2018 GOV Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital, service design & experience design, design champion, best project, best transformation, best innovation plus specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design





Project Overview

The Invictus Games is an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and ill serving and veteran defence personnel.
The Invictus Games highlights the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for the wounded, injured and ill men and women who have bravely served their countries.
Prince Harry founded the Invictus Games in 2014 in London. The Invictus Games moved to Orlando in 2016, and Toronto, Canada in September 2017.
Sydney will host the fourth Invictus Games in October 2018 with events across Greater Sydney and on and around Sydney Harbour. More than 500 competitors from 18 nations will be in Sydney along with 1000 accompanying family and friends.
How do you extend an existing global master brand identity, with its own strict guidelines and governance, into the Australian environment using a distinctive Look design that enhances the master brand, but also encourages the start of a local conversation? How do you create a Look that can be owned by the local host organisation as a valuable marketing asset, with an image that attracts attention and a story that generates support? It was a difficult challenge.
The R-Co process gave a framework for the strategic development of the Look idea and creative execution. It provided confidence to the client that the solution would be based upon sound thinking. The creative idea of “Down Under” was dovetailed with the master brand identity, supported by a series of call to action headlines.

Project Commissioner

AIMG Invictus Games Sydney 2018

Project Creator

R-Co Brand


Creative Director Richard Henderson
Creative Writer Vicki Boerema
Design Director Michael Canturi
Designer Peter Nedanovski
Digital Artist Simon Mariani

Project Brief

To brand the Invictus Games event in Sydney 2018 by clearly identifying the Australian nature of the games and the attitude of both ‘place’ (Sydney Australia) and ‘competitor’ (desire to compete).
To develop a visual language that supported the identity, and enabled efficient application across a multitude of channels – print, outdoor, digital media and event.
To use the visual language to connect with other stakeholders/organisations so they could identify their participation.
To use the identity to enhance the significance of the Invictus Games in Australia; provide a compelling distinction; elevate the impression with disciplined process and designed outcomes; promote greater awareness of the contribution that competitors and their families have made through service and sacrifice; encourage participation at games time and attract sponsors to ensure that the visual identity program added commercial value to the Invictus Games in Sydney Australia 2018.

Project Innovation/Need

Through the use of strategic design thinking that imaginatively and succinctly captioned the essence of Australian sporting attitude and sense of place within four words, a unique brand statement has been created. The use of a globally recognised cliche ‘Down Under’ with the call to action “Game On” provides a refreshing and innovative brand design solution.
The simplicity of the statement which captures the character of what it means to be an Australian demonstrates the power of creative thinking and the contribution that imagination can have to the business agenda. The use of language as the basis of the identity expresses distinction and through engaging statements invites a ‘conversation’ with the brand.

Design Challenge

The design challenge was to conform to the Invictus Games master brand guidelines and create a brand identity that resonated with the AIMG Invictus Games Board, the patron Prince Harry, and the governing bodies in UK. Critically the identity was required to appeal to competitors and their family around the world, as well as create enthusiasm with spectators, stakeholders and the community.
Limited corporate colour palette and a requirement to compliment, not detract from, the master brand of Invictus Games, meant that the opportunity to add additional elements was limited.


The brand identity has been enthusiastically embraced by the Invictus Board (local and global) and stakeholders. The design of all the visual elements within a disciplined and minimal graphic framework has resulted in significant production efficiencies because of its template approach.
Interest in the design with it’s clever expression, communicating both character and sporting attitude, has been embraced by all.
Presenting the Australian brand in an intelligent, but engaging way demonstrates that good design can have significant impact cross all measurables, but at the same time is inclusive and ultimately uplifting.


This award celebrates creative and innovative design in the traditional or digital visual representation of brand, ideas and messages. Consideration given to clarity of communication, representation of brand values and the matching information style to audience.
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