Tasmania’s West Coast is wild, rugged and remote. The harsh and unforgiving land and weather has always forced people to live on its terms. With declining heritage industries, the region needed to overcome the area’s remoteness, lack of profile and a declining population and breathe new life into Tasmania’s remoter region in order to attract business investment, facilitate economic development, drive population growth, and encourage people to investigate beyond the more well-known parts of Tasmania.
Working with the West Coast Council, tourism operators, and the regions 4,000 residents, the project set a new standard for comprehensive community consultation and regional branding in the local government and tourism sector over the course of a 10 month period. The new brand identity embraces the West Coast’s confronting history in a story that distinguishes it from the rest of the country. A whole of region brand was needed to shift perceptions about the area. The Identity took an open and inclusive approach, through an open source brand system that the entire region and community could utilise, to tell their own stories that collectively shape a cohesive identity for the region.
Building an open source brand identity meant the identity system needed to be highly accessible and usable by any of the West Coast’s residents, tourism operators and business owners in the West Coast. We created a set of identity elements that allow a multitude of anecdotal, distinctly West Coast messages to be expressed. Coupled with a bespoke typeface, iconography, and a photography library that defies the usual tourism imagery, the region can convey a coherent narrative and regional style, whilst maintaining the individual personality of each town, business or initiative. As an open-source identity system, every aspect is free to use by locals in the region, providing the tools to communicate effectively, where these would normally be cost prohibitive to anyone but large tourism operators to use.
The West Coast is a region that you have to bring a part of yourself in order to experience it properly. This is a hard landscape with even harsher weather. By sharing the true beauty of what’s on offer in the West Coast, under a clear identity of what it means to be a West Coaster, we hope to empower the community to build on the foundation of the identity and be confidently and coherently express who they are and what this place is. This will help to attract visitors, business, residents and investors that have the determination to take a path that’s less trodden, in a remote part of a tiny island at the edge of the world.