By Shawn, Devin, and Lauren Young, Co-Founders of Classcraft
You may have noticed: Something’s a little different around these parts.
Yes, Classcraft has a new logo.
We say “may” even though many of you definitely have noticed. You’ve been kind enough to share your feedback with us, some of which is very positive and some of which offers constructive criticism. In response to that feedback, we say with all sincerity: THANK YOU. You wouldn’t have reached out to let us know what you think if you didn’t care deeply about Classcraft. For that, we’re very grateful.
Given the strength of your reactions, we thought we’d take a moment to explain why we chose to rebrand the company, how we arrived at the new logo, and what this means for Classcraft — and for you.
A phrase that’s heard frequently at our offices these days is, “Classcraft is at an inflection point.” We’ve grown far beyond where we thought we could go, not only in terms of what our product does, but in terms of the scale Classcraft has gained and the impact it’s having. What started as a glorified spreadsheet now has hand-drawn illustrations, rich storylines, analytics dashboards, and 50 amazingly awesome people on staff. If you’d told us we’d be here today when we founded the company six years ago, our brains probably would have exploded.
Yet, at the same time, Classcraft has so much unrealized potential. The state of K-12 education and, thinking broadly — our culture — isn’t great. And while we want to continue to be the best product out there for gamer-educators, we feel the call to do more — to use the power of games to make life better for all teachers and students. If there’s one thing we’ve realized, it’s that reaching a broader audience isn’t just the best way to promote our values. It’s the only way.
This realization cuts to the core of who we are as a company, and as a group of human beings who come together for a purpose. As we’ve dug into that identity in the last year, we’ve asked ourselves the question: Who do we serve? And if who we serve changes, does that mean who we are changes too? After a lot of late-night conversations, we agreed that the answers are yes and yes.
That brings us to the second reason why we decided we needed to update the look: Gaming itself has changed.
When we started, gaming was still a subculture. Our point of entry into it was heavily rooted in fantasy and role-playing games. There’s a reason why our old logo looks the way it does.
Now, in 2019, gaming is more popular — and more diverse — than ever. Almost 11 million people watched a concert on Fortnite! Esports teams have billionaire investors. Twitch is a thing. Whether we were ready to admit it or not, gaming has become part of the monoculture. We felt it was important to embody this broader scope in how represented the medium in the education space.
So that’s the deeper “why.” But why this logo?
Our new logo: How we got here
Look, we loved our old logo. At the core, it brought a feeling of adventure to learning. The three mountains represented a sense of community and collaboration while referencing pencil tips at the same time (in case you didn’t notice). Where the mountains met in the center, you could make out the letter “Y,” which was meant to symbolize “The Youngs” and the strength of our bond.
In terms of aesthetic, we adopted something that evoked so many of the games we loved playing growing up: Zelda, Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft — you know the list. Overall, we felt like it resonated with the educators we served.
It was also a nightmare when it came to doing all of the things that a logo actually needs to do. Case in point: The old logo was unreadable in many contexts, like a browser tab or a Twitter avatar. We nearly went crazy trying to print it on merch because of its complexity. These were all things we didn’t consider when we designed it. Or maybe we did, and we just decided that we didn’t care. (Oh, the foolishness of youth.)
With our values and vision in place, it was clear to us which elements of our heritage we needed to keep. The gold had to stay; we just wanted to use shades that would look sharper in different contexts. We also introduced a bright blue that, when combined with the gold, symbolizes “horizon” and “hope” — our aspirations for the students and teachers using Classcraft as they endeavor to reach their full potential.
It was also important that we maintained the old logo’s general concept. The pencil-mountains live on. But we wanted to make them a little more accessible, so we cleaned up the lines and brought the middle mountain to the forefront to symbolize the collaborative nature of Classcraft and the support system that our community represents.
New logo. Ta-da.
That’s a lot of words. What does all of this mean for you?
To start, it means awesome new merch is coming!
All kidding aside, hopefully it also means a greater respect for the power of games and play. If we’re able to make games more accessible, more people will see their potential. That means that our community will become bigger, stronger, and more diverse than before.
Scaling Classcraft by making it more accessible will also (hopefully) mean that we’ll be able to pour additional investment into the platform to make it even more amazing and useful. We’ve got some exciting things planned on that front in the coming days, so stay tuned 😉
To sum things up, all of us here at Classcraft love games — and gamers. We wouldn’t exist without you. But if there’s anything we love even more than games themselves, it’s the power of games to make life better through education.
We see the evolution of our logo as a necessary, and natural, part of our effort to make a lasting impact on our world. So whether you love or hate the new logo, we want you to know: It came about by looking closely at our values and doing our best to live them.
At Classcraft, it always does.