Tag: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

The brief

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) engaged 33 Creative to co-design a refreshed brand identity, a communications framework, and an engaging new website to support the organisation’s renewed strategic plan.

Having reached their 50-year anniversary, AIATSIS wanted to ensure the new framework and identity was both vibrant and youthful as well as reflective of their renewed vision for the future.

The artwork

In a truly collaborative design approach, 33 Creative worked alongside Folk to consult with AIATSIS stakeholders and First Nations community members ahead of developing the new look-and-feel, particularly for the website which has user-experience, navigation, and accessibility, at its heart.

As a significant part of the project, 33 Creative engaged artist and Yuwaalaraay woman, Lucy Simpson, who illustrated and designed AIATSIS’ refreshed logo identity. Lucy also developed four key accompanying brand patterns that foreground culture through rich symbolism and a stunning colour palette.

Using Lucy’s artwork, Folk developed the new website, transforming it from a traditional government platform into an engaging, accessible, and vibrant informative hub that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, history, and continuing culture.

33 Creative’s role saw us work closely to support the project team to deliver various elements, including the design and rollout of new brand guidelines which also informed the identity elements of the new website.

The logo

The AIATSIS logo is derived from the boomerang totem of the Guunaani (Kunjen) people from the Mitchell River region, Gulf of Carpentaria, North Queensland. The design is painted on a softwood shield purchased in the 1930s by the late Miss Ursula McConnel while she was carrying out research at Yarrabah, near Cairns. The shield was one of four fighting shields collected at the same time made by Malcolm, Claude and George Wilson who were residents in Yarrabah at the time.

“Design is a tool, making a process, and art the narrative that connects us back to story and experience. Through my work I create and interpret in ways that can often transcend words and language, flowing from deep within my bones. Winangaylana ngay mara, my hands remember (their making continues)”


– Artist, Lucy Simpson

Good Design Awards

In 2021, we were thrilled to learn that the AIATSIS website redevelopment was recognised at the Australian Good Design Awards, receiving a Gold Accolade in the Digital Design category.

The project was a true collaboration of skills and expertise, reflecting and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and knowledge through a contemporary platform which continues to make an impact among its audiences.