About Propella

Propella is an independent branding agency and we are experts at creating strategy, naming and design to propel organisations and accelerate their growth.

Why we do it

We are motivated by the impact our ideas have on the world and for the people who invest in them.

What we believe
Everything we do is guided by eight principles.


Make it pay

We are in the business of design.

We do not create art for arts sake. Our work is designed to have profound commercial and social consequences. Nor is our work some expensive ‘fluffy nice-to-have’ — the ideas we create are designed to deliver extraordinary value for our clients, which means our work pays for itself many times over!


Break some rules

When you follow the path many have taken before, you inevitably arrive at the same destination. With the pace of change accelerating and all industries facing competitive disruption, there is nothing worse than behaving like everyone else.

So, when everyone ZIGS we ZAG; we challenge conventions and break a few ‘rules’. Venturing into the unknown may take some courage, but as brand experts we guide our clients with vision, process and reason to make the journey both comfortable and exhilarating.


Prospect for gold

People often say to us we wouldn’t find what they do interesting. But we have alway thought this curious because we believe gold can be found everywhere no matter what you do. It’s our job, as creative people to dig deep enough to find it.

The trick is knowing where to look and by asking the right questions we reveal clues to its whereabouts. The more elusive the prospect, the more earth we move. Once found, we extract, refine and shape it into something precious and desirable.


Branding substance

The substance we create are big ideas. They are the magic ingredient for making strategy and design more powerful. Not only do they capture attention and make your audience linger, they prolong the encounter so that people will remember you. 

Ideas are resilient and can evolve with significant changes in fashion. The brand idea is the constant which stays in our mind as a potent reminder (or ‘visual equity’) of long after fashion has moved on. Design that is based on aesthetic (a trendy typeface or colour) lacks substance and when fashion changes you are left with nothing.


Total branding

Our ideas are designed to work across entire identity ecosystems to reposition brands with attitude and personality. We create carefully woven tapestries of logos, symbols, distinctive styling and words to build a brand experience which can become a tribal culture loaded with belief and emotion.

To do this we assess the entire fabric of your organisation: What are your challenges and objectives? What is your structure, mission and culture? What are your brand equities? What is driving change? Why are you different? What are your competitors doing? Who is innovating and challenging the status quo?


Thinking without limits

We have never limited our work to one type of design or industry, such as brand packaging or financial services because we believe ‘specialised design’ often results comfortable mediocrity lacking competitive vigour. 

Our diversity of experience is critical to how we work – it gives us the tools to look at your world differently and see the bigger picture. It helps us think sideways, encouraging creativity to flourish to create unexpected ‘ahah’ moment ideas packed with advantage. 


Measure twice, cut once

We believe if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing properly. We work with commitment and passion to get the job done right the first time.

It can be tempting to do it cheaper but all too often the money you saved is wiped out by the cost of fixing a problem made more complicated and challenging from poorly thought out work. Amateurish branding can cost more than time and money; it confuses your people, the market and customers; it erodes brand equity and competitive standing; it can even ruin your business.


The compelling truth

There is nothing more compelling than the authentic truth. It is real, easy to articulate and comprehend and it cuts-through the intellectual complexity and made-up stories of brands vying for our attention.

We drill deep to find your compelling truth. We look at it from every angle, pull it apart and model it into strategy and design made more persuasive and profound because it is simple, erudite and true.

Why we are called Propella

Propella is an abbreviation of propellant, meaning “a substance which can propel something”. The substance we create is strategically articulate big ideas.


We work hard to create cross-cultural ideas which can convey concepts in any language to communicate with as many people as possible.

Our work has taken us across a wide variety of projects around the world. This has given us the experience and sensitivity to understand cultural and translational nuances of ideas and aesthetic to make brand identities truly international.

In person or remote

We always enjoy working with our clients in person. But it’s not always possible. However, we have many years experience of collaborating remotely with client-partners (even before Zoom was a thing) to solve problems and exceed their expectations.

Founded by

Originally from the North of England, Gary cut his creative teeth in London in the late 1980s where he was fortunate enough to work alongside some of the worlds’ most influential thinkers and designers at global agencies including Michael Peters Group, Springpoint and Landor.

He is regarded as a leading strategist and designer with a reputation for creating many iconic brand identities across categories, including the famous Vodafone speech mark identity which is now considered to be the UK’s most valuable brand.

In 2002 Gary moved to Australia and founded Propella in 2009. He lives on Sydney’s Northern Beaches where he works with a variety of clients in Australia and around the world. Gary is also a father to two girls, a husband and photographer.