UCDS is an innovative independent school in Seattle that designs educational programs for preschool and elementary students, adult learners and educators. Inspired by the idea that learning is varied and multidimensional, UCDS cultivates expansive thinkers and lifelong learners who move on to ignite positive change in the world.

An Education Hub

Founded in 1911 as a lab school for educational researchers and students, UCDS evolved and innovated over the decades, eventually developing a practicum-based graduate program. This new endeavor sparked the need to articulate a clear story going forward.

UCDS chose to work with Phinney Bischoff because of our insights-based approach. We performed a research and brand audit, a competitive analysis and conducted affinity group sessions to help UCDS understand their audiences, uncover their strengths, uniquely position their offerings and elevate their brand. This work informed a new master brand architecture and strategy—one that repositions UCDS as an Education Hub and clearly communicates its value, purpose, and promise.

All the immersion and analysis culminated in a brand platform built upon a new brand essence—360 Learning—and around a distinctive personality and voice.

Learning comes to life

The UCDS campus invites exploration. Colorful walls and unexpected angles create a place of discovery. The buzz of students learning and innovating fills the campus with an irresistible energy. A new visual language reflects this experience by using inviting colors, overlapping angular shapes and friendly typography. Photography captures children and teachers in active learning moments, telling a story about the school’s core purpose.

A brand-inspired experience

One of the key touchpoints we developed for the updated brand is a new, content-rich and fluidly responsive website. In close collaboration with the UCDS team, we created an engaging digital platform that tells the UCDS brand story while defining a unique and seamless experience for audiences.

We started with a persona-driven content strategy and information architecture, providing a foundation for the master brand and the flexibility to meet the unique needs of both organizational arms, UCDS Schools and UCDS Institute. We developed a series of content patterns that allow for the delivery of more bite-sized content paired with bold visuals. And the site structure provides a clear user journey, removing extraneous content and jargon-driven taxonomies.

Despite the size and complexity of the site, the result is an inspiring, intuitive experience that gets users the information they need with ease and clearly reflects the brand evolution and essence of 360 Learning.