Student Centered Design Lab

Improving the student experience with hands-on research and design.

I art directed and worked with the team to develop several brand directions for the project. Once the final direction was chosen, I was responsible for designing the final website.

Brand identity design
Web design

Communications strategy: Bryan Miller, Nancy Pryor, Laurie Honda
Art director and lead designer: John Pastor
Designer: Brady Comerford

The challenge

Driven by the California Community Colleges’ ambitious Vision for Success strategic plan and its commitment to “always design and decide with the student in mind”, the Foundation for California Community Colleges partnered with the system to launch the Student Centered Design Lab. A central place where systemwide, data-informed design best practices and principles could be shared, providing valuable guidance for student-facing technology projects and communications campaigns. The in-house design team at the Foundation created the look and feel of the Student Centered Design Lab.

The process


Initial ideas and research led the team to focus on a portfolio-inspired approach which let the lab’s programmatic work stand out with documentary-style photos of projects and the team in action.


Identity concepts reflected the team’s desires to be to the point, accessible, innovative, modern, and technical. The proposed concepts would stand out from the rest of the system’s brand landscape and position the lab as experts in research and design.


Clean rule lines and geometric icons added a sense of technicality and innovation to the look.


Keeping in line with the portfolio-inspired approach, the color palette builds around heavy use of black, with accent colors that complement the system's official palette.


The final concepts bridged the highly technical look with the recent California Community Colleges brand alignment project, reinforcing the lab’s position within the system.