of an entirely new voice. Since we believe that opera is for everybody, we chose to write articles about the most compelling dimension of each opera. That could be the set design, costume design, location, lead performer, director, technical innovation, the music – in fact anything that was fresh news for established audiences and enticing for new ones.

Georgia Rivers, Sales and Marketing Director at Opera Australia, said, “Interbrand understood what the brand needed very rapidly and thoroughly and the execution of their ideas was superb. The new branding has only been out a few days, but already there is a sense from staff and patrons that they are more proud to be associated with the company, and from others that it’s time to take another look at Opera Australia.”

We’re incredibly proud to reveal the new Opera Australia brand to the world. This has been one of the most challenging projects we’ve faced this year, but with the help of Opera Australia we’ve managed to create a brand for modern Australia. One that will hopefully delight existing audiences and attract new ones. And, with the continued bravery of everyone at Opera Australia, keep this spellbinding art form alive for a very long time.

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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 looking for an amazing Design Director to join our Melbourne team.

But what does Design Director mean at Interbrand? In short, it means leading a team of designers and working directly with Creative Directors, writers, strategists, motion designers and clients to create world changing brands. You're responsible for leading the design direction of brand identities and other design projects.

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We Want Design Directors

So who are we looking for? The right person will have an outstanding portfolio which demonstrates a high level of original thought, first class crafting, but most of all, an unrelenting commitment to the IDEA. You'll be a natural communicator, problem solver and innovator. Digital experience is high on our wish list, digital understanding would be even better. Our culture is young, energetic, hard-working and hard-playing. We don't worry about being normal – we like you to stand apart.

You don't need to be a Design Director already. Maybe you're be a senior designer looking for your next challenge, a frustrated art director, or a child prodigy. Basically, we're looking for interesting, talented people who are excited about creating brands which change the world. Whether you're here already or fancy a new life in Australia, if this sounds like you then send an email along with your CV and PDF with examples of your work to jobs@interbrand.com.au

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In operation for over three decades, Griffin Theatre Company is the only professional theatre company dedicated to new Australian writing. As a not-for-profit organisation, the ongoing support of donors plays a crucial role in the work they do both on and off stage.

This video was created to raise awareness and financial support for Griffin, helping them to continue to nurture and champion Australian writing for the national and international stage.

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GRIFFIN SUPPORTER VIDEO

Interbrand developed the video concept, then walked through Griffin"s surrounding suburbs with writer and performer Kate Mulvany to direct and capture the footage. We then pulled the final edit together so it could become a key piece of their 2013 supporter drive.

Subscribe, support, or find out more about Griffin here.

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Life insurance recognises the value of the life you’ve created and the future you imagine. It helps you prepare for some of life’s unexpected challenges.

Interbrand worked with TAL, Australia's life insurance specialists, to create a short video about why life insurance matters.

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TAL – THIS IS LIFE

We wanted to draw attention to the importance of life insurance without the video feeling like a sales tool. To do this, we created an icon set that was in line with TAL's branding for the animation, combined with video footage. We then graded the final edit to pull it all together.

Thanks to our voice over artist, Simon Harvey, and Ian Camilleri for the audio mix.

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A couple of weeks ago we showcased our work for Griffin Theatre Company's 2013 season - better late than never. This week we're delighted to reveal the brand new 2014 season.

This is our fifth year working with Griffin and every year we strive to do something a little bit different. This year, artistic director Lee Lewis wanted to express the intimacy one experiences in this tiny theatre where actors perform merely inches from your knees.

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Griffin 2014

We did this using photography and video which makes the viewer feel like they're being acted to in the theatre space. We also gave ourselves the constraint of only using black and white photography to keep things raw and express the emotional diversity of the season. From Roald Dahl's Witches to Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography, this season has it all.

We had amazing fun shooting the photography and video with Brett Boardman – an amazing collaborator who also helped to concept the season. Lots of green screen and lots of flour. To promote the season we produced a trailer to give a taste of what audiences can expect. With a soundtrack from Mr. Bill, the video is a full on sensorial experience that demands your attention, doesn't let up and leaves you wondering what the heck just happened. Just like a night at Griffin.

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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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This year marks the five year anniversary of our relationship with Griffin Theatre Company, and in a few weeks we'll be sharing the very exciting new brochure and video for the upcoming 2014 season.

We've also realised we never put up the work we did for their 2013 season. So better late that never!

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Griffin 2013

For 2013, we moved the design system on from previous years. Still putting words centre stage by retaining the iconic typographic matrices, but with a more pared back look. We also went for a surrealist angle with the photography, with suspended objects hovering around the actors as if time stood still. It's all about oddity, intrigue and unexpectedness – just like the Griffin experience.

With the motion design, we took that idea even further by making still photographs move in a way you might not have seen before. The end result is a thoroughly weird assault on the senses, which leaves you wondering what just happened. All set to a raw and dirty glitch hop soundtrack by Mr. Bill, a renowned producer on the global bass music scene. Well, no-one ever said Griffin is your average Theatre Company.

Music: Mr. Bill - Balance (MindBuffer Remix)

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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

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Garis & Hahn is a new art gallery on the Bowery in New York. When they came knocking at our door, we jumped at the chance to help them define their strategy, brand identity and interior environment.

The vision of Mary Garis and Sophie Hahn takes a fresh approach to the commercial art gallery model, it fosters conversation and honours contemplation. The gallery focuses on taking a themed curatorial approach for emerging and established artists alike, with an emphasis on the ‘Here and Now’.

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Garis & Hahn Est. Now

We created a brand inspired by a time line, and a brand mark that is built on capturing the here and now. Every time the brand stops along the timeline, it catches not only the current exhibition, but also a snapshot of a show just passed, or to come.

The brand is rolled out across a variety of collateral, from posters and postcards, to business cards and environmental graphics, and soon to be interiors.

The gallery has recently been approached by Rag and Bone to collaborate with them on a series of shows within their Meatpacking pop-up, and has obtained a flurry of press throughout the local art industry. The gallery officially opened its doors on the 28th of March and we were lucky enough to have our own Sally and Chris there to witness the big day.

Making brands move

We're in an era when brands live on screen, so we think in motion first.

For this short experimental motion piece, we set ourselves the task of bringing to life the humble Interbrand square.

In this surreal, abstract and deliberately chaotic animation we wanted to explore how we could push the boundaries of such a simple geometric shape.

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Making brands move

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.