Meaningful Design for the Common Good

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Feb 02, 2012
Featuring Teach for Studio 360

A variety of great websites, including CoDesign, GOOD, and EdWeek are featuring Teach. The project rebranded educators for Studio 360, hosted by Kurt Anderson.

Studio 360 occasionally hires a design team to rethink an overused trope, bringing it up to the 21st century with fresh new concepts. After listener Kate Ahearn wrote in complaining of the trite imagery associated with her profession - apples, ABCs, 123s, one-room schoolhouses with bells on top- Studio 360 turned to Hyperakt. As Ahearn wrote, "I have been teaching for 15-plus years and have enough of what I deem 'apple crapple' to last me a lifetime."

With only a week to complete the project, we embarked on a radical rethinking of the education brand. We settled upon a concept of connecting dots, creating a network of new ideas in a student's mind, forging new connections and new possibilities. This imagery draws on everything from the dotted lined letters of young children learning how to write, to the circuit boards or molecular structures in more advanced grades. Our color palette, a warm yellow, harkens back to school buses and pencils, and evokes a cheery, positive atmosphere. The type font, Chevin, draws upon a rounded, simple style of writing, and maintains a contemporary, clear feel.

CoDesign, GOOD, and EdWeek link to our open-source companion website, InspireTeachers.org. From here, educators can download our visuals and full presentation for their own use. To date, 2400 folks have downloaded from the site.

CoDesign deems our efforts to do away with any hint of "apple crapple" a success. Yet as they rightly point out, creating a new brand to represent teachers and education is not a quick fix for the problems in the sector. On this point, Deroy says, "we won't pretend that a fresh coat of paint on the visual language used to represent teachers is going to solve all of the problems. But we do believe that attracting the brightest minds to the profession can sow the seeds of change. A visual language that does justice to the intellectual and creative development teachers help guide in students could be a powerful asset in attracting talent to the profession and instilling pride in teachers across the board."

Read CoDesign's article here

GOOD's article here

EDweek's article here

Minnesota Public Radio's feature here

Check out PRI's Multitouch Book on iTunes here

And listen to the full radio interview with Deroy and Julia on Studio 360 here

Aaaaand you can see all of our presentation materials for Teach here

Related Work

NPR: Studio 360
May 26, 2013 | Brand ID, Print, Web
Teachers are currently represented by uninspiring, childish visual imagery. Images like apples, chalkboards, and the ABC ...