Designing opportunities that matter

The Integrated Design Commission worked across a number of sectors through a multi-disciplinary, design led approach to enhance quality of life for South Australians. The Commission was positively disruptive before the public sector knew it as buzzword. Yet sometimes, the things that burn brightest aren't meant to last – but they are meant to be leveraged.

Whole experience
Our first brief focused on the brand architecture. With limited brand awareness beyond the existing converts of design, the Commission appeared incomprehensible from the outside; members of government didn't understand them and the public weren’t clear on what they stood for. Commissioner Timothy Horton wanted to network and connect with public and government in a way that represented the core values of the Commission. And he understood that identity and integrated communications offered a route to do this.

A reason for being
What they needed next was a core positioning to inspire and drive the Commission forward: a set of values that would guide decisions and also outwardly outline what the Commission was set up to do. This provided an entry into simple stories that could both excite and unite people. Having adopted a people-centric brand architecture, we gave them a modern dynamic and flexible identity to articulate and celebrate possibility. The identity used a system based around 14 colours that allowed the Commission to adapt their mood or tone based on the context. In all cases they would appear friendly and approachable.

Future think
All art, design and architecture is a promise, just as a logo or an identity is a promise of what that organisation might be like. Although change can be a challenge, the scope and activity of the Integrated Design Commission was a mere moment in time. However, beyond the parameters of policy, funding and personalities, this moment powerfully informs the next. The customers and advocates of design continue to grow, which means we're all discussing more and thinking harder — often it's architects and designers that are ahead of the curve making a promise that we can then catch up with.

IDC photography — Sam Noonan

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