Remind Brand Book
remind is an education startup dedicated to facilitating communication between teachers, students, and parents with a safe, secure & Free messaging platform.
Since its inception in 2011, Remind has seen remarkable growth and adoption and is now used by 3 out of every 4 school districts nationwide. Remind didn't try to pack a thousand features into their app, instead they focused on one thing: creating a simple, safe way for teachers to share announcements & reminders outside of the classroom.
Remind's design approach was similar -- simple, clean, with a hint of whimsy & fun. The company had recently updated their branding, but with the company's growth and expansion of the product, needed to put together guidelines that would ensure a cohesive message and visual identity system. In order to create a style guide that would provide an inventory and roadmap across all teams, I had to spend time up front designing the process before even touching the current system.
My first step was to take inventory of all existing brand assets, websites, microsites, and marketing materials. I also conducted interviews with the founder and key team members to learn more about the brand and capture any pain points within the current system.
I worked closely with the design team to gather all of the information that I could in order to begin developing a structure for what we dubbed the "Brand Book," using the concept of a school hand book. As we dug into the current state of the Remind visual identity, we saw a disconnect. Remind was marketing to ALL teachers & students, but wasn't designed to be w3c compliant -- that is, accessible to people with low vision or using screen readers. Becoming compliant would require changing the entire color scheme, font sizes+weights, and creating strict rules around how elements could be displayed, but Remind rose to the challenge and the team was dedicated to upholding their mission.
BRAND BOOK STRUCTURE
Designed as a comprehensive web-based interface, the Brand Book includes more than just guidelines -- it is a living, breathing library of the Remind brand. The sections of the brand book included:
Our Brand (logo, key colors, typography, brand story)
- Voice & Tone (mission & values, brand voice, content types, glossary, grammar guidelines)
- Style Guide (font usage, color usage, iconography, illustration, photography, grid, pattern usage)
- Templates (UI kits, social media/marketing templates)
I worked with members of each team at Remind to gather content and get feedback & input for each section. I also created a shared project plan that allowed everyone to view the current status as well as any roadblocks or open items needing attention.
One of the most rewarding and challenging components of this project was ensuring w3c accessibility compliance. I took Remind's existing color palette, revised and expanded it to be both accessible and more comprehensive. Choosing a new "brand blue" was particularly interesting, as it needed to be bright and friendly but also offer enough contrast as a text or background color. For every color chosen, an included chart detailed the context in which it could be used for adequate readability.
THE BIG PICTURE
Working with Remind was a transformative experience. Every day at the Remind office I was keenly aware of the team's dedication to their mission, their desire to make things better for teachers and to affect real change in education. While the original idea for the Brand Book didn't necessarily directly improve education, the team genuinely made me feel like my work was improving their ability (and, most importantly, their users' ability) to communicate effectively and consistently. I hold Brett Kopf, Lindsey Mindler, and the whole Remind team personally responsible for a fundamental shift in my focus to only work on projects that have a positive impact. So much love for that amazing crew.