we let a bunch of kids draw over our design

nanjing youth festival

After the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games took place in 2014, the city of Nanjing, China, and UNESCO initiated a youth festival on sports, culture and creativity. We were asked to design the identity of this newly formed platform.

inspiration  Starting with the idea of intercultural collaboration, we designed the identity with every intention of the young people of Nanjing making it their own. In the overall identity and communication we choose the “Y” of Youth as a building block, in bright colors and clear typography. It was the first time we created a design that was intended for others to build upon, not having a hand in what the outcome would be.

how it got done  We invited local children and teenagers to draw and write on pre-printed posters, flyers, flags, banners and stickers. They really made our design their own, taking it further and creating new ideas with the concept – ideas that we might not have come up with ourselves. This form of co-creation underlined the concept behind the youth festival. Everybody collaborated in making communication happen.

client profile  The Nanjing Youth Festival provides young people with a platform to show, dialogue, and communicate on sports, culture, and peace and it is an important part of activities co-organized by UNESCO. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.


We work to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’S mission and activities. – mission statement UNESCO