Is it a kite, is it a toy, is it a compass…

Published January 14, 2012 – by Leontien Peeters

Is it a kite, is it a toy, is it a compass… It’s the new logo of the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

During the course of 2011 the Bernard van Leer Foundation made the decision to develop a new logo. Our old logo was developed in the pre-digital age and therefore not designed to work well on-and offline. In addition there was a sense that after sixty years the branding of the Foundation could use a facelift. When it was clear that the Foundation was going to move to a new physical home we felt the time was right to change our logo as well.

The process of deciding on a new logo is not an easy road. The fact that the desire for a new logo was a long time in the making did make it easier for the communication department to guide the process swiftly. The board gave permission for the development of a new logo in June. Three design firms were selected to develop new logo options. They were each given a written an oral instruction based on internal research the identity and reputation of the Foundation and general knowledge on what makes a strong logo. The top three designs were tested for their usability and among our key stakeholders in the countries where we work. Finally the logos were presented to the Board of Trustees in November with advice of the communications team on which logo did best during testing. They approved the logo you see on the cover of this magazine today.

The logo does not, as you may have expected, directly show we are about young children. Indeed, at the start of the process we expected the same thing. However, when testing we found that people do naturally associate the logo with things related to young children. Because of the primary colours and because of the graphic shapes it makes people think of children’s toys. We thought of just building blocks but have heard it makes people think of a kites, a puzzle, a kaleidoscope, a drum, a dart board, a windmill and even origami. It’s energetic and creative, just like kids, just like us. At least that is what we aspire to be. Our new logo is definitely inspiring us and allowing us to be more creative in they way we design our communication tools as you can agree looking through our website, publications and Annual Report 2011. We can play around with it and create graphs, maps, picture frames and much more over the next years. Please do not hesitate to ask one of our staff to bring you one of our chachies or gadgets next time they visit. If our logo reminds you of something else or if you have an idea for something creative for children that can be created using our new logo let us know.