Melbourne Innovation Districts (MID) - Creative Branding | Studio Alto

Melbourne Innovation Districts

Innovation knows no boundaries

Melbourne Innovation Districts (MID) is a hallmark partnership between RMIT University, University of Melbourne and City of Melbourne, with the aim to drive urban innovation through combined talents and resources, and continue to position the city as one of the world’s best.

We collaborated with the three partners to bring the idea to life.


Welcome to MID

Created in the midst of crucial transitions to the urban economic and social structure of Melbourne, MID seizes the moment of opportunity to reimagine and redefine the city’s north – an area that is experiencing major short-term disruption and rapid long-term change, for the better.

With the focus on creating an urban innovation district in the City of Melbourne, between two of Australia’s foremost education institutes, University of Melbourne and RMIT University, MID will enable access to world-class research, market, cultural and educational facilities, providing a place to imagine, prototype and test better futures for Melbourne and the world.

Our task was to work with the partners to develop a brand name, visual identity and narrative that tells the story of the Innovation District and invites all — students, entrepreneurs and industry partners — to take part in designing the future of Melbourne.

Co-designing the future of Melbourne


Having collaborated previously with RMIT on the successful #shapeRMIT campaign, we were invited to the early stakeholder workshops exploring what an urban innovation district could and should be.

The workshops went wide and covered extensive ground, from local to global, and historical to future perspectives, giving us the opportunity to observe and contribute to the thinking and conversations surrounding the project.


StudioAlto | MID-Strategy-Workshop-1 StudioAlto | MID-Strategy-Workshop-2

Make, test, refine.
Repeat. Repeat again.

In the first instance, our task was to synthesise the thinking and conversations in order to define the key brief and strategy.

We distilled walls of post-notes, whiteboard scrawlings and Keynote presentations into a succinct brief that would enable us to begin shaping the MID brand expression.

We ideated and prototyped a series of narratives and naming options that would help to articulate and communicate the concept, enabling the stakeholders to settle on an agreed path forward.

For testing, refinement and validation with the core stakeholder team, we facilitated a series of workshops at our studio exploring multiple creative directions, navigating a string of unexpected hurdles and rallying together the large group to make sure that everyone was onboard.


Innovation knows no boundaries

Although the initial Melbourne Innovation District has distinct physical boundaries, it needed to be inclusive to all, not just those situated in the area.

The uncomplicated name – ‘MID’ – is a reference to inclusiveness: a ‘MID’ point that is geographically central and connected to innovation and innovators Melbourne-wide where cooperation, collaboration and collective action happen.

Finally, we flipped the notion of an exclusive community by positioning it as a place where ‘Innovation knows no boundaries’ – a place where anything is possible for anyone.  

StudioAlto | MID Bus stop Ad StudioAlto | MID Hoarding