In 2013 Ilam School decided they wanted a new school logo. Their existing logo seemed dated in appearance. However, the symbol for the school, the Azalea, was perfect. It captured the essence of who they were and what they stood for. But now the school was moving forward and forging new pathways. How could they use the Azalea to help capture where they were heading in the future?

Ilam School Logo 1950 - 2013

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The Ilam School Logo has changed a few times over the years starting with a couple of different shield options after the school opened in 1950.

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In 1994 the logo changed to an Azalea. They felt it more closely aligned with their learning philosophy. The following is an excerpt from "Ilam in the Nor'West - Ilam School and District" -

 

“The azalea embodies Ilam because it was in the garden of the Ilam Homestead, opposite Ilam School, that Edgar Stead developed his famous rhododendron and azalea collection. The logo chosen is an idealisation of one of Stead’s blooms.

An attribute of the azalea as our logo is that it represents the process of cultivation, growth and increasing for the future. Gardening as a process of planting and nurturing represents creative actions in many ways similar to children’s education. The seasonal rebirth in nature reminds us that all in life is cyclical and we all – parents, children, teachers – have our place in the round of life itself.”

Ilam School Logo 2013 - Present

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In 2013 their school logo was refreshed. The azalea symbol was retained but modernised and the meaning behind the logo expanded upon. This was due to the ongoing cultural and educational changes taking place inside the school.

I explored in more detail some of the key attributes of the Azalea and how they could be used to symbolise Ilam School culture, its people and values. The following are some of the things I discovered about Azaleas. I then looked at how I could use these in an interesting way to talk about the school.

  • The origins of the Azalea are in Asia (not native to New Zealand).
    - Ilam School is a school that embraces all cultures, races and religions.

  • The Azalea is representative of people with a deep inner desire to lead.
    - Ilam School is creating the leaders of tomorrow.

  • The Azalea is a flower that is highly sought after.
    - Ilam School children are beautiful (celebrating uniqueness and individuality) and the school environment is special (trees, gardens, and wide open fields). The Ilam School community cares about their students and their school.

  • The Azalea plant can endure harsh conditions.
    - Ilam School has a long tradition of educational excellence that continues on in the 21st century.

The five petal azalea is symbolic of staff and students in action. At the ‘heart’ of the azalea is a light (a star) that shines out of every person at Ilam. The five petals represent Ilam School’s core values.


As staff and students demonstrate the school's beliefs and values in their everyday lives, Ilam School’s reputation for excellence in education, and for being a warm and caring learning environment for families, grows stronger and shines brighter in the community – both locally and internationally.

Ilam's Ethos Model

Their ethos model is a visual representation of those things which Ilam holds dear to their hearts. They want their students to have a deep sense of belonging, to explore, to question, to strive and to give back. They want them to be safe, positive, respectful and kind in their lives.

By trying to be the best they can be in all of these ways they will be fulfilling their vision of "Celebrating achievement, celebrating diversity".

Ilam School

Ilam School Visual Branding

As a result of Ilam's look into its culture I was then able to create a brand image that reflects exactly who they are as a school. Since 2013 they have been gradually improving their brand appearance across numerous touchpoints. These include stationery, signage, flags, brochures, posters, certificates, and their website.

The bold use of blue and yellow contrasted against white areas and their 'swoosh' act as strong supporting elements alongside their school logo. The use of an ethnically diverse range of students learning and playing together helps reinforce the sense of community and warmth that families can expect when they come.

Click on an image below to see in more detail.

From The Principal

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"I unreservedly recommend Craig at School Branding Matters who listens carefully to a client's wishes, adds his own thoughts for consideration and then comes up with a design that is fresh, creative and captures the brief given. His work is always delivered on time and he is very receptive to any changes required."

Paul Dolan
Principal - Ilam School, New Zealand

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Ilam School have come a long way!

It's amazing how quickly a school's brand identity can grow over time and how every touchpoint can be brought into line with the overall look of the school.

Are all the elements of your school's brand identity working together as one cohesive looking image?

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