Johanna Roca

Creative Director – For the People                  

From Tasmania’s tough West Coast to Launceston’s community undercurrent – How people, place and storytelling are at the heart of lasting Place Branding success.

Listening to and understanding the stories within communities isn’t just important for building place – making initiatives. It’s essential to gain the trust, engagement and support of those communities. The local communities must be participants, rather than  spectators, in the transformation of their town/city/region. An authentic approach to place brands is to make sure they’re locally grown and locally owned. When tools and assets that are available to the whole community, the impact of a place identity can be  greatly amplified. In this session Jason Little (Executive Creative Director), and Johanna Roca (Creative Director) from For The People, will demonstrate how storytelling has become a fundamental part of their approach for successfully working with regions in Tasmania and beyond. They will also show how learnings from these projects challenge conventional notions of promoting tourism economic growth, whilst empowering locals to shape the narrative of their home regions.

Jo wholeheartedly believes in the power of design and branding, and the integration with technology, to influence any business and also that design is about impact, not hype. She works with organisations on complex challenges – ranging from creative strategy, ideation, concept development, art direction, product launch, experience design and branding.

She recently started her journey into motherhood, with a learning curve that sets an unparalleled precedent. She’s also developed a soft spot for every working mum, thinking critically about how mums have been put on the sideline for so long and how that has impacted our society.

As the creative director at For The people, She’s  responsible for setting creative agendas, managing teams and expanding the potential of projects. Today, her challenge is to help build and lead the Tasmanian studio of For The People and help to foster a world-class design culture in Tasmania. Some recent projects include the product design and development of Streamtime, the brand identities for The West Coast of Tasmania, Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, and The Sydney Opera House.