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The Velvet Principle

Brief: Identity, Wayfinding & Sign Design

Sector: Schools & Education

Client: The London Borough of Camden

A new identity was required for this mixed services education site, that would enable each of the different faculties - a primary school, autistic spectrum disorder unit (ASD), pupil referral unit, adult learning centre and education support services office - to have their own identity, but for it to relate to an overall campus brand. The client wanted a brand that was contemporary and would resonate with adults as well as primary age children and capture the aspirational ethos of the school.

The resultant multi-coloured rosette encapsulates the concept of the combined offer being greater than the sum of the parts.  The lozenge shape created where the petals overlap provides the basis for the individual sub brand identities. To accommodate the needs of the ASD unit and the younger children it was important that the identity and wayfinding included a combination of colours and symbols. Prior to the rebrand the school emblem had been an oak tree. Given the school's close proximity to Regents Park, the decision was taken to retain this theme and create a series of related symbols to represent each area – tree, leaf, bird and acorn. These are combined with the colour of one of the petals in a lozenge shape to relate a simple brand hierarchy. With more petals in the rosette than current facilities, the brand can flex to include any future changes in the service offer. 

As well as the school wayfinding, this combination of coloured lozenge and graphic symbol to represent each faculty has been applied to uniforms and stationery, providing a sophisticated brand approach that is accessible without being patronising to the wide range of stakeholders served by Netley Campus.