The Little Bridge is a new progressive primary school in Shanghai that opened its doors in 2017. Research shows that children begin to feel the pressure to conform around 8 years old. To combat this, Little Bridge’s mission is to give children the space and support to independently explore and engage the world on their own terms. A huge departure from traditional memorization models, this female-led school represents a new paradigm in Chinese education. And so UME created a powerful brand identity and holistic environmental design system that captures this inspiring ethos, nurturing the imagination and creativity of every child, at every turn.
Similar to Lego building blocks, UME broke apart Chinese characters and Zodiac symbols such as monkey, ox, dragon only to reassemble them in fun and surprising ways. Using positive messaging to reinforce a growth mindset, the reconstructed visuals help children see a world of possibilities. These adorable and engaging visuals made their way into branded educational materials, student badges, in-school wayfinding and even the school mascot.
The Little Bridge uses their corporate identity with a more grown-up set of stakeholders — like the internal team, parents, donors and government officials. UME created a clean and balanced identity incorporating the school shield alongside a more abstracted and mature deconstruct/reconstruct pattern. The shield communicates excellence, while the pattern represents creative thinking and self-exploration and reinforces its mission and unique educational model. Bringing these elements together creates a professional mark that builds confidence with those taking a chance on a new and innovative educational system.
We asked UME to design an entire identity system including signage, way-finding, and text and workbooks for the launch of a new primary school in Shanghai, China. The timeframe was six weeks. Jee and the UME team delivered great design thinking that literally transcends language and culture. The solutions they provided entertained, informed, and persuaded not only the children — but parents, teachers, and administration as well.
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