Clemenger BBDO Wellington and Silverstripe

Unite Against Covid-19 Campaign

Recognising the contribution of the
Unite Against Covid-19 communications to New Zealand.

This vision of the NZ Designers Institute and the Best Design Awards is to recognise and celebrate design work that makes a significant contribution to the economic, cultural and social growth of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Looking at the events of 2020, there is no doubt that the Unite Against Covid-19 campaign is a world-class demonstration of the creative power and value that design can bring – providing clarity, empathy and uniting all of Aotearoa to think of each other and be part of a collective response.

This work has played a key part in our nation controlling the virus and given us the ability to move back towards a way of life that we can begin to call normal in challenging global times.

Speech as presented by Heath Lowe PDINZ:

In the matter of just a few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered nearly every facet of our lives.

It’s forced us to re-imagine new ways to conduct business, to study from home, to exercise and to shop for groceries — even how to run awards shows.

And we’re coming to grips with the fact that we’ll be designing pandemic-proof solutions for every work and life scenario for decades to come.

We know design has the power to be an important force for good, whether to address social issues, to help make safer communities or to improve the everyday lives of people.

And with COVID-19 in our lives, this power has rarely been more vital.

During a crisis the need for clear, accurate and accessible information delivered quickly and effectively becomes a matter of life and death.

Among a sea of information and misinformation, the need for clear communication, delivered through a uniform design system, has never been greater. 

And tonight, a night when we come together to celebrate our industry and the collective impact we have had on our nation, it is only right that we acknowledge a particularly significant project that has demonstrated the effectiveness of good design. 

The Unite Against Covid-19 design system, commissioned by the New Zealand government and led by Clemenger BBDO Wellington is not only a unique project, it is an exceptional example of what good design can do to support people in a time of crisis.

Put simply it has done 3 things:

  • United New Zealand under a common flag, through a recognisable and accessible identity
  • Built a robust platform for clear and efficient understanding of critical information and it 
  • Gave organisations the tools to operate as effectively as possible while keeping their people and communities safe

If design is the ability to take ambiguity and turn it into clarity, to take the complex and make it simple, then this is design at its best.

Personally, I’ve paused many times to consider this vital piece of creative work, grateful for the way it has positively changed our behaviour during the pandemic, delivering cool clarity with warmth and compassion. 

Just imagine getting a world first brief like this, against the backdrop of global uncertainty, an ever-screaming deadline and no wiggle room for a second go. 

It would take cool heads indeed. 

What’s more, and in light of yesterday’s new case, it’s important to acknowledge this is a campaign without a specific timeline that we can mark its success against. 

The ongoing nature of this work helps make it possible for us to celebrate here tonight, and will continue to keep us safe for some time to come.

So, please join me in congratulating Clemenger BBDO and Silverstripe as we award them with this special Purple Pin for the Unite against Covid-19 design system.