One thing that is changing is the way brands are interacting with audiences. People talk a lot about brand storytelling. Storytelling to me is a one-way flow, and people don’t buy into that anymore. Most of our experiences are a series of micro-events that add up to something. With a multi-disciplinary approach, which is what we’ve taken, we’re able to manage lots of fingertip events that add up to something bigger, rather than saying I’ve got a story and I’m going to tame the market with it. Value has changed, and probably the biggest thing that will change in the market is people’s perception of value. Value is only what you choose to call important, and what you choose to call important changes all the time. So if design really wants to create value for business, first of all it needs to figure out what it means in the market, then how to capture it, turn it into an offering and deliver it. (Dean Poole in Prodesign, 2009.)
The main part of the Auckland Art Gallery was closed while I was there in 2009. Finally, on September 3rd this year, it reopened after many years of redevelopment. They’ve also got a new identity, created by Auckland-based buzz agency Alt Group. Alt Group was started by two alumni of Elam School of Fine Art eight years ago and have recently won several Best New Zealand Design Awards as well as international awards. The best thing about the new branding is perhaps not the typographic quality of the rather cumbersome logo above, but how the concept lends itself beautifully to adaptations across all media, from signage to marketing campaigns and merchandise. Literally the dream of any copywriter! Look below for some examples, and check Idealog for more pictures and NZ design journal Prodesign for the full interview with founders Poole and Corban, quoted above.
Alt Group have also created the current website for reknowned architecture firm Warren & Mahoney, responsible for such classic buildings as Christchurch’s Town Hall (completed 1972). The building was severely damaged in the earthquake and still faces a small risk of needing demolition.