Why? Because children are demanding listeners and you need to reach for interesting solutions to draw their attention. We had to face this challenge when Henkel Polska invited us to take part in a very interesting project – designing a booklet on ecology for elementary students from grades 1–3.
rozkladowka-ulice             Our booklet allows the kids to play and learn at the same time.

As part of its pro-sustainability activities – which form one of the basic elements of the company’s global CSR policy – Henkel Polska is carrying out an ecology education program for students from elementary schools. Henkel employees run workshops with students in schools and tell them about environmental protection and the idea of sustainability.

“It is our intention to shape their attitude, we want sustainable thinking to become something natural and to influence the decisions we make every day,” says Anna Kobierska of Corporate Communications, Henkel Polska.

The main character – Globie, who helps children identify with various situations, facts, events – was created in Henkel. It was our starting point for further work. We decided to create a booklet which allows the kids to play and learn at the same time. They can use it on their own or with their parents. It can also be a working material for teachers, if they choose to continue the subject.
globik-360x310We know that a professional products must be developed by experts, so we decided to cooperate with educationist Monika Just, PhD, social scientist, who admitted that she also thought of our request as a challenge:)

“The goal of the project was to create material complementary to the meetings run by the company promoting environmental protection issues. We wanted the book to include material that would encourage children to get back to it after the workshops… We had to prepare original and customized exercises that develop creativity – the type continually missing in educational materials for children available on the market… The publishing market sees an increasingly large number of publishing houses offering beautiful books and materials with exercises. But few of them – in addition to developing and expanding the knowledge discovered and learnt at school – open children for getting deeper into the problem, like here in the form of games,” says Monika Just.

It was an ambitious task. The very first day, when our CEO Ula Radzińska started to sketch the first concept with Monika Just, made us realize that it will be neither easy nor quick. The ladies met at 9 a.m. in our conference room and… did not leave the room until 5 p.m.! They refused to take a break or to eat lunch, they only accepted coffee and – after much persuasion – apples and sweet buns. We were able to see the results of their creative work for ourselves, because they covered a whole wall with notes in the form of drawings – as they are both fans of this very type of taking notes.

“Designing books for children is not an easy task. You need to think about the form, the text and illustrations. The challenge was to create an innovative product – one that is unique and different from those widely available, to choose exercises that stimulate imagination and are adequate for the subject and readers’ age, means and form that take the readers’ age into account and are uniform.
Knowing that kids today know much, think “quick” and in a much more complex, unusual and unexpected way that adults may suspect, we felt inspired to set aside reproductive and didactic type of content and to look for exercises which could engage children and encourage them to play with knowledge,” says Monika Just.
“This, however, turned out to be only a starting point for further challenges… When designing exercises I had never had to think about the technical issues, meanwhile here it was necessary… I’d never thought about the number of images or arranging them on a page. I also never had to wonder about how important design is in understanding content, how sensitive one has to be to the integrity of the text and images,” she adds.

The visual aspect, which is very important in the case of publications for children, is largely influenced by the choice of illustrations. These were designed by a young talented designer Julia Borzucka, whose work you can view here.
graTo make things more complicated – well, actually to make the book more attractive to kids – the cover was designed in such a way to be a board game at the same time…
The whole project was supervised by our creative director Marcin Rutkowski, who took care of all the details. Was it a success? The book is now distributed among children during the workshops in schools.

“Both teachers and students like the booklet. We hope that this combination of attractive layout and wise content that also guarantees good fun to children will make sustainability a natural part of their lives,” says Anna Kobierska. 
And that’s what it was all about.