Selected Work

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.”

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“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.

New look

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.

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New attitude

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.

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New website

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.

 

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Engaging community

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.

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My project role

Project direction, copywriting, and content strategy

Project team

Creative direction: Jesse Bryan

Art direction: Jon Ashcroft

Development: Justin Tucker

Selected writings

I Don't Want to be a Loser

There's Bigfoot in Them Woods

My Personal Manifesto

Raising Entrepreneurs

Cheap Logos and Cheap Shots

A Tale of Two #Hashtags

R.I.P. Google Reader, Hello Mortality

Selected Press

The New York Times, "The Most Thought-Provoking Allowance Idea of 2013"

STORY Chicago, "Raising Entrepreneurs"

Hooray for Failure Podcast, "Episode 6"

Church Marketing Sucks, "Churches Reaching Out with Pinterest"

Let's get together. We could have a lot of fun.

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