Throughline Learning

Naming and Brand Identity

Everyone deserves the a chance at the best possible student experience. That’s what the experts at Throughline Learning (formerly Highlander Institute) are there to lead. They know that students thrive in environments where they feel valued, where lessons feel meaningful, where they are challenged, and where they feel empowered. It was Spears’ job to take an older dated brand and create a new, powerful brand that represented students, teachers, and district decision makers. 

Throughline reflects on their mission, vision, and values, while resonating deeply with the way they describe our work and organize our partnerships. The naming process was a rigorous one, starting in practicality and moving towards abstraction. Throughline is the culmination of teamwork and perseverance taking Highlander through a mosaic journey and ultimately landing on name that not only feels right but looks that part too.

We knew the brand for a new name needed to be bold but approachable. Color was of utmost importance and a custom wordmark was needed to set Throughline apart from other non-profits in the education space. Bridging the gap between playful and professional, the brand speaks to students and administrators alike—all while embodying their mission and values. 

The colors lend themselves to illustrations, highlighting effects, and design elements that bring the brand to life. The mark itself represents the celebration of the joyful learner, a cornerstone of Throughline’s work. Together with the smooth, modern type, the brand comes together to evoke warmth and  the convey optimism, enthusiasm, and passion that connects with vibrant learning communities

Our clients are tote enthusiasts. So what better way to visualize their new brand than with some sweet SWAG? As their coaches are in schools and meeting with administrators, their new brand can now be proudly represented right along with their thought leadership. The head, hand, and heart are an illustrative take on the history of pedagogy and something that as a whole and as individual parts is used in everyday practice at Throughline. When they ask, where is your heart? Now there’s a design for that. From name to brand to launch, Spears was there to guide and consult each step of the way. If your brand is looking for a fresh start, we’re here to help.

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    We made it! So grateful for your collaboration and expertise. Thank you for guiding us to our new brand and making it a personal effort to go above and beyond.

— Cathy Sanford, Communications Director

Spears Group


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