Medway Healthcare Institute
Brand & Design System
A design system for Medway Institute that documents the design patterns, assets, and brand. This helps organize and unify our brand across all products and platforms, alleviating communication and collaboration challenges, ensuring a smoother design-to-development handoff, and speeding up production to save us time and money.
Why am I building a school?
My personal, "Why?"
Building the design and brand of a business from the ground up has been a serious learning experience. Ironically, building a school may have been more educational than attending school. Overall, knowing that we’re making even a small contribution to the underprivileged South Side Chicago community (the area where my parents immigrated to from 3rd World countries) is very rewarding. It’s motivating to know that Medway offers an entry point into the healthcare field while making education more accessible for the disadvantaged youth, especially during the pandemic. On top of all that, growing a business with my family is both challenging and fulfilling.
Goals & Challenges
- Launch an LPN nursing program.
- Receive more financial aid services for low-income students, consistent student entries.
- Build more B2B relationships with Nursing Facilities and hospitals / clinics.
- Become an accredited institution (.edu)
- Build a community.
- Launching a business during the peak of a pandemic in Spring 2020.
- Small staff – started Operating in November 2019 with a 3 Person admin team for 8 months before launching our first class.
- Low-income area in a community of disadvantaged youth – Leading to higher Student fallout rate.
- January 2020 – Website malware hack while paying for our marketing.
- January 2022, downsizing from a 6 person to a 3 person team again, halting google Ads, and re-evaluating the business costs to make profit for accreditation.
So.. what have I learned from designing a school? Scroll to the bottom to find out.
Title Mark - “The Medway Title”
Horizontal configuration – use for website and marketing titles.
1x1 Marks - “The Medway Crest”
These marks are used for 1×1 square images (profile images, emails and social).
Social Branding with Logo
The way we present our brand should remain consistent across all social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For social, we like to use Medway Blue to add visual interest.
Brief Logo Construction History
This is a brief look into the Medway Logo iterative process. 🟦 → 🔵 → 💙
COLOR, STYLE GUIDE, & TYPOGRAPHY
The Medway Colors & Gradient
Aside from the 3 main blues, there is a pinkish red that is used to call attention and add contrast for UI and branding.
Typography & Style Guide
Typography is an important part of Medway’s brand. The font of the logo is a mixture of a Roman serif font mixed with a modern sans-serif font. The mix of the two represents Medway’s hybrid learning approach. We’ve taken care to select a family of fonts that promote tradition, simplicity, and accessibility.
For accessibility, Times New Roman and Montserrat were used to mimic our Logo font for our website and marketing materials. They are more common than the fonts used in our logo, but resemble them almost exactly.
Medway icons consist of a mix of custom-made, Adobe stock and Google Material Design icons.
WEBSITE / UI
A brief look at the UI flow for the website and mobile interaction.
Site Onboard to Apply Button
These assets are used in email newsletters / announcements, save-the-date graduation invitations, and monitor wallpapers.
TONE & VOICE
💙 🩺. 💉 👩🏽⚕️ – Favorite Medway Emojis!
Words that describe our tone:
Encouraging, Professional, Approachable, Straightforward, Caring, Human, and Simple
Our tone is really about ensuring confidence in our students.
Chat Bot - Tidio
On our website, we have a simple chat bot. This helps students connect with us faster and cater to those who need help with something specific.
Class photography, printed materials, and online ads.
TIMELINE / MILESTONES
2018 – Beta Site & first Logo is created, while curriculum is being designed
2019 – August – December – We finalize the brand / logo designs
2019 – November – Started Operating in with a 3 Person admin team for 8 months before launching our first class.
2020 – February – Website is live.
2020 – March – Permit of Approval Issued from Illinois Board of Higher Education for 5 Programs
2020 – July 13 / July 15 – Medway launches it’s first Phlebotomy(CPT) and Medical Assistant(MA) Program
2021 – March 12 – First Medical Assisting Class all passed and all state certified on first attempt
2021 – April 12 – Medway launches it’s first Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program
2021 – June 24 – Graduation Ceremony – graduated 7 cohorts and 3 programs.
2022 – February 25 – Paused Google Ads after assessing profit / loss balance
2022 – April 11 – Launched 3 programs without Google Ads & with downsized team
2022 – April 11 – Total Enrollments reach > 100 Students and counting.
2022 – April 20 – Submitted our IBHE Annual Renewal application for another year of Medway
TAKEAWAYS / LEARNINGS
Ironically, I feel as though I learned more creating a school than attending school.
What I've learned from building a startup hybrid school in the healthcare industry:
- Serve the students and teachers and the school will be happy.
- Take care of your team. Making a startup school is extremely hard but a happy team makes it easier.
- Inventory and class schedule tracking is the most important school administrative skill.
- Tech savvy teachers with proper medical fundamentals are the ideal candidates for teaching the future of healthcare.
- Financial aid is very important for students. Classes are not cheap, especially for an underprivileged area. Pay attention to your area. Students in southside Chicago can be very different from students in northside Chicago.
- Create a brand and a community. Students will tell their friends about the experience and the brand will make it easy to point to.
- Make the application and enrollment streamlined but strict (increases the number of applicants but having strict rules weed out the bad students). A five question online form, an entrance exam, and a short virtual interview are easy enough to tackle for the right student. Asking “why do you want to be in healthcare?” and taking an entrance exam gets a better look at the student’s motivations and how they’ll be professionally.
Design is one of many languages that can bring value to a business. Design must be translated into business metrics. I learned first-hand how mixing engaging content with easy, simple UX on our website leads to more opportunities and impact. Then, it’s a cycle of analyzing the data after a course / product launch to see how we can iterate to create more of an impact.