Studio 360 is a Peabody Award-winning radio program from Public Radio International and WNYC. Each year, the producers of the program commission a design studio to redesign a culturally relevant topic whose visual language has grown stale. In 2011, Hyperakt was approached with the task of redesigning the brand of “teachers.” We aimed to disrupt and reimagine the current infantile iconography - apples, pencils, and abc blocks, dubbed “Apple Crapple”— and more accurately reflect the multi-faceted role of teachers and the spectrum of teachers from elementary school to higher education.
After extensive exploration, we arrived at a core idea: teachers enable potential in every student. We defined this visually as “connecting the dots.” This motif defined a new visual story for teachers, one that alluded to linking synapses, bridging gaps, and guiding students. We created inspirational brand to instill pride in the teaching profession and to represent what 21st century learning really looks like.
The new brand was presented air at Studio 360. The program was so popular, PRI followed up the radio show with a downloadable e-book, outlining our process and its outcome. The host, Kurt Anderson explained “We loved how Hyperakt’s ‘connecting-the-dots’ motif suggests teachers are guides to thinking and learning, providing students with the foundations for lifelong education as a perpetual work-in-progress. The intended end-users here were educators, and across the radio and Web platforms of the project the response has been inspiring. One 50-year veteran wrote us: ‘Your Teach designs graphically depict what I feel when I’m teaching”. Teach has won a Brand New Award, was featured in AIGA’s Design For Good blog, and in GOOD, CoDesign, and +Ed Week.