Tech in Ed Identity System
Client: Tech in Ed, Faculty of Education, U of A
Services Provided: Graphic Design, Brand Development, Content Development, Digital & Print Media
One of the first projects that I was faced with while working in-house for Technologies in Education, was to develop their brand identity from the ground up. I approached this vast task by tackling the business card design first. Any remaining print and digital media were then visually stemmed directly from the business card design itself. Traditionally this isn't usually the way I tackle a brand identity (I typically start a brand beginning with the logo and then create an identity guide, but Tech in Ed already had an existing logo created from the University and the business card was a very time-sensitive project that needed to be completed quickly (I didn't have the luxury of starting with the identity guide first).
I faced five main challenges during the production of this project:
1. Tackling both a brand identity from scratch and a business card design at the same time.
2. The timeline was extremely tight.
3. Steering management away from using U of A's traditional green and gold into using the U of A secondary color palette instead.
4. Developing the title, tagline, and content for the business card (no visual direction or body copy was provided).
5. Extending and reformatting the business card artwork for various digital and print media — making the visuals the same, but different.
Although I was not provided with a concrete direction for Technologies in Education's business card design, I did look for overall guidance from both the University's and Faculty's brand as a whole. I wanted to ensure that Tech in Ed's brand stood out among the other Education departments, but at the same time, I knew that they would have to align with the Faculty's established geometric identity too. After some brainstorming and sketching, I came up with a conclusion to create a geometric pattern and pair it with a customized font to be used for the title: Tech in Ed.
Before I began tackling the pattern development, I took the time to jot down keywords and services that Tech in Ed offered to both students and faculty. After reviewing the list, I ended up noticing a commonality threaded throughout each keyword: Teamwork. Since bees directly symbolize teamwork, multitasking, and hard work, I decided to form the geometric pattern out of hexagons.
After the vector honeycomb pattern was developed and roughly placed into a business card artboard, I then began to gather potential ideas for the customized font. I knew I wanted the letters to undergo an electronic treatment, but I wasn't sure which stylistic direction I wanted to commit to just yet. It wasn't until I came across a photo of letters formed out of tech parts, that I decided I wanted to construct the font in a similar fashion — only vectorized instead of photo-based. Once the font was completed, I then placed the 'Tech in Ed' title into the business card artboard as well and refined the layout a bit, so that the pattern and letters emitted harmony and optical balance.
I didn't find that their original green and gold color palette properly represented Tech in Ed, so I created two color variations for management to select from:
1. Green and gold (selected from the default U of A color palette).
2. Grey and yellow (selected from the secondary U of A color palette).
My personal preference was the grey and yellow. I thought it better-emulated tech, electricity, and hard work.
Once management reviewed the two business card proofs they were immediately drawn to the grey and yellow version. They were completely on board with the brand's new visual direction and over a few years, had me apply the identity to various digital and print materials.
The identity was applied to various digital and print materials such as wayfinding signage, posters, pop-up and web banners, a display case, textile formats, brochures, books, and other tech swag.