Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Funds For Learning Moves Up a Grade

Funds For Learning (FFL) helps schools and libraries wade through government paperwork and become compliant to be eligible to receive technology funding. Tricky stuff. It's one of those "hey-I-didn't-even-know-people-did-that" jobs that once you hear about, you're glad is around.

We've worked with FFL for a few years now, helping develop their early branding. We even won the prestigious Jef Fontana Humor award for their on-hold message a few years ago.

Oh my, how the years fly by. Now Funds For Learning is the nation's largest provider of these services. They've moved up to a swanky new office and their team of experts is way bigger. Their past brand fit a smaller organization carving out a new niche. Now, they're ready to brag about their expertise, their experience and their drive to help.

So we got to thinking: Who is Funds For Learning to its clients? They cut through complicated paperwork. They show a clear path to funding. They keep clients from making costly mistakes. They're like sherpas, the rugged mountaineers that escort adventurers to the peak of Mount Everest. They're like a sensei, a master of mysterious techniques. And they're like a guru, with deep knowledge of their craft. What do these all have in common? They're guides. So, that's how we positioned Funds For Learning.

Above is the first brand positioning board recently created. The strategy is to: Keep a streamlined appearance to stand out from the competition's cluttered ads. Incorporate the internal culture into the messaging: Collaborative, fun-loving, resourceful, with a strong belief in communication. Use a new color system revolves around reds, oranges and saturated cyans, with white as the accent. Funds For Learning didn't need a drastic change to their brand, just a natural next iteration. A graduation, if you will.

Humorous Venn diagrams show that Funds For Learning really understands the tough position most districts are in these days, without getting too dour about it. The graph background, handwriting, and hand-drawn circles all reflect elements of a school whiteboard and a workplace brainstorming session. Using strong visual metaphors from simple visual shapes make Funds For Learning's brand very approachable.

Funds For Learning liked these initial ideas so much they decided to do a full-on photoshoot to show off their sweet new space and their team of gurus, sherpas, anda senseis (a.k.a. guides).

After a long shooting day, we let off some steam with an epic paper fight. Hey, what's a graduation without a little fun?

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