Learn + Lead + Lift Up

Designing a program for public school pride


In July 2015, I had the honour of helping Carnarvon Community School redefine its identity. I worked with Carnarvon teacher Colin Chan on a program that would instill in students a sense of public school pride. As many students were being drawn to private schools with the allure of better education and extracurricular programs, the goal of the engagement program was to reinforce the sense of local community and pride that only public schools could offer.

While working on this public school pride program, I also helped to design the school's new Carnarvon Cougars logo.

The Process

Chan came to me with several enthusiastic ideas for the engagement program. He wanted the program to consist of extracurricular, community-focused activities that would encourage students to take pride in their local community - garbage clean-ups and career days, for example. He wanted the program to be graphically represented by a catchy slogan and logo.

Essentially, it's a concept that looks to integrate teachers, students, parents, schools, community members, stake holders, and local companies to bring pride back to being a member of a public school.
Colin Chan

Although Chan had fantastic ideas, I needed to make sure that whatever I designed fit his proposed needs, even if it wasn't what he asked for. For example, his original idea for a slogan was Public School Number One, but after some deliberation, we realized that this name invoked an overly aggressive and combative tone that seemed a little disrespectful towards private schools. It was important that the name we chose instilled a sense of pride, not smug superiority.

Some of the possible names for the school and community engagement program.

Some of the initial, prospective names for the program. Most of them focused on pride for the local community, some were unnecessarily "edgy", and some of them seemed a bit disrespectful towards private schools.

Chan and I settled on the name Learn + Lead + Lift Up, because of its catchy alliteration, and because it focused on extracurricular engagement that went beyond simple school pride. The aim was for students to recognize that learning was only the first part of what made public school great - they would also be counted on to lead and lift up others in the community. And of course, with a new name came a new logo, which I also designed.

The 'Learn + Lead + Lift Up' logo, featuring the title text as well as an L with a plus sign inside.

The Learn + Lead + Lift Up logo references the repeated 'L's and plus signs in the program's name, making it very clear what the logomark stands for.

Once the name and logo were finalized, I was tasked with creating a slide presentation that could be used to pitch the idea to parents at a Meet The Teacher Night. The ideology of the program was loaded, so I needed to make sure that both the slides were simple enough to not overwhelm the students or parents. I aimed to minimize wordiness and focus on brief descriptions of each component (Learn, Lead, Lift Up).

A slide in the Learn + Lead + Lift Up presentation, with a paragraph on leadership set over top of an image of Carnarvon Community School.

The presentation needed to be minimal yet effective, so I designed one slide around each of the specific components of the program (Learn, Lead, Lift Up) and used a faint background image of Carnarvon Community School.

View Presentation


The program was embraced by students, parents, and staff, who responded positively to the program's announcement at the parent teacher conference. Students and staff love the new logo as well, and have requested that a small logo patch be put on their school t-shirts.

An order of t-shirts has been sold to students and staff, with the Carnarvon Cougars logo on the front, and the Learn + Lead + Lift Up logo on the upper back. It's been pretty amazing to see my work go from a concept to a shirt that students and staff are paying to wear!

Front and back mockups of the soon-to-be-produced Carnarvon Cougars t-shirts. Branding components of the Carnarvon Cougar, including the logo, font, and colours.

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