Latest since PSY's Gangnam Style, South Korea has been at the center of popular culture. In 2018, The Korean wave reached America when BTS became the first K-pop artist to reach number one on the US Billboard 200 album chart.
This lead to a growing interest in South Korea worldwide. People have wanted to explore the origins of Kimchi and dance to the catchy beats of their favorite K-pop stars, live in Seoul.
So it was only natural that EF Belgium's market wanted to promote EF's school in South Korea.
On the flap of EF's brochures in 2019, we displayed the destinations that we offer,
so that potential students directly see what destinations they will find in the brochures, and do not have to go through 120 pages to figure that out.
For the supplementary material, I came up with the idea to take this journey further and display experiences, to engage the potential students on an emotional level., to make them wanna go and explore.
So each of EF's 52 destinations got an Individual poster, with individual experiences. Korea has a very strong eSports presence, and along with its K-pop scene, it stands for nightlife and neon lights. You would find bright colors and neon lights everywhere in the city.
To the destination poster on the left, I also created two additional posters: one with outlined text to get this vibrant tech look, and a 3rd one with images and a call-out offer. The orange in this poster is the product color.
Outlined text had never been used by EF before, but became a popular design choice after this.
(And yes, I was listening to K-pop while creating the posters.)
Influence your Future Flyer
This flyer and email banner (in black) was created for the Swiss market of EF. They were hosting an event to push sales by addressing the life-changing impact of the student's future by attending one of EF's program.
Within EF, we had a Corporate Design Guide with strict color, font, and look rules. I was always driven to draw a bit over the edges, play around with those rules, or create new trends, which later on extended the CD (creative direction).
Before this flyer, we neither used black and white design nor text over color block lines.
So, for EF, this was indeed a futuristic look.
For me, b+w design and bold geometrical typography is something timeless. Something that connects the past and the present, and builds a bridge to the future. I thought this would be the perfect concept for this flyer; the students have experienced language issues in the past and present, and they have a goal in mind: to become fluent in another language, to grow, to go on an adventure, which later on, in the future,
is beneficial for they work-life or even in private.
EF Education First was founded in Sweden in 1965 and has been the world leader in international education since then. EF has more than 600 offices and schools in more than 100 countries. EF has helped millions of people of all ages and nationalities become global citizens, whether by learning a language, discovering the world, or earning an academic degree.
In 2019, EF changed its font, and the brochures got a new cover look. Also, some product colors changed slightly. The brochures are sent in an envelope together with additional material such as sales letters and flyers. To match all the marketing material with the new look of the brochure, we had to develop a new concept for this material. I was responsible for that together with the Art Direction and another designer. I came up with an idea, which later on became the concept for all of the supplementary material.
On the flap of EF's brochures in 2019, EF displays the destinations that they offer, so that potential students directly see what destinations they will find in the brochures without having to go through 120 pages.
For the supplementary material, I came up with the idea to take this journey further and display experiences to engage the potential students on an emotional level. To make them want to go and explore.
I had the lead over creating the new envelope, poster, and roll-up templates, while the AD and my colleague designer were focusing on testimonial, sales letter, and product flyer templates.
The response was massive and loud! Salespeople from our worldwide markets were reaching out and told us how much they love the concept and the new marketing material. Other departments and products were copying the concept. And focus groups held in different countries with our students showed that they think the material is engaging and cool.
EF Language achieved the best sales year in history that year. And before Corona happened, they had the second-best sales week in history while using this material.
Educational Elements Typo Posters
Within EF, we were creating new marketing material daily. We always tried to be up to date with looks and use of speech, to satisfy our markets and their students' needs.
EF does not only want to sell education, but rather a life-changing experience – learning a language while immersing into the culture.
Here, the copy concept is proactive and motivates you to experience the cultural aspect of language travel or attending class abroad. To add an educational approach to the "go and explore" feel, I came up with a concept of using graphical elements, which you will find while attending class.
1 - Stylized notes
To stylize school notes, or highlight certain areas, students likely use an additional color. They also tend to write notes on the sides of the text in a vertical direction.
This concept was used for the green poster on the left side. It not only creates two layers for the two messages but also invites people to engage with it.
Versions with hand-written notes were also suggested, but it was 1.5 years too early for this concept. After having a staff turnover in the highest creative position, the idea with hand-written notes was brought up again by one of my co-designer and got approved!
2 - Dictionary
The dictionary is probably THE side-kick tool of any student. This concept goes very well hand-in-hand with the copy concept of one of EF's star content creators, Danny Kenyon. With this copy concept, Danny not only wanted to motivate non-natives to dive into the culture action-wise but also language-wise, by displaying and explaining expressions used by locals.
3 - Marker
A marker is a powerful tool, and a strong marker game saves up a lot of time later on while learning or refreshing memories. It also helps students to learn where to set focus on – to differentiate what is essential information and whatnot.
So, I loved the idea of using a marker to highlight messages. To create a very authentic marker look, I used different markers on paper, measured their weight, and converted them into points. To achieve the same transparent overlay effect, I added the function "multiply" to it. And every stroke is hand-painted.
The color used here is one of EF's product colors in different tint strengths.