[MEL17]

2017 Melbourne Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Link Group: One Company – Connected [DRAFT]



 
Image Credit : Ant Newman, Peter Bennetts

Website

Gold 

Project Overview

Building upon rapid expansion, business acquisitions and technology investment, Link Group’s new Melbourne base located in Tower 4, Collins Square forms part of their global growth strategy. The move presented them with an opportunity to redefine their corporate vision through a bespoke environmental graphics system.

Project Commissioner

Link Group

Project Creator

GroupGSA Pty Ltd

Team

Anthony Newman - Design Lead
Barbara Beckmann - Graphic Designer and Art Worker

Project Brief

GroupGSA has been the custodian of designing workplace environments for Link Group throughout Australia for over 10 years. The custom designed 25,000sqm workplace is spread over 10 interconnecting storeys, with the dominant architectural feature being a 15 storey vertical green wall and void space. The GroupGSA Graphics Team was engaged to support and strengthen the workplace interiors, primarily through the use of branded environmental graphics. The main areas identified for graphics were on either side of the green wall, with multiple floors visible at any one time from the atrium and internal stairways. Graphics were also required in all lift lobbies and across office glazing for privacy.
 
One of the main objectives of the project was to create a working environment focused on supporting the health and wellbeing of the 2200 employees. The graphics needed to seamlessly integrate with the interior fit out, but also visually connect the open workspace. 

Project Innovation/Need

Evolving the environmental graphics from the existing circular brand language, and drawing heavily from the green wall, initial concepts explored an organic, DNA like structure representing the Link Group of the future – one company, connected. Keeping the concept rooted in Link’s core of information and technology, the 10-storey graphic structure was interpreted as data streams weaving their way up and down the building. The individual circles began to visually represent the multitude of data moving throughout the company and by varying the density, colour and size of the circles, the design team was able to manipulate the overall impact the graphics would have on the staff. 

The graphics needed to work from a distance as a whole system, but also at close range in isolation. The solution came in the main streams of dots being visible from almost anywhere on the floor, supported by an intricate mesh system which only becomes evident at close range. To tie back to the brand, the mesh was coloured in Link’s corporate orange which subtly reinforces connectivity. 

Where possible, existing branding devices were used to retain brand connection. There was further opportunity to develop the brand language through Link Group’s value statements that are located in almost all lift lobbies. The building's core was painted black, and by retaining the curvy organic nature of the green wall environmental graphics, staff are led in and out of the space by a sophisticated arrangement of flowing horizontal dots.

Design Challenge

The challenges faced by the design team included evolving the brand language into a large scale environmental setting, visually uniting many businesses under one umbrella, and complementing the enormous green wall. Not having extensively detailed branding guidelines was seen as a rare opportunity to design a new environmental graphic system that was uniquely bespoke for the space.

Effectiveness

The response from employees and leadership to their new environment has been extraordinarily positive. Link Group is extremely happy with their new Melbourne base, so much so, that they now hold their Annual General Meetings there instead of Sydney, as a way of showcasing their vision and values to their stakeholders.

By utilising the unique green wall and void space, and successfully extending their brand language, Link Group now has a work environment that is calming and supportive of its corporate values, but more importantly has set a benchmark for its future workplace culture, well into the future.




This award celebrates creativity and innovation in the intersection of communication design and the built environment, and is concerned with the visual aspects of wayfinding, communication identity and brands, information design and shaping the idea of place. Consideration given to clarity of communication and the matching of information style to audience.
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