EF Grand Unified Design IV

  • Identity Design,
  • Design for Screen,
  • Design for Print,
  • Creative Strategy,

A global brand identity for a truly global audience

Grand Unified Design 4

The fourth iteration of the EF Education First brand identity guideline signified a huge leap forward in how design can work to push education into new realms across Europe, China and the U.S.A.

EF is here to help people communicate, experience other cultures and learn. Most of all, to understand one another. Because we believe it will take all people working together, across the globe, to solve the world’s problems and build prosperity for all. G.U.D.’s responsibility is to show every creative around the company how to communicate these ideals.


Creative Director




EF Education First



Core & Expression

Before this iteration of the G.U.D., creative teams around EF were forced to follow what was a strict set of narrow guidelines that tied every product into a similar visual direction. As part of the strategic approach, we were keen to develop a flexible platform that provided a consistent thread between all products, whilst keep room for individual expression.

The core / expression model works to align all EF products under a set of mandatory core elements, surrounded by an expressive layer that is relevant to the individual product marketplace. As part of the guide, we created an optional set of expression elements that can be used by any product at any time. Especially useful for quick and dirty, but on-brand, designs.

Actually printing a guideline document

Every identity guide I produce only ever seems to exist in PDF format. Version 1, version 2… and so on. But the G.U.D. 4 is different. We wanted to commit the guide to a printed format to communicate it’s ideas in the format itself, inspire the creative community within EF and establish a sense of authority. The guide is made up of individual booklets that can easily be swapped out as the visual language evolves over time, in a format that allows for new additions too.

EF Global Creative’s Clara Wiberg and I documented the printed piece being produced

The guide was printed in a first edition of 100 at Identity Print in London


Whilst the printed guide is the statement piece for the identity guide, the online version is the workhorse that creatives will more consistently use. It houses the most up-to-date information, news and assets for all things related to the G.U.D., and is a resource that is constantly being developed as individual products realise their individual rules and regulations.

gud.ef.design is only accesible to those with @ef.com e-mail addresses


    • Joel Hladecek
    • Chief Creative Officer
    • Marcus Ivarsson
    • Exec. Creative Director
    • Julia Hoffmann
    • Exec. Creative Director
    • Otto Boreson
    • Designer
    • Miriam Olszewski
    • Designer
    • Anders Højmose
    • Head of UX
    • Filippa Keerberg
    • UX Designer
    • Joao Matos
    • Developer
    • Miriam Palopoli
    • Motion Designer
    • Clara Wiberg
    • Video Producer