Singapore Management University


Creating the identity of the new business university of the Pacific Century


Competitor Analysis, Brand Positioning, Design Planning & Strategy, Corporate Identity, Brand Guidelines


How to create a brand from scratch to compete in world that reveres traditional institutions with reputations built over centuries. Singapore’s newest institute needed an identity that would not only be taken seriously but that spoke to students and faculty alike of the promise of the ‘Pacific Century’. If SMU were to be a game-changing university, it would require an identity that looked like nothing that had come before.


The Tangram Lion was born from inspiration of the ancient Chinese puzzle qi qiao tuor ‘ingenious puzzle of seven pieces’, formed from a creative arrangement of scattered geometric elements into an integrated whole. This was a dramatic departure from the traditional heraldic devices of universities in Singapore and other international ‘Ivy League’ institutions. It’s a dynamic perspective drawn from Asian wisdom but directed towards students with a global vision and the ambition to become global business leaders.


The University has grown to become a highly respected institution in Singapore and beyond. It has been ranked in the top 10 of all business schools in the world.

The identity itself has garnered awards and accolades for its distinctive construct, at once established and also strikingly unusual. The school attracts students and faculty who choose to pursue a more challenging and interesting path in business and in life.