Back in April 2020 it became quickly apparent that our main streets - once the epicentre of community activity - had significantly been affected by COVID-19 and, as a flow on effect, so had the connection between people who could no longer go about their usual day-to-day. We wanted to help in a tangible way. So, alongside urban strategists Hello City, we established Project Re-Store.Project Re-Store is an action research project dedicated to working with struggling communities & organisations to find ways to re-inspire, revive, reimagine, reinvent and rebuild. From pro-bono inner-city activations, to helping councils rethink outdoor spaces, or finding ways to support regional communities during bushfire season - our process unlocks the creative strength of locals and people on the ground. We supercharge this energy by bringing in the support and resources of a loose collaboration of strategists & creative thinkers to actively try to turn problems around - not just talk about them. Find out more at projectrestore.com.au
LIGHTWEIGHT TOOLKIT + BIG DIY ENERGY
The visual identity we created for Project Re-Store features a bold yet approachable range of distinctive toolkit elements to communicate our continually evolving Main Street initiatives.A continually evolving illustration suite captures what really makes up our main streets and colour palette celebrating positive activism is used liberally for maximum visual cut through. Open source typography and an easy to use toolkit allows the identity to be adopted and used by the community for initiatives often activated with little budget but big DIY energy.
AUTOMATIC MAIN STREET
One of the many community initiatives by our Project Re-Store team is Automatic Main Street – a vending machine activation all about encouraging collaboration between traders & the community and building resilience on our main streets during Melbourne’s 100 day Covid-19 lockdown.
Our customised vending machine and bill poster installation featured products, artworks and vouchers to encourage people (within the restricted 5kms!) to come past on their daily walk, buy local and support Carlton’s wonderful artists, makers & traders. Shoppers could even buy a ‘Kind Coin’ to help people struggling with homelessness.
Find out more by checking out this article by Smart Company here or explore #AutomaticMainStreet across social channels.
A big shout out to Jimmy Watson’s Wine Bar for hosting this place activation, and to the Lygon Street community for getting so enthusiastically behind this initiative to keep spirits up and businesses thriving.