Fresh From The Field — Creative HQ – Brand Identity – By Ocean Design

2 weeks ago by

Ocean Design shared with us their design response behind their recent brand strategy and identity work for Creative HQ.

After conducting research to hear from stakeholders, partners, and staff, the Ocean Design team identified a key connection – the ability to inspire bravery – as the link between all of Creative HQ’s programmes and used this as the foundation for the new vibrant and energetic visual identity.

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The Brief:
Creative HQ was a house of brands. Programmes like Lightning Lab and NZ GovTech Accelerator successfully grew independently of the Creative HQ brand. But their separate identities made it hard for audiences to connect them back to Creative HQ.

The challenge was to help Creative HQ to connect these brands and grow greater visibility. To show their significant contribution to Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington and Aotearoa New Zealand, and the impact they’ve had on the people they work with. Creative HQ needed cohesion and inspiration, so that their people could share the same story of who they are and the amazing mahi they do.

The Design Response:
Our vision was to revitalise, modernise, and simplify the Creative HQ brand. We wanted to add dynamic drive to the brand to enable it to evolve with their audience and people.

We started with the brand strategy and dived deep into understanding Creative HQ from the inside out. We interviewed stakeholders and partners from government and local government and ran staff workshops.

We found a key connection between all Creative HQ’s programmes: the ability to inspire bravery. Creative HQ gives people the confidence they need to play on the edge and become innovators, changemakers and entrepreneurs.


This understanding informed our new brand architecture and became the basis of a new brand strategy to help the organisation understand what makes them unique.

Underpinned by ‘inspiring bravery’, we developed a vibrant and energetic visual identity, including an animated logo, and a fresh new set of tone of voice guidelines. We took a modern approach and developed a suite of brand lines to allow flexibility and inclusion for different audiences, while still strongly linking to the brand idea and tone of voice.

The revitalised brand now reflects who Creative HQ are today and its aspirations for Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, and the world. The only question is: are you ready to play on the edge?

The Design Team:
Matt Everitt – Te Kaiwhaitohu / Designer
Frances Speer – Te Kairāranga Kōrero / Writer
Matt Heays – Te Pou Arahi / Creative Director
Anna Tulloch – Te Tauihu / Account Manager
Blair Mainwaring – Te Kaihautu / CEO
Clare Garner – Te Taurapa / Design Strategist
Lucie Blaževská – Te Kaiwhaitohu / Designer
Instagram – @oceandesigngroup
Facebook – Ocean Design
Linkedin – Ocean Design

The Client Team:
Creative HQ
Instagram – @creativehq
Facebook – Creative HQ
Linkedin – Creative HQ

Ciara Craiag – GM Engagement
Kelcey Braine – Design and brand
Alessandra Orsi – Digital Growth Manager
So-Young Cho – Digital Coordinator


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