Case study / ProgressiveK12 // An education in branding
Case studies offer a glimpse into my process
Description of the business:
Progressive K12 is an individualized and multi-sensory tutoring program. Owner and founder, Corrine Turner, believes all students have a right to a free and public education through best practices. Additionally, Progressive K12 believes that a child’s growth is not possible without the incredible support of parents; you are your child’s first teacher and advocate. Corrine has worked and co-taught with a wide range of K-12 students both with and without special learning needs.
The creative process
I take notes, sketch and doodle during the initial meeting. Things that come into my head when I hear certain keywords and phrases when Corrine was describing her business.
When the meeting is over, I keep thinking while everything is still fresh and continue writing down and drawing as much as I can.
I also like to take a break and let it marinate for a day or so. This is just the very beginning of an amazing process.
I move from notes to vector sketching. I prefer to start working in black tints first, and travel down the typographic road first, exploring if any of the letter forms, syllables, and in this case, numbers provide any openings for interesting shapes and connections.
I've been seeing a design trend where it's tempting to automatically truncate company names and logos to initials or a monogram. While there is definitely a place for this as a viable brand solution, and for secondary marks, I try to challenge myself to avoid that for a primary logo. This identity, however, presented itself quite nicely with some fun design possibilities because of the K12 in the name.
Progressive is a relatively long word to work with but saying the word has a nice cadence to it. Perhaps because there was a subconscious familiarity of the phonetic units by virtue of a certain national insurance company, I needed to make sure I was not unduly influenced by any existing brand shapes and colors or anything else.
The K through 12 learning window and progress from one grade or level to the next, brought up literal and abstract visual metaphors like steps, growth, imagination taking flight, freedom, goals, achievement and learning among others. Books seemed a logical direction, but in the 21st century of internet and digital communication advancements, it felt a little too analog and cliche, but still worth exploring for its traditional values.
The final design is a friendly and organic abstract concept made up of 12 progressively growing 'learning leaves'...as in "turning over a new learning leaf". As part of the primary lockup are horizontal and vertical (or stacked) compositions.
Corrine already knew what colors she wanted to use. These colors are very bright and suggest potential, growth and approachability. As you can see, there are lots of opportunities to use the hues, which could be an idea for an animated version of the logo.
Because of the different colors, it's important to make sure to show how this will translate to a single color. But to be honest, the cost-effective necessity for a logo to work as a single color logo is not as much of a priority these days, unless reduced to very small when used as a website favicon or printed on pens.
After finalizing the best order of the colors, it was also tested for legibility on a solid color background for other applications like signage or stickers.
It is extremely important for your brand to stand out among all the other businesses and clutter on a street marquee.
The collateral pieces Corrine chose with her package was environmental signage and a brochure.