This new animal group name puts animals and humans on an equal footing

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Design studio Anak has redesigned the identity of the Mandai Wildlife Group, which manages the Singapore Zoo, with the aim of involving people in biodiversity.

Singapore-based design studio Anak rebranded the Mandai Wildlife Group, a 300-acre nature reserve that includes animal parks, an eco-resort, and a conservation foundation.

Mandai operates several sites across Singapore, including the Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park. For the new branding, Anak designed elements including a rainforest-inspired frame, tone of voice guidelines, and a bespoke typeface.

According to Anak’s Associate Creative Director, Kit Chua, and senior designer Jeremy Tan, the team approached the project with a personal attachment to these “deeply loved national institutions” as well as an awareness of biodiversity ambitions “at home”. Mandai’s ‘epic scale’.

The ambition of the new look was to combine Mandai’s 50 years of zoology experience and encourage people to get involved in the protection of biodiversity and wildlife, they explain.


Among the animals

While public perception in zoos has suffered in recent years due to poor conditions for animals, the Singapore Zoo has long been celebrated for its “open zoo” concept, according to the designers.

“Zoos around the world were pretty depressing places for animals and humans, with lots of concrete cages, bars and unnatural elements,” Chua and Tan add. “In the 1970s, the Singapore Zoo made the decision to do away with all of this and designed barriers for habitats that take the form of natural features such as moat hedges.”

This feeling of being among the animals inspired much of the new branding, including the ‘tropical frame’ graphic that displays information. Composed of leaves from a native shrub called simpoh air (an evergreen plant found in swampy areas), the graphic frame aims to create a “feeling of wonderful and delicious, spontaneous natural discovery,” say the designers. .

The distinctive leaf shapes provide an “instant abbreviation for rainforest foliage,” explain Chua and Tan.

They add, “We wanted something functional that would hold information but also recreate that feeling of being in our parks – looking up and all around you, through the canopy hedges, spotting an orange- free utan or a tiger through the trees. “


“For too long, global associations with Singapore have been man-made”

The visuals and the new “Come to Life” slogan were inspired by the region’s rich native biodiversity, the designers explain. They also seek to correct the broader perceptions of Singapore.

“For too long, global associations with Singapore have been man-made – our airport, the F1 night rave, even the Supertrees of Gardens by the Bay,” said Chua and Tan.

Identity is about putting humans and animals on an equal footing, they explain. It unfolds in tone of voice, photography and color palettes. A T-shirt says, “Just another creature,” for example.

Anak worked with the Colophon Foundry on a new Mandai Value Serif font. According to Chua and Tan, the typeface had to meet many needs – from corporate governance to a children’s book.

Colophon’s Value Serif was the inspiration with its warmth and clarity, they explain. Anak then worked with Colophon to create a “slightly softer version with a more organic feel”.

The resulting letter shapes are “thicker and more rounded than the original, and have those character folds that beautifully break the rigidity of a typical serif shape,” they add.


What do you think of the identity? Let us know in the comments below.


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