Isabel Castillo Guijarro is Thinkful's Design Director.
Thinkful has always been a special place to work, but the last few months have been particularly exciting for our internal creative team. As the company has grown in size, goals, and student enrollments, our mission has also evolved. We are continually inspired by the ambition and drive of our students, so, with the help of extensive workshops, focus groups and late nights, we built a mission that properly reflected what we are achieving together.
We wanted current students to feel proud and inspired by being part of the Thinkful community, while building awareness for those who don’t know us yet. This evolution allows us to retain all the elements that engendered the brand’s existing trust, while creating space to grow and speak with greater authority to a wider audience.
Once we had our mission statement, we defined our personality traits, and then applied voice and visual characteristics to each. Working this way gave us a brand with purpose and intention. A true collaboration between voice and visuals. A design system that immediately makes a statement about how we see ourselves, and how we want the rest of the world to view us.
We created a consistent base and a flexible framework to give us the room to adapt and continuously improve. Fidelity of our new logo, typography choices, color palette, illustration style, and photography ensures that we are always recognizable, iconic, and visually different to everyone else in our competitive space.
Each element works to maintain a precise balance between the technical expertise we are recognized for in our industry, and the passionate future thinking approach we strive to maintain in everything we do.
We sought to capture and elevate the existing Thinkful spirit with a strong combination of a bold watermark, minimal black and white core branding, and bright colors that come through in our newly introduced illustration elements.
We maintained the T everyone already knows us for, pairing it with a strong logo mark to make sure it looks great at any size and has a strong, fresh, and innovative presence.
Sharp Grotesk by Sharp Type is our primary brand typeface. We were drawn to it because of its exuberant personality, ink traps, and incredible range of moods. It feels modern, unique and ownable, while also pairing perfectly with our existing Maison Monotype secondary typeface. We're keeping Maison for its link to our roots in coding.
We are introducing color as a way to differentiate between our areas of study. By assigning one color to each of our courses, we are establishing a simple but effective design system that will allow us to grow over time.
A new illustration style allows us to communicate the complexity of our products in a simpler and more human way than was possible before. We worked with three fantastic illustrators—Jay Quercia, Abbie Winters and Janet Sung—to bring our vision to life in our initial brand launch. We are aiming to incorporate more vibrant artistic voices in future work.
We continued to commit to photographing real students, educators, mentors, and events. We are excited to introduce video and animation campaigns in the coming months that will dive into the stories that make each and every member of our community unique.
By redesigning, we set out to retain all the trust, reliability and community that appealed to current Thinkful students, while making space for the brand to grow over time.
We understand that students are our biggest asset. As their core fans and allies, we’re so excited to share an innovative mission, look, and feel that they can be proud of. A brand they want to belong to. We hope they like it as much as we do.