The Code Less Travelled

The Code Less Travelled

before after Established in 2012, Girls Who Code is an international non-profit organization with the mission to “close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does”. Based in New York, NY, the organization offers various programs to reach as many girls as possible, from after-school clubs for 3rd to 12th grade kids, to college programs to help their alumni, to intensive 2- and 7-week Summer immersions. Over the years, they have taught more than 300,000 girls through their in-person programming and reached over 500 million through their online resources, campaigns, books, and advocacy work — 50% of the kids they serve come from historically underrepresented groups, including girls who are Black, Latinx, or from low-income backgrounds. Earlier this month, Girls Who Code introduced a new identity designed by Brooklyn, NY-based Hyperakt. Hyperakt’s challenge was to update their branding to speak directly to Generation Z and redesign their website to make it as easy as possible for new girls to sign up and get involved in coding. The Girls Who Code brand is now unified in its visual language—a dynamic and user-friendly design system comprised of accessible typography, flexible design elements, and color combinations chosen in careful adherence to visual web standards—and equipped with tools to modulate its voice for different audiences — Corporate partners & Investors, Parents & Girls, Girls — while maintaining a thread of visual resonance throughout. Hyperakt project page Before (red) and after (green) overlay. The quirky and easily recognizable GWC logo carried notable brand equity, but lacked versatility at scale. We redrew the logo to make it more visually balanced and web-friendly, and introduced a superhero “G” icon. The G is optimized for social media accounts, building even more momentum on platforms where GWC has substantial followings. Hyperakt project page Logo. With the understanding that the old logo could only be evolved — although arguably it would have benefited from a more radical change to ditch the stereotypes that girls equal frilly script type and code equals squared computer-y type — most of the issues of the old logo are well resolved in the evolution. The script lettering is bolder for better readability at small sizes and improved visual integration with the blockier, thicker letters for “code”. Spacing and alignment between the two elements is much better as well and golf clap for aligning the “i” in “girls” to the “c” in “code” — I would have given a standing ovation if the “h” aligned with the “d” underneath, and it was close, but I can see how, mathematically, it was not possible. Fixing the “e” in “code” is possibly the best thing that could happen to this logo, with the fixed “d” in close second — extending its ascender was a great move to. Overall, a technical improvement for sure but not necessarily a great logo. Nonetheless, in this case, it’s really not about the logo but the name of the organization, which does all the heavy lifting on its own with so much clarity that it’s almost unfair: Girls Who Code. Any questions? No, of course not. “Superhero ‘G’” icon. As a new element in the identity, they have introduced a “G” monogram and although I like it visually (on its own and in application as you’ll see below) it feels somewhat random. The “G” itself comes from the brand type family, Roboto, but it has zero relationship with the primary logo that,  » Read More

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