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Yidan Prize Philosophy: A Loyal Heart

One bedtime three years ago, Charles Chen Yidan wrote down a wish in his diary: “Establish a prize that goes beyond religion, race and nationality. Encourage reflections on the universe and contributions to humanity.”

Change the world by acknowledging the change makers

With a vision to make the world a better place, Yidan Prize reaches out to the world to give recognition to individuals with outstanding accomplishments in education research and development.

This annual award aims to empower the change makers in education, build a global community of education leaders and, ultimately, create long-lasting, enlightening impacts on mankind as a whole.

The shining light of education

Education is the lamp that illuminates the path forward for mankind, playing a pivotal role in the progress of society and enabling us to live a better, more meaningful life.

Yet for this lamp to shine brightly, we need institutions and individuals with the resources and vision to keep the power on.

Yidan Prize, a global education award, is set to be an important source that will keep the light of education around the world aglow.

The global vision and inspiring missions of Yidan Prize are encapsulated in the design of its logo. It is a minimalist icon formed by contemporary and traditional Chinese elements that cascade with multiple meanings.

The icon is designed by internationally renowned designer Dr Kan Taikeung. The overall concept is formed by two Chinese characters: “一” and “丹”. “一” is created with the traditional ink wash painting technique, generating an Oriental aura. The geometric lines that go through this simple character form a door that leads to unlimited space. The red dot inside the door resembles a blooming lotus, which represents a loyal heart. It stands for the vision and big heart of an educationist’s commitment to building a better world through education.

The beauty of commitment
Viewers who can read Chinese would instantly recognize the Chinese character “丹” (dān) in the logo, which, together with the horizontal brushwork “一” (“yī”), makes “一丹”.

The choice of the two characters as the focal point of the design is doing more than echoing the Chinese name of the award (“一丹獎”) and the Chinese first name of Charles Chen Yidan (“陳一丹”), the Chinese philanthropist who established Yidan Prize Foundation and after whom the award is named.

In Chinese language, the idiom “一片丹心” (yī piān dān xīn) means “a loyal heart”. This denotes an unwavering sense of commitment, a trait displayed by outstanding scholars in their relentless pursuit for academic excellence, and philanthropists committed to giving back to society.

Energy is all around
The pursuit of knowledge and achievements calls for passion and energy, as succinctly embodied in the calligraphy stroke for the character “一”. Created with the Chinese ink wash painting technique, the brushwork exudes fluidity and vividness, accentuating the profound meaning of the Chinese character. Translating literally as “one”, “一” also refers in Taoism to heaven and man forming a unity, a state that suggests an abundance of energy.

A door to the world
Education opens the door to endless opportunities and possibilities. This door takes the form of geometric lines that cut across the horizontal brushwork on both sides. Adding a modern dimension to the logo, the door reflects the global nature of Yidan Prize, the recipients of which can be from any part of the world. Inside the door, the red dot is a blooming lotus that symbolizes purity. It also represents an enlightened mind ready to connect with the world, going through the door and heading to a brighter tomorrow after having acquired a solid body of knowledge.




Dr KAN Tai-keung


As a world-renowned designer and artist, Dr KAN has earned numerous awards including the Hong Kong Ten Outstanding Young Persons award in 1979 and the Urban Council Design Grand Award in 1984; he was also the first Chinese citizen to be included in the 1995 Who’s Who in Graphic Design of Switzerland. He was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star and the Silver Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR government in 1999 and 2010 respectively. In 2016, Dr Kan was conferred the HKDA Lifetime Honorary Award by the Hong Kong Designers Association. Dr Kan is active in educating and promoting the art and design profession. He is an honorary dean of the Cheung Kong School of Art and Design, Shantou University; a fellow member of the Hong Kong Designers Association; a member of the Chinese Committee of the Alliance Graphique Internationale; an advisor to the Leisure & Cultural Services Department; and an honorary advisor of the Hong Kong Museum of Art.