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Expeditionary Learning and Thinkso win rebranding award

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    Ben Smith

The efforts of Thinkso and Expeditionary Learning on our recent rebranding effort were acknowledged with a "Rebrand with distinction" award on Rebrand 100.

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From Thinkso's description of the project:

Industry Setting
When it comes to educational reform, there is no shortage of opinions about what to do to improve our schools. But only a few organizations can rally teachers, parents and communities, point to a track record of success with a proven model that works in urban, suburban and rural schools.

Challenge
With new leadership in place, the organization saw an opportunity to reposition itself in the market. The organization had struggled to differentiate itself from its parent company and needed an identity that emphasized its commitment to academic rigor, a culture of responsibility and high levels of student achievement.

Strategy
Our first change was to shift to a shorter, easier to remember version of the original name. We designed a logotype based on the concept of a signpost, a symbol that references the journey of education. A bold color, crimson, completed the transformation; it signals urgency and leadership. Given the economic environment in schools and the limited marketing budget, the launch was strategic and modest. Each school received a flag, while every educator and school leader received a “newspaper” and DVD explaining the vision underlying the rebranding. A revamped website showcases the evidence of success, offers resources and builds community.

Result
Staff and the board of advisors embraced the new brand because it better reflected the organizations energy, personality and mission. Meanwhile, school leaders clamored for the new materials to help explain to parents and districts how Expeditionary Learning works and benefits students.