For over 100 years the railway workshops at Eveleigh were a centre of industry, driving Australia’s progress as a nation. With a new use focused on acting as an incubator for innovation in FinTech, retail and other industries, a new brand was central to bringing this iconic site back to life.
After its use as a railway workshop, this historic site had been converted into Australian Technology Park, which despite its ambitious name had become a more like a standard business park, and had come to feel like a citadel – closed to those who didn’t work there.
Our brief was to reinvigorate the place with a brand that could power the next generation of innovation as well as reconnecting people with this important heritage destination. The new brand needed to span both old and new, and many different uses. Most importantly, it needed to create a sense of welcome for all.
With such an iconic place, understanding the views of future users and stakeholders was central to our process. After extensive consultation, our strategy was to reinstate the site’s original name, recognising that South Eveleigh should be celebrated for its role in Australia’s history, and given back to the local community.
The brand strategy recognises that what has always sat at the heart of this place is a sense of industry. What looks like heritage today was once at the cutting edge. So, it was totally appropriate to anchor the brand in the idea ‘The new industry’.
“In reinstating the Eveleigh name we are recognising the significance of the original Eveleigh workshops that provided opportunity to past indigenous generations and ensuring that they feel a part of its future. Now it’s the place that’s driving the tech revolution forward. Here past and present, large and small, edgy and modern, innovators and community will come together to forge the ideas of tomorrow. The industrial will take on new dimensions – from the re-invigoration of a prized heritage site, to advances in FinTech and the latest in artisanal food manufacturing experiences.”
The South Eveleigh identity is equally inspired by the site’s heritage and technological future.
The logo is comprised of a number of elements that draw from the railway heritage – rivets, sawtooth and track. Each of these is repurposed into type and pattern that’s also evocative of the new tech nature of the site. The references to manufacturing also connect beautifully to the retail concept that features artisanal producers and food entrepreneurs.
The brand is designed to work especially well on unexpected touchpoints such as t-shirts, bags and merchandise so that these can be integrated into community and worker events. These literally allow people to wear the brand and develop a sense of belonging and engagement.
A dynamic language of patterns and icons, applied with vibrant colour, create the right level of energy fit for a place that has always and will continue to stand for being truly industrious.
As well as creating the brand design, we developed the signage system for the new precinct. This was designed to use the same system as Council street signage so that it morphed back into the local area. A diverse range of communications including presentations, motion graphics and video were created to share the story of the new brand.
The new brand was been successful in supporting both commercial and retail leasing for the site, which is now the home to some 10,000 Commonwealth Bank workers and its lead FinTech operations. It has also been at the heart of community engagement and events which are successfully bringing nearby locals back to the site. The social impact of restoring the name cannot be underestimated, and the name South Eveleigh can now be seen on directional street signs – a true measure of its success in creating a brand that has been genuinely adopted as a new destination.
“South Eveleigh will be a dynamic and exciting place for all, and one that maximises Australia’s industrious spirit in bringing change to life.”