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Blooming Prickly: the story behind our logo

Nov 27, 2018 11:10:00 AM


We’ve been plastering our logo all over the place. And not just because it’s a work of art (because it is. Shout out to @thewellsmakery!), but because of the meaning behind it. Our logo is the name of our school in a beautiful sans-serif font in hand-painted letters against the backdrop of a blooming prickly pear done in water color. So, what’s special about that? A lot!

The prickly plant

The cactus in our logo is an illustration of the Opuntia wentiana or Infrou as we locals call it. At first glance, the infrou might seem prickly and unwelcoming (especially when you happen to find yourself in the mondi), but that’s too superficial. A cactus represents so many positive things, it’s almost impossible to capture it in just a few paragraphs. But we’re going to try.

file-3A cactus is strong, adaptable and because of its ability to conserve water it can survive, or even thrive, in the harshest of environments. It can handle basically anything you throw at it (although we know of a few people who have had them as house plants and it didn’t end well for the cacti). In the desert, this prickly plant can provide protection for certain nesting birds as well as nourishment for many animals, such as bees and hummingbirds (flowers), goats (leaves) and birds (the fruits). And if you ever get lost in the desert, the cactus is a safe source of hydration as it is mostly water. Some even claim the plant has medicinal properties.

Find out more about our local cacti in this Dutch folder by Carmabi.

Because of this, in many cultures the cactus represents the unconditional love of a parent. A strong exterior that can provide the protection the child needs, with a soft loving center. A love that is able to withstand the test of time and the elements. Especially the yellow cactus flower represents warmth, protection and endurance. 

However, an important reason for us to choose the infrou, is because to us it also symbolizes the current state of knowledge and wisdom in our society. Just like the infrou, a plant that is in abundance and has so many uses and benefits, is considered a nuisance, we feel that knowledge and wisdom are undervalued and many of us are unable to access it. While the infrou might seem impossible to tackle, with the proper knowledge, tools and skills (i.e. fire, gloves and thongs to safely handle the leaves), you can make so many delicious meals and literally feed a herd. Through the Montessori School we would like to give our next generation the gift of looking at the world differently and see solutions, where others might see problems. We would like to foster a culture of lifelong learning, critical and creative thinking and peaceful relationships. 

Soothing colors

Our school colors are cactus green, pale yellow and distant grey. Yellow is the most luminous of all colors of the spectrum (or so the Internet says) and symbolizes optimism, intellect, enlightenment and joy. While green is traditionally viewed as a relaxing color and symbolizes growth, renewal, nature and hope. Grey is a timeless and practical color and is sometimes associated with wisdom and emotions. Not entirely random, this color palette is reflected in our logo as well as in the interior of our classrooms. 

The illustrationCACTUS

In keeping with the Montessori principles, we’ve opted for a realistic illustration of the infrou. The real world is a magical place and we, as parents, often forget that. Children don’t need cartoonish illustrations to engage them. They are new to this world and they are eager to learn how it works. So why take that away from them?

Love our logo? Help share our love for the yellow prickly pear by tagging your fave picture of the prickly pear using our hashtag #pricklyblooming on Facebook or Instagram. Or just tag us!

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