A small brand refresh with big consequences

Team Work
Australia Tourism Data Warehouse
The evolution of a dated brand for a contemporary market
Strategy + Branding + Document Design

Creating 'the pitch' that changes it all

Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) is the backbone of Aussie tourism. They serve as the technical powerhouse for all things digital and connect the industry down under with the right organisations and people. So it's about time their visual identity reflected the leading stance in the market. 

Here's the catch - as a government body, there are a few hoops to jump through in order to undergo a complete rebrand. ATDW needed to dip their toes in and test out the potential of what could be before the board approved the full sha-bang. 

That's how we landed with a tricky brief. A 'lightning brand refresh'. Push it 10% further through a new logo and pitch deck to present to the board. It needed to be mature and clean but also pay tribute to the original brand. The CEO Jan and Industry Partnerships Manager Callum would then use these new assets to pitch the 2021 mission and get this baby off the ground for good.


Mapping out the dos & donts

We kicked things off with a workshop and talked colours, flexibility on fonts, mark lockup, likes & dislikes and visual elements. It was pretty important to lay out the barriers to what we could and couldn't do. 

An entire rebrand would be too innovative for the board, but failure to push it far enough may render a rebrand undervalued. We had to find that sweet spot in between.    

Logo Design

Creating a new(ish) logo

The new logo design would dictate our approach for the slide deck, so we started at the top and worked down from here. The crew (Strategist, PM + Designer) ran through a collaborative sesh to come up with a few alternative marks. 

We ended up pushing things much further than 10%, but me oh my, was it worth it. We maintained the existing colours but leaned more heavily into a white and deep navy palette to elevate the brand as contemporary. 

The term 'Australian Tourism' was important. So we brought that to the front through the new word lockup and a sleek map of Oz. The typeface elevates the mark from circa 2001 to a fresh, tech leader. 

Visual Identity

Creating a visual framework

Once we had the mark locked down, it was time to expand this into a compact but concrete visual identity. Our designer explored image treatment, colour combos and visual elements for the slide deck.

We landed on simple typography coupled quality images. Each slide had either a plain white or navy background with subtle splashes of orange and light blue (a call back to the current brand). 

We also introduced a diamond and line flourishing which represented ATDW connecting people and organisations with Australian tourism. 

Document Design

You're only as good as your images

Once we layed hands on Jan & Callum's draft content, we knucked down on executing the visual identity within the context of the slide deck. 

Never underestimate good quality imagery. The use of high res shots of Australian landmarks and wildlife elevated the doc ten-fold. 

It was a collaborative process as the ATDW team raced against the clock to finalise their content. We handed over our working file so the crew could use it as needed. 

Final Review

The cherry on top

With a delicate brief, more pages required than initially expected and a tight timeframe, Ply happily put in some hard yards and extra value-added hours to bring it over the line.

Jan & Callum took the new deck with updated visual ID to their board meeting and the reaction was emphatically positive.

I can’t thank you enough. What you’ve delivered is perfect and I’m proud to share this with our board. Thank you for your hours invested in managing this process, and your attention to detail. It’s very appreciated.  

- Jan Hutton, CEO

Taking the takeaways

You don't know, what you don't know

The initial brief was to push the logo forward (give or take 10%) without compromising on the original brand. But we quickly realised that we had much more creative freedom than that. It was one of those learnings to not always take a brief at face value. This process highlighted the value of our strategy and concept phase. It allowed a few iterations that got the brand to where it is today. 

Be candid

This project was tight. Tight deadline, tight scope, tight budget. It was pretty damn important to get a solution quickly and triage any feedback to keep the ball rolling. This was achievable thanks to the team - on both ends. We were able to speak openly and freely about likes and dislikes, challenges and constraints. By keeping an open mind we collaboratively reached a top outcome in time + valued and respected each other's concerns along the way. 

Stay fluid and flexible

We had a scope to stick to and our typical process to follow. But throughout that journey, we also remained fairly reactionary and versatile. We needed to shape our scope to fit ATDW's requirements as they unravelled throughout the project. 

For example, our time on the logo mark took longer than expected but we were willing to push it that bit further to reach a happy outcome. We then pulled back on time for infographics within the slide deck to balance things out. Our time on the brand mark was weighted as more valuable. First impressions count.

Oh boy that was interesting, ready for another one?