How often does a designer get the chance to rebrand their previous rebranding effort? About once every 10 years? Yeah, that’s about right. Why not refresh about once a decade just to keep things interesting — and my day job is definitely interesting.
When I interviewed at Developmental Studies Center (DSC) in 2004, I took one look at their logo and collateral and basically told them they needed to start over. The assessment kinda went over like a lead balloon, but they hired me anyway. My start date was April Fool’s Day (that’s actually true), and with a mandate, I went to work rebranding the organization and redesigning everything else. The organization had experimented with different logo types over the years, but this was the one they had when I started.
Is it a dolphin? Two brackets? Ooohhhh it’s two faces in profile… I think it means collaboration?
Shortly after I started, there was an attempt to rename the organization that didn’t pan out, so I was tasked with developing a new logo for DSC to replace the dolphins. What to do?
Why not a magical book? With sparkles that also look like fireworks? And book pages? A magical book with fireworks coming out of it! YES!
And the book went on EVERYthing from letterhead to T-shirts.
People grew to recognize the book. They grew to love the ole purple and gold. That look lasted for about 10 years until the summer of 2014 when the organization was embarking on a new venture — complete with a merger, new product offerings, expanded staff, and a new mission. It was going places!
This was a perfect opportunity to change the name of the organization to Center for the Collaborative Classroom (CCC)! EVEN. MORE. WORDS! What to do? I didn’t modify the book. I didn’t keep the book. I threw out the book! Community is key, so I showed community! Class circles and cooperation are an important part of what CCC does in its curriculum. I incorporated circles!
What’s interesting about this mark is that you can read different things into it. You can read the student in the center with the class, school and community surrounding the student. You can read the teacher in the center with the class, school and community surrounding the teacher as facilitator. You can also read three “Cs” for Center for the Collaborative Classroom — clever!
Another thing to note about the new mark is the absence of the book. With the advent of digital offerings, and an emphasis of building community in the classroom, it made sense not to box the brand in with the book symbol — a sign of publishing — specifically book publishing. Check out the circle motif on the new collateral.
Who knows what the future holds, but perhaps in another 10 years this designer will get another opportunity to rebrand a rebrand of a rebrand!