Media Design School seeks to ignite creativity with new logo

Taking stock of the evolution of its brand was the main instigator behind Media Design School’s bright and explosive logo makeover—making for quite the departure from its former black and white identity. With the old logo remaining unchanged for over 10 years, the school wanted to ensure the new logo did justice to the school’s creativity, variety and vitality. 

Working in collaboration with brand strategy and communications agency Origami, Media Design School’s marketing manager Darron Leslie says the original plan was to use a style guide, font family and colour palate that worked with the existing Media Design School logo. 

“This shifted upon exploration with our agency Origami of ‘what really made us tick’—to be a more expansive analysis of brand strategy and architecture and to fully articulate our brand essence, promise and personality,” says Leslie. 

The new logo features a spark, which Leslie says represents the essence of the school’s brand—to “ignite creativity”. 

But just how the spark got all of its multicoloured spikes is an interesting story in and of itself, stemming from a desire to include and collaborate with the school staff because, as Leslie puts it, “...they would have to live the brand as well”. That collaboration resulted in each staff member being asked to submit an image that inspired them. 

“These images were then utilised as a gradient ‘fill’ in the spark brand-mark, with four iterations representing a family of spark logos reflecting how our creativity, diverse course structure and the many different people and cultures that come together on a daily basis make Media Design School truly inspiring,” says Leslie. 

With the school comprised of 40 staff from different backgrounds,  Origami's Andy Haines says the collaboration was inevitably going to be an interesting one.

"By getting everyone involved they became part of the creative process and the identity was ‘curated’ rather than ‘thrust upon the institution by a design agency’. The consequence of this buy-in was extraordinary and started countless interactions about the nature of identity and how the school and its competitors look."

Leslie says the family of spark logos offers flexibility, with different versions used for different mediums of communication, like print, online and corporate communications. 

The school’s subject areas of Graphics, Interactive, 3D, VFX Motion Design, GameDev and The AdSchool also each have their own sub-brand comprised of subtle variations on the main parent logo spark. 

“The re-design allowed for a suite of sub-brands to help better articulate the specialised design and visual art disciplines that make up the Media Design School product,” says Leslie. 

And now, for your teeth sinking pleasure, here are the font and colour technicalities of the new logo, as explained by the school’s brand and strategy executive, Kyle Glass. 


The typeface for the logo and for main headlines is Neutraface No. 2 Display. Neutraface No. 2 is a more commercial version of the classic Neutraface and is a highly versatile and beautiful modern font. We use the whole Neutraface No.2 font family with all caps lettering.

For all sub-headings and body copy, we use the Geometric Slabserif font family. This classic slab serif is easy to read and has a strong character to compliment and contrast with Neutraface No. 2. On headings we tend to use it with huge italicized all-caps to make our posters look really dramatic. For all electronic communications, we use Trebuchet.


Our colour scheme shows strong contrast and bold characteristics as well. Next to the basic brand palette, we have a secondary colour code system for the course sub-brands as well. All these colours are used throughout our collateral, often playing with contrast, big type and complimentary colours.


The logo and the other graphical elements (colourful blocks and tabs, big bold typography) really pop on the deep black background. The whole system is very flexible and the end result always reflects a strong, vibrant character, something different and original that stands out in the row of other homogenised 'safe' brands.    

Below are some of the images submitted by staff and used in the logo.

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).