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Regenerate Christchurch Branding

Regenerate Christchurch took over from CERA (the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) and is tasked with overseeing the city’s regeneration. We were asked to develop the brand strategy and visual identity for this new organisation. Jointly funded by government and the Christchurch City Council, the pressure and scrutiny to develop an appropriate yet meaningful brand was high.

The Avon is arguably Christchurch’s most universally recognised organic form. It weaves its way through the city, from Ilam through the CBD and out to the ocean at New Brighton. For centuries the Avon has been vital in the growth of Christchurch and the wider region. It has connected communities together and sustained them – acting as a transport route, a trade enabler, an entertainer and a source of food and water.

This is exactly the role Regenerate Christchurch plays and why we chose the Avon as the basis of the new brand identity. Symbolically they are both organic, accessible and transparent – providing nutrients to the city so it can grow. Then literally, the Avon connects areas of the city together, precisely as Regenerate Christchurch does as it facilitates the betterment of the region.

As well as a stylised form of the Avon, the identity also has a simplified koru at its heart, symbolising new life, growth, strength and peace.

The aesthetic is organic and friendly. It speaks of parts coming together as a whole, progression, cycles, development, step change. While it is open-ended and flowing in both directions to convey the flow of information and ideas between residents and Regenerate Christchurch.

Colour wise, we again drew inspiration from the geography of the area. For the central city it’s a mix of the rich greens from Hagley Park with the deep charcoals and blues in the infrastructure and built forms. As you enter the residential areas everything opens up into green spaces, grass, trees, and sky. Then as the Avon reaches the beach suburbs, golden tussocks, sand and sun become prevalent.

These aspects of the identity all fed into the development of the brand proposition TE KŌWATAWATA – ‘from here flows the rejuvenation of our land, people and city’.

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