From Brand Strategy to Design Series, we built the Brand Pillars for Anjihood
Enter China’s Rural Creative Centre & Digital Nomad Hub
Location: Anji, China
Brand Positioning & Creative Strategy
Environmental Graphic Design
Brand 3D Book Design
Nestled within a verdant landscape a mere three-hour drive from Shanghai is Anjihood, China’s branded community-based township. Inaugurated in 2019 by Aijia Investment Group, this living project spans an area roughly the size of Macau, which makes it the country’s largest rural creative centre and digital nomad hub. The goal is for Anjihood to develop into an ideal town and promote slower and more aware living.
The team behind Anjihood partnered with The Orangeblowfish to collaborate in Brand Strategy and Creative Design that will help unlock its boundless potential in the years to come.
To thoroughly grasp all facets of this project, The Orangeblowfish dedicated several months to field visits and extensive research. Through this process, we recognised that, beyond promoting a more harmonious lifestyle, Anjihood’s uniqueness lies in its focus on uniting individuals to establish a community founded on shared resources, interpersonal skills, and, most importantly, a prevailing sense of belonging.
More on Anjihood
Combining high-tech innovation with natural and rural surroundings is the essence of Anjihood. Interestingly, one of the first establishments to open in the township was the stylish ‘Leaf Tea Drinks,’ a teahouse that drew urbanites looking for a closer connection with nature and quickly became a hotspot for social media photos.
As individuals from the 1970s retire, an entire generation will gain more leisure time and financial flexibility. Meanwhile, those born in the 2000s, raised as digital natives in an always-connected world, will join the workforce. Yet, their routines will be consistently different because of new trends. Notably, the rise of remote work has made it easier for them to move away from major city hubs.
In this era of emerging trends, Anjihood stands as a destination that caters to both nomadic and communal living. Its serene surroundings and embrace of modern connectivity align with the developing needs of the aforementioned generations and beyond.
Many ongoing projects in Anjihood exhibit high levels of success in their experiments, such as the Anji Digital Nomad Community, Little White House Homestay, Anji Creative Design Centre, and the Golden Leaf Service Centre — all of which contribute to an enhanced quality of life by offering essential services to those living in the township.
Anjihood positions itself as a sanctuary for those seeking a higher quality of life at a more relaxed pace. Consistent with this idea, the outcomes of our branding design needed to communicate these values and appeal to individuals drawn to such a lifestyle.
The township’s development plan will gradually unfold for approximately ten years. Therefore, the results of our collaboration could not be time-sensitive. On the contrary: they needed to possess an evergreen quality and exude a futuristic essence.
Considering these aspects, our objectives were:
● Craft a tailored brand narrative for the designs we create that represent Anjihood as the idyllic refuge it aims to be.
● Cultivate a stronger sense of community and connection within Anjihood through Environmental Graphic Design.
Before we start the Strategy
When we embarked on our journey with Anjihood, the project was still under construction. The visionary minds behind it dedicated nearly ten years to studying lifestyles and cultures in places like Dali and Anaya, China, as well as in alternative communities abroad, such as Findhorn in Scotland. All of this effort was aimed at fully understanding the concepts and values involved in intentional living.
Our team at The Orangeblowfish hails from a very different environment: Shanghai’s urban jungle, a world away from the tranquil rhythms of countryside living. Despite this essential difference, we all share, in one way or another, a yearning for nature. This common thread fuelled our collective enthusiasm for the project, not only in terms of execution but also in our commitment to understanding the ideals that define Anjihood.
Then we do the Strategy
We drew inspiration from Anjihood’s philosophical foundation as well as its picturesque natural landscape, impressive infrastructure, and strong community ambiance for all our designs and concepts.
At the heart of our efforts, we defined ‘白茶原’ as ‘江湖’ (Jianghu), tapping into its meaning as a realm where talents emerge, and people from diverse backgrounds unite to forge a new spirit. We then incorporated ‘hood’ as a suffix to create an English name.
Concise, clear, and playful, Anjihood’s logo seamlessly blends its Chinese and English names. We used a gently rounded typeface that radiates warmth and approachability. Two strokes interlink the three Chinese characters and they resemble handshakes that symbolize agreement and relationships. The design of the character ‘白’ draws inspiration from the contours of tea leaves, subtly paying homage to the region’s white tea tradition. The use of orange and blue in the English text evokes a sense of harmony and delight.
To convey the narrative of Anjihood in a lighter and more approachable manner, we’ve introduced a mascot named Kankan, or 坎坎. Kankan perfectly exemplifies the kind of individual Anjihood seeks to engage: smart, creative, and yet weary of the urban rat race — a person open to exploring fresh experiences.
Golden Leaf Service Manual
We’ve devised a comprehensive service manual for the centre as well as a logo. The logo keeps the tea leaf motif but is rendered in a striking gold hue and complemented by a refined, deep green shade. This fusion results in a sense of elevated quality and sophistication, simultaneously conveying liveliness and optimism.
We’ve also crafted a one-of-a-kind brand book, presented as a beautiful pop-up book. The “Anjibook” showcases delightful illustrations meticulously crafted by our in-house team of artists, each capturing various life scenes within Anjihood. This three-dimensional experience allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the township’s concept, offering a whimsical journey as they flip through its pages.
We can confidently affirm that, much like the visionary minds behind Anjihood, we too have envisioned new ways of living, and each piece of our work carries a reflection of our interpretation of these ideals.
All of these designs are currently being implemented as the Anjihood township continues to grow and develop. Their team has expressed immense satisfaction with our designs and our dedication to bringing their vision to life.