Ceremonial ribbon, 'Our Bridge', nylon satin / wood, designed by Tony Assness and Deuce Design for the 75th Anniversary of Sydney Harbour Bridge, used by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2007
This ceremonial ribbon has significance as a record of a major community event -- the celebrations on Sunday 18 March 2007 marking the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Bridge. The people of Sydney made the 75th anniversary an unqualified success. In a demonstration of community spirit, 200,000 people registered by e-mail to walk across the Bridge, which was closed to traffic from 4am to 10.30pm.
Perhaps the nation's greatest building project of the twentieth century, the Bridge is a well-known symbol that has represented Sydney and Australia to the world. Its vast history has touched many lives, including those who lobbied for its creation, those displaced by its construction, those who worked and died to build it, and those who participated in its spectacular opening. Today it looms large in the daily lives of Sydney's inhabitants and many feel a personal connection to the Bridge.
Branded as 'Our Bridge', the anniversary event was meticulously planned by Executive Producer Noel Staunton and the Office of Protocol and Special Events in the New South Wales Premier's Department. They engaged Deuce Design and creative director Tony Assness to develop a graphic design concept that was applied to the banner, flags, posters, ribbon, printed material and most other items produced for the 'Our Bridge' celebration. The design gave the celebration a unique 'look and feel', heightened the sense of occasion and contributed to the remarkable spirit of community that was evident.
There were planned activities throughout the day, with various organisations and agencies providing events across Sydney Harbour. An official ceremony took place at 9am, comprising a welcome to country, the national anthem, speeches, a ribbon cutting, a pyrotechnics display and a performance of the specially composed 'Our Bridge' overture. The Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir, cut the ribbon and the Bridge Walk began. Volunteers handed out free caps at the start of the walk, which went from north to south over the deck of the Bridge. Participants could hear a specially created soundscape, featuring highlights of news bulletins and music of the last 75 years, presented decade by decade. Spectacular windchimes hanging from the walkway completed the soundscape. A memorial plaque dedicated to the 16 workers who died during the construction of the Bridge was unveiled at Dawes Point Park.
Nightfall heightened the sense of occasion. Under the direction of Stephen Page, an Indigenous smoking ceremony was held at sunset. Several hundred members of the Indigenous community timed their walk to coincide with the smoking ceremony. Special lighting effects illuminated the Bridge as never before. The last walkers, wearing fluorescent caps containing small lights, crossed the Bridge around 9pm.
Designed by Tony Assness, Creative Director, with Deuce Design. Maker of ribbon unknown.
Working with Deuce Design, Tony Assness created a graphic design concept that was applied to the banner, poster, ribbon, printed material and most other items produced for the 'Our Bridge' celebration. Elements of the basic visual identity were carefully engineered, from the portrait of the Bridge's designer Dr John Bradfield that appears in some applications, to the 'hands of unity', to a kaleidoscope of Australia's most recognised symbols of national pride. The design also pays homage to the Bridge's grand 1932 official opening. A basic palette of colours was used, which generally shades from blue, through purple, mauve, pink, orange.
A renowned creative director, designer and promoter of live events, Assness has worked for fifteen years on a variety of events including fashion shows, corporate functions, outdoor staged spectaculars, boutique dinners and product launches. Regarded a maestro of parties and events, he has designed the Sydney launch of Baz Luhrmann's film 'Moulin Rouge', the launch of Fox Studios Australia, the national launch of Foxtel Digital and pre-match entertainment for the National Rugby League Grand Final. He also headed the creative team responsible for the Garden Palace Promenade to mark the 125th anniversary of the Powerhouse Museum.
Deuce Design is a Sydney-based graphic design and branding studio that was founded in 1999 by Bruce Slorach and Sophie Tatlow. Working in all graphic media, Deuce Design has collaborated with architects, interior designers and landscape architects. On the 'Our Bridge' project their collaboration with creative director Tony Assness had spectacular results.
This ribbon is a large part of the one used for the official ceremony to begin the walk on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark the 75th anniversary of its opening. It was suspended across the roadway at the north end of the Bridge, and cut by the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir. Some of the ribbon was taken by bystanders, and a smaller section was kept by the organisers for archival purposes and donated to the Museum by the Office of Protocol and Special Events as part of a collection of objects and designs created in 2007 for the anniversary celebrations.