New foreign language school

blackbirdsings's picture

Foreign language schools, regardless of the mission and the potential are always boring looking and rather unexciting. Too academic one might say.

This is my attempt at trying to brighten the image of this business. Throwing out the old ideas and creating new.

What do you think?

aluminum's picture

The logo is nice. Not sure about the colors.

I don't think you need the face on the card. (mug-shots on b-cards are meant only for real estate agents. I think that's a law of some sort.)

Chris Rugen's picture

I like the design a lot. The light blue looks like a potential pitfall, but it's definitely doing what you want it to.

On the the orange side, the word balloon seems to be going the wrong way. Shouldn't it be around what Heike says?

As for the logo, I like it, but the the word balloon looks just a bit off from the side of the square, perhaps make it parallel or more angled, so it looks less like a mistake. The balloon's stroke is automatically applied by Illustrator/freehand, right? The point at the end looks off to me, as though the stroke is too thick and deep where the two sides meet (probably from the overlap. I'd recommend drawing it as an actual shape, rather than a stroke, so you can control the finer details.

As for the face thing, I like it, but it probably won't work that well for most people (not all of us look like Heike). But if ooni's willing to take decent photos, I think it's fun and personable.

And, just for fun, here's a not so good word balloon logo (scroll down), in my opinion.

blackbirdsings's picture

Thanks guys for the comments. The mark could use a little more refinement. It has bothered me also, so thats why I put it up here to get some feedback.

As for the colors, I was trying to be the complete opposite of competitors. They are dull and uninspired. This is the language school for the MtV generation. Trying to modify the methods of language acquistion, so that this is as appealing as after-school sports and other activities. Not that any of them are this bright(see Mtv reference)and it maybe a tad too extreme, but it is supposed to feel energetic and fresh.

Do you mean the blue is a pitfall, when working with white type? Please expand.

The pictures put faces in an organization. Potential customers aren't numbers, they're people and we want you to know we are "physically" there.

After going through the rounds of German teachers to learn the language, the vision I have is less of a teacher and more of a friend.

Insert other optimistic rhetoric here. Still in the post graduation phase.

e's picture

Hi Josh,
have a look at:


squeeze's picture


I agree with everything Chris said about the logo.

I think the real estate correlation is a stretch

hrant's picture

Although she seems a bit too stringy, I think you should definitely keep the chic (and have a second card with a hunk). This is because one large attraction of learning a foreign language is in fact meeting new [kinds of] people.


Chris Rugen's picture

"Do you mean the blue is a pitfall, when working with white type? Please expand. "

Yes. The blue looks sharp on screen, but I'm worried that whatever pantone it is will not give you what you expect on a card stock. However, I've learned the hard way that many inks go darker rather than light in printing, so... take it as you will. Also, a photocopier/fax would not be able to transmit this business card (if it's attached to a document, etc.).

Having seen Vicente Arregui's post of ICU, perhaps that's an even better reason to veer from the blue. It's such a good idea (the general look/concept) that it's not a surprise multiple designers have hit on it.

dan's picture

Josh, I keep thinking of the President Kennedy misquote in German during his term. He ment to say we are all Berliners. I forgot what he actually said but wouldn't that be a cool image and quote for learning the language properly.

Chris Rugen's picture

"Ich bin ein berliner." I think. It means: "I am a jelly donut."

P.S.: Berliners are really good, so it could've been worse.

blackbirdsings's picture

Here was a proposed print ad


Elementally as discussed before, the triangular shaped element is carried through here, but upon another glance is it needed?

This is also a different tagline pitch with the thinks, bleeds, etc. line.

Hrant-I was trying to have a balanced approach in terms of gender. These would be the instructors or people like them. Yes they are quite handsome and cute, but who knows if they would be this cute.

Scott- I think you may be right about breaking into space. It seems a bit too tight as a composition and breaking some lines would not stray far from the feeling and mission.

My teachers were never this way either. Though the thought is to have younger staff that have other interests and can incorporate that into the class. They also don't have a huge age gap either. Allows me to slightly justify the chosen colors.

If you didn't really notice it, the german phrase is answered on the back of the card. Thus a person can look back and begin to understand the language immediately.

Isaac's picture

I noticed that little detail too, and that's one of my favorite parts of your idea. I saw the card, now I sprechen Deutsch! I like how you're approaching the concept, and the colors do what you said they were supposed to do. I concur with Chris' suggestion about the logo balloon outline, and I was also slightly confused by the question not being in the speech bubble. Why are the two strokes in the logo different weights? Maybe to reduce crowding? Other than that, I don't have any really useful commentary.

Chris Rugen's picture

"Elementally as discussed before, the triangular shaped element is carried through here, but upon another glance is it needed? "

Well, it's not necessary, but I think it should be there, for identity carry-through. Though, I didn't even see it the first few glances (I though it was a piece of paper in the photo). I'd move it closer to their head, or make it point towards their mouth.

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