Frost*collective 36 Nine Entertainment Company

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Benjamin Hennessy
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Adam Longo
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Member
    Lalitha Balasubramanian
  • Client
    Nine Entertainment Company

Brief & context
Following their landmark merger with Fairfax, Nine Entertainment Company needed to bring their new brands and staff together in one place. The new building, “a campus for creativity”, was set to connect television studios, radio broadcasters, historical print publications, digital sites and video streaming platforms under one roof. Our brief was to develop a signage, wayfinding and interpretive graphic system that would help unite and shape the future workplace of Australia’s largest media player.

To bring everyone together, we needed to ensure our system would respect the history of each brand while honouring Nine’s distinct identity and celebrating their new status in the media landscape – showcasing a common culture amongst the building to break down each business silo, while encouraging connection and collaboration to grow networks – delivering on their ‘campus for creativity’ vision. We looked to develop timeless signage to mirror their state-of-the-art modern facilities, but could be easily refreshed within their allocated budget. For wayfinding, we considered best-practice signage that would bring Nine and each brand identity to life while remaining intuitive so all users – be they Nine staff, visitors or trade services, can navigate around the unified workplace easily.

Concept & execution
Our concept ‘Connections’ envisages the workplace as a matrix of unique brands and identities that are interconnected by the new Nine brand. The iconic nine circles are deconstructed to inspire our elegant line-and-dot graphic device, creating a simple and subtle link to the brand that reflects the curved black framework of the building’s interior, while also helping guide navigation and connect each brand together: a primary driver of the workplace’s unified vision.

By playing with form, scale and materiality – the device adapted to a wide range of visual and functional uses across the workplace: from floor-to-ceiling level identification, lobby placemaking, the construction of signage, the flexible magnetic tags on directory maps, the use of lighting, to the design of simple pictograms and wayfinding.

To accommodate a limited budget, sign-forms are kept minimal, statement graphics are primarily vinyl and use proportionally sized panels. The system is modular, allowing panels to be replaced easily for changes to information.

Interpretive graphics utilise grids and frames to create a system for each brand to exhibit their unique artefacts and imagery on an evolving heritage wall - celebrating milestones and engaging employees to connect to their workplace. An intentional neutral colour palette removes any specific brand colours or imagery from signage. This ensures that the “tribes” within the workplace are represented fairly, retain their core values, while also unifying and collaborating within the new Nine Entertainment workplace.

Overall, our graphic, signage and wayfinding system connects staff and visitors to the building, each brand, each unique heritage, each achievement and each other. Along corridors, signage, lobbies and lifts – the bold graphic treatment reflects the gravitas of the new company, helping create a proud and unified working environment for the brands and people that are shaping the Australian media landscape, now and into the future.