Kaverikahvila became Buddyschool in the hands of Arcada students Emilia Leino and Josefin Rönnqvist, both studying online media at the Department of Culture and Communication. The project focuses on peer instruction in comprehensive schools and older pupils helping to teach younger ones. The new brand was introduced during the autumn of 2017 and was developed on behalf of Maahanmuuttajanuorten Helsinki (Migrant Youth Helsinki) with support from the ME Foundation.

The Buddyschool project has been a co-design project ever since the get go, and users have played an active part in the planning and the day-to-day operations. This approach was kept when Emilia and Josefin renewed the brand and worked on a new name, logotype, colour scheme, slogan and mascot.
”We visited the participating schools to collect thoughts and experiences of Buddyschool. It soon became clear that we needed to find a name that works for pupils of various ages and from different cultural backgrounds. After having received both name and logo suggestions from the children the idea of Buddyschool was born,” Emilia and Josefin says.

Besides staying in contact with the schools, the students kept the lines of dialogue open with the ones who’d given them the assignment.
”Thanks to the interactions with pupils we could ensure that the brand concept Learning together (Vi lär oss tillsammans, Opitaan yhdessä) suited the target audience. Migrant Youth Helsinki made sure that we had a thorough understanding of the project’s purpose and aims.”

With such a wide target audience, consisting of children and youth of various ages and also representing many different nationalities, Emilia and Josefin sought to find an easily accessible and neutral mascot. After a time the kind, happy and positive Buddyschool mascot took shape. The Arcada students also developed a new compelling web concept.
”Our goal was to create an informative website that speaks to all target groups and stays true to the brand concept we’ve created,” Emilia and Josefin explains. ”

Besides working on the brand concept and website they also planned the marketing of Buddyschool and worked on marketing material consistent with the graphical profile. The project has been a learning experience and the student’s competencies in brand design, communications and project management have increased drastically.
”We wouldn’t hesitate to take on a similar project. It’s been fun to work on a real case and also rewarding to get experience from working life. We’ve also done research and learnt a lot about the significance of colours and shapes in various cultures, and also realized how important it is to take cultural aspects into consideration,” Josefin and Emilia says.

All involved parties are positive to the co-operation with Arcada and the students’ work on redesigning Buddyschool’s brand.
“It was important to create a strong brand for Buddyschool, which is active in some 20 schools in Helsinki today. Buddyschool’s visibility has now increased in the schools and the word spreads among both pupils and teachers. The students’ work on the brand has had a significant impact on Buddyschool’s popularity, and I’m happy that young Arcada students have developed a brand suited to the target audience. Our goal is that 85 percent of schools becomes active in Buddyschool before the year 2020,” project manager Irma Sippola says.

Find out more about Buddyschool on the project's homepage.

Press release