After a successful pilot with 10 schools in San Francisco, Brightwheel (then KidCasa) engaged us to relaunch with a new brand and identity. Since then, Brightwheel has expanded to over 2500 schools across the country, and raised a $10 million Series A.
The previous identity was bland and forgettable. The name failed to translate across country and culture. The early-stage startup was seeking something unique and memorable, that would render their vision, values, & mission with conviction.
We worked with the KidCasa team to generate a set of potential name options. We looked at how the existing name fell short, the competitive namescape, and the traits of great brand names. Based on feedback from the team and consumer testing, Brightwheel was chosen.
We explored two alternative visual directions. Bloom channels an organic, natural aesthetic, calling to mind the growth and change reminiscent of youth. Hopscotch employs darker blues in contrast with bright accents, reminding us of childrens' chalk inscriptions atop playground asphalt.
Brightwheel is simple, human, and professional. We helped identify these traits, and used them to guide our creative approach. For example, we were careful to maintain a professional aesthetic and avoid the overly-childlike visual treatment that pervades the space.
The logotype, set in Avenir with reduced letter spacing, sits at the intersection of professional and playful. It is modern, yet humane.
The Brightwheel icon alludes to a colorful playground roundabout. The angled pills imply rotary motion; originally circles, extended out from the center by centrifugal force.
The primary palette is comprised of muted cream and dark brown tones. When used for background and text, this results in reduced contrast on digital displays (compared to a white/black combination) for a more organic feel. This is contrasted with bright accent colors, which can be seen in the icon, and sparingly in the UI to inject an element of playfulness.
Four weights of Avenir, from Ultra Light to Demi Bold are used as the primary brand typeface. This allows a diversity of typographic effects using a single typeface. Avenir was chosen to strike a balance between the professional nature of the app – a robust tool used by parents and teachers – and the playfulness of its subject matter.
We demonstrated the application of color and type by designing a simple landing page.
These key app screens demonstrate how the brand manual may be applied to the product. The circular navigation menu reminds us of the icon, and creates color associations for different activity types. Mobile type styles are used, which provide for more granular size increments. Color is used judiciously.