Macquarie Square is a new office and retail precinct in the heart of Macquarie Park. Centred around a 7000sqm public park, the precinct is designed to take all the ingredients of a modern marketplace and bring them together into a new type of destination, open to all. Here technology, commerce, innovation, wellbeing, culture, events, nature and more merge in fresh, exciting ways.
As John Holland’s first project as a developer, they are deeply invested in demonstrating the difference they bring to a project of this scale and potential. Our brief was to create a brand that could excite people around their new approach to creating a marketplace of potential that blends work and life, enabling people and businesses to thrive.
Today, life and work are so blended that ‘lifestyle’ has become critical to the success of commercial precincts. This is particularly true for locations such as Macquarie Park, which are often seen as too remote from the action of places like the CBD. The vision for Macquarie Square is to deliver the type of lifestyle normally expected of the inner city on the site itself – including micro-breweries, restaurants, bars, gym, running tracks and even a boutique hotel.
“With such a large development, it was critical that the branding could set up a new destination and ladder into many different buildings and features, from large commercial offices to cool microbreweries.”
To attract businesses, John Holland needed to create a brand that communicated a genuine lifestyle promise and an authentic sense of place.
Having worked closely with John Holland on developing its brand, anchored in the idea of ‘Transforming Lives’, Macquarie Square was an opportunity to show the difference this approach makes to a development.
We tapped into the heritage of the site, which was once abundant with orchards, and created a lifestyle brand that feels fresh and vibrant. It positions Macquarie Square as more than a place to work, but rather a marketplace of potential that blends work and life, enabling people and businesses to thrive.
The core creative idea comes from the site’s roots as an orchard. The logo is formed from a series of trees comprised by the repetition of the letter ‘m’ in the precinct name.
Used throughout as a graphic element, the orchard-tree logo also holds key messages and is accompanied by icons to make it easier to understand the diverse choices on offer. The design intent was to create a brand that feels approachable and community-led, reflected in the use of a soft, natural palette, a friendly, news-style font and graphic elements such as stamps and iconography to tell the modern marketplace story in a contemporary way.
“This project’s success is a testament to true collaboration. John Holland is a visionary partner who recognises that the office market is changing, and our ability to bring their vision to life as a genuine lifestyle brand puts them in a position of strategic leadership in a highly contested market.”
The brand launch has driven above market interest in both the commercial and retail spaces in the precinct’s first release, with the difference in approach to the brand that helping them stand out from the crowd and secure strong leads in a hotly contested market.
“John Holland approached Frost* with a very tight programme and large scope of works, which we were unsure we could achieve. Frost* was creative, professional and organised and within a week, they presented four entire concepts, which we loved. We sprinted to the finish line with time to spare. The outcome was spectacular, culminating in a successful brand launch and subsequent financial returns. I wouldn’t hesitate in working with Frost* again or recommending them to others.”
Finalist, Design Communication
NZ Best Awards, 2020