Texas Education Exchange

Branding a new edtech community in Texas

The Texas Education Exchange approached us with a unique problem to solve: create a brand around a product that has yet to be completely defined. While the wheels were still being added to the bus, we set to work interviewing various stakeholders to gain better insight into what problems their product was trying to solve and what they could be counted on to deliver.

We started our branding process by identifying five attributes that described the ethos and approach of The Exchange, and served as guidelines and inspiration for everything we did next: human focus, collaboration, performance, ambition and security.

The logo for The Exchange needed to speak to a tech-savvy audience while remaining visually approachable to the everyday user in the field of education. The solution: a versatile color palette, friendly typography and a mark that speaks to a weaving of information.

We designed and built a website that is used to build awarenes and engagement with Texas Educators. The site also is used to share the vision for the initiative as well as to share status and provide opportunities to join.

Working the multiple teams from The Exchange, TEA, to Collaborative Communications to better understand the full set of functionality needed at each phase, we created a website to kickstart the conversation around what's coming up for The Exchange and to provide some high level information about the technical side of things. Keeping in mind that the website needed to describe certain complex technological aspects of The Exchange to audiences without that complex tech knowledge led us to create resources like "Interoperability 101," and an explainer video to get the idea across.

Breaking the tech side of things down also required illustration and animation. We created a set of avatars to represent The Exchange's target audiences, and looping gifs to demonstrate the connection The Exchange will provide.

A foundation to build on.

The visual identity and messaging we created have been the core of the talking points and marketing communications used to reach education centers across the state of Texas and the country through platforms such as SXSWedu.

The website and explainer video will be critical tools in helping the users understand the product and will drive the initial contacts for many to get an entire school district signed on to The Exchange.

Moving forward, we are contracted as the lead design firm creating extended style guidelines for product design, a component library, and Human-Centered Design guidelines that will be used across a minimum of 6 development teams and answer to multiple stakeholder groups. This work will have impacts on the entire state of Texas—increasing data accuracy and visibility at the classroom level all the way up to state reporting.