Edge Foundation is an independent educational organisation with charitable status. It has a new strategic plan to make the education system in the UK fit for purpose for young people in the 21st century.
To update the existing identity and to re-design the website to make it easier for visitors to find the information they need and to reflect the professional status that this influential organisation has within the sector.
Creating a new brand toolkit
We developed a new logo for Edge Foundation that is bold and clear. With a secondary one for Edge Future Learning, which is the delivery part of the organisation.
New simple brand guidelines were also developed and then applied to the new website, stationery and a range of communications materials including research reports, presentations, icons, partner logos and social media graphics.
using An elegant sans serif typeface
We selected Raleway as the primary brand typeface. This is a distinctive, contemporary and elegant sans serif typeface which is easy to read at both large and small point sizes. being a Google font, it can be used on printed communications as well as in digital form. With 14 weights in the family, it provides enormous flexibility across a variety of applications.
The colour palette, angled device & pattern
We also developed a modern colour palette of five primary colours and five secondary ones which provides variety and consistency. Then we used the right angled device from the new logo, tilted and tinted it to create an interesting background pattern. Which can be used across suites of reports and documents so that they all feel part of the same family. For the delivery part of the offer to teachers, we proposed that Edge Future Learning should use the turquoise colour instead of the purple to signify a difference.
The new strap line ‘Making Education Relevant’
It was important to lock the strap line up with the Edge Foundation logo. However, depending on the specific application, they don’t always need to be tightly locked together, so long as they can be seen on the same page or surface at the same time.
Improving the website user experience
We reviewed the existing website and discovered if had some great content but did not reflect the organisation’s ambitious plan and did not provide a great user experience either. So we organised a workshop with a small team from Edge Foundation to find out who visits the website and what challenges they’re trying to overcome in their professional lives.
We also established what information and advice they’d be looking for, because we wanted to make it easier for them to locate this in the future and to take positive action afterwards. Most importantly we wanted to discover why the Edge Foundation is useful and what tangible and intangible benefits it provides so that this could be better expressed.
One of the main issues with the existing website was that the great content was difficult to find. So a key concept for the new one was to ensure that visitors could locate and then consume relevant content easily - because it would be accurately categorised, tagged and optimised for search.
We asked the Edge Foundation working group what they wanted website visitors to think and feel once they had experienced it.
“Visitors should feel like they’re not the only one trying to achieve what they’re doing in their professional lives - they’re part of a community. They should be impressed and feel informed, interested and involved by their experience. Then they should want to work with us because of our friendly and helpful culture”.
The new website reflects the new strategy
The new strategic plan has five component parts that include 'research', 'grant projects', 'Edge Future Learning', 'policy' and 'news & events', so it was important that each of these should have their own section and appear in the main navigation on the new Edge website.
Creating compelling copy for key pages
Craig Thatcher drafted the copy for the key pages by interviewing Edge experts in each of the five specialist parts, by asking them why they do what they do and what the benefits are to visitors. Then he drafted the words for approval.
developing a content plan
Craig also developed a framework for the content plan to make it easier for Edge to re-purpose existing content and to support their efforts going forward. The plan supported the idea that each piece of content would have its own web page.
Therefore, we created a list of items to accompany each piece of content, that would make it easier to find on the new website through the menu system or via a search engine. For each web page, this included a clear title, heading, short intro paragraph and a main article. This included the content item itself, which could be any one of eight different types, from a pdf report, a film or even a podcast episode. Each web page would have links to other items that visitors might be interested in, as well as a clear, positive call to action.
Design concept for the new website
Having decided how we wanted to improve the user journeys in the new website we made sure that the five key pages were easy to find in the main navigation and in the menu system. Then once a visitor was on the right page, the information was clearly presented in an intuitive and helpful way, with additional content and links to other materials easily visible.
Each page was designed using a series of blocks because this would make it easier for editors to create new pages in the future, using the Wagtail Content Management System proposed by Edge Foundation’s web development agency, Vohm.
We shared our design concept with the Edge Foundation and the web development agency for their collective comments and feedback before obtaining final approval. Once this was achieved, we handed over the designs to the web development team to build the website.
New images of young people
It is difficult to obtain shots of children at school or young people, especially during 2020. So we searched image libraries for shots showing young people taking part in problem based learning exercises or on various types of vocational training courses.
A new design and format for reports
As most, but not all pdf reports are accessed, consumed and shared on-line, rather than in print, we proposed to change the format of the A4 page from portrait to landscape with a column narrow column structure for copy, so that it was easier to read on-screen.
We developed a new style for infographics that help to summarise key information in a simple, engaging and eye-catching way.
New Powerpoint templates
We designed and developed new templates for different forms of presentation ranging from recorded interviews with Edge Hotel School alumnus to agendas for the MP Researchers’ Network meetings. These templates can be used to create professional looking content without coming back to the design team each time.
The response to the new identity and website from everyone within the organisation has been really positive and supportive.
"Craig is a natural problem solver. He helped us bring our team together to create a new website and identity that we are all really proud of. He is quick to identify what’s not working and always has a range of solutions up his sleeve. He approaches every design challenge we throw at him with good humour and enthusiasm. I trust his judgement, rely on his expertise and see the team at StrawberryFinch as an extension of ours".
Susan Higgins, Head of Communications at the Edge Foundation
If you have a question, would like further information or support for your own project then contact Craig now and he'll be happy to help you get going, without obligation.