Designworks 181 Kami

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Jef Wong
  • Pou Rautaki / Strategic Lead
    Mike Pepper
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Caitlin Thompson
  • Kaituhi Matua / Copywriter Lead
    Sam O’Flaherty
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Caitlin Rassie (Senior Designer), Phillip Kim, Andrew Holder-Ross, Amanda Sommerville, Kathryn Cunningham, Chloé Griveaud, Nicky Lloyd, Jordan Popovich
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Louis Esther, Alliv Samson, Hengjie Wang, Gemma Leigh-Perry, Chinmayee Phalnikar, Hope McConnell
  • Client

In the wake of unprecedented COVID-19 lockdowns, existing classroom technology trends around the world were catalysed, and Kiwi company Kami’s growth suddenly became exponential. Millions of teachers and students around the world jumped on Kami’s digital classroom platform as a way of engaging, empowering and inspiring learning.

But the brand had been left behind. Kami urgently needed a new creative platform and refreshed brand identity that would build off their successes and reflect who they really were now, all the while setting them up for even bigger things ahead. Helping them stand out as the global leader with simplicity, clarity, consistency and character. A rebrand that would help take this successful Kiwi tech company to the next level.

The positioning hinges from the core pain point experienced by teachers: they want their students to be engaged and inspired, but they don’t have the time or resources to make it happen. So we set teachers up as the superheroes, putting them at the centre of an inspired, creative, curated learning experience.

At its heart, Kami transforms the everyday and expected into experiences that are unique, inspiring, engaging and unbelievably easy. This informed the single organising idea that drove the project – mundane to magic.

The identity was driven by the idea of ‘for the love of learning.’ The geometry of the soft circle underpinned as the start of an idea, morphed into a heart, a speech bubble, accessible and friendly.

The wider system builds from this circular idea, adding playfulness and connection. It extends into shapes that reflect the way the app is used – real life gestures and actions in digital formats, giving it life and the dynamic energy of the classroom.

We developed a custom display typeface, inspired by the mascot, which is fun and playful and features extra characterful touches such as eyes in the counters.

We also developed a character or mascot, updating it from the original dog to be more ambiguous and magical while at the same time more useful and practical – and connecting it inherently into the same system as all the other elements.

In 2022, Kami was named one of Time magazine’s top 100 most influential companies.