Skillful Learning Logo design for a project to empower college students to become more efficient and effective learners

Background

Via a National Science Foundation grant secured by a professor at a local university, Stone Soup was hired to design the visual brand for Skillful Learning, a project to empower college students (and the faculty who work with them) to become better, more efficient and effective learners.

Metacognition is the awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes, or in other words – thinking about thinking.

The project will also feature a series of instruction modules with videos on metacognition, which includes hundreds of our digital drawings – this is still in development.

Solution

Stone Soup Creative presented three preliminary logo concepts:

  1. An very active depiction of a brain with two central points representing knowledge and regulation
  2. Someone thinking about thinking. The concentric lines almost vibrate and give it energy
  3. “Meta cat”, a mascot that looks contemplative, smart and reflective. The glasses suggest studiousness / learning and the eyes suggest thinking

After presenting the first round of designs, the client chose #1, with the following thoughtful feedback on all the logo designs:

Meta Cat was a sentimental favorite! We very much would like to see if it could be used with the videos, e.g., a mascot, or in some other capacity.

We preferred the Very Active Brain. We valued its energy and its level of abstraction. It was appealing to us, drew our attention, and sparked thinking/questions/discussion, which we think is good.

The head-in-head with a light bulb was more self-explanatory. At first it had an appeal to some, but then we coalesced around the Very Active Brain – valuing its more abstract nature.

My colleagues very much appreciated your process (black and white before color), the provided rationale for each logo, and thoughtful questions.”

Results

Our goal as designers was to ensure we met the client’s objectives that users feel the project  is transformative, helpful and valuable.

The logo was made into swag that our client, an engineering professor, brought to a conference where he presented a 3-hr workshop, “Teaching Metacognition: Helping Students Own and Improve Their Learning.” He said the magnets and stickers were a huge hit with attendees.