Branding for toddlers
A, B, C — In children’s education, the physical environment is just as important as the actual educational system. The relationship between both (environment and system) can never be random. Some people (and naturally this client) regard the education of young children as a cumulus of more or less supervised impressions and impacts in a specific environment. La Cabana. A very personal and particular system that mixes the free school with Montessori, Pikler, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia.
Brand strategies must always include playing, as it allows us to imagine things. And imagination is the key to creative branding.
The brand name and values were a given. So was the space. It only remained for us to build something around it with consistency. The first precaution we had to take when addressing a branding project for a children’s’ school was precisely to manage to create a visual identity that would fit into the physical environment and was aligned with the school’s educational method. We explored the most modern educational trends and methods, which are the ones that La Cabana’s project taps into.
A lovely story — Our client told us that when he had the idea for this children’s school, his own daughter (10 years old) drew the logo that she would like. This mapped out our path. We could not get away from the teepee. First of all, on account of the emotional importance it had for the client, and secondly because it actually did sit very well with the brand’s spirit.
Teepees are for the open air. Teepees are Indian tents (wigwams). The Indians lived in close touch with their natural environment. And as we all know, kids like playing at cowboys and Indians (or at least they used to)… Otherwise they wouldn’t be kids. And this type of educational approach tied in well with the band’s values. Sometimes even things that are very self-evident are just so right that you cannot ignore them.
Growth — Fortunately, our client realised that embarking upon an educational project with a logotype produced by his 10-year-old daughter was not a good idea. In actual fact it was an awful idea. This is why design professionals exist. He also (luckily again) understood that a brand is more than a logo and that there is something called “visual identity” that also has a role to play in brand communication. Therefore, we kept the girl’s idea in mind and started to pla… we mean build.
Building and playing — The logotype was designed using different kinds of typography in order to transmit the diverse range of profiles and personalities to be found in a school, where all the children express themselves the way they are, with their different personalities. Therefore, the logotype had to be different for such a place. We also wanted it to be playful, so the form is not only reminiscent of a game, a three-dimensional letter puzzle, it also changes tone depending on how it is used.
In some cases, we play with the position of certain letters, depending on whether the logotype was placed vertically or horizontally; in others, the symbol logo (the teepee) is part of the logo. And both elements (the symbol logo and the logotype) are an essential part of the construction of visual identity. If we take it apart, we achieve a highly recognisable system of corporate graphic elements with myriad possibilities.
In order to accomplish a contrast and to stand out in this ocean of sensations, we chose a highly distinct and natural turquoise green that has gone a long way for us. Imagination is very important in children’s education, so thanks to this variety of forms, colours, textures and visual elements, we achieved a graphic entity that allowed us to be inventive and fantastic.
The colours and the textures are another key element in achieving a consistent and powerful visual identity. The telluric colours (an earthy brown, a sandy ochre) are taken from the traditional Catalan cloth, which the client insisted on including in his visual code. Moreover, the brand also had to fit in with an amalgam of natural colours, materials and objects (from wood to metal, from cotton to flowers, from yellow to violet), that would be very common and greatly used in La Cabana.
Even mischievous. We applied this magic to the signage of the spaces, corporate communication items, uniforms, gowns, bags…, always trying to make sure that their relationship with the environment was natural, harmonious and honest.
Beauty, simplicity and order.