We were approached to create a brand that would resonate with youth and encourage graduation rates in our high schools. We conducted research through the local high schools and alternative schools and asked students, what does graduation mean to you? We looked at what brands the students were wearing, what brands they interacted with online and what it meant to them to commit and succeed. We listened intently and observed scrupulously. We heard students talk about innovators, from sports icons to tech gurus, as people they aspired to be like. we knew we needed to create a brand that represented graduation as a step towards that greatness. We named the effort Next Level.
Next Level is a collaboration between Sheridan, Wyoming, schools and the broader Sheridan community to ensure high school graduation for all local youth. It represents a desire to provide students and families with the necessary resources to achieve a high school diploma. The logo includes a graduation cap representing the goal of the program and the launch pad for students to achieve their next level: their high school diploma.
“Up and to the left” is a slogan representing the move up in life after student move their hassle to the left upon graduating. We found that students identified well with a short statement with an “in your face” design element. The bold font and no nonsense design did just that, and encouraged student buy in in a major way.
The Next Level website is a resource to empower and encourage parents and students alike towards a high school diploma. The site connects programs to people and those needing support to exactly that. We wanted something flashy enough to connect with students but simple and intuitive enough to be used by parents, grandparents and anyone trying to utilize the resource.