Meet our friends … KPMG
‘Meet our Friends‘ series is where we take a moment to celebrate and share a little about the diverse studios who make up our DA Friends.
From the daily 9am coffees at their inhouse café to working on a variety of both internal and co-branded projects, the creative team at KPMG give us a peak behind their work week.
Where are you based and what shape does the creative team at KPMG take?
The creative team is split into two locations: two in Wellington (soon to be moving into a brand-new building!) and 5 in the Auckland office. We’re based right in front of the Viaduct Harbour, providing us with some awesome, vibrant places to eat and grab coffee, all with a pretty sweet view!
Our team is made up of various skillsets, offering printed and digital designs solutions, campaigns, videography, motion graphics, podcasts, vodcasts and web streaming as well. We also have a PowerPoint specialist for all our presentation needs to support the wider business and win work. There’s also a gate keeper in the form of a team co-ordinator, who assesses and prioritises design requests, as well as managing pressure points and workload within the team.
The great thing about the team, with our various skills and backgrounds, is the way that different perspectives are brought together in any work that we put out. We’re all ready to jump in and help a fellow teammate with ideas or getting a project through the finish line.
Take us on a tour, what’s a typical week look like for your team?
We feel lucky in the creative team that we aren’t stuck at our desks writing reports or staring at Excel spreadsheets all day. While KPMG is primarily a corporate environment, there is a lot of variety in the requests that come through to the creative team which keeps us on our toes! We do, however, have a strict rule of grabbing our daily 9am coffee in our in-house café, weekly team meetings, and monthly creative breakfasts. We also have “Partner Shouts”, which is a way for the Partners (leaders) of KPMG to celebrate the efforts of the firm as a whole, with a different theme each month to keep things interesting.
Is there a project your team undertook in the last 12 months that was memorable because of its challenge? If so, what did you learn from it?
One of the more challenging projects this year has to be the Wairarapa Nohu video that was produced for the Economic and Social Development and Māori sector Hui in the Wairarapa. It took place over three days and defined one of the five areas of growth for KPMG IMPACT – our sustainability-focused service. The project was completed by one of our multidisciplinary designers, Renée Norman, who handled the location scouting, bringing all the gear, the videography, sound and editing, and ensuring that the end deliverable included cultural competence.
While there were many hats to wear over the course of this project, Renée was able to lean into her experience in film, while learning and adapting to the environmental challenges of the location. A project at times can be a lot of hard work, but from this comes personal growth and something to be proud of.
What does the KPMG design process and philosophy look like?
The design process really depends on the designer and the project that they are working on, as briefs for internal KPMG work have a different process to external client briefs. Designing for external clients requires us to research the brand through digital mediums like their social media and website to understand how their business and values align with ours. Equipped with all this knowledge, we are in the best position to make a co-branded piece of work that is creatively stimulating as we aren’t fully restricted to the KPMG brand.
Since covid there’s been a shift in the way many of us work. Can you tell us about the workplace culture at KPMG and how/if you’ve adapted your working style in the post-covid world and what tools/techniques you’ve adapted to stay connected as a team?
The workplace culture at KPMG is super inclusive. With social clubs, partner shouts, the annual workplace quiz (KPMG’s version of Family Feud!) and training opportunities, there are endless ways for everyone to develop as an employee. One of the KPMG Auckland Social Club aims is to bring people together, and while we weren’t able to physically catch up with one another during the lockdowns, they were still able to provide awesome people experiences for everyone at KPMG, such as the KPMG National Quiz Night – Home Edition.
Design Assembly also played a role in helping the creative team come together after the lockdowns. Despite having two separate creative teams in the same building (the Design Consulting team being the other) neither of us had properly met or had a chance to connect with each other. DA’s annual pub quiz allowed us to come together and enjoy an evening amongst the biggest design nerds in Auckland.
KPMG recognised that everyone has different preferences, needs and circumstances when it comes to how we work, and that flexible working, especially for the creative team, is beneficial as we all know we sometimes need to be in our own creative space! KPMG had flexi working in place well before Covid, and our Flex@KPMG policy means we can use work from home days and flexible working hours to successfully balance the collective needs of our teams, ourselves, and our communities, allowing us to learn and collaborate in new and different ways.
What recent achievements or projects is the KPMG design team most proud of?
KPMG IMPACT is our global approach to helping organisations be sustainable, resilient, inclusive, and focused on their impact. We’re partnering with Māori, public, and private sector organisations to positively impact the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
In order to support this global approach and the multi-disciplinary team working across KPMG, the creative team has been split across variable client-facing deliverables such as The Impact Report, which is a balanced and true account of our journey as a firm – acknowledging where we’re doing well and where we have room for improvement. Our team created a memorable look and feel across a range of materials such as screensavers, email signatures, online newsletters and videos, all supporting our commitment and offerings in the sustainability space.
Where to next for the creative team at KPMG, can you share what you’re working towards for 2022/23?
KPMG has recently gone through a global brand refresh, updating the brand’s look and feel to reflect the modern digital age. Our new visual identity brings the brand to life with updated video assets, images, banners, fonts and the addition of new colours, all signalling our technology-driven brand.
We are very excited to work with these new brand assets as the refresh allows us to be more flexible, push our creativity and make something we can be proud of, and we are all committed to delivering on it.