State Library of South Australia

Old becomes new.




The State Library of South Australia (SLSA) needed to break away from fusty perceptions to set an inspiring foundation and pathway towards a number of visionary proposed developments. A simple visual identity and brand was needed to perform a complex task — to bridge the gap between tradition and possibility.


The Challenge

Reinvigorating the past.

The SLSA is the custodian of our state’s stories — its purpose to conserve and share the identity of the South Australian community and to empower people through knowledge. The SLSA invites discovery by preserving these historical collections and spaces whilst needing to be perceived as relevant. The brief was multi-dimensional — to honour the richness and depth of SLSA's origins at the same time as championing its current role as an important cultural institution dedicated to active preservation for the future by creating a recognisable brand inspiring interest, familiarity, recall and a sense of value. But how to marry such divergent worlds and establish a memorable positioning with the simplicity required to cut-through amidst a sea of local cultural institutions?

Research - Discovering the many layers of the library


Strategic Creativity Delivered

Looking back, moving forward.

We created a new brand strategy for the SLSA, delivering outputs of Brand DNA, Brand Essence, Brand Architecture, Manifesto and Positioning. Using this watertight strategy, we were able to formulate a more influential, relevant and effective rebrand and graphic device representation. To remain true to the SLSA's Brand DNA of 'identity preservation', we were determined to remain true to the foundations and features of the building itself: the South Australian Institute (SIA) Building — one of Adelaide’s most historically significant. Our starting point? The simple SIA monogram, discovered engraved into the backs of wooden chairs and upon brass door handles within its Mortlock Wing. We evolved the monogram's essence into a modern and recognisable visual identity to evoke the family trees, fictional worlds, historic collections, ephemera and individual interpretations that live on within its timeworn walls. This content unites to create 'The stories that make us'.



Opening a new page to discovery.

This new brand leverages the heritage that still whispers from the walls of the building and reinterprets the words of SLSA's vast and versatile collections, inviting South Australians to rediscover and reconnect with our shared identity.

State Library SA Logo Breakdown