CARNEGIE MELLON SOFTWARE AND SOCIETAL SYSTEMS DEPARTMENT (S3D)
SEE BEYOND. SOLVE BIG.
Formerly Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Software Research (ISR), the Software and Societal Systems Department (S3D) is one of seven academic departments housed in the School of Computer Science. S3D's research and education focus are on software systems, which span not only classical software engineering but also topics such as economics, social and organizational issues, public policy, and privacy.
While the early years of the Department’s existence were characterized by more traditional “software research”, it recognized that a disconnect existed between its branding (name, visual identity, and narrative) vs. its actual academic programming and impact. W|W was commissioned to help the Department navigate a comprehensive rebranding initiative, including the development of a new name, that would deliver better alignment, that would mitigate confusion with the Software Engineering Institute, and would create an authentic, compelling narrative that effectively links all its unique parts.
BRAND STRATEGY & PLATFORM
To guide the Department's comprehensive rebranding initiative, W|W delivered a research-driven brand strategy & platform with audience personas. A combination of primary and secondary research (communications audit, in-depth interviews, online survey, peer assessment, etc.) provided the insights that informed the personas, inspired the unassailable messaging framework, and influenced the development of the renaming and new visual identity. The brand promise that emerged in this process is wrapped inside the S3D brand story:
Wielding sharp talent, applied skills, and a love of daunting challenges, S3D students solve complex, real-world problems with software engineering, societal computing, cybersecurity, and privacy technology solutions. The results are workable and transformative, changing human lives, and society for the greater good.
INTEGRATED BRANDING SYSTEM
In addition to designing the new CMU S3D visual brand system (identity & logo, typography, color palette, and patterns), W|W produced a comprehensive style guide that addressed the implementation of the brand across print, digital, and environmental applications. The S3D's identity and logo embrace visual themes that represent interconnecting systems using a modern, bold design approach. The style guide included recommended layouts for the anticipated use cases such that the S3D internal team could efficiently manage the brand.
DIGITAL & PRINT MARKETING
During the creative process, W|W helped design foundational marketing collateral, which included digital communications assets, print components, stationery system, and ad layouts.
Recognizing that branded environments are one of the most powerful ways to engage an audience, W|W leveraged our integrated approach to design a compelling experience for S3D's physical space and a merch collection with fashion-forward apparel and giveaways.