Redesign & Illustration Style for Buildschool
In early 2018, I created an illustration style for Buildschool, a free coding program focused on building real-world products instead of following traditional class exercises. As its’ first branding initiative, I began working closely with the founder to also lead the redesign for the one-page web landing to communicate the program overview and basic call-to-action.
Visual Identity and Illustration
We started with pinpointing the visual narrative. Our goal was to communicate Buildschool as a serious option for prospective developers, without the old-school feel of traditional universities. Robust and technical in terms of the curriculum, but approachable and simple in terms of the program.
When it came to the illustrations and visual elements, I was inspired by building blueprints with its’ overlapping shapes and lines. We aimed to show people working together on big, complex problems—leaning into a more chaotic feel with floating devices, building materials, and terminal windows.
Supporting Brand Assets
Along with spot illustrations, I created a pattern and a set of smaller reusable assets. We loved the idea of playing on the “building” element of the brand, so construction-inspired graphics worked well for icons, empty states and animated embellishments
In addition to the branding assets, the previous Buildschool logo needed a refresh. The new logo needed to be a lot more flexible and accessible. I stripped out the lines, binary detail, leaves, tagline and font made by the previous designer. By simplifying but keeping the essence, we now had something that could work sitewide.
When it came to the web redesign, I collaborated with Sumit Sekhri for his expertise on UX and the backend technical aspects. It was definitely a scrappy project, with little resources for user testing. We pinned down the strategy of the page, basic call to action, and mapped the experience with user personas. We looked to our inspirations: Gigster, Khan Academy, CourseHero, CodeAcademy, etc. for the v1 sitemap, and collected our wireframes on Dropbox Paper. It was one of my first experiences working so deeply in UX and development, and I learned a ton about the process. Check out our live work on the Buildschool website here.
♥ Huge thank you to the founder, Sophie Zhou Novati for entrusting me with her branding!