Teacher Redesign Revealed

Studio 360
The World

For the last five years Studio 360 has been hiring graphic design teams to rethink various cherished symbols – from the gay pride flag, to the board game Monopoly. Last fall, Kate Ahearn from Haverhill, Massachusetts, wrote in begging us to redesign the image of teachers. "I have been teaching for 15-plus years and have enough of what I deem 'apple crapple' to last me a lifetime." She detests the corny old-fashioned visual junk educators get stuck with – apples, ABCs, 123s, one-room schoolhouses with bells on top. We recruited the New York design firm Hyperakt, founded by Julia Vakser Zeltser and Deroy Peraza. They arrived at the trope of connecting the dots. It was important to show that "teachers weren't just dictators of knowledge, but as guides they help students connect the dots," Peraza explains. Hyperakt used a warm yellow color palate and a typeface called Chevin to build their key image: the word "teach" made up of dots and lines. That "wordmark" can be applied to a wide variety of products and messages, from campaigns to recruit teachers, to bathroom signage, to temporary tattoos. And even though the motif is about teachers, the designers say they want students to own the message. "This is about connecting the dots," Peraza says, "but it's not about having teachers connect all the dots for you.    Video: Studio 360 Redesigns: Teachers