Decimal deliver a vibrant, evolving identity to echo LearningWell’s mission for positive change
Published by the Mary Christie Institute and the Coalition for Transformational Education, LearningWell is an online publication that focuses on information, new ideas and perspectives at the intersection of higher education and life-long wellbeing. Unified by a common goal to examine how higher education experiences can lead to improved, wellbeing – both on and off campus – LearningWell works with writers and thinkers to explore and unpack conversations surrounding student mental health, higher education policies, institutional decision-making and inclusivity.
New York-based design and technology studio Decimal partnered with the publication to develop their brand identity and digital platform. Using a rich palette of colours, Decimal have created a bright brand identity, using gradients to communicate ‘change’ in a way that feels appropriate to the subject of mental health. “Gradients, as opposed to flat colours, are by nature transitional because they show the progression from one colour to another,” Lead Designer Kirsten Holland tells us, explaining the decision. “Further, since the main application for LearningWell is their digital magazine, we had the opportunity to make the gradients move, amplifying their transitional nature.”
The colours themselves also serve a functional purpose – LearningWell’s content is colour-coded, with each colour corresponding to a different theme. “For this reason,” Holland continues, “it was important to choose colours that have different hues so users can clearly identify them with the different sections.” To reflect the optimistic tone of LearningWell, Decimal leaned towards brighter and bolder colours, with additional feedback and input from the client.
This positive attitude is reinforced by the typeface pairing of Bradford and Monument Grotesk. The former, a friendly and bookish serif for headlines and body copy, was chosen “as it has some beautiful details appreciated on large sizes, but it is also a very readable font.” The latter is “a simple, modern, easy-to-read typeface that elevates Bradford,” Holland adds.
When it came to applying the design elements to LearningWell’s website, it was important that it was compatible with the site’s range of articles and content types. “Some articles have more images or videos, other articles have quotes and are more text-heavy,” the designer explains. “We delivered a flexible system where the editors could use the different templates and modules to accommodate the type of article they want to present and to make the most of the assets they have available,” she concludes.