Be fearless. Be Les Roches.

How do you abandon convention without upsetting tradition? It’s a difficult balance to strike. A new direction takes confidence.

Based on the Swiss model of experiential learning, Les Roches is an international hospitality school renowned for transformational teaching and the diversity of its students. A three-campus international school based in Switzerland, Spain and China, and known for doing things differently, we knew our work for them had to do the same.

“This highly discerning, multi-cultural audience needed to be challenged”, says OPX CEO Frances Jackson. “They needed to feel that the school was as curious and as ready to experiment with new ideas as they are. And there needed to be real depth to the brand — this audience was not going to be seduced by style without substance.”

One thing was essential — the brand had to address a new generation of leaders. It had to resonate with students fuelled by curiosity and an appetite for discovery and this became the foundation of the brand strategy. And so we embarked on a mission to push beyond conventional expectations.

A new world visualised
The brand needed to convey the disruptive nature of Les Roches’ approach to learning. Creative Director David Bennett explains how the studio felt compelled to use a fresh approach to visual identity that differed from more traditional techniques, with every element carefully considered to build around the brand concept of ‘unexpected moments’.

A photographer and videographer were used to capture different campuses. “With fashion brands as our influence, we set up portraits with real students, always considering the composition, style and pose from the perspective of our particular audience. We also shot student life around campus in reportage, alongside the scenery, materials and textures of the campus and its surrounding areas to give a real sense of place.”

Hospitality re-portrayed
To detail the brand’s refreshed approach to its history, we collaborated with South Korean artist Kasiq. He looked to capture the “charm” in the faces in front of him through abstract illustrations, a break from traditional hospitality portraits. His personal calling card, a stamp, is also left on each individual portrait, a small detail but one that signals a different visual approach for Les Roches.

Not so hidden layers
Achieving a brand based on the concept of ‘unexpected moments’. Through design, this was accomplished by layering the brochure and the use of unexpected materials and page sizes within the brochures and books.

Just their type
Les Roches needed a typeface that felt in fashion and echoed the modern design era of typography. Les Roches uses the ‘Suisse’ typeface from the Swiss Typefaces studio, combining a classic style serif with a cutting edge sans font to bolster the ‘unexpected moments’ positioning.

Reduced statements allowed images to breathe and were balanced with considered colour choice, while bold, daring copy was the final element incorporated to ensure Les Roches’ story was clear. “Be fearless. Be Les Roches.”

Les Roches was designed by OPX.
Photography by Daniel Annett.
Videography by Steven M Fisher.

Case study available at

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