Conflict’s special assignment for a special school

Toronto’s Beverley School is preparing for a new year with a new look and brand identity by creative agency Conflict. With his daughter Eloise a student at the school, it is very special to Conflict partner and creative director Niall Kelly. (That’s Eloise in the Kids T-Shirt section below, beaming at the camera.)

“We were thrilled when we were asked to give the school a new visual identity that would accurately reflect its mission to help kids with developmental disabilities reach their full potential,” said. “This colourful new design system was inspired by the school’s core belief that with respect, acceptance, and encouragement all kids can grow.”

We asked Kelly to go a little deeper on the new look and feel for this latest edition of By Design.

The Old Logo: For years, the Beverley School had been using this sketch as their logo. It was drawn by a teacher at the school and used on T-shirts they’d sell to raise money for various initiatives.

The school was looking for a fuller design system that could be used across a larger number of channels like web, social, newsletters and swag and be a better reflection of what the school was all about.

The New Logo: We wanted the new logo to be full of positivity and to reflect the school’s mission of helping kids grow. We also wanted it to be highly legible given the various developmental disabilities many of the kids at the school have.

The mix of playful hand-drawn type and simple stacked sans serif wordmark was meant to evoke a “Sesame Street meets NYC Subway System” vibe. A fun place to learn that’s easy to access.

Friendship Bracelet: The primary B brand mark and the secondary word mark were inspired by the idea of friendship bracelets. We wanted anyone who wore a shirt, or pin (or the bracelet, right) to feel like they were a friend of the Beverley School and all of the kids who go there.

The school’s motto is “With respect, acceptance, & encouragement I can grow.”

The small string of floral shaped beads is meant to reflect all the different ways the staff help these kids grow during the time they attend the school.

New School Mural: The school’s main atrium was the perfect spot for a new mural. It’s a large open concept space attached to all the classrooms, and its always filled with plenty of sunshine. It’s where the kids play most, and where those who use mobility devices can roam around freely with little obstruction.

It’s also where the school hosts its weekly music circle, which brings the whole school together every Friday. The perfect spot for photo opportunities for anyone visiting the school.

Kids T-Shirt: The kids T-shirts highlighted the school’s motto in a big way. We did this so that people outside of the school would be reminded of each child’s potential. Sometimes even close family, friends, and especially people outside the school’s tight knit community need the reminder.

Colour Palette:

The colour palette was chosen for a few reasons.

  1. We wanted to reflect the simplicity of primary and secondary colour palettes often found in learning environments.
  2. We wanted the system to have a range of fun and positive colours to reflect the spirit of the school.
  3. We wanted a simple way to celebrate the diversity of the student population and the show how inclusive the staff are of each child’s unique learning abilities in a safe supportive environment.