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Foothill + De Anza

Brand Refresh

Foothill + De Anza recruits and advises international students within the Foothill-De Anza community college district, located in Silicon Valley, California. The International Department wanted to update the look and feel of their entire brand, including a new logo. The existing brand had been in place for over 10 years and did not look modern.


Before making any decisions about the brand elements, I conducted  a focus group at both of the college campuses. With the help of the client, we gathered two groups of 10-20 international students and asked them a variety of questions about why they chose Foothill + De Anza, what they thought of the previous marketing materials, and how they felt about other brands (the students were given a sheet with images of six unique brands). From this qualitative data, I developed the art direction for the new logo and brand. The new brand needed to emphasize the academic excellence of the colleges, show the beautiful outdoors of Silicon Valley, and make students from any country feel welcomed. 


With the focus group data in mind, I worked with the client to design a new logo that emphasized the hills and valleys of the surrounding areas, as well as symbolize the two unique colleges in the district. Visit this page for a more thorough breakdown of the logo design. I then updated the brand color palette with brighter, more modern hues of the existing brand's blue and orange palette. To complement the blue and orange, the palette includes bright and warm yellow, green, ocean blue and sky blue colors. Heebo was chosen as the primary font because it is a modern, clean sans serif that is also free from Google Fonts. The client wanted to have a welcoming, hand-written script font to contrast the more professional Heebo font, so we chose Sun Valley. It was important that the photography showcase the diversity of students on campus, while still having a warm, sunny vibe. For particular instances of student profiles, I designed a cutout photography style that showcases the brand's bright color palette behind student portraits.


Once the visual styles had been solidified, I wrote and designed a brand style guide for the colleges' internal use. This 14-page document includes information about how to use the logo correctly, which color codes to use and when, typography sizing, photography guidelines, examples of stationary and branded promotional items, and social media best practices. The style guide has been successfully used by the client to update all of their social media and e-mail imagery, and it will ensure that all future marketing materials we create are cohesive and strengthen the overall brand.

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