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Branding the workplace

The overall workplace environment look and feel is an extension of the brand and reflects the image, vision, values, and mission of government and the agency, or agencies.

Who should use New Zealand Government branding?

Government property mandated agencies should apply New Zealand Government branding and agency neutral branding to new or refurbished office accommodation, not already planned or designed, from July 2022. This applies to single tenancy, co-tenancy and co-location buildings. Public sector operational areas are not in scope. Government agencies, entities or organisations, who are collocated in a building where the lead agency is mandated, should also follow these guidelines.

What is workplace branding?

Workplace branding can be categorised in the following areas:

  • Primary branding set out by Te Kawa Mataaho (Public Service Commission)
  • Secondary branding is agency specific, promoting a single agency
  • Neutral branding provides no affiliation with any single agency.

Examples of how branding is applied include building or workplace colour palettes, materials and textures, artwork manifestations and frosting to glazed areas, fittings, furniture and signage and wayfinding.

Out of scope examples for Government property branding include logos, stationery and digital branding.

Adopting a New Zealand Government approach

Adopting a New Zealand Government approach to government workplace branding supports the direction set by Te Kawa Mataaho for an improved system-wide approach and cross-agency collaboration.

A consistent approach to workplace branding in government buildings helps:

  • Create recognisable New Zealand government buildings with a similar look and feel
  • Consider staff and visitors with vision and mobility needs
  • Create a consistent approach to branding design.

This allows agencies to increase and decrease their footprint with relative ease as the needs of the government and agencies change over time. It aims to deliver cost savings for agencies through a consistent approach to branding design and through economies of scale.

Categorising various types of branding

Primary branding is the New Zealand Government logo as prescribed by Te Kawa Mataaho and should be on display in reception areas, kiosks and public interface areas. If an agency relocates from a building and another agency takes the space, the primary branding stays in place.

The objectives of the New Zealand Government logo mark are:

Tapatahi | Unity. To visually reinforce a unity of purpose across the public sector, providing cohesion across the diversity of individual departments, agencies and other entities.

Hōrapatanga | Visibility. To increase visibility of government services by improving public recognition through consistent imagery linking government-funded services, programmes, products and infrastructure.

Ngākau Pono | Trust. To develop and promote trust through the clear identification of government initiatives and services.

Pūataata | Transparency. To support increased transparency of government spending.

Secondary branding is agency specific branding and should be clearly displayed to the public.

Neutral branding provides no affiliation with any single agency. It aims to represent a joined up government, streamlined services and an agency cannot be recognised by this type of branding.

How can branding categories be applied?

Branding can be applied through enduring and transitory application methods. These are:

Enduring: any type of workplace branding that is permanently fixed to a building, glazing or structure in such a manner as to give it the support necessary to resist typical wear and tear over time, and precludes easy removal. For example, wayfinding signage.

Transitory: any type of workplace branding that is not intended to be permanently installed and can be removed or relocated with relative ease in a short space of time. For example, pictures of an agency's logo hung on the wall.

Implementing the three categories of branding

This section demonstrates how each branding item can be applied under the primary, secondary and neutral branding categories. A key feature of this approach is that secondary branding is to only be applied in a transitory fashion.

Please consider all of the concepts of enduring and transitory applications when implementing the following branding items. However, this approach may not be appropriate for all entities, particularly where an agency needs to be viewed as independent from central government, or where an agency provides a transactional service to the general public.

Primary branding

Primary branding is not agency specific. It should be enduring and clearly on display in reception and public interface areas, and as primary signage on the main directory. Transitory applications don’t apply here as there is no intention to move primary branding, except when used in combination with secondary branding. The New Zealand Government logo is an example of primary branding.

The New Zealand Government Logo - compact variation

New Zealand Government logo, this version is the Compact Coat of Arms, which can be found on a range of sites around New Zealand.

Secondary branding

Secondary branding is agency specific and should not be permanently fixed. It should be transitory and will move with the agency, when the agency is relocating. Transitory applications can range from banners and flags down to stationary and meeting room-naming conventions, and include agency specific signage, logos, images and artwork. Logos should be clearly on display in reception areas or on a main directory board, after the New Zealand Government brand.

The New Zealand Treasury logo on a frosted glass pane.

The Treasury using secondary branding on a frosted glass pane, which can easily be taken down if they moved out of this space.

Neutral branding

Neutral branding, where nothing is unique to a government department, should be applied throughout the office environment to the front and back of house to provide a consistent theme. This includes enduring elements of a building such as wayfinding signage, all colours, floors/carpets, fixed joinery and fittings, and transitory elements, such as loose furniture (including soft furnishings, chairs, workstations, and artworks), as well as window frostings and other elements, which can be easily moved.

An example of neutral branding. The image has nothing which makes it belong exclusively to a particular organisation, instead using simple furniture and artistic designs to build a 'feel' for the office environment.

Example of a neutrally branded office space.