Why the new logo you ask? 2020 marked a new era for Modern Learners. The founders, Will Richardson and Bruce Dixon, were promoted to advisors of the company they started in 2013. Both were determined to support Modern Learners, but were being called to pursue other things. That left me to lead the day to day operations of Modern Learners, and I remained committed to our mission of changing the experience of school by putting a focus back on learning.
I sat with this responsibility for a long time. I wondered what the next iteration of Modern Learners would be. I wondered how I would be able to do the work that provoked the level of thinking that Will and Bruce had ignited. I wondered if I could continue the legacy they had started. We had created so much together.
Modern Learners. Modern Learners Community. Modern Learners Courses. Modern Learners Labs. Change School.
We had so many assets. All were intended to bring the mission to life, but when I looked at them, they looked different. They were not visually unified which was the result of creating so much, so fast. When I took time to step back and look at the work, I realized Modern Learners was likely confusing our audience…and our community. A confused audience can’t fully benefit from our work. So… my first order of business was to visually unify the brand.
Too many Logos; They were Confused
In my first meeting with my new graphic designer and web developer, they both asked, “Are Modern Learners and Modern Learners Community the same thing?” Then they asked, “And where does Change School fit? Isn’t that a course, too?”
Yes, it was official. Modern Learners was confusing to people not inside the circle.
So what was Modern Learners? What did we do? How did we serve the world?
Modern Learners had been a media company. Will and Bruce had written blogs (over 250 posts) and produced podcasts (somewhere around 75). The community resulted because their blogs and podcasts attracted a group of school leaders that wanted to design and create Schools of Modern Learning. As a result, Modern Learners created Modern Learners Community to gather school leaders who were putting their focus back on learning!
Modern Learners brought people together in Change School, a course designed and created by myself, Will, and Bruce. Then Lyn Hilt helped us create Reimagining Assessment and the 10 Principles. Currently, there are 7 Modern Learners courses created by community members, for community members. The content in the community, the book studies, the workshops, the Conference of Conversations, the courses are all powered by community members. All the community-created content is intended to support the community in their desire to focus on learning.
The community is living the mission!
In reviewing all of the assets of Modern Learners, it became abundantly clear that with Will and Bruce no longer creating the bulk of the content, Modern Learners is now powered by the community.
So with that, Modern Learners became one thing and one thing only. Drum roll please….
A Logo and Its Parts
The old and the new MLC logos look very different, but the new has been derived from existing brand assets. While the new doesn’t include the gradient coloring, the colors from the old are brought into the new. The greens and purples were added to the color palette and serve to unify the visual elements of the courses with the community, too. The circular feel of the old is also brought into the new.
The new logo was truly inspired by the Modern Learners Lens. The lens graphic is also getting a visual update and in the meantime, you can learn more about the lens here. The new lens will comprised of three crescents: one for beliefs, one for contexts, and one for practices.
The new logo was truly inspired by the Modern Learners Lens. We reference the Modern Learners Lens in all the work we do, and it’s represented in the the three crescents: one for beliefs, one for contexts, and one for practices.
At the Center is Learning & Surrounding it is community
Way back in 2016, when I started working with Will and Bruce on Modern Learners, it was me who kept saying, “I think we’re trying to build a community.” And now, as we prepare to do the work in a post-pandemic era (yes, I know it is still here…but we are rounding the corner), this community is ready to support each other in reimagining what school can become.
Peter Block’s book Community: The Structure of Belonging was a major inspiration to the work.
We believe In Community
Peter Block is just one source that feeds our commitment to community. We’ll share more about the changes in our community, and how the Modern Learners Community can support you in the next post. For now…we want to know…
What do you think of the new SIte & The New Logo
We’ve been working on this brand update for awhile now, and we’d love to know what you think of the new logo and the new colors! Comment below, drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or tag us on social with your feedback. And…if you can’t wait to learn more about the community, you can read about it here.