Ara Rau – Pathways to Work

It’s not every day we get the opportunity to work on the brand identity for a start-up, so we jumped at the chance to work with Priority One on their latest kaupapa – a new government funded, community-led skills and employment hub.

Ara Rau – Pathways to Work, launched earlier this month with a mission to assist plugging the hole of the Bay of Plenty’s predicted labour shortage. In a nutshell, the team will provide a point of connection for job seekers, employers and service providers – acting as a broker between the three and supporting and enhancing existing efforts. Importantly, the team will ensure each stakeholder has the information they need to make better choices.

Humans are visually emotive creatures and every day we make judgments based on how we respond to the way something looks and feels. A visual identity is a reflection of your company or organisation, so it’s important that it fits your brand like a glove and creates a desirable response in your stakeholders.

It was important for the Ara Rau team to create a space that was welcoming for all, and in particular, young Māori job seekers.

In creating the Ara Rau identity, we spoke to a wide range of stakeholders, tested pre-designs and worked with Priority One’s brand ambassador. The journey saw us create a visual identity and story that reflects the kaupapa of Ara Rau that we, and importantly our client, are quite frankly delighted with.

Alex Barrett, Future of Work Advisor at Priority One, led the project and admits that she was initially nervous to ‘hand it over’ to an external partner, given the length of time she’d worked on it.

“Meg and the team at the Shine Collective got us straight away. They understood exactly what we needed and took the time to meet with all of us individually and hear all of our ideas.

“Creating a brand for a new community-led project with so many different stakeholders wasn’t an easy task. But through taking the time and really getting to know us and the outcomes we were wanting, they’ve created a seamless, meaningful brand.”

“We are so happy with the branding and communications plan that we received. The story behind our brand is meaningful and contextual to our unique place in our beautiful region. We couldn’t be happier; the Shine team are definitely part of our whānau now!”

Read more about Ara Rau here.

When looking to refresh your existing visual brand elements, or create a visual identity from scratch, our top four tips are:

  1. Work with someone that ‘gets’ what you’re trying to achieve
  2. Get your logo right – it’s worth the investment to consider a number of different options
  3. Use a consistent palette – choose a handful of colours that work with the deliverables you’ll be creating and apply them consistently
  4. Test, test and test some more