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RaceYa is an emerging company dedicated to developing fun and creative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational toys. Level Design Group was asked to craft a brand identity to represent the company and their customizable build-your-own toys, beginning with their first product: a radio-controlled car. It was important to our client that the brand personified their target audience — kids united by play, creativity and discovery. The RaceYa identity aims to replace stereotypes with skills, specifically making the involvement and inclusion of girls in STEM activities a high priority. The inclusionary and gender-neutral nature of the company’s mission, and their products, had to be represented in the visual identity — appealing and inviting to both girls and boys equally.
We developed a clean, playful mark that communicates to a target audience of 8-12 year old’s who are curious about STEM, as well as their tech-savvy and design-conscious parents. Simple lines, rounded letterforms, classic iconography and a lively, diverse color palette were important in order to establish an aesthetic for the brand personality. The custom-made lowercase letterforms are geometric and bold, yet friendly in their rounded corners, large counters, and unified in their tight letter-spacing. The repetition of rounded letterforms hint at motion or wheels “turning.” The single-storey a’s add a handwritten and elementary quality to the word. The shortened descender of the y suggests a ligature to the key icon. The key, an iconic reference of the history of mechanical toys, adopts the forms of the letters to seamlessly work into the logotype, and provide a small break/moment of pause between the two words without completely disconnecting them. The mark's use of multiple colors reflects the modular nature of the products themselves, and will inform the development of a way finding system for curriculum. There was also a need for an abbreviated mark, for applications on small parts. The key, as a mark itself, is iconic – a modern take on the endearing past-time of play. Additionally, Level created a logo animation for use in web venues in which the reveal of the logo and use of sound suggest a mechanical object – the key is wound, then released, revealing the logo in full.
Having reached their funding goal this past November, RaceYa is now preparing for an official product launch in 2017 — completing their third generation prototype vehicles, coding libraries and curriculum, and expanding on content and customization platforms. The identity has been rolled out in business collateral, company website, social media venues, and crowdfunding portals, as well as promotional materials in print and online.
To keep with the brand personality we established, RaceYa’s curriculum will be designed to mimic the way kids play — not a "lesson plan,” but a choose-your-own-adventure-book for science. This unique format will invite users to create their own playtime narrative, and learn more about areas of STEM that they are personally interested in. Also in the works — a web platform to function as a worldwide community of RaceYa users, able to learn, share, and collaborate in a digital/virtual space. This online community is essential to establishing the brand culture.