Insight, branding and design for a revolutionary new coding school

#insight #strategy #identity #digital #UX #UI #interior​

If you can dream it, ​ you can code it​

Revolutionary collaborative learning for the world's future coders

Code is everywhere, and yet the world is facing a shortage of coders. The only way we will be able to fill this gap is by teaching coding in an entirely new way. The people at mobile-game giant Supercell decided to roll up their sleeves and do something about this, initiating and funding a brand-new coding school in Helsinki – the start-up hub of northern Europe. Based on the pioneering “École 42” concept, the new school will not have teachers, classes or books. Instead, students will work in a peer-to-peer learning environment on real-life projects, in a model that challenges traditional ways of learning.

In early 2018, Supercell chose Kuudes as their brand design partner for the school. A single Kuudes team worked on the project from the consumer insight phase to the execution phase, studying the target groups’ motivations and creating a bold positioning strategy to guide Hive’s design work. The school was launched at Slush 2018 and the first students will enrol in autumn 2019.


Demystifying the concept of coding​

To find out how people see coding, Kuudes conducted dozens of pop-up interviews with potential applicants and talked with 10 opinion leaders in the industry. We found out that to make coding intriguing to any high-school student, the school must first demystify the whole concept of coding. Unlike many people seem to think, coding is not a solitary profession only for game developers – it is about solving many kinds of creative problems together. So coders need to have good team-working and communication skills, which is exactly where the focus lies in the École 42 model.

Who will the students be?​

We identified four motive-based profiles of potential applicants, each with different viewpoints on coding. These profiles helped us understand the future target group and they also steered the direction of our development and design work. ​


Motive: To find an interesting profession and direction in life.


Motive: To explore the world and relocate​.


Motive: Just want to start doing what I do best​.


Motive: To find a new direction. Constantly inspired about new.​


Code is the modern-day lingua franca

The new school will offer the best platform for realizing your passion and unlocking your potential. It is a community that carries you both throughout your studies and also later in life, as code is truly a global language that can unite us as a diverse and inclusive community. This insight became the main differentiator in positioning the school.

Hive creates buzz

We named the school “Hive” as a reference to a place where people are occupied with a purpose. We believe that Hive is the beginning of a new kind of coding community – a movement that is bigger than the school itself. Hive is a place where young people from all walks of life come together to collaborate, to create great things, and to have an impact on society.

Visual identity​

Does a coding school have to look like a coding school?

The visual design for Hive draws inspiration from ancient hieroglyphs, modern emojis, and different aspects of pop culture. The vivid combination of colours, typefaces, illustrations and photographs creates an eclectic yet harmonious identity. The design is everything that Hive wants to be: welcoming, lively, playful, open-minded, ambitious and international. It’s serious business, without taking itself too seriously.

The illustrations at Hive are done by world-renowned artist Janne Iivonen, the animations are created by Federico Leggio, and Juho Huttunen of Duotone is behind the photography.

Digital Design​

Coding content for coders

Both Hive’s application process and its academic programme are handled online. So the design of a multi-purpose user-friendly website for the school was fundamental. Most people are unfamiliar with Hive’s educational concept, so the website is key in communicating the idea behind the school. Kuudes led the digital development through concepting, design and content creation. Our friends at Siili then did an amazing job at coding the site and bringing it to life.

See more on

Spatial Design​

Hive will open its doors in autumn 2019

Kuudes is currently working on the interiors of an old factory building in the vibrant urban neighbourhood of Sörnäinen in downtown Helsinki, where the school will open in autumn 2019. The fact that a single team has designed Hive from insight-driven brand strategy through to the creation of digital and physical touchpoints makes the Hive experience coherent all the way from A to Z.

Even before its opening, Hive has been a great success. In just six weeks, more than 7,000 people submitted the online tests and over 2,200 passed them. The first one month selection periods will be held in July and August 2019, and about 120 students will start this October. What makes us extremely proud of our insight-driven work is the fact that 34% of the applicants are women.

Results, first six months after launch

more applicants than the largest coding education major in Finland.

female applicants, which is more than double the industry norm.

website visits during the first six months

more applicants passed on-line test than expected

For more information:

Jari Danielsson
CEO, Kuudes Nordic
+358 40 730 9612