It was conceived by the philanthropist and surgeon Dr Bissaya Barreto in the 1930s for the local nursery school, providing a play area for the children to run around and learn. Since its opening in 1940, it has become the main source of income for the charitable works of the Bissaya Barreto Foundation.
It has grown over the decades to become a well-known and much-loved destination for learning by play. Adults as well as children can come and learn all about Portugal’s cultural history around the world. Families, schools, day-trippers and national and international tourists all enjoy its facilities.
Coinciding with a significant redevelopment of the park to include 13 new exhibition galleries, we were approached to create a new narrative for the park and embed that into a new brand identity.
The reason we were chosen from a creative pitch involving six agencies, was our embodiment of the founder’s “make the children of our land happy.” Most other agencies used architectural features as a theme for the visual language, whereas we used the joy of children exploring, discovering and having fun, combined with a play on scale – exactly what the Foundation was looking for.
Working with brand strategist Amanda Yensa Manor, we developed a brand strategy, with the core proposition “timelessly exploring fun-sized culture together.” This was used as a visual narrative in their creative outputs.
They didn’t want to change their logo – an icon of their front entrance – but they accepted that it needed updating to modernise it and enable small usage. A key feature of the identity is a pattern which encompasses the wide variety of houses, buildings, statues and cultural objects amongst which children and families explore, discover and learn. And we had fun with scale, to highlight the unusual nature of everything in the park being scaled.
Full brand identity guidelines were created, which guided the tone of voice and visual language for the interactive exhibitions. Likewise, retail products, tickets and uniforms were produced in the new branding.
We are designing a new standalone website, as the current website is housed in the Foundation’s own website in its corporate style – it lacks the scale and joy that makes Portugal dos Pequenitos a must-see visitor attraction.
We will be creating advertising in 2023 to promote the new park visitor experience and we promise to bring the joy!