For The People 14 NSW Government

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Jason Little, Mel Baillache
  • Pou Rautaki / Strategic Leads
    Damian Borchok, Sammy Page
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Nicola Ferry
  • Kaituhi Matua / Copywriter Leads
    Mat Groom, Daniel St. Vincent
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Kimberly Luo, Atsaya Gabiryalpillai, Dash O'Brien, Dean Hastie, Andrew Sanney, Simon Blanckensee, Catherine Peacock, Kelsen Findlay, Georgia Urie, Cassie Ciccarelli, Mac Archibald
  • Client
    NSW Government

The NSW Government is the largest and arguably most complex organisation in Australia. With over eight million customers, 800+ external facing brands, and a range of services and responsibilities across the state, Government communication requirements are vast and complex. To effectively deliver services and information to the state, NSW Government required a holistic identity system that would reduce complexity, improve flexibility, and prioritise accessibility at scale.

Prior to this transformation, NSW Government was responsible for managing a large portfolio of departments, initiatives, brands and sub-brands — each with a multitude of individual brand systems. Managing these diverse brand expressions required a disproportionate amount of time and resources, and increased the complexities of Government interactions. To better serve its geographically and culturally diverse population (27% of whom speak English as a second language), NSW Government required an identity system that was flexible enough to accommodate the complexity of their needs, yet simple enough to be implemented by over 4000 people — many of whom had limited design experience. In the true spirit of service, the identity also needed to prioritise accessibility and uphold the right to communication without compromise.

We developed a holistic identity system designed to meet the needs of both Government and its citizens. The cohesive and modular design system relies on clear information navigation, and supports the use of colour and imagery in highly flexible ways. This allows communications to be easily adapted to different subject matter or mediums, while still strengthening masterbrand attribution across the range of Government services.

The identity also places inclusion and accessibility at its core, ensuring every citizen can access services and engage with their Government. With over 13 million Australians living with a long-term vision impairment, readability and legibility were of primary importance. Coloured text combinations were tested to ensure they met both AA and AAA standards. The open-source typeface, Public Sans, delivers on key accessibility requirements through larger x-heights, open counters, and clear differentiation between similar letter forms. With an expansive font family and supporting multilingual fonts, the typeface is capable of accommodating the 275 different languages spoken in NSW. Infographic styles were created to aid visibility of information, while illustration was included to reflect the diversity of people in the state. Finally, adjustments were made to the existing Waratah logo to improve legibility across all sizes and platforms.

The outcome is a design system that reduces the costs and complexities of Government communications, while driving accessibility and efficiency for the people they serve.

Since launching, the new brand identity has been:
- embraced by the whole of Government.
- placed in the hands of over 4,000 people.
- implemented across hundreds of departments, services and initiatives.
- heavily reduced costs associated with licensing, commissions and agency fees.

With its flexible and intuitive design, the new identity has empowered thousands of people to deliver better services through better communications. More broadly, the focus on accessibility has helped NSW Government set a benchmark for what an inclusive design system can and should be.