George Boussenko


Innovation Index of New Zealand



Every few years The University of Auckland, in partnership with IBM, releases an Innovation Index – a publication that documents and quantifies innovation in all industries across New Zealand. It goes to all prominent figures - from CEO’s to thought leaders and even the prime minister.

During my time at Ogilvy I had a chance to design the 2012 edition of this publication and things would look a bit differently.

Right off the bat, I realized that the Innovation Index as a mechanic needs some tweaking. In the original publication, the Index for any industry looked like a row of percentages: 110% in 2010, 112% in 2011, 111% in 2012, and so on.

On it’s own the Index is a meaningless number - the result of an equation. For any person reading this document, the priority would be to understand the overall picture and the relationship between different sectors, and not that the Management sector of Agriculture saw a 1% innovation growth in 2012.

So I came up with a device - something that would represent the Index as an organic, shifting form. The different sides represented the different aspects of each industry. The solid colour of the shapes represented the percentages on a scale, meanwhile the ghosted shapes were the combined previous years. This made seeing trends much easier, and a much more visual experience.

The next challenge was how to package it. As mentioned before, this was an important document that went out to important people and it had to look it. I wanted to introduce it slowly to the people that would receive it - each layer of packaging would carry a message that would work to set up the final reveal - the book itself.

For this concept of the Innovation Index, the cover would feature a general image of the device. The idea was that the cover would show the combined innovation index for all of NZ, which just happened to look like a spark, or a flame. Around the device are constellations, representing the fact that all the industries are connected together and change in innovation in one sector would spark change in another.

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