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08 Jul 2020

Behind the Scenes: Designing a brand and website for Academic Data Science Alliance

By Talie Smith + Maria Janosko

Do you ever wonder what goes into creating a brand? Here, we walk through our process to discover insights and develop a design system that expresses the personality, approach, and values of an organization. 

 

 

Where They Were

When they came to us, Academic Data Science Alliance (ADSA) was a brand-new organization that needed help creating a credible brand platform. When we met, they had just “gone public” using basic assets and a one-page website.

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Creating a Brand Strategy

We started by uncovering ADSA’s personality, role, approach, goals, and audience needs. With this context, we developed insights that became their foundational brand platform.

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Design Strategy

With the brand strategy developed, we moved into visual design. We began with writing experience goals for the brand. We then developed moodboards to help us explore different ways to visualize the experience goals with the client. 

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Design Process

We started with sketching concepts:

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Then, we selected three internally and moved them into the digital design phase, where we explored the logo concept and added typography and the color palette. 

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We presented our work to the client and they chose one mark to advance. We built out the primary brand system first, which consisted of a logo, typography, and color palette.

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Brand Extension Design

Afterwards, we designed various collateral and assets, establishing an extended visual system for the brand, including iconography, website elements, stationery, and more.

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We built a brand Style Guide to establish boundaries and guidelines for how to use the brand properly.

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What our client says about us: 

"From the very beginning, our interactions with the team at Smith + Connors made it clear that this company is all about the people. We quickly developed a familiarity with everyone on the team, sharing jokes and memes over Slack and email. Our meetings were a joy - whoever says that about web development? Over time, we came to think of your people as our people - this team is part of our organization’s family.

On the technical side, your team has been incredible to work with. We could not have asked for anyone better! The whole team was extremely patient with all of our questions and decision-making while keeping us on task and implementing features that were key to telling our story. You made sure we were happy with the designs and gave us many opportunities to tweak things here and there once we saw the site live. The new site and logo give us a brand identity we can be truly proud of, and our new sub-brand logos give us room to grow.

We also very much appreciated the instant communications through Slack. Truly above and beyond customer service. We can’t say 'thank you' enough!"

– Micaela Parker, Executive Director

 

Full Case Study 

Live ADSA Website

 

 

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