Bright future for Oxford scholars

Bright future for Oxford scholars

When Li Zhang and her colleagues founded Oxford Bright Scholars there was a lot of work to do from a standing start and one of the first jobs on the list was designing a logo, branding and website.

Oxford Bright Scholars is an educational organisation run by University of Oxford graduates that aims to equip students and young professionals with knowledge of China and enable them to use this knowledge to create a positive impact on the world. The programme combines high-quality academic teaching with practical and engaging workshops.

“We’re a creative organisation and much more interactive than some other programmes,” said Li. “We wanted our branding to reflect that while showcasing the quality of the Oxford academic environment in a way that would appeal to young students.”

An Oxford graduate herself, Li knew exactly what she was looking for but her demanding job involves a lot of travel so her time is limited. She searched for a company that could design a top-notch logo and website. “We began the branding programme back in September 2015,” she said. “Several companies pitched to me but it always felt there was something missing. I wasn’t convinced that any were the right partner for us.”

Then, by chance, she received a call from Jon Garrard at Pad just as she landed back in the UK. It was an auspicious start. She said: “Jon listened to what I wanted and then introduced me to Adam, one of Pad’s designers. We had an in-depth conversation and then Adam presented his designs – they were exactly what we were looking for.”

Encouraged by the success of the logo, Li and Adam quickly moved on to writing, designing and building the website. Although Li was travelling extensively throughout this phase of the project she found Pad’s approach meant the work went smoothly. She explained: “I have the best job in the world but juggling so many different things from different time zones can be difficult at times. Pad understand that and they are very responsive. Every contact, every email has a point. We discuss, we decide, and we move on to the next phase. There is no wasted time.

“There’s a great energy about Pad and within a few months we have such a good working relationship. Pad has been an important part of our growth and there are two reasons why we only work with them. Firstly, the whole team makes an effort to understand your business. Whether it’s the brand, the product or your long-term ambitions, they listen, take note and effectively build a platform for your business to grow. Secondly, the entire team is prompt and consistent when it comes to responding to emails and follow-ups. It is important when you are a start-up to know that you have a creative team supporting you every step of the way.”