The Logo Story
In November of 2018 a diverse group of teachers, administrators, students and a local Lao designer came together to redesign the school logo so that it would reflect the schools’ new mission, vision and values and pay tribute to the rich cultural of Laos, our host country.
Members engaged in lively discussions sharing inspiration, stories, designs, and what VIS meant to them. For James, a secondary Design Instructor, a major milestone in the process was when a talented secondary student presented some quickly sketched ideas based on Lao weaving patterns.
“It was really an ‘Aha!’ moment when we could all see the big "V" in the pattern, and it was evident that the idea of a weaving pattern encapsulated three things: a connection to Lao culture, an interwoven community, and the potential for a simple, bold shape to abstractly express the key components of our school vision.”
Kone, our young Lao designer, enjoyed the open, fair and optimistic vibe of each session and also added this about working with VIS:
“Until now, every organization I have worked with in Laos, has asked me to embrace western culture in my designs. VIS was the first organization, in my experience, to put a priority on incorporating Lao culture into the design”.
The task force met once a week for almost six months. Ideas were pursued, designs were developed, dropped and finally the field was narrowed. Yes, this process could have much been faster if was done in isolation, but the collaboration between the various stakeholders gave us more than just a logo. It gave us a logo with a story.
The Meaning of the Logo
It was important the the new VIS logo be more than a pretty design, it had to be meaningful. From the beginning we knew that it should tell a story rooted in our host country while embracing the rich diversity represented in our students and faculty.
From the indigo blue to the bright orange, the colors are tied to Lao culture. There are five colors, representing both the diversity of our school, but also our five core values: balance, resilience, respect, innovation and courage.
The different colored dots represent people and are also symbolic of importance we place on the diversity of our learners.
“If you look at the dots in context to the ‘V’ shape in the logo, they look like children with outstretched arms celebrating the ‘joy of learning”, says VIS Head of School, Elsa Donohue.
In the same way that the core muscles support the human body, our learners are supported by the four aspects of the VIS Core: our mission, our vision, our values and our definition of learning. In the logo, this is represented by the four-sided indigo diamond shape at the very center of the design.
This shape points in the four cardinal directions and is augmented by four teal shapes pointing in the ordinal directions. Taken together it represents a compass. Says Angie, a primary Art Teacher and member of the team:
“One of my favorite moments of the process was seeing that the compass could be incorporated into the logo … pathways heading off in all sorts of different directions, one not being more valuable than the other.”
From the core, our learners will find their own paths, and these will be as unique and diverse as our students themselves. But regardless of the path they take, it is our aim that the VIS Core will support them as they build and apply new understandings in a variety of contexts.