CTE at Boston College 2014


After a leadership change for Instructional Design and eTeaching Services (IDeS) at Boston College, the department was repurposed with a new mission, to support excellence in teaching. With new leadership, a new mission, and a new name, the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), a rebranding was commissioned. The rebranding would include new a new logo, a new website, and a new voice.


The initial intention with creating a new brand for the CTE started with designing an identity that incorporated existing identities or departments. It was House of Brands challenge. The new CTE would serve as the umbrella unit with existing departments such as IDeS and FMRC being housed in CTE. There was also a request to investigate branding for the new Innovation Lab. An additional concern was that there were various university politics involved. The IDeS branding was eventually going to retired because the IDeS staff was the new CTE staff and still supporting the IDeS services. The FMRC has no identity beyond a poorly designed Papyrus font wordmark. A last department was also being absorbed along with its director, but the director was likely retiring. But the FMRC has existing for decades, was being absorbed into the CTE, but was not willing to rebrand their identity.

On top of the above, the Boston College website and branding was severely outdated and failed to meet modern technology and content standards. Discussions took place discussing “going off the reservation” and creating a CTE website in WordPress. I could have created an amazing website for the department in WordPress, but abandoning the Boston College web platform, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), would have set a poor precedent for the new department and relations with the IT department. Our current website was already considered “off the reservation” because I had built a custom Bootstrap theme that worked within AEM. Even though I am a WordPress supporter, I recommended that we stay in AEM for political, scalability, and technology support considerations.

The new logos were investigated with the idea of finding a logo language that would scale to the other absorbed departments. My thought was this language could also propagate outside of the CTE and be applied to other departments and bring a cohesive branding identity for all departments and universities at BC.

The BC color palette was modernized. Currently BC has Maroon, Gold and Black. The colors don’t read well against each other in many circumstances in print and digital environments, especially when taking into consideration of accessibility concerns. Additionally, many at BC are tired of the limited color palette. I added more value to the Maroon and Gold, and then added a blue color to the main set of colors. Complimentary accent colors were created as well.

I’m also the photographer for the department, so photos were taken and used in the website and print media that highlighted moments of teaching between BC staff and faculty.

As of 01.19.2016 Boston College has started to activate a newly designed website theme for main parts of the core BC website, a process which I was able to participate in and consult on for design and accessibility concerns.

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