Design Communication Associates is a collective, where experience in branding, communications and design is orchestrated for the benefit of our clients’ businesses. 

Our group includes strategists, brand masters, content creators, design thinkers, researchers and digital craftspeople. Our engagement with some of the most influential brands across several continents has given rise to our unique ability to think clearly and strategically about brands and the connections they make to the world.  

We work with our clients to understand the purpose that drives their businesses. We then delight in crafting the campaigns and communications to move them forward, connecting with a designated audience and managing every stakeholder along the way. 

Our approach to brand communications is anchored in design thinking which is by definition strategic and creative. 

Our specialisations in brand strategy, brand design, corporate and marketing communications and digital media are harmonised and cross referenced in every project we undertake. 

THE DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE FORECAST

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In 2016, DCA conceived and created a comprehensive trend and forecasting report for the Australian design, architecture and built environment sectors. Published by Niche Media, the inaugural edition featured writing by Stephen Todd, Design Editor of the AFR Magazine and Dr Paul McGillick, architectural writer and editor. 

Building on an exhaustive analysis of current social, socio-demographic and economic research, the Forecast looks at how we need to design and build for the society we envision. Trends were organised into short, medium and long term futures. 

A series of lectures, events and targeted consultations are associated with the Forecast, providing thought leadership to the design industry. 

POPOVBASS

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SYDNEY
2017 AND ONGOING

PopovBass, founded in 1983 by Alex Popov, create buildings that are inscribed in the history of the built environment of Sydney and beyond. We were approached to assist the practice with a definition of its brand and to create an associated plan for communications to all audiences. In conjunction with the reveal of several high profile projects, we strategised an overall campaign of how this venerable practice could effectively embrace new and traditional media to reconnect with a broader audience and influencers. 

Photography: Michael Nicholson

JAMES HARDIE

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DCA provides research findings, analysis and market intelligence to James Hardie Australia for their residential and commercial products sales and marketing efforts. Our work has verified the role for James Hardie’s products in a new era of standards and specifications in the building industry, while helping James Hardie to connect with the design sector. 

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AGL ENERGY

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AGL needed a brand audit and a strategy to cope with rapid change in the electricity market. With 6.5 million customers, they wanted to secure loyalty in a sector which was volatile and expanding. Working directly with the CEO and the AGL Head of Brand, we recommended a comprehensive brand refresh which was executed by Sydney’s Moon Design. We also strategised and planned a new sustainable energy consumer ecosystem called ‘AGL Bright’.

BARANGAROO

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BARANGAROO DELIVERY AUTHORITY
SYDNEY 2011 TO 2013

Barangaroo is a colossal redevelopment of Sydney’s Western CBD, covering 22 hectares with over $6B investment in the creation of new public, residential and commercial space, including the first new major park to be created in Sydney in decades. In 2011, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority needed to communicate the project to everyone in Sydney, building enthusiasm and anticipation in advance of the arrival of the built environment in 2015.

Design Communication worked with Sydney’s Brand Council and Melbourne’s Emery Studio to provide scope and direction to the brand positioning and brand development for the entire Barangaroo precinct, including the brand and place architectures. During the development of the brand fundamentals, we advised on communications and campaigns for the BDA, and managed the execution of the Authority’s marketing activities across diverse channels. This included the planning and strategy behind special audience development including on-line audiences and the management of the Authority’s public consultation and polling.

SJB

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MELBOURNE 2003

Synman, Justin, Bialek was a household word in the Melbourne architecture community. The directors had built successful practices in architecture, interiors and planning and within the practice there were several joint ventures with external entities. What was missing was a strategy for the brand. How did the directors address their upcoming retirement and give new life and enthusiasm to the practice for the new generation they had mentored? How could the depth of the offer be explained and communicated? What sort of approach was necessary when thinking about offices in Sydney and Melbourne and how would the brand be managed?

We worked with the directors for a period of six months to determine a strategic plan for the brand aligned to the business. A name change was proposed to SJB. The foundations for the expansion of the practice to Sydney and the growth and success that would be realised to the present day were established.

QUEENSLAND RESOURCES COUNCIL

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RESOURCES FOR QUEENSLAND 2013

The Queensland Resources Council was witnessing an erosion of public support and a lack of visibility for the community engagement activities of their members, eroding their social licence to operate. Following comprehensive research, we identified dozens of stories of the QRC membership supporting research and innovation in the health, education, environment and arts sectors. Most, if not all, were hidden from public view. We brought these stories to life using film and video on a digital platform called Resources For Queensland, developing the narrative of those benefitting from the support the industry was giving to communities across Queensland. 

DESIGN THINKING FOR AGED CARE

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THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

From the research base and predictive analysis of the impact of ageing populations on the built environment we developed for the 2016 Design & Architecture Forecast, we have developed several programs and consultancies in the aged care sector. We have presented design thinking events for the aged care sector in partnership with Interface, Shiavello and Woods Bagot Melbourne. We were asked to provide design thinking leadership to the Victorian Government’s Department of Human Services in their redesign of public facilities in that State. We are developing a vast program and model for collaboration and innovation in the aged care and learning sectors.

CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC

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UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY 2012-2014

Under the direction of a new Dean, Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music had set its sights very high indeed. Determined to be positioned in the top five music schools worldwide, The Con undertook its first ever branding campaign to draw attention to its remarkable (and mostly free) programs featuring the budding virtuosi of tomorrow. We worked in partnership with Feeder to re-brand The Con, and to highlight its achievements to the broadest public audience.

ARTS QUEENSLAND

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QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT
UNLIMITED: DESIGNING FOR THE ASIA PACIFIC 2010

The Queensland Premier initiated the Queensland Design Strategy 2020 which called for a concentration of effort and resources in design thinking and its application in key areas of innovation, education and services. A cornerstone of the strategy was the establishment of a Design Triennial in Brisbane, bringing the best design thinking from the entire Asia Pacific region to a major meeting.

Design Communication wrote the government’s business case for the conference, based on a massive research project that examined all government and private sponsored design thinking support across the entire Asia Pacific region. The business case became the blueprint for the inaugural Unlimited: Designing for the Asia Pacific Conference in 2010 and our mandate was expanded to include assisting Arts Queensland with the selection of the conference organisers and program.

RMIT

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DESIGN RESEARCH INSTITUTE
MELBOURNE 2008-2010

In 2008, with a move to the University’s new Design Hub still some years away, RMIT created a new intra-disciplinary research centre: The Design Research Institute. This new institute was conceived as a bridge between the University’s numerous design disciplines and the public, industry and the design community. Notably, an annual Design Challenge provided a new, substantial and highly visible design prize.

We advised the DRI on the development of its brand and provided strategic planning for the Institute’s activities and promotion over a three-year period. During this time we also assisted with the promotion of the Institute to national and international design press.

Bradford Gorman

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Bradford Gorman was director of creative services for Apple Computer Europe in Paris. Later establishing Design Communication in France, he worked on multi-national campaigns for British Rail, France Telecom, Groupe Danone, Euro-Disney and Apple France. He brought Design Communication to Sydney 20 years ago, providing strategy and creative campaigns for a vast range of companies, universities and organisations including AGL, Barangaroo, University of Sydney, RMIT, Arrow Energy and the governments of NSW, Queensland and the City of Sydney. For DCA’s clients he brings a refined understanding of deep purpose-led strategies and a decades-long involvement with digital. His work has been awarded in New York, Tokyo and London.  

Marcus Piper

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Marcus Piper is a creative director with international experience. Marcus looks at digital media through the prism of old methodologies and a strong editorial perspective. He has worked for Neville Brody’s Research Studios in London and was later founding art director of POL Oxygen, creative director for Habitus and Inside and editor and creative director of Mezzanine. He has designed or reimagined brands for Myer, Coles, Paspaley, Powerhouse Museum, Marcs, David Lawrence, Air New Zealand, Subaru, P&O Cruises Europe, Westfield UK, Somerset House, the British Crafts Council and Australian Institute of Architects.

Paul Costantoura

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Paul Costantoura fulfilled the hopes of his immigrant parents, completing degrees in genetics and International Law before the days of Facebook and Trump, in a world when facts were facts, and publications could be trusted. Drawn to Canberra by CSIRO to write about the work of Australia’s leading scientists, he transitioned through senior ranks of the bureaucracy to work in the inner sanctum of a Cabinet Minister’s staff. Switching to commercial research and communication, he found his way to London with Saatchi and Saatchi and the iconic Guinness brand, along the way writing a book Australians and the Arts launched by the Prime Minister, creating major work on reconciliation, climate change and election campaigns as well as countless studies supporting the development of major brands, products and services. He’s just at home analysing digital metrics, looking for the answers in a confused look or in a pile of numbers, and believes the truth always enhances the creative process.

To enquire about how we can collaborate, please contact:

Level 1 | 32 May Lane | Neutral Bay NSW 2089
P +61 2 9361 6845 | M +61 438 77 00 37

Or email us here

Photography: Anthony Geernaert