The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) have already touched Samuel Keen’s life twice.

The recent Queensland College of Art graduate designed and developed the logo to be used on the uniform of the official Games workforce.

Sam’s unique and thoughtful creation captures a special narrative that instils the brand identity of some 200,000 pieces of clothing to be worn by Games Shapers, including volunteers and staff.

“I was very grateful for the opportunity to get involved,” Sam (24) says. “It was something of an aside to my main study focus but it’s certainly my greatest achievement outside of university in terms of graphic and branding design.”

Support and guidance

Sam was studying a Bachelor of Design Futures at Griffith University when an email from QCA course convenor Eleni Kalantidou invited him to get involved with the GC2018 logo design project.

During a 12-week process he received support and guidance from Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) and the Studio and Design team at Griffith’s Office of Marketing and Communications. After a high-pressure pitch to a judging panel, his creation got the thumbs up from the judging panel.

Sam’s second brush with GC2018 took place during an internship with a Brisbane wayfinding design firm, where he found himself involved in wayfinding design at train and bus stations near venues for the April Games.

“I basically cut my teeth in circulation strategy in and around various Gold Coast transport hubs,” he said.

Sam went on to complete his honours year while working with the wayfinding design firm. “As a part of a team, I’ll typically analyse the existing signs at a site and assess where the system falls down or could be improved in anticipation of development,” he said. “Then we come up with strategies to overcome these problems.”

He was drawn to and invigorated by the concept of wayfinding while studying for his Design Futures degree at Brisbane’s South Bank campus, first while writing an essay on how maps shape the world and later by Kevin Lynch’s seminal paper on urban planning, ‘The Image of the City’.

“It captured my imagination. Suddenly I remembered things I was interested in from when I was younger. I found I could explore my interests through my studies and the vast breadth of application that Design Futures involves.

“The rational perspective of wayfinding appeals to me, how information can be designed to help people in different emotive states find their way through different environments, from emergency signs in hospital corridors to front row seats at major sports venues.”