Case Study

Digital Child

The Australian Research Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child is a research program, led by national and international experts, investigating children’s digital experiences. The centre innovates across disciplines, meeting the ongoing challenges of supporting young children growing up in rapidly changing times. A world-leading team runs interconnected research programs, children’s technology laboratories as well as a world-first longitudinal family cohort study: 3000 Australian families and children from birth to eight years of age. The Centre addresses tensions in a contested field, informing government and non-government policy, technology innovation, and develop programs and guidelines for families, educators, technology developers and most importantly — children.

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The Challenge

ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child required a robust brand framework to enable it to powerfully articulate its role — and a logo to match. With multiple deeply invested stakeholders across Australia, consensus and collaboration was essential. In addition, audiences for the branding program were extremely diverse: from large international corporations and academic institutions through to individual children and their parents and carers.

The Nous Solution

Nous connected stakeholders for a joint Brand Workshop where all were able to contribute. This in-person process is key to clearly understanding the relevance, differentiation and articulation of any brand. It unearths real truths and tests perceived ones. In a series of follow-up meetings a framework, approach and positioning were agreed upon. From these, a brief was created for the concept and design of the Digital Child brand identity.

The real challenge lay in realising a visual that connected the regimented ‘digital’ realm to the playful, imaginative world of a child.

In a digital environment, great visual complexity and depth is realised with the simple form of the pixel. Multiplied and modulated to create infinitely varied outcomes, it’s obvious parallel to children’s building blocks could not be ignored. The Digital Child logo is rendered in strict orthographic form as a series of brightly coloured blocks, playfully arranged to spell out the word “child”.

To enhance the sense of play and experimentation, eight variations of the logo were devised, each adding its own unique voice to the chorus — but always doing so within the strictures of the basic form. Demonstrating imagination, experimentation and accomplishment. No single version is “the” logo — they all are. Together they add up to a variable logo — one that appears to be slightly different each time it is seen — further enhancing the ideas of individual difference, interdependence, play and joyful experimentation.