My School portal (MSP) is a communication platform, created by mso, which aims to connect school staff, parents and pupils. As the My School Portal product has grown our client base have too. Becoming more and more popular across the UK schools we were in need of a brand update.
One of the key points we were looking to tackle during this brand update was the relationship between mso and My School Portal. We had realised that only a handful of our clients understood the link between mso - a creative web agency and the My School Portal product. This link between school website and school portal was something that we wanted to showcase in the new marketing material. The starting point for this project was the brand guidelines, considered the brand as a whole.
This remained the same as we did not want to re-launching the brand, however the application of each version of the logo for different materials needed to be unified i.e. strapline, horizontal, stacked icon, etc.
The MSP brand was predominantly orange as per mso, the brands were too similar and slightly confusing to our clients. To differentiate the brands was an easy change. To do this we switched the hierarchy of colours in the existing brand palette. Our client-base were already familiar with these colours, so the brand would remain recognisable. We selected purple as the new primary colour, keeping the blue, teal and orange as secondary colours to create a balance of bright and dark shades. It was important to keep the orange as a secondary colour to show the link between mso and My School Portal.
Another element of the brand was the MSP character illustrations of parents, children, and teachers, these were widely featured on all marketing material. Although the graphics were fun we felt they were not really suited to the new brand. We introduced icons, although used sparingly in our designs, these are used to highlight features of the product, and have a clean, minimal feel. These icons became the base to design some infographics. A sophisticated style of illustration, that could help to visualise information. The photography used previously in the brand were mainly Key Stage 1 or 2 students. To make our content more relevant to the senior and through schools we sought to make our imagery inclusive of all years 3 - 18.
The last element to really consider for the update was our brand fonts. Helvetica the logotype, with it's stripped back letterforms is clean and legible, a good primary font choice, this remained unchanged. Our secondary font Populaire was used quite regularly, both on and offline. With tight spacing and hand-written feel we all felt it would be good to keep for differentiation but its use would be much more sparing, for print or pdf use only, displaying small snippets of information for example quotes in our brochures.