Elements of Education
Written by jake
Elements of Education does school differently. They wanted a new brand that would empower their students and capture their ethos. The result was “We Are New School.”
“The work BAJI has done for us allows us to clearly articulate our role in our schools to the greater community. Inspiring them to get involved and become a part of what we are doing.” - Zach Varnell
Our friends at Elements of Education are doing amazing work in the field of education, proving that their revolutionary approach to education works…and works well. As the non-profit that oversees two alternative schools in the Tacoma Public School system, Tacoma School of the Arts and Tacoma Science and Math Institute, Elements of Education is leading the way in thinking through new and better ways of doing school.
Elements schools boast some of the best academic measurements in the state of Washington, and when they approached us with the challenge to create a new brand and website that would reflect their forward-thinking academic philosophies and tell their story well, we were honored.
Elements of Education places tremendous value on community. They approach each student as an individual and foster a learning environment that is personal rather than systematic. The result is happy students who are passionate about their school and their role in it. The design direction of the new brand wanted to highlight this distinct value by placing emphasis on photos of the students. This, coupled with a clean grid-based design that plays on the periodic table, gives the brand a vibrant and fresh new look.
We worked with Elements of Education to help them boil down their story to its core essence. The result was the tagline, “New School.” By using the tagline in conjunction with words like “be, think, we are, work, go,” we created a versatile and confident way for Elements to talk about themselves to the public. The approach is bold but refined and playful—and a great reflection of who Elements of Education is.
Most websites for educational institutions are all business. Design is not the focus, and they’re overburdened with technical-speak that appeals to administrators but not necessarily to the general public. In designing the new Elements of Education website, our focus was on simplifying the language and creating an environment where they could tell their story in a powerful and striking way. The result was a simple, scrolling-page site with a clean layout and prominence given to the blog for sharing stories from the schools.
As an added bonus to this exciting project, members of the BAJI team taught students at Tacoma School of the Arts on project management, branding, content strategy and social media, and design. These workshops with a selected team of artists from the school set the foundation for the students running and overseeing the content strategy of the new website. It’s an exciting approach by the school for giving students hands-on experience and ownership. We’re looking forward to the work they produce.
My project role
Project direction, copywriting, and content strategy
Creative direction: Jesse Bryan
Art direction: Jon Ashcroft
Development: Justin Tucker