Learning Through Stories

Image of two girls using Li'l Stories in the physical and digital world

When we were very young, stories helped us make sense of the world, and in many ways they laid the foundation for how we’ve interacted with information—and people—ever since. (The irresistible appeal of a good story lasts well into adulthood, as our late-night reading and binge-viewing habits demonstrate.) Whether children are the ones doing the telling or are simply listening to a parent or teacher, stories give kids the opportunity to fire up their imaginations, put themselves in other people’s shoes, and learn how to communicate. Story structures and elements like characters, plots and settings engage the developing mind in ways that help organize thinking and make connections between words and images—the fundamentals of reading and writing. Storytelling is an amazing catalyst: When children build narratives around content they have learned in class or at home, they strengthen and enhance what they have learned. They begin to make ideas their own.

Li'l Stories product image

Li’l Stories framework: storyboard, app, and web site.

Li’l Stories is an educational framework that helps teach first through third graders to express themselves through visual, spoken and written storytelling. Structured as a classroom activity, the framework guides students through the collaborative creation of a visual narrative. The system supports the teaching of communication, creative thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as self-expression and confidence with others. It also establishes concepts of physical and digital production, and how the two are linked. An accompanying app and website give students the opportunity to capture their stories, so teachers can assess them and share them with parents.

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Li’l Robin’s project Catalyst featured at South by Southwest

Helping companies create compelling design

Photos: Pierce Jackson of Paper Magazine

We have some overdue but exciting news: Catalyst, the magazine we redesigned for Pratt Institute’s Design Management Program, was featured by HP’s MagCloud at SXSW! MagCloud showcased the magazine as a standout among the publications it produces, and it was an honor to have our work featured at such a high-profile event. Read More

Li’l Robin, formerly Anke Stohlmann Design, featured in Brand Identity Now!

Helping companies define their message with design


A belated Happy 2010. I am pleased to begin the year by sharing news about a wonderful new resource in brand building with you. Taschen recently released “Brand Identity Now!,” an in-depth analysis of leading brand and communication campaigns from around the world; and we are honored to have our work – two identity systems we designed for clients MaxWax and The Chipper – featured in the publication alongside case studies for the Obama’08 Election campaign and The Museum of Art and Design’s new identity.

We believe the book shows prime examples of how branding works: Design is a complement to a company’s brand message – a visual translation of a company’s personality, its messages and actions. In sync it will evoke an emotional response and create confidence in the company while clearly differentiating it from its competitors. Read More