The RocksBrand identity / Art direction / Activation
It’s the first stop for most visitors to Sydney, but when Sydneysiders think of The Rocks, the words ‘tourist’ and ‘trap’ might be among the first to spring to mind. Our brief, in a nutshell, was to build a brand identity system to help re-energise the precinct. To help provide a catalyst to unite tenants and bring back the romance of The Rocks, in a way that appeals to visitors and locals alike.
The Rocks has literally been shaped by the hands of the people that have lived here. From the hands of the world’s most ancient culture, to the hands that carved it out of the rock and those who fought to save it from developers in the 70s. And after a period of research, interviews and workshops with the client, we landed on the brand idea – ‘Made By Many Hands’.
The new identity celebrates the people behind the place. The logo, reminiscent of a bolt, holds the brand together, while the colour palette, backgrounds and physical signage are influenced by the textures of the materials found in the precinct.
Commissioned photographers document the present for future generations, while archived imagery gives us view into the past. We always include the date, subject and photographer to cement the time and place.
The brand’s language brings the stories of The Rocks to life. Drawing people in by drawing out the character of the people, places, events and experiences – allowing everyone to be heard. It’s emotive, something to savour and get lost in (like a good book).
The identity stretches to events – influencing themes, performers and stall holders as well as communications. The new brand was launched with Aroma Festival, the biggest event on The Rocks’ calendar. Which was closely followed by The Village Bizarre a couple of months later. (There’s more to come on this soon.)
The Rocks is home to a number of different tenants, and has a complex retail, food and beverage offering – from Subway and souvenirs to old pubs, fine dining restaurants and a world class gallery. But rather than use the brand to impose conformity, the new brand system is being used to bring unity to the precinct.
Every element of the brand encourages you to slow down, take your time and savour the surroundings. Hopefully, the new brand will encourage people to connect with The Rocks so it won’t just be a place to take overseas visitors, but somewhere to spend time regularly.
Made by many legends, but in no particular order: