Coalition for Engaged Education by Blok
Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 6 October 2014
The Coalition for Engaged Education, formerly New Visions Foundation, is an LA based organisation, led by Dr Paul Cummins, that helps vulnerable children and young adults to realise their potential through an approach to education that respects and inspires them. CEE recently worked with design studio Blok to develop a new visual identity that would mark the organisation’s new national ambitions.
The result, a logo that is both wordmark and icon, stationery and posters bound by a broad colour palette and uncoated papers, is described by Blok as reflecting CEE’s process of transforming and uplifting, and emphasises the system of support it provides its students. Emotive language complements this approach by turning CEE into a verb, with the intention of giving voice to its beliefs and to the students’ own hopes and dreams.
Although the logotype’s simple geometric shapes, single line weight, the informal tone of its all-lowecase letterforms — lent a subtle proprietary quality by tilting the e’s — and reduction into a symbol, stacked like an abacus hinting at growth and education, is a touch abstract, its confidant oversized application in print and the unusually broad colour palette that fills and surrounds it, delivers a strong aesthetic impact.
A complementary colour palette of bright and pastel hues, executed as edge to edge panels of colour across stickers and uncoated boards, and a current secondary sans-serif typeface used to great effect across the posters to break content, all contribute to a cohesive, contemporary and crafted sensibility. It is youthful but not childish, vibrant yet sophisticated, and is ideally representative of young minds, creative approaches and a positivity.
CEE’s enthusiasm is reflected in the choice of language. Although these are largely generic, they work well in conjunction with a name that sounds like see, are emotive, understandable and add a layer of direct communicative detail. It is good to see a name taking on a further role within an identity system and contributing to tone of voice. Where the initial aesthetic impact of colour and form merely hints at eduction and growth, language is more explicit.
Blok’s solution revolves around a strong contrast of colour, fine type and bold oversized form in print and although isolated the symbol is perhaps vague, alongside colour and language contributes to a brand identity that appears young and dynamic.