2018 Sydney Design Awards

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

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Nothern Beaches Council Rebrand [DRAFT]




Project Overview

The Northern Beaches Council was formed through the amalgamation of the Pittwater, Warringah and Manly councils in early 2017.

The newly formed council needed a captivating visual identity to reflect the wonderful community and unique lifestyle of all three areas.

This led to the creation of something altogether extraordinary.

Project Commissioner

Northern Beaches Council

Project Creator



Sandy Belford - Director
Debbie Spence - Strategy Director
Tui Horo - Group Account Director
Renee Stekel - Account Manager
James Welch - Design Director
Simon Wright - Executive Creative Director
Darren Swain - Creative Director
David Cunningham - Head of Production and Finished Art
Dean Varndell - Head of Design Implementation
Agus Wijaya - Senior Designer

Project Brief

It was extremely important to the new council for the identity to represent all three areas. Our challenge was to create a new identity for the organisation, while ensuring residents had a say.

With that in mind, we set out to engage as many locals as we could so they could have a voice in both the thinking behind the brand strategy, and the creation of the new identity.

Project Innovation/Need

The Northern Beaches Council was fortunate the name (and place) ‘Northern Beaches’ was already highly recognisable by residents of all three areas (as well as Sydneysiders in general).

The Northern Beaches is known for its nature (beach and bush), its relaxed lifestyle, and strong sense of place. These traits drive a deep love of the outdoors and a sense of community – with no boundaries to socialising, high levels of volunteering and an entrepreneurial spirit.

We consulted people from all corners of the community in order to better understand the culture that makes the Northern Beaches so special. It didn’t take long to realise that the overwhelming feeling amongst locals is that the Northern Beaches are ‘altogether extraordinary’.

In total, over 2000 people across the three former council areas gave their opinions through workshops, and as advisers on the new brand.

Design Challenge

Every corner of the Northern Beaches is represented by iconic elements and characters. Our design challenge was to create an identity that brought all of these together in one strong, unique and extraordinary brand.

That’s when we had a brainwave…of sorts.

We based the new identity on a wave, one that was made up of all the symbols that represent the beating heart of the Northern Beaches.

In order to do this, we consulted community groups across the area to find out which symbols best represented the people and the place they call home. These included the Pelican, the Weedy Sea Dragon and the surfboard.


The new identity was launched in July 2017. Since then, it has won two international awards, including a Distinction in the 2018 ReBrand Global Design Awards.

It has also been well received by the community, creating a sense of familiarity and a deeper connection for all those who call the Northern Beaches home.

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