Last winter, we asked ourselves and our community whether our website and visual identity were truly reflective of where we now were: approaching five years in existence, expanding our operating capacity to do new and more impactful work, finalizing our next strategic plan, and at a place where there has been a noticeable shift in how Illinois talks about its higher education system—with far more discussion about equity and completion. Suffice it to say, what we heard back affirmed what we had suspected, that the Partnership for College Completion (PCC) had outgrown some of its trappings. With this discovery in mind, we embarked on a project to redesign our web presence and refresh our visual branding to tell the story of all we’ve accomplished in five fast years and build a digital infrastructure that will carry us forward.
Our Web Presence
On the newly redesigned Partnershipfcc.org – imagined by the talented web developer ThompsonStenning – we took care to maintain the spirit of who we are while also elevating and amplifying our visual content, improving navigation and accessibility, placing our work front and center, and including some exciting new sections and features:
- About Us. We’re now using this section to not just tell you about who powers this team and the generous entities that support our work, but also showing you PCC milestones with the help of an interactive timeline.
- Our Work. If you’ve visited our website in the past, you’ll notice that now, in addition to the use of consistent layouts across the pages for our 3 areas of work (public policy, college and university partnerships, and research and data), we’ve improved how we’re elevating both new and ongoing initiatives and sharing opportunities to read our latest blogs, news, or sign up for an event.
- Resources. In this new section to PCC’s web presence, we’re developing an ever-expanding library of best in class content, webinars, articles and more to support higher education practitioners doing equity work.
- Get Involved. We’re thrilled about this section, a complete and well deserved renovation of a key part of our new site: where PCC is inviting you to engage with our work and help us continue moving it forward. Whether that’s learning about how to become an advocate for equity-centered public policy, exploring opportunities to join our team, or making a financial gift to the Partnership, we’ve created more opportunities for you to connect with us in this work!
Our Visual Presence
We approached the refresh of our branding in a similar spirit.. This meant adding new vibrancy to our color palette, adopting a new typography into our family to increase the readability of all our work, and some adjustments to our legacy logo including a special feature we’re thrilled to celebrate.
In response to stakeholder feedback, we kept true to the feel of the logo with which we started this journey, but changed the alignment of the first line to suggest movement and alignment and typography of the tagline also to suggest PCC as a catalyst and then also to emphasize, through use of a san serif typeface, that this work we’re doing is about making sure the institutions once built and designed for a small minority of students are accessible to every student.
You’ll also notice our tagline is different. Previously “Accelerating Action to Close the Achievement Gap,” and with the help of trusted wordsmiths in and outside of our organization, we developed the new tagline “Advancing Equity in Higher Education.” This new tag better and more concisely tells the story of how PCC is working closely with nonprofit partners, higher education and campus-based leaders, and lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly to foster an environment where every Illinois student can access, pursue, and complete their college degree with the right tools, resources, supports, and policy conditions.
With this brand refresh, we’re pleased to highlight the work of Cristian Martinez Gomez, who created the final concept of our logo and designed the bronze grad cap icon you’ll see included. Cristian first served as our uber-talented College and University Partnerships intern, before this year being elected to the PCC Board of Directors as our Student Board Member. We are incredibly proud of and grateful for Cristian’s many contributions to our organization, amid COVID no less. We’re thrilled about the figurative and literal lasting impression he left on our organization, his ongoing service to PCC, and excited about all he’ll do in the future.
We’re excited to kick off 2022 with these exciting visual developments. Most of all, we’re deeply grateful to every person who partnered with us in providing candid feedback and suggestions that informed and clarified our vision for this site. Thank you.
So, please take a look around. Sign up for one, two, or all of our newsletters. Register for an event. Visit our Get Involved section to learn more about other ways you can engage with our work, or peruse the resource library and find some inspiration to animate your equity work. We’re looking forward to the next five years ahead and doing so from this lively home base.
Bravetta Hassell, Senior Communications Manager and Jonathan Lopez, Senior Manager of Operational Effectiveness