Posted by on Jul 9, 2015 in |

The BRIGANCE family of assessment and instructional tools has been helping special educators meet the needs of exceptional students for more than 30 years. However their image needed a makeover, as it was giving the impression that the products sold today were as old as the name.

The logo was the first thing to go. I did away with the long, imposing band of rectangles and turned them into an icon. This made it look more like an actual logo and solved the design challenge of using it online.  I also varied the colors of the blocks in the icon to represent the three areas of BRIGANCE assessments. Since customers frequently referred to the books as “the yellow one,” “the green one,” or “the blue one,” it seemed to make sense to carry this theme into the logo. Lastly, I added the words “Special Education” to ground the logo in the market.

The logo was only the first step, however. We needed a design scheme to make this family of products more differentiated from the competition. The Special Education landscape is pretty uniform: all use pictures of students with disabilities. At trade shows you sometimes see the exact same images used in booths right next to each other. In order to stand out from the crowd, I came up with a design scheme based on watercolor paintings. Watercolors are calming, sophisticated, unique, and custom. By using watercolor, we elevated the brand to the status of fine art, but I didn’t stop there. I added a series of “nodes” and lines intersecting the nodes. They give the impression of making connections, progress, and sense in something that was previously undefined. This idea tied into the main purpose of BRIGANCE assessments: to pinpoint a student’s present level of performance and monitor progress.

It also won the 2014 GD USA American Graphic Design Award. “For five decades, Graphic Design USA has sponsored competitions to spotlight areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals. GDUSA’s American Graphic Design Awards™ is the original and the flagship. It honors outstanding work of all kinds and across all media.”