Uniting AgeWell came to Ellis Jones with a conundrum; how to name, brand and sell a retirement living development in a prestige inner green belt suburb of Melbourne, whilst avoiding the implication of exclusivity. For the faith-based organisation, the key was to correctly employ the nuance of a premium product positioning, delivered to a discerning market, rather that reverting to the otherwise readily applied motifs of luxury and the lure of the unattainable.


The project name “Manningtree” was in some ways self-evident. Apart from the location on Manningtree Road in Hawthorn, etymology of the word is from middle-english, meaning ‘many trees’. Our research and client insights indicated that a preservation of green spaces and garden was a key criteria for a market of downsizers. The site is surrounded by established canopy trees, and the development features extensive native and european planting. The focus on a connection to natural beauty permeated the entire visual identity.


The logotype is a clear, direct articulation of name and place, in the knowledge that a degree of desirability resides in the location. The typeface chosen is a serif, selected for its refined detailing without appearing fussy or overly decorative.


Our direction presented high key, saturated and energetic colours, that are a step removed from more obvious primary options. There is a spectrum of warm and cool colours that provide contrast and a breadth of expression. A metallic gold accent references the architectural paneling on the building’s facade.


As in the logotype, treatment of serif and sans-serif typefaces are employed to distinguish content relating to the aspirational lifestyle qualities versus the everyday, factual, or selling tones of voice. Building breadth and contrast in the typographic system allows for more flexibility in communicating a variety of different types of information to different audiences throughout the sales campaign.


How to say ‘many trees’ without simply reverting to a central tree illustration? Our thought was to commission a suite of spot illustrations in an elegant, naturalistic style that captured the essence of the green and leafy surrounds. Illustrations have been made by Melbourne artist Indigo O’Rourke. For subjects, we focused on locally prevalent species, along with those included in the planting schedule for the Manningtree site.


Early testing of the concept has been well received, and the marketing campaign for the development is beginning to swing into motion. Uniting AgeWell have a clear, differentiated brand and visual identity, well positioned for the local market.