SINGAPORE – Mandai was at a crossroads – from being just a zoo into a 126-hectare reserve that encompasses five wildlife parks, an eco-resort, a nature and conservation foundation, and much more. This needed a brand that would cater to the breadth of their expansive offerings, but, critically, one that also would amplify their position as a global champion for biodiversity.
Anak, the design agency of The Secret Little Agency, has created a new design playbook for biodiversity. One that guided every decision from organisational change to typography. Where wildlife, humans, and nature are simply equal. Reframing conservation as joyful, achievable, and powerful. It’s not a weekend activity or a fleeting cause, it’s a way of life.
Mandai is a pioneer of the open zoo concept, where cageless habitats create the most naturalistic environment for both wildlife and humans. Inspired by this immersive environment, the new brand system is built on the idea of coming closer to nature. To welcome everyone to the world of Mandai, a tropical frame composed of three leaves drawn from native flora always beckons you to peer through the foliage of Mandai’s unique equatorial jungle to discover the wonders of wildlife and beyond.
Illustration & Photography
Working closely with Mandai’s horticulture team, Anak (working with illustrator Stevie Anderson) created 800 individual elements that have been drawn from existing flora and fauna of the five parks. These illustrated and photographic elements can be used singularly or to create vivid scenes that span the diversity of natural landscapes and settings that can be found at Mandai.
The rooted feet of the custom typeface takes inspiration from the curving buttress roots that commonly occur in trees native to the region. The result is a grounded, yet open and friendly brand voice that balances warmth with credibility.
The new design playbook for Mandai informs every single touchpoint – from brand architecture and nomenclature, to wayfinding, programming, staff engagement, organisational culture, and guests’ pre- to post-visit experience.