Playful Learning for Every Child, Everywhere.

Ambessa began in the heart of refugee camps, inspired by the urgent needs of children. Their debut product, a DIY, portable windup flash-light by Pentagram, was crafted to help kids navigate the sprawling tent cities safely and discreetly. This innovation marked the start of Ambessa’s mission to create practical and educational tools for children in crisis.

Co-produced with refugee children, Ambessa has continued to design products that foster learning in resource-scarce environments, with a focus now on creating a more dynamic, and engaging pathway into STEM education. However, their brand identity needed a refresh to match their evolving vision. We refined Ambessa’s brand system, expanding their visual language and developing new assets, including a dynamic website, to empower their team and engage a broader audience.

An Expanded System

Thanks to Pentagram’s innovative product design and the existing packaging, Ambessa had a solid foundation. However, their system was inflexible, causing issues when new designs were needed.

We tackled this by expanding the visual language, starting with colour, typefaces and existing light ray patterns on their packaging. We developed these further, integrating elements like audio waveforms to create the starting point for a cohesive and adaptable design system.


A key element of the new Ambessa system is an adaptable illustrative language, designed to appeal to both children aged 7-11 and their parents interested in early STEM education. This visual approach ensures easy recreation by internal teams and versatility across various applications.

We chose a line-based illustration style, inspired by gridded paper, engineering blueprints, and Ambessa’s sunbeam asset. This allowed us to develop a cohesive range of visuals, from key art to iconography, enhancing the brand’s appeal and functionality.

The Art of Play

At the heart of Ambessa is play. Traditionally, STEM evokes images of lab coats and academia, a perception the Ambessa team aimed to change.

We focused people-centric photography on the joy of making, doing, and playing, while product photography highlighted interaction and engagement, redefining STEM as dynamic and accessible.

Building Blocks

The Ambessa website, built on Shopify, used a modular approach. This method combined blocks of content with bespoke components, creating a cost-effective and efficient design that mirrored the experience of constructing one of their products.

With Thanks

To the entire Ambessa team for having us on board, and for playing a part in their journey.

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