The Raspberry Pi Foundation was working to develop its new digital education proposition, Ada Computer Science.
This new platform needed to be designed in collaboration with educators and students. Named Ada, it would initially be launched in the UK marketplace but had aspirations to grow globally.
The new platform needed to empower both teachers and learners by:
- harnessing recent advances in computer science
- pioneering new learning methods that are easily accessible online
- delivering quality resources in digestible formats
This is where Nomensa’s UX Design expertise comes in.
Creating a brand around a name
In 2022, we were tasked with creating a meaningful brand story and visual identity for Ada Computer Science. The Raspberry Pi Foundation already had a name in mind, but needed help to bring the brand to life.
The inspiration for the platform’s name was Ada Lovelace. Often thought of as the first computer programmer, Lovelace was an algorithmic thinker and master of numbers. Born in 1815, she changed the future of computer science. We would use her name not just in reverence, but as a guiding ethos of the brand.
But living up to her name set us quite a challenge. We were bought in to help create a compelling visual identity for Ada that would inspire the next generation of thinkers, while retaining a strong technical reference.
How do you build trust for a new, digital-first brand?
Trust is the ultimate currency. Brands aren’t born with it. It’s earned through the accumulation of interactions, touchpoints and great brand experiences.
For a new brand like Ada, we knew we had to start by understanding the people we wanted to connect with. We wanted to know who our users are, what they value and what their relationships to Ada could be.
Gen-Z, our primary content consumer, have digital products baked into their lives. It’s how they learn, live and play unlike any generation before them. They have expectedly high standards for digital products, but it wasn’t just Gen-Z we needed to engage with.
Ada had to be visually appealing as well as practical and helpful to teachers as well. We needed a design that would encourage educators to support the tool’s adoption while driving their students to interact with it.
To do this, we’d need to create a digital-first brand that focused on all touch-points from the outset. It also had to be accessible to all – championing inclusivity and charing representative content that catered to its diverse audience.
To design a brand that could live up to the Ada’s name, we took a sheet out of her “poetic science” playbook. She saw the future of computing as more than just numbers – so our brand would do the same.
By drawing from the creative imagination of possibility, we could design a visual language that went beyond the more obvious coding links. Our unique hook would create a stark visual difference within a congested market space.
We settled on a brand concept that linked the old with the new in a single journey. Our designs represented the technological path that humanity has been on – calling on historical language and numerics, before progressing into software development, and coded language representatives of digital innovation.
The logo is a good demonstration of this approach. It details a strong technical reference, and threads in both logic and creativity. ‘Alpha’ represents software development processes, while the Ada herself represents equity and equality. With these visual cues, the logo becomes a vehicle for Raspberry Pi’s broader mission to encourage more females into the industry.
Storytelling through a visual language
We incorporated geometric shapes and patterns into bring more science into the visual identity. These shapes echoed mathematics through basics foundational forms.
When combined, these elements strike the right balance of contemporary aesthetics with bold simplistic design, while allowing for further evolution as the brand matures.
We also ensured all of our branding and designs were accessible and reached an AAA standard. This meant Ada would:
- be inclusive to everyone, regardless of ability
- limit barriers to accessing computer science education
- reflect and represent its diverse user-base
Weaving designs into process
We created application and brand guidelines to ensure that Raspberry Pi’s teams could make the most of its new digital-first visual identity. This meant that the brand was ready to applied to the Ada Computer Science digital product and ecosystem, enabling the proposition to be tested with its core audience and be taken to market.
The guidelines and new designs provided a platform for pulling together educational resources and materials, allowing Raspberry Pi to be a leader within the computer science field. Not only did we provide an effective foundation that supported core business KPI’s, but we empowered Ada Computer Science to start engaging with and learning from its users, therefore amplifying its voice.
With the creation of the Ada Computer Science visual identity, we’ve instilled brand advocacy through our design process and knowledge sharing throughout the journey. This left a whilst implementing governance principles to enable the future success and evolution of the brand.
The new platform will help build a community of Ada Computer Science resources, educators, students and alumni and enabling the brand to operate with a common language. The brand is designed to educate and inspire a digital future, with nods toward social themes that are important today.
Can we help you?
If you’d like help creating or revitalising your visual identity and branding, get in touch. Our team are happy to talk about how we can support your design ambitions, and where we’ve already helped brands like The University of Cambridge, Virgin Media Ireland and Yuh to connect with their audiences through compelling imagery and design.