Barcelona-based studio SuperIdea has devised a new identity for Spanish nursery school El Petit Príncep, creating a “code-breaking” logotype that also references fantasy books.
After working with the nursery on communications and campaigns for a while, SuperIdea suggested that “the time for a change” had come and that the nursery needed “a more solid brand”, says SuperIdea partner and brand strategist Ramon Marc Bataller. Its previous identity was developed around “separated solutions for every problem” and lacked coherence, he adds.
Bataller questions why nursery schools’ identities often “look like they were made by a two-year-old child, much like El Petit Príncep’s original sheep logo. He points out that “those who hire a nursery’s services are their parents”, so it makes sense that the visual identity should connect with the parents, not with their children. One of the studio’s biggest challenges was helping the client understand “that consumers and buyers are sometimes two different things”, he adds.
The nursery’s name references The Little Prince novella by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. El Petit Príncep favours educational methods such as Montessori (developing skills independently and freely) and Pikler (based on attachment and autonomy) over traditional learning models.
SuperIdea took these two defining characteristics and put them into a bespoke logotype that seeks to invoke the “fantasy world” found in “classic tales” and conveys the nursery’s non-traditional learning principles, Bataller explains. He describes it as “a codebreaker in terms of typography” as it was designed based off an “experimental font” called Trash, by Barcelona-based foundry Bruta Types. This replaced El Petit Príncep’s previous typeface, which was in a handwritten style.
Since the sheep had become a recognisable element for the nursery, SuperIdea sought to retain it but modernise it. Bataller says he started by designing the head and then realised they didn’t need anything else, as it was already a “easy-to-use icon that adapts perfectly to its environment”.
It was designed to be “tender but with attitude” and appears across badges, stickers and within graphic elements such as circular typography and other rounded shapes in a variety of colourways, Bataller adds.
A combination of “basic and soft colours” where chosen for the colour palette, says Bataller, so El Petit Príncep can “play with a wide variety of combinations and contrasts without losing the brand identity”. It comprises six colours as you would see in “a small case of pencils”, including a very dark forest green that can be “overprinted and used as black”, a sky blue, cloud pink, sun yellow and a “powerful red”, according Bataller.
“One of the most common mistakes made by small businesses is that they pay little or no attention to their media and communication channels”, he says. Once SuperIdea had built El Petit Príncep’s new brand world, it was applied to communication, informative documents, school agendas, students’ and teachers’ clothes, the web page and even the carpets in the building.