Finalist 2021

FSC Universe

Atollon / FSC Group

A team culture handbook that creates its own gravity and dares to dream of going to the stars.

FSC Universe documents the intersection between team culture and company strategy to communicate a growth plan. FSC’s team culture and work ethic is the star at the centre of their business universe. Its impacts and interconnectivity give a clear guide to FSC’s purpose and the meaning behind their expert technical consulting outcomes. Internally, this publication is the key to unlocking potential across all levels of FSC’s organisation. A step towards inspiring greatness. A vision for the future and the process of how they’ll arrive there — to infinity and beyond.

Design Brief

FSC Group is not a traditional engineering company. The brief asked Atollon to develop an outcome that exemplified and detailed FSC’s unique cultural point of difference, their ‘people first’ mindset, and their vision for the company. They needed a way to communicate their big picture and unify their collective direction. The brief also expressed the desire to explore, distribute, and educate the team with something which could help them see their role and career journey differently and state firmly that it’s within the individual’s grasp to think big, achieve great things, and connect across teams. The challenge was to evolve their vision and encapsulate their company culture. We needed to visually describe their long term strategy and give everyone in the business (new and old) a resource to understand where FSC is heading and what they can do to help.

This project was developed by:

Design Process

The initial introduction to this project centred around a discussion and a wireframe of the proposed content. We broke those components down and thought about how we could communicate them - what would be an engaging way to make this story digestible? How might we structure the hierarchy of information to give it clarity? Where might we need to elaborate in detail?

Collectively, we were quick to rule out trying to achieve this with existing brand identity elements — this needed to be something special on a different level. With an idea and direction mapped out, we set about exploring mood boards to approach the visuals. We researched scientific infographics, sci-fi novels, astronomy diagrams, particle physics, deep space, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, cosmic background radiation, Carl Sagan... early on, it was all on the table.

Through this process, knowing what would make it too complex helped us to define what would make it simple. Acknowledging that simplicity was key to communicating the abstract ideas set the visual goal posts. Levelling the playing field and developing pictograms that represented aspects and categories of the content gave us a way to achieve consistency and clarity. It also left room for interpretation and an invitation for exploration from the reader.

Tim Meyer (Atollon, Creative Director) worked closely with Lachlan Smith (FSC, Managing Director) to refine and nurture all aspects of this project. This included everything from getting the tactile feel right; reviewing and evolving the content; and ensuring the design was relevant and inspiring. Together, we could see and feel the impact we were creating — FSC Universe quickly became a passion project. The end result? A publication that creates its own gravity.

Design Excellence

FSC Univers guides the reader through a journey of understanding. There’s a clear distinction between top-level information and further reference. Each of the three core chapters contributes to an equation that equals FSC’s desired outcome. We wanted this equation to be understood even at a quick skim. Furthermore, each pillar incorporates illustrations to give a sense of what’s relevant immediately. These functions, colour choice, illustration, layout, and approach makes the handbook something which can be referred to by the team long term. It pops out in the workplace and takes a company value presentation to a new level. It's a document the FSC team can be proud to call their own.

The book is not a static document — evolution is at its core. Its purpose is to communicate direction, cultural values as strategy and an individual’s personal mission. It’s a source of inspiration and leadership, and it drives FSC excellence. The design embodies this by being somewhat timeless and independent from the FSC core brand to communicate objectives. The quality of the design, print, embellishment and content makes this an item that demonstrates the importance and care for the FSC mission.

Design Innovation

As corporate culture resources can often be dull and uninspiring PowerPoint presentations, the vision here was to think bigger and solve the problem by motivating the team with something exceptional. The design considered how the end-user thinks and feels in their industry - these are technical engineering people; they acknowledge the finer details, they appreciate quality, they don't want a run of the mill outcome. Structurally and visually, it needed to appeal to their senses, to look and feel like something from their world - speaking their language, leveraging interesting print design to make it feel tailored explicitly to them. Meanwhile, we also didn't want it to feel so precious that it just sat on the shelf, achieving nothing.

Design Impact

This book champions design as a cornerstone of FSC’s commitment to excelling as a truly great organisation in all regards. It sets the compass, empowers the team, and ultimately drives growth as a roadmap to success. Knowing what’s important to the company and the individual is powerful. It’s all-encompassing for inspiration, providing clarity, goals, and direction for the team’s culture and mission. And commercially, this is a competitive advantage for FSC’s brand resources. When smart engineering projects flourish, we as a community all benefit. By living shared values and implementing strategies described in the guide, technology, infrastructure, and employment opportunities are created in the economy. This impacts the lives of Victorians and their environment — made possible by great people doing their best work in an organisation they are proud of.

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