Beginning with Children is en route to providing students in Brooklyn, NY with a rich and well-rounded education.

The Story

Beginning with Children, a Brooklyn-based charter school network, has been in operation for over twenty years. With the next twenty years and beyond in mind, they came to us to develop a flexible and extensible brand that will adapt and grow with them over time.



Creating the foundational building blocks for the Beginning with Children brand.

Brand Strategy

Our strategy process for Beginning with Children involved reviewing and assessing their current organizational structure, their existing community and goals for the future, as well as the design systems that were already in place. 

Our first step, after a thorough review of all of the above, was to determine the brand tone that would guide us throughout the design process.

That initial strategy culminated in the direction to develop a brand that felt academic, adaptable, compassionate, welcoming, and nurturing. The resulting mood board was the first piece of the puzzle.

Brand Identity

When Beginning with Children came to me, they had an established visual identity that had been in use for some time. One of our challenges was to figure out how to modernize their existing identity without completely abandoning their roots. 

In the case of the logo, one element they did not want to leave behind was their original icon. We made it work as a centerpiece of the new design system by cleaning up some of the details and placing it into new contexts, as you can see below.





The foundational logo system we developed consisted of four separate designs for different use cases:

  1. The primary typographic logo.
  2. A simple type and icon logo for smaller spaces.
  3. A badge design.
  4. A simple icon design.

Using the standards we developed, these elements can be replicated and customized for countless additional brands as the network expands.

Color is a key component of the new Beginning with Children brand. A flexible color palette was developed, consisting of a single primary color, a single neutral color and a wide array of secondary highlight colors.

The core color set — navy, royal and gray — both mark the primary brand’s identity and work seamlessly with all the other colors. This allowed me to establish a system where each sub-brand can have its own color identity while still feeling completely cohesive within the overarching brand. You can see a few examples of individual sub-brand palettes below.

At the time, the Beginning with Children system consisted of four sub-brands, the overarching education network, two schools and an organization focused on helping students get into and thrive in college.

A system of supporting graphic elements was created to further connect existing and new brands as the organization grows. The core component of the graphics system is a pattern library inspired by components of the Beginning with Children icon.

The pattern library provides us with the opportunity to create more visual cohesion using strong bursts of color and texture. Complementary line work was also designed as an additional design element.


Extending the Beginning with Children brand into the tactile world.

As part of our work together, I created design and templates for various print collateral.

The core pieces that were created included variable business card designs as well as a standard letterhead and envelope. Additionally, we designed a card for the purpose of soliciting donations and also designed and set up Canva templates for a series of branded flyers.


Bringing the Beginning with Children brand online. 


Beginning with Children’s website functionality required a robust system that would allow for each sub-brand to have their own presence while maintaining various connections from site to site.

We built three separate sites by leveraging WordPress’s multisite technology, establishing functionality that allows their internal site administrators to create content that seamlessly integrates form one site to the next.

The design process included the development of an extensive template system that facilitates easy updates to existing content as well as the creation of new pages, sections and modules.

Email Template

To round out the Beginning with Children brand, their look and feel was extended into a variety of digital applications.

Pieces that were developed include a series of Mailchimp templates, social media profile artwork, Instagram post templates as well as a template for Powerpoint presentations.

Digital Templates

To round out the Beginning with Children brand, we extended their look and feel into a variety of digital applications. 

Profile artwork was created to ensure the organization presents a consistent image on screen. Templates were then built for Instagram and Powerpoint presentations.