Public Design Group
18/1714 Pittwater Road, Bayview NSW 2104, Australia
Jason Pollard and Dan Cooper met whilst studying at Kingston. They then went on gain invaluable experience with some very reputable consultancies, before meeting up again at Futurebrand. Dan had already spent some time working for Landini in Australia and was once again drawn back to the country; spending three years at Futurebrand’s Sydney office before, he and Jason founded Public Design in Sydney in 2003. Five years later, fellow Futurebrand colleague, James Hewitt joined them as their Creative Partner.
Their clients include Samsung, Bank of Queensland, Airtel, Virgin Active, Globe Telecom, Woolworths and Toyota, amongst others. Working with a range of brands, the consultancy has created a niche for itself, specialising in working with service retailers especially in the banking and telecommunications sectors, with a focus on creating environments which help brands build relationships with their customers.
Their concept for BOQ (Bank of Queensland) provides a more customer focused banking experience. We love the fact that the bank doesn’t take itself too seriously, and uses more playful messaging and graphics, within a space that is more akin to a café, or your own kitchen table. As intended, they’ve created a neutral space for customers to interact with the bank’s staff on their own terms. Their concept for CUA in Australia, unlike many other banking concepts, really does feel like a community hub. The stripped back interior features local produce and has been designed to host local events.
For Singtel in Singapore, their challenge was to move the brand from a tech product retailer to a service retailer. Creating a sense of wonder, customers can enter the store through a ‘Digital Portal’ with changing imagery, whilst throughout the store customers are encouraged play with devices, firing up their imaginations about the possibilities technology can offer – not celebrating the devices themselves, but how they can be used to improve their everyday life. The physical design successfully combines tech with tactility, to create a more domestic environment and a human connection to the brand.
Public create stores which are informative and enjoyable places to be in, providing customers with all the service detail they need, but allowing them to explore at their own pace and engage with staff, as and when they need. Public also work with their clients on the broader level of consumer engagement, and are often involved with staff training as many of their concepts create a fundamental shift, not just in the physicality of the store, but in how a brand’s staff interact with their customers.
Unlike many other sectors, technology is well used in these concepts, and Public does a great in job creating store environments and a positive ambience, where brands can nurture relationships with their customers.