2013 Melbourne Design Awards

David Lock Associates Website [DRAFT]



Project Overview

David Lock Associates has transformed their online presence from a single holding page to a dynamic, engaging and thought-provoking site. A site that is rich with content, easy to navigate and equally easy to manage. And a site that has positioned this specialised town planning and urban design consultancy as not just a leader and innovator in their field, but an important voice for the industry both locally and internationally.

Project Commissioner

David Lock Associates

Project Creator

TANK Branding


David Lock Associates:
David Klingberg
Kathryn Cuddihy
Mark Sheppard
Rupert Dance
Max Walton

TANK Branding:
Jim Antonopoulos
Michelle Jeavons
Tim Heraud
Richard Ferrar
Phoebe Jamieson
Dylan Nichols

Project Brief

Town planning and urban design consultancy, David Lock Associates, approached us with a brand problem. With their origins in the UK, but operating in Melbourne and Sydney since 1997, they needed an identity and presence online which was unique to the local marketplace and positioned the firm as a thought leader.

Working collaboratively with their team, we developed a brand and content strategy so that they could have a bigger conversation' about urban planning – a conversation that allowed the firm to focus on the human factor, legacy and future of urban planning.

This culminated in the simple brand idea, 'the people and places of tomorrow'.

The result was a game-changing website for David Lock Associates – rich with visually stunning imagery; innovative and adaptive design; and engaging, easily navigable content. Importantly, it also created a powerful and influential resource for the broader urban design industry, both locally and internationally.

Project Need

How could we embrace the idea of the people and places of tomorrow? The answer was to be brave and genuine in our treatment. And lead from the front – just like David Lock Associates.

So we took a risk, moving away from safe images of dry buildings and renderings common to competitors, instead adopting a cinematic feel of large scale emotive imagery as the focal point. Images that were human and full of life; mirroring the energy of David Lock Associates – and the projects they influence.

This approach was further enhanced with thought-leading quotations, highly interactive content, and a vibrant colour palette – adding to the dynamic nature of the site. The interactive image gallery is a prime example.

The combination of iconography and colour made the content incredibly easy to navigate – a critical functional element. Also critical was the ability to use and share the information, whether through social networks, emailing or printing out sections.

We also created the My DLA function, allowing users to group content and share info in an easy to use form. In this way, they could have a ‘bigger conversation’ inspired by David Lock Associates.

Design Challenge

In our strategic process, we identified three key audiences that David Lock Associates wanted to reach and influence – the employee, the potential client and the potential partner. One constant across all three groups was the need to create a site rich with content and layers of information that was seamless, quick to load, easy to navigate and allowed each audience to customise their experience. And to share this information.

The biggest challenge was to create a site that could handle a complex degree of information in a way that was simple for the viewer to navigate and David Lock Associates to format. We developed a CMS system that would allow the in-house team to upload one set of information, and manage it across multiple areas within the site – appearing in a case study, e-newsletter item, or an article under a specific category.

In this way the audience could interact with the content in various forms, and tailor their experience depending on their interest. And in creating a highly user friendly CMS system for David Lock Associates, the site could easily grow and evolve over time. Just like cities themselves.


We believe creativity can change the world, and look to CSR initiatives that have real meaning to us as an agency. Initiatives like our Design Can Change membership (part of a worldwide community of creative firms who have made a pledge to sustainable design), or our ongoing commitment to supporting the community through pro bono activities and mentoring.

Working with like-minded organisations is also very important to us – which makes our relationship with David Lock Associates even more rewarding. Their philanthropic philosophy has seen them donate their time and skills to organisations such as Engineers Without Borders and Sunrise Children’s Home. And one of the key drivers of their new website was to place and share most of their content online to reduce their paper usage.

We are also serious about minimising our environmental footprint; participating in the CitySwitch Energy Efficiency program and achieving carbon neutral status. We actively pursue sustainable methods for our daily interactions with clients, such as avoiding unnecessary travel by using video and audio conferencing, telephone and email; as well as utilising a range of online proofing methods to minimise paper usage. Small actions that can have a big impact.

This award celebrates innovation and creativity in design of a unique user experience in the combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, and interactivity content for websites. Consideration given to clarity of communication and the matching information style to audience.


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