A WeTeachMe Re-Design Story: How We Re-Designed Our Brand
This is the story of how we got to a new way of representing WeTeachMe through redesigning our brand and what we learned along the way.
Designer. Comes from Greece, Lives in Melbourne.
I joined WeTeachMe about a year and a half ago and since the first day my hands were itching to redesign the logo, website and platform. This is the story of how we got to a new way of representing ourselves and a redesigned logo. It’s about what we learned along the way and how we realised that what makes our WeTeachMe heart beat should be at the center of our new brand.
What is WeTeachMe
WeTeachMe is the go-to place for people to discover and book the best and most popular classes in Australia, as well as a booking system that helps teachers an schools build and grow successful businesses.
WeTeachMe exists for all the people who want to share knowledge and those who want to learn something new — those who are creative and curious, who want to discover, explore, express and re-invent themselves.
We believe traditional learning is broken and often impersonal. We believe teaching and learning should be done wherever, whenever and by teachers just like you and me. Every class can be an extraordinary experience — one that takes you back to the feeling of being a kid and discovering new things for the first time.
Why did we decide to rebrand?
“It was sketched out by a designer at a Hackathon.” That’s what the WeTeachMe founders told me about our old logo. I must admit that for a logo quickly sketched with little thought at an event 5 years ago, it was a good start. It was a solid foundation that gave the founders time to focus on actually building the company. Despite being a good start, the issues with the logo became apparent to me very quickly:
The logo didn’t come with a logomark. This was a massive pain when it came to mobile versions of our platform, social media and pretty much everywhere we needed our logo to appear in small sizes. We either had to use the full logo — which became illegible in small sizes — or cut parts of the logo out — which compromised the integrity of WeTeachMe as a brand. In other words, it lacked flexibility, endurance and consistency.
There was no branding guide. Consistency — one of the most important aspects for any noteworthy brand was never achieved. No guides, no rules, no memorable and consistent user experiences.
The look was outdated and not true to the brand. The grey and yellow colours, the cursive “teach”, and the overall style have gone out of fashion and are not making a comeback. None of the WeTeachMe people had any strong connections with the style or colours (as one of the founders said to me, “If I have to see that yellow again I will jump out the window!”). It was time to say goodbye. 👋
Overall, if we were to introduce WeTeachMe to you, we would say she is friendly, smart, passionate, reliable. Always there when you need her to help you, guide you or even to take you by the hand and help you experience something new!
But right now, WeTeachMe is not always making the best first impression. She’s currently wearing a stiff armour and you don’t get the chance to see how fun and easy-going she can be! Her inspiring personality is hiding and that’s a shame because we want people to see what we experience everyday! So we needed to re-introduce WeTeachMe to the world.
A year ago we started redesigning our product from the ground up, since it was not exactly what you call user-friendly. So when we started six months later what seemed to be a “simple refresh” of our logo, ended up being a full-on re-branding. But it was undeniably the perfect time to do so. Our product had undergone such a massive and wonderful change and the old logo was struggling to keep up.
Step 1: What drives us?
We started by asking simple questions about who WeTeachMe is and then dug deeper.. and deeper.. and deeper. We unearthed our personality, our goals, our principles, our vision and mission. These are the 6 themes that kept coming up in our conversations about how we wanted our brand to evolve and here is how we can action them into reaching its true potential:
Creativity is the ability to connect experiences, ideas, concepts and thoughts, to synthesise new things. It’s a human attribute, a function, a prerequisite, and an intricate process. Our role as a company is to nurture people’s creativity. WeTeachMe should be the go-to-place to explore, discover, experiment, express and invent yourself. There is infinite potential for personal transformation through creativity and we want to be present and part of that.
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” — Edward de Bono
Transmitting knowledge is part of our DNA, it’s an instinctive, intrinsic part of ourselves, and knowledge today is infinite and easily accessible. We differentiate ourselves from impersonal ways of learning by offering a new type of continuous, active and experiential learning. Our face-to-face classes offer a learning advantage and promote a strong sense of community. We are improving the learning experience one class at a time!
“Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” — Alan Lakein
Motivation is feeling; Momentum is action. Motivation is the internal state that activates, guides and sustains behaviours. But, momentum is what actually gets you out of fear and helps you start an activity. WeTeachMe will become part of that behavioural cycle. Whether by helping people learn something new or make unique connections, we can influence motivation and momentum and foster a culture of giving and learning.
“Progress only happens when motion exists; and motion is the results of actions.”
As a company we value connections and see them form in every facet of our operations. WeTeachMe will become the structure that will help new networks, combinations, relationships and connections form or strengthen. We want WeTeachMe to be the glue that brings together like-minded people who will explore, create and learn together or from one another, forming strong communities.
“Creativity is just connecting things” — Steve Jobs
We will create an environment where people can “learn like children”. WeTeachMe will become an exciting platform for people to discover, explore and learn without holding back. We will challenge people to invoke and unleash their inner child and reconnect with their innate playfulness and creativity.
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
WeTeachMe has been dedicated since its creation to excellence, search for knowledge, curation of the best material and expertise. We will keep on staying relevant, getting the details right and adding value to our customers. We observe, use our experience, iterate and focus on a perfect delivery.
“Quality — is an execution level.”
Our brand themes were clear, and so was our mission
- To provide unique, high quality classes.
- To connect teachers and students by creating an inspirational and fun learning culture.
- To help teachers and schools build and grow successful businesses.
- To be the go-to place for people to discover and book the best and most popular classes in the world.
What about our personality? How will we re-introduce WeTeachMe to the world?
Step 2: Who are we?
After many workshops and a cloud of post-it notes, we came up with a list of attributes that describe the personality of WeTeachMe; attributes that are also apparent in all of us; in the ways we communicate, interact and present ourselves. WeTeachMe is:
WeTeachMe was being actualised as a person so it was time to get her a new look too. I started collecting images of products, brands and logos that fit my vision and our new-found WeTeachMe personality. My goals when looking for inspiration were now very clear. The WeTeachMe brand needed to:
Be Bold, Memorable and Consistent
Convey the creative nature of WeTeachMe
Be Tech-oriented (we are a tech company after all)
Be Flexible, Durable and Scalable
The Fun Part
Exploring and sketching! I spent most of my time during this period locked in a room, with markers, pens, notebooks and tracing paper scattered around me.
I would pop my head out to get some fuelling coffee and then get back to sketching, exhaling in frustration or with moments where — like a cartoon — a lightbulb 💡 would go on above my head. I put everything on paper and then used tracing paper to iterate, iterate and iterate!
Since we decided to “just do a refresh”, I was restricted to exploring styles similar to our current logo. The layout needed to stay the same to avoid creating a brand that had nothing in common with the company that has been used and trusted by users for five years. This was a restriction but also a challenge. Every sketch relied on the typographic treatment of the word “teach”. I decided on a few final options that had the right balance of “friendly”, “fun” and “spontaneous” without looking outdated and stiff.
After I was happy with the results I went on to creating a logomark. This was the hard part. How do you combine a hand-drawn logo with a clean and distinct mark that captures our brand’s personality? Another challenge! After lots of experimentation and after bezier curves chasing me in my sleep (true story!), I had a few different options in front of me — some abstract, some typographic, some symbolic.
It was so hard to decide. In the end, I knew I needed to take a step back and go for the simpler solution — a mix of symbolic and typographic elements. Despite the many experimentations, I found myself coming back to the heart symbol. Furthermore, the words We and Me are essential for WeTeachMe — we need our students, our teachers, their businesses, the connections and communities they form. But the in-between is not just about teaching or learning, it’s about igniting passion and curiosity, it’s about that heart. Eventually the mark was so obviously the right one for us, it felt like it had always been with us!
Our vision, curiosity, playfulness and above all our passion for providing amazing experiences were all apparent in that heart. This logomark was everyone’s favourite. And we had just come up with a tagline to support it!
Time to let go
After a few iterations to fix balance, strokes, layout and a few experimentations with colour palettes, we were all happy with how WeTeachMe was coming along. I don’t know if other designers have the same feelings when a project is near the finish line but I am inherently hesitant to let go. A million thoughts and insecurities go through my mind — “Have I done everything I needed to do?”, “Is this the right option?”. “Is this the right curve?”, “Can I work on it a bit longer? Can I start over???”.
But I decided to listen to the legend Paul Rand:
“A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.”
So yes, the logo will always need work and iterations - but at the end of the day it is the brand that will make the logo memorable and distinctive.
So time to ship! Welcome to the world new logo! 🙂