Same mahi, new look

June 29, 2022 | Updates | Dev Academy

We’re excited to be sharing some changes! You’ll see them across our social media channels, on a brand new website and through our new name. Our look is now bright, bold and fun — and celebrates the diversity of humans who come to study and work with us at Dev Academy Aotearoa. 

Since we started almost ten years ago, we have always continued to grow and evolve. More recently, a lot of development has happened in the Te Tiriti partnership space — but also in improving the diversity of our cohorts, staffing, and the regulatory nuts and bolts so vital to operating as an education provider. Our organisation has doubled in size in the last year and we have twice as many intakes with two online campuses. Because of all this change, we felt it was time to evolve our look and feel too, to better express who we are today.

So, how did we get this rebrand in motion? Really carefully. With stops and starts to ensure a visual identity which represents us, where we have been, and where we’re going! Throw in a pandemic and a complete website rebuild and it’s been over 2 years in the making. 

When we began discussions with Pōneke-based Obvious brand partners in 2020, we knew it was important to express our core values which had developed over the years. “This starts and finishes with people,” says CEO and co-founder Rohan Wakefield. “We’ve always been blessed with exceptional people and that’s still true today, in a much larger organisation.

"The brand incorporates the story of our people and how it’s a place for everyone. It reflects our understanding that education sits at the heart of equity, ethics, and the change we want to see in the industry."

Alongside Ciaran Jack and Essi Airisiniemi from Obvious, the whole organisation went to workshops to kick-start the process. These ‘brand journeys’ included gathering in small groups and imagining a collective adventure. Together, our team dreamed up road trips, noho marae and fully automated futures, bolstered by snacks and high spirits.

The people who were most excited about this massive undertaking started a small rōpū to continue momentum and work behind the scenes. “We intentionally slowed the process down to make sure we included as many voices across our organisation as possible, and gave plenty of thinking time to the change itself,” says Kaihautū Hourua (Tangata Tiriti) Emma Barnes. “We were doing this work through the transition into having co-GMs and part of that slowness was intentional to give breathing room to this new structure and the future we saw together.”

Mood boards featuring tech logos, LEDs and bright colours

The team at Obvious worked through some early concepts for colours and imagery, and began to bring our values and mission to life visually.

Two colour palettes based on: the milky way against a pink and blue hued sky and; an open laptop with a brightly coloured screen.

In 2021, graphic designer Eli Taueki came on board to translate our values around Te Tiriti partnership into a visual language. Partnering whakairo with modern design, Eli says of this result: “[It] represents the coming together of both tangata whenua and tauiwi but also the hangarau digital kaupapa and the human, organic side of Dev Academy.”

“The takarangi spiral and haehae come into play to visually bring those themes to life. All these elements represent … the whakapapa, roots, and journey of all the people that have come to be with Dev Academy Aotearoa.”

The power of a name

Early on in the process, we began to think about our name. We felt we were ready to grow from the organisation’s early origins, while still preserving the thing that makes us, us. Enspiral started in 2010 as a community of freelancers and entrepreneurs focused on social impact and ‘working on stuff that matters’ and it was through this community that Rohan and fellow co-founder Joshua Vial met. “In those days a lot of our companies had Enspiral in the name: Enspiral Services, Enspiral Accounting, Enspiral Legal and so on,” says Joshua. “Around 2017 we made a decision as a community to remove Enspiral from the names of our ventures. Dev Academy is the last to do so which makes me doubly thrilled to see the new branding launched.”

This also provided us with an opportunity to consider how we could represent our organisation in indigenous spaces. A name that would locate us on this whenua, with all the duties and privileges that come with it. Our Kaihautū Hourua Dougal Stott (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāpuhi) speaks to this: 

“Fundamentally we are a kura or school that serves the Hangarau (technology) sector by training people to be junior developers. This new name more accurately reflects our vision for the New Zealand tech sector, showing we are accessible and encompassing all cultures and peoples.”

Te mātahi o te tau (the new growth of the year) 

After a lot of hard work, some road blocks, and many many huī, we decided to share our rebrand in the new year. 

Matariki is a special time for everyone in Aotearoa, to come together, reflect on the past, and look ahead. “It seemed right to launch our new identity at this time,” says Dougal. “As an organisation, we’ve started to align more closely with the Māramataka Māori. That means our planning, delivery and support of those we serve is consistent with seasonal changes and that we embrace a different way of day to day business.

“There is so much to learn from mātauranga Māori, and we are constantly challenging ourselves to honour, respect and embrace the gift that is Te Ao Māori.”

We have always wanted people who interact with us in any capacity to walk away with a clear sense of who we are. We often hear from students that we’ve built a space where they can be themselves, or that they feel they’ve become a part of something bigger. We’ve changed over these last 10 years, and now we have a fresh look to reflect that.

Thanks again to Ciaran, Essi, Caitlin, and the team at Obvious — who have been on this journey alongside us from day one! Thanks also go to Eli Taueki, our web developer Sam Parkin, and everyone on our team who has come to a workshop, brainstormed, tested the website, or sent in feedback along the way.

We’re rolling out these changes today and you’ll see more over the coming months — it’s an exciting time and we hope you love it as much as we do. We are so proud to show you who we are here at Te Kura Hangarau o Aotearoa | Dev Academy Aotearoa.