The HIV/AIDS landscape in Aotearoa has changed dramatically since the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) first formed in the 1980s. HIV cases are decreasing. The tools we have to prevent it are expanding. For the first time, New Zealand has recorded no AIDS-related deaths for an entire year.

The world has changed, but NZAF was seen as stuck in the past. To stay relevant to new generations and communities, it needed to evolve. A new brand identity was required to showcase NZAF as a modern organisation inspired by its community.

First, a new name. ‘Burnett Foundation Aotearoa’ honours one of the organisation’s founders, Bruce Burnett. Bruce and his contemporaries were the earliest pioneers in Aotearoa’s HIV response – brave change-makers and ultimately, lifesavers.  

Next, a new identity bursting with warmth and energy. Optimistic typography, a vibrant palette and provocative iconography cements the brand as bold, playful and proudly defying the status quo. Symbolic references keep history alive – the graphic system synthesises a circle representing unity and community, with a triangle representing the history of the HIV/AIDS community response. Integrated community artwork honours the organisation’s activist roots. 

Via Special PR, the rebrand was teased with community influencers asking, ‘Have you heard what Bruce did?’, driving to a microsite explaining Bruce’s story and counting down to launch. After 24 hours of hype-building, Burnett Foundation Aotearoa was revealed across all leading news providers including Newshub, RNZ, The Spinoff, Re:News, and even One News at 6pm.   

The new brand honours the brave legacy of those who paved the way, while celebrating the vibrant diversity of the communities it serves today. The result is a timeless identity that communities across generations can see themselves in.