Finalist 2023

Powerhouse

Side By Side Studio / Powerhouse

Accelerating the regeneration of our planet by empowering the world’s oldest living culture

The renewable sector can be an unengaging mix of tired aesthetics and dense information. Throw in the issue of green-washing, bad deals for First Nations groups, and money-grab projects—it’s hard to know who to trust.

Powerhouse was born to cut through the green-washing noise and shine a light on how we can harness the power of First Nations knowledge in the planet’s regeneration. Inspiring government, developers, and Aboriginal groups to unite and execute co-beneficial renewable projects.

Our role was to develop a brand strategy and identity that broke away from the expected in the renewable sector and inspired meaningful change.

Design Brief:

Powerhouse wanted to break through the apathy associated with big energy companies and build a business that showed genuine accountability through consistent positive actions and carbon transparency. Powerhouse gave us the challenging task of changing the perceptions of a renewable company. One of the core challenges to the brief was crafting an engaging and flexible design system that was accessible and appealing to various partners/stakeholders. Powerhouse needed to be taken seriously by government representatives while connecting and feeling approachable to the leaders of First Nations groups around the country. The knowledge gap between Powerhouse’s audience is significant and, in the past, has been ripe for exploitation in deals made between land owners and project developers. The Powerhouse brand needed to capture attention, generate trust, and communicate complex concepts effectively to inspire collaboration and drive meaningful change. Another objective for the identity was building design systems for future departments and offerings.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

The design process started with a strategy phase to build a solid knowledge base of the sector and business. We focused on the Powerhouse business model, project partners/stakeholders, the industry, and the competitive and alternative landscape. Our approach was rooted in understanding the role Powerhouse plays in the eyes of its audiences. Federal/State Government Affiliates and Project Developers/Mining Companies are the primary audiences. The secondary audience is Aboriginal Groups. We worked with the Powerhouse team to understand their business model and offering while gaining insight into their First Nations partners’ needs and pain points. From here, we could define Powerhouse’s purpose, vision, and values, which guided our brand concepts.

From here, we created a brand identity that feels familiar for government affiliates and developers but refreshing and hopeful for land owners. It was crucial for the Powerhouse business model that their brand connected with the unique needs of each audience. Through thoughtful exploration and concept development, we crafted a visual identity that balanced boldness and authenticity with the ability to be inviting and informative.

We implemented the final design direction across various touchpoints to ensure a consistent and impactful brand experience.

Design Excellence

The Powerhouse visual identity stands out with its bold and refreshing aesthetics, capturing attention and generating interest. By taking a fresh approach to branding in the renewables sector, Powerhouse not only makes an impact in Victoria but also extends its influence nationally and internationally.

The brand’s innovative and human-centred approach challenges the status quo of the renewable and regeneration sector. By acknowledging and addressing the knowledge gap between developers and landowners, we were able to design effective communications for all partners and stakeholders to understand their position and potential benefits. Emphasising clarity and purpose-driven communication to create co-beneficial outcomes to inspire other organisations to follow suit. Powerhouse’s success aims to set a new standard in the sector, demonstrating the power of thoughtful and strategic design to drive positive change and reshape perceptions.

The typeface for all of Powerhouse’s communications is Pangea by Christoph Koeberlin. With its friendly character, Pangea helps Powerhouse communicate with clarity and a sense of approachability. Secondly, we selected this typeface as 25% of all designer royalties will be donated to preserve rainforests and implement large-scale reforestation projects—reflecting part of the Powerhouse business.

Design Innovation

By addressing the legitimate problem of trust, complexity, and unengaging aesthetics, Powerhouse has created a new opportunity for collaboration and meaningful action. Its collaborative approach, unique visual identity, and user-centred design set it apart from competitors. By uniting stakeholders, fostering trust, and providing accessible information, Powerhouse creates a new opportunity for collaboration, setting a benchmark for design and communication in the renewable and regeneration sector.

Design Impact

By addressing the legitimate problem of trust, complexity, and unengaging aesthetics, Powerhouse has created a new opportunity for collaboration and meaningful action. Its collaborative approach, unique visual identity, and user-centred design set it apart from competitors. By uniting stakeholders, fostering trust, and providing accessible information, Powerhouse creates a new opportunity for collaboration, setting a benchmark for design and communication in the renewable and regeneration sector.

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