Engaging passionate educators

Since 2013, the Positive Learning Collaborative has partnered with New York City schools to ensure that every child develops the social, emotional, and academic skills needed to succeed in school and life. PLC's expert team includes social workers, counselors, psychologists, and teachers with decades of experience in local school communities. Through healing-centered training and support, PLC provides educators and administrators, as well as families, with the skills, tools, and mindset needed to turn their schools into joyful communities in which to learn and grow.

In schools, PLC had a reputation for being knowledgeable and approachable, yet their communications were full of disparate messaging and stock visuals that conveyed otherwise. After nearly a decade in existence — and with an expansion into more schools on the horizon — the PLC team wanted to sharpen their brand to reflect the proven success of their work. Seeing our rebrand of United Community Schools, another United Federation of Teachers initiative, PLC was seeking a similar vibrant and cohesive identity that would embody their diverse team. Though PLC is a school-based initiative, its trainings and services are tailored to adults — to educators and caregivers, not students. Most of PLC's visuals, however, were childlike and generic in appearance, more suited for a kindergarten classroom. We knew it was time to grow up the PLC brand.

Key Insight
The PLC approach uniquely focuses on the social and emotional aspects of education. Infusing both the joy and the calm that PLC brings to real school communities would be essential to distinguishing their services and communicating their impact.

We uncovered that the root of the PLC brand is the team's ability to empower schools to transform — from classroom crises and educational inequities to access and opportunity for all. With a starburst-like logomark and mosaic background patterns, distinctive organic shapes permeate the visual system, representing the diversity of PLC school communities and the collaboration inherent in the team's work. A flexible color palette can be used monochromatically or colorfully — and feel empathetic or confident — depending on the ideal tone or intended audience. We directed photoshoots in PLC partner schools to celebrate the educators and students who have been supported by the PLC team and create an authentic photo library for the brand. Helping the PLC team to own their research-based approach honed over years of experience, we streamlined the description of their process, as well as highlighted data and testimonials throughout materials that prove their long-term impact.

Since the launch of our rebrand, PLC has continued to grow. Today, the initiative provides intensive support to 35 schools citywide, and in 2022, PLC expanded to 120 additional schools to offer healing-centered professional learning. PLC has more visibility throughout its schools than ever before — with items such as branded notebooks and educational posters — helping the team to gain recognition and momentum.

Services: Brand Strategy, Messaging, Logo, Visual Identity System, Art Direction, Website