Building an education brand from scratch

Teachers need more time to teach, students need more time to study.

Escola (formerly Schulwebsite) asked me to rebrand their whole company from scratch. I developed a logo, branding assets including custom illustrations and icons, and a components-based website. The most challenging part was in appealing to the broad customer base: Teachers, IT-administrators, and even students. I didn’t want the brand to feel too detached. Instead it had to represent the very personal and friendly connection the owners share with their customers.

My Role
Art Direction
Interaction Design
UX Design
UI Design
Front End Dev.
Visit Website

Getting to know your target audience

As with every new project I find it very helpful to start by writing up some personas: Representations of the actual people using the product. It’s the best way to stay focused on the needs of your users. I try to use actual data to make it as personal as possible.  


Logo exploration
Quantity first, quality second

One of the most important parts in the branding process is exploration: The more you try out in the beginning, the more you can stop pursuing unfruitful ideas. And in the end the result will be much better.

User Personas

Logo refinement
Splitting grain from sand

The colour pattern was set quite early on, as we felt this represented Escola the best. I explored different directions trying to play with the letter “E” as well as symbolically incorporating what they actually do: Developing software.
The final logo-mark shows the letter “E” in a negative space, nestled neatly in an open bracket, and a colon; both are used heavily in programming. The mark has a playful side to it as well, as it looks like two eyes peeking over a wall.

“Making a new website re-branding was something we had put off for a while because we knew it would be such a big undertaking. Henry made the process seamless and we could not have been happier with the quality of the work delivered. We are so pleased with the outcome and look forward to a continued working relationship with Henry.“
Hannes Bärtschi
Founder Escola

Playful yet down to earth

Coming up with an illustration style is always a challenge: Building a visual voice for the brand that feels “just right”. We went through several iterations and landed on a friendly, playful, and minimal style. The illustrations representing different user groups are very personal and close up on purpose. The header illustrations on the other hand are held in a top-down view, as if peeking into a microcosm.

Low fidelity to high fidelity

Wireframing helps staying objective throughout the design process. It makes stakeholders less likely to prefer one iteration over the other because they like a color, or an image. Instead, it forces us to not get lost in the details, and see the bigger picture. It helps to answer questions like: Does this userflow work? Do the proportions of text to image work? Is there enough white space?

Product mini branding
Consistency is key

Escola has five distinct products that are aimed at different target-audiences and use-cases. The challenge was to visually seperate them, while still having a common thread. We ended up using a bold color scheme and logos made out of three elements to represant each mini-brand.

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