Dare to be bright: a childcare brand that puts kids first

As the single largest childcare provider in California, Child Development Centers wanted a name and look that would better reflect the quality of their programs and resonate with the families they serve. In this case, that meant distancing themselves from an outdated identity and putting children at the center of their image. They wanted a new brand that was vibrant, modern, and joyful, but still distinct, to give them a unique sense of vitality in the childcare industry.

Award Winning Project

Brand Strategy
Voice & Tone
Brand Guidelines
Asset Libraries

Child Development Centers was ready to shed its old identity and build a brand that put kids at the center of their image.

We initiated the “Catalyst” concept to drive the brand’s new narrative. Every detail—name, logo, color palette, voice, and all visual assets—was created from scratch to support the message that their organization sets kids on a trajectory of success.

Develop a narrative.

When Child Development Centers decided to partner with us for a rebrand, we received the rare opportunity to start from scratch. This meant not only reinventing their look and feel, but developing an entirely new name and brand concept. To deliver, we had to think big. We took steps to understand the intricacies of their business goals, values, challenges, and differentiators, then came up with “Catalyst”—a name that matches their energy and reflects their mission to guide kids toward a trajectory of success. By driving brand decisions with a strong narrative, we created cohesion across every element and gave their marketing team a solid foundation for growth.

Catalyst Kids brand guidelines book

We received exactly what we needed–our new name, visual identity, brand promise, and brand guide has been embraced by our organization and celebrated by our partners.

Catalyst Family Inc.
Charles Crosby
Director, Marketing & Communications

Bold details make a big impact.

The success of the rebrand came down to the details; our design and copy teams thought through everything to decide how the Catalyst brand should look and sound at each interaction. On the design side, we created a new logo and system of supporting elements that are vibrant, joyful, and put kids at the center of their image. Bold choices around color, photography, and shapes serve to visually differentiate the brand from competitors and reflect the diversity and spirit of their classrooms.

The same level of care applied to copy, too, as we defined their voice and tone, brand promise, and grammar standards, all codified in a robust guideline. We even created the “Inspiring Educator” as a persona for their brand, and a device their team could use to visualize the voice. Though changes ranged in complexity, their cumulative impact strengthened the Catalyst brand and advanced the larger narrative.

catalyst kids branding marketing design poster

It was critical to have a partner who understood us, could determine the needs of our audiences, and be responsive to our goals. We wouldn’t hesitate to work with Design in Mind again on future projects. They were the partner we’ve been looking for.

Catalyst Family Inc.
Charles Crosby
Director, Marketing & Communications

“Child Development Centers is now Catalyst Kids!” 5 Aug. 2020. Blog post.

Work better, together.

This project raised the bar for us, not only in the quality of work produced but in the level of synergy we reached with the client. We tapped into their team’s insights to own the nuances of the Catalyst brand and strengthen our initial concepts, minimizing requested edits and achieving unprecedented approval rates. We truly enjoyed the partnership and look forward to future projects that continue to build on the brand’s incredible foundation.