Getting more women into tech starts with growing young girls from the root of their interest and talent in the field. I joined ChickTech’s 2017 – 2018 San Francisco team to design materials on different platforms for the year’s workshops and programs for high school girls. My challenge was defining and creating new visuals for our branch in a national organization.
ChickTech has a brand with a tone of positivity and learning. How do I create a visual language for our marketing materials that will appeal to girls aged 14 – 17 and increase their familiarity of tech?
My first task was to design signage and a booklet for the program’s kickoff event. The event featured 5 workshops: UX design, open source, electronics, web development, and Android development.
For each workshop I created an icon so that girls will learn to recognize the visual representation of what they are signing up to study. The icons use overlap of shapes and shading, as well as one shape outline to create depth.
I also designed matching typography to indicate shirt sizes. The coloring and outlines create a look similar to text commonly found on girls’ clothing.
The program booklet follow this visual concept with its designated usage of colors and typographic choices.
Due to the success of my visual concept at ChickTech’s kickoff event, I was asked to continue developing it for the email templates used for this year’s high school program signups. My task was to design a template that can be duplicated for monthly campaigns to minimize the amount of repeated work for our program directors and managers. Chicktech’s previous email campaigns were cluttered and did not use brand guidelines. I first quickly built a cleaner template in Mailchimp to be used, but it still contained too much text.
For new email templates, I brought back the icon imagery used at the Kickoff event to show the topic of each workshop. Even if the girls are new to technology, allowing them to become familiar with tech icons can reduce the amount of text required. That way, the email can be focused more on the call-to-action button. I also added a section for a biography on the workshop instructor so the girls can recall workshops with their career interests and mentors.
Although my concept successfully extended Chicktech’s visual branding, it didn’t work well after development. The sections of text were still cluttered and took the focus away from the CTA button. Also, because of limitations in email development, parts of my design were stripped for the template. For the next month, I focused on resolving these issues found from the previous template to design a more efficient template.
The new templates will require illustrations for workshops instead of icons, but illustration will get the visual message across better. I also created additional icons to to highlight parts of the template that need to stand out.