In 2013 Ilam School decided they wanted a new school logo. Their existing logo seemed dated in appearance. However, the symbol for the school, the Azalea, was perfect. It captured the essence of who they were and what they stood for. But now the school was moving forward and forging new pathways. How could they use the Azalea to help capture where they were heading in the future?

Ilam School Logo 1950 - 2013


The Ilam School Logo has changed a few times over the years starting with a couple of different shield options after the school opened in 1950.


In 1994 the logo changed to an Azalea. They felt it more closely aligned with their learning philosophy. The following is an excerpt from "Ilam in the Nor'West - Ilam School and District" -


“The azalea embodies Ilam because it was in the garden of the Ilam Homestead, opposite Ilam School, that Edgar Stead developed his famous rhododendron and azalea collection. The logo chosen is an idealisation of one of Stead’s blooms.

An attribute of the azalea as our logo is that it represents the process of cultivation, growth and increasing for the future. Gardening as a process of planting and nurturing represents creative actions in many ways similar to children’s education. The seasonal rebirth in nature reminds us that all in life is cyclical and we all – parents, children, teachers – have our place in the round of life itself.”

Ilam School Logo 2013 - Present


In 2013 their school logo was refreshed. The azalea symbol was retained but modernised and the meaning behind the logo expanded upon. This was due to the ongoing cultural and educational changes taking place inside the school.

I explored in more detail some of the key attributes of the Azalea and how they could be used to symbolise Ilam School culture, its people and values. The following are some of the things I discovered about Azaleas. I then looked at how I could use these in an interesting way to talk about the school.

  • The origins of the Azalea are in Asia (not native to New Zealand).
    - Ilam School is a school that embraces all cultures, races and religions.

  • The Azalea is representative of people with a deep inner desire to lead.
    - Ilam School is creating the leaders of tomorrow.

  • The Azalea is a flower that is highly sought after.
    - Ilam School children are beautiful (celebrating uniqueness and individuality) and the school environment is special (trees, gardens, and wide open fields). The Ilam School community cares about their students and their school.

  • The Azalea plant can endure harsh conditions.
    - Ilam School has a long tradition of educational excellence that continues on in the 21st century.

The five petal azalea is symbolic of staff and students in action. At the ‘heart’ of the azalea is a light (a star) that shines out of every person at Ilam. The five petals represent Ilam School’s core values.

As staff and students demonstrate the school's beliefs and values in their everyday lives, Ilam School’s reputation for excellence in education, and for being a warm and caring learning environment for families, grows stronger and shines brighter in the community – both locally and internationally.

Ilam's Ethos Model

Their ethos model is a visual representation of those things which Ilam holds dear to their hearts. They want their students to have a deep sense of belonging, to explore, to question, to strive and to give back. They want them to be safe, positive, respectful and kind in their lives.

By trying to be the best they can be in all of these ways they will be fulfilling their vision of "Celebrating achievement, celebrating diversity".

Ilam School

Ilam ĢƵ Examples

As a result of Ilam's look into its culture I was then able to create a brand image that reflects exactly who they are as a school. Since 2013 they have been gradually improving their brand appearance across numerous touchpoints. These include stationery, signage, flags, brochures, posters, certificates, and their website.

The bold use of blue and yellow contrasted against white areas and their 'swoosh' act as strong supporting elements alongside their school logo. The use of an ethnically diverse range of students learning and playing together helps reinforce the sense of community and warmth that families can expect when they come.

Ilam School Ethos Model Christchurch NZ

Learning Ethos Model

Ilam School Front Sign

Ilam School Front 'Welcome' Sign

Ilam School Rear Entrance Sign Christchurch NZ

Ilam School Rear 'Welcome' Sign

Ilam School Ethos Sign Outside Christchurch NZ

Ilam School Outdoor 'Ethos' Sign


Ilam School International Student Display


International Student Display In Detail

Ilam New Entrant Booklet Christchurch NZ

Ilam School New Entrant Brochure

Ilam-School International Brochure Christchurch NZ

Ilam School International Brochure

Ilam School Flag Christchurch NZ

Ilam School Flag

Ilam School Values Flags Christchurch NZ
Ilam School Values Flags 2 Christchurch NZ

Ilam School Values Flags

Ilam School Vision Guide For Teachers

This A5 landscape booklet endeavours to unpack Ilam's Vision for teachers so they can weave aspects of it into classroom programmes as and when appropriate. The guide contains room for staff to write down their thoughts regarding each aspect in relation to their individual year group needs.

Ilam School Vision Guide for Teachers Christchurch NZ
Ilam School Vision Guide for Teachers 2 Christchurch NZ
Ilam School Vision Guide for Teachers 3 Christchurch NZ
Ilam School Vision Guide for Teachers 4 Christchurch NZ
Ilam School Vision Guide for Teachers 5 Christchurch NZ
Ilam School Zone Map Christchurch New Zealand

Ilam School Zone Map

Ilam School Stationery

Ilam School Stationery

From The Principal

IMG_4161 to use cropped (small)

"I unreservedly recommend Craig at ĢƵ Matters who listens carefully to a client's wishes, adds his own thoughts for consideration and then comes up with a design that is fresh, creative and captures the brief given. His work is always delivered on time and he is very receptive to any changes required."

Paul Dolan
Principal - Ilam School, New Zealand


Ilam School have come a long way!

It's amazing how quickly a school's brand identity can grow over time and how every touchpoint can be brought into line with the overall look of the school. Is your school's brand identity working together as one cohesive looking image?

1 Comment

  1. on May 27, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    Kia ora Craig,

    I am the Acting Principal of Ilam School while Paul Dolan is away. I have a couple of Ilam School PALs tops that I need made. Is this possible?

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